• Sally Unterberger

So What is a Sleep Regression?

Sleep regressions happen at very important stages in a baby’s life. Despite what the name implies, it is in fact developmental rather than a regression.

So what is it?

For adults, a sleep cycle has four stages. These are:

  • Drifting off

  • Light sleep

  • Deep sleep

  • REM sleep

For a newborn, however, there are only two stages – deep sleep and REM sleep. Since these are both deep sleep stages, your baby will usually sleep soundly once they do drift off. However, around the age of four months, the sleep cycle develops into the four-stage sleep with stages of light sleep.  Since this is so new for the baby, they will easily wake up when they reach those lighter stages.

While the four-month sleep regression is the most well known, babies can also go through sleep regression commonly at the ages of 8 months or 18 months, or at just about any age! It usually lasts for two to six weeks while the baby adjusts and adapts to this lighter sleep duration.

However, if you aren’t expecting it, it can be concerning and sleep regression can throw a lot of parents off. We can’t understand why our child, who was previously sleeping so well, is suddenly waking up so unexpectedly or often.

My gentle sleep-training programs are designed to ensure that this phase is easily and quickly managed instead of becoming the basis of poor sleeping behaviours for your child. For help with this or any other aspect of your child’s sleep drop me an email on Sweat Dreams x

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