Overcoming Baby Sleep Regression
Three weeks ago I wrote a post about Little Miss’s recent bout of sleep regression. I soon noticed an increase in visitors searching the exact same topic. Apparently this is quite the popular topic for parents so I decided to attack the topic again and go a little further into detail on what sleep regression is and how it effect babies.
In a nutshell, sleep regression is the interruption of your baby’s otherwise normal sleeping routine. Parents of good sleepers (Like me!) will notice the biggest change as their once sound sleeper has turned into a crying monster incapable of sleeping for more than a couple hours successively. While sleep regression seems to effect babies at around the same developmental ages, the cause can be very different.
Like I said, there are many things that can shake up your baby’s sleep routine. The first step to fixing the problem is figuring out what can cause sleeping problems. Here are a few common things that can cause a fussy sleeper.
- A new bed time routine
- Room temperature too hot, or cold
- Unfamiliar noise while sleeping
- Growth spurt causing hunger
- Developmental milestones
How to Overcome Baby Sleep Regression
Trying to force a baby to sleep is kind of like hitting your head on the wall…. It feels good when you stop. A better plan is to consider what has changed recently in your baby’s environment or sleep routine. Some causes are easily discovered such as illness, or hunger. While others are not so obvious and require more investigation and experimenting.
Confront the problem logically:
- Undue any changes to the bedtime routine or give your baby more time to adjust.
- Adjust room temperature to see if it makes any difference.
- If your baby is waking up hungry at night (And used to sleep through the night) a growth spurt may be the culprit. Growth spurts usually take place at around four, six, and eight months. If you find your baby waking up looking for a snack, try feeding her more during the day.
- If your baby has recently learned to roll over, sit up, etc they may want to practice their new skills at every chance they get. And what better place to practice then in their crib? Unless you plan on tying them down, the best solution is to give them plenty of time during the day to exercise and hopefully get it out of their system.
As a new parent, this could be the first large test of your patience. The most important thing for you to remember if your baby is going through a sleep regression is to be patient. Sleep regressions are usually temporary and once the underlying causes clear up, sleep will return.
In the meantime, you’ll have plenty of time to catch up on any late night infomercials you’ve missed.