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Sleep regression

17 April 2024

How to deal with sleep regression in babies

Sleep regression can be a challenging time for both babies and parents. It is a phase in which a baby who previously slept well may suddenly have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or has restless sleep. This period can therefore be super stressful, especially because as a (new) parent you are already tired due to lack of sleep. But don’t panic – there is hope ;-)! In this blog we take a closer look at what sleep regression is, why it occurs and how you can deal with it.

What is sleep regression?

Sleep regression is a temporary period in which a baby who previously slept well suddenly begins to sleep worse. This can happen around certain age-related milestones, such as 4 months, 8-10 months, and 18 months of age. During these phases, babies go through major developments, both physically and mentally, which can disrupt their sleep patterns.

Why does sleep regression occur?

Sleep regression can be caused by several factors, including growth spurts, developing new skills such as rolling, crawling or walking, changes in the sleep environment, and the development of fear of strangers or separation. These changes can lead to discomfort and disruption of a small child’s normal sleep pattern.

How to deal with sleep regression:

  1. Stick to a routine: A consistent bedtime routine can help calm a restless baby and create an association between certain activities and bedtime.
  2. Provide comfort: Comfort your baby if he wakes during the night, but avoid creating new sleep habits such as rocking or feeding the baby to get him to sleep.
  3. Create a peaceful sleeping environment: Provide a comfortable and quiet sleeping environment for your baby. Avoid excessive stimulation before bedtime and ensure a comfortable temperature and blackout curtains.
  4. Consider sleep training: If sleep regression is long-lasting and has serious consequences for the entire family, it may be helpful to talk to a professional about sleep training techniques that are right for you and your baby.
  5. Practice self-care: Take care of yourself as a parent, as fatigue can make it harder to deal with sleep regression. Try to take naps when your baby is sleeping and seek support from your partner, family or friends.
  6. Be patient: Remember that sleep regression is a temporary phase and it is normal for babies to experience periods of disrupted sleep during their development. Stay patient and provide loving support to your little one.

In conclusion, sleep regression can be challenging, but it is a normal part of a baby’s development. Providing a soothing environment, comfort, and sticking to a routine can help make getting through this phase easier for both you and your baby. Remember that it is important to take good care of yourself, including remaining patient during this period of change for your little one.

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