Seemingly overnight, your baby isn’t sleeping so well. You might notice hourly night awakenings, shorter naps and difficulty getting your baby to sleep.
The reason is very simple, your baby is growing and maturing.
Since birth, your baby has been sleeping and eating in 24-hour cycles with no concept of day and night.
Now, your baby is starting to develop circadian rhythms. These are sleep patterns dictated by light and dark involving longer stretches of sleep at night. Like adults, your baby has started to sleep in cycles that last between 45 and 50 minutes. These cycles are linked by small awakenings. It’s these new awakenings that cause your baby’s sleep regression.
Imagine your baby falls asleep breastfeeding or in your arms, then you place them in their crib. When your baby wakes up between sleep cycles they will notice their environment has changed. They will wake up completely and need your help to go back to sleep.
This regression is different from others because it’s caused by a change to the way your baby sleeps. But if handled carefully it can be one of the shortest disruptions to your baby’s sleep habits.
Tips to handle this regression :
- Stick to a good sleep schedule that suits your baby’s natural rhythm.
- Track the time your baby is awake. Babies overstimulate easily and may need up to four naps a day.
- Start establishing a structured routine leading up to bedtime.
- When your baby wakes up at night, wait a little bit before going to them. Trust that your baby is trying to go back to sleep by themself.
- Create a comfortable and safe environment that encourages restful sleep.