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Why Does Sleep Regression Happen?

by Ivy B

Sleep regression is a common phenomenon among babies. Why does sleep regression happen? We explore 7 possible triggers to be aware of. Understanding these causes can help you to take the necessary steps to get your baby’s sleep schedule back on track.

As a parent, you may have heard the term “sleep regression” thrown around in parenting circles. You may have even experienced it with your own baby. But what exactly is sleep regression and why does it happen? In this article, we’ll explore the answers to these questions and more.

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Is My Baby Having a Sleep Regression?

Before we delve into why sleep regression happens, let’s first discuss what it is and how to know if your baby is experiencing it. Sleep regression is a period of time when a baby who was previously sleeping well suddenly starts waking up more frequently at night or having difficulty falling asleep. This can happen at various ages, but it most commonly occurs around 4 months, 8-10 months, and 18 months.

So, how do you know if your baby is having a sleep regression? Look out for these signs:

  1. Increased night wakings
  2. Difficulty falling asleep
  3. Shorter naps
  4. Increased fussiness during the day
  5. Changes in appetite

If your baby is experiencing any of these signs, it’s possible that they are going through a sleep regression. But why does it happen in the first place?

7 Reasons Sleep Regressions Happen

There are various reasons why sleep regression occurs, and sometimes it can be a combination of several factors. Here are some common causes and triggers of sleep regression:

  1. Developmental Milestones: As your baby grows and develops, they go through many changes, both cognitive and physical. These changes can affect their sleep patterns, making it harder for them to fall and stay asleep. For example, at around 4 months, babies experience a developmental milestone that causes changes in their sleep cycles.
  2. Illnesses: If your baby is sick or going through a growth spurt, it can disrupt their sleep patterns. Additionally, illness or discomfort can make it harder for babies to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  3. Changes in schedule: If you’ve recently changed your baby’s routine, such as starting daycare or traveling, it can disrupt their sleep patterns.
  4. Changes in baby’s need for sleep: As your baby grows, their sleep needs may change. They may need more or less sleep than they did before, which can lead to disruptions in their sleep patterns.
  5. Overtiredness: When babies get overtired, they may have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep. This can lead to sleep regressions.
  6. Potty training: When babies start potty training, it can disrupt their sleep patterns. They may need to wake up more frequently during the night to use the bathroom.
  7. Making the move to a big kid bed: When babies make the move from a crib to a big kid bed, it can disrupt their sleep patterns. They may feel less secure and have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep.

Remember, sleep regressions are a normal part of your baby’s development, and they usually pass on their own. By understanding why they happen, you can take steps to help your baby get the sleep they need.

However, there are ways to help ease the transition and make it a little easier for both you and your baby. In conclusion, sleep regression can be a confusing and frustrating experience for both babies and parents. But by understanding the causes and triggers, you can help make the transition a little easier. Remember, sleep regression is temporary and it will pass. With a little patience and consistency, you and your baby will soon be back to getting the restful sleep you both need.

Continue reading our guide to sleep regressions:

  1. Sleep Regression: What is It and What to Expect
  2. 4 Signs of Sleep Regression to Watch For
  3. Sleep Regression Ages
  4. Why Does Sleep Regression Happen? (this post)
  5. How to Deal with Sleep Regression
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1 comment

color by number April 27, 2023 - 2:54 am

There are several possible explanations for why sleep regression takes place, and in some cases, it may be the result of a confluence of numerous causes.

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