Sleep Regressions 101

Updated Jun 9th 2022 | timer 3  min read

Sleep Regressions 101

As your baby grows, sleep patterns shift which in turn impacts how long she stays asleep at a time. If you aren't getting enough sleep and aren't sure your baby is either, she could be experiencing what is known as a Sleep Regression. The frequent night waking is often accompanied by a predictable developmental growth spurt

What is a Sleep Regression and How Long Does it Last?

Sleep regression refers to a period when a baby's typical sleep schedule is disrupted by poor sleep. Sleep regressions in babies are commonly marked by waking up more frequently during the night, typically just for comfort and help falling back to sleep.

It can leave you exhausted, but it's temporary. Each sleep regression lasts around 2 to 6 weeks before your baby begins sleeping more smoothly again.

“When Isla went through the 4-month sleep regression I felt like we would never sleep again. A friend recommended we start tracking her sleep in an app (we used the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers so we could visually see what was happening, receive expert guidance and then things quickly started to improve.”

Why Sleep Regressions Occur

The sleep regression that babies experience often coincides with developmental milestones, such as increased physical activity, speech development, increased awareness, emotional development and independence. These milestones can make the cause of your baby's sleep regression easy to spot, and easier to prepare for.

Coping with a Sleep Regression

Baby sleep is somewhat of a rollercoaster, even the best of sleepers will regress because of developmental progression – that’s a good thing, your baby is growing. Know that this too shall pass, however having tools and the knowledge to help you get through each setback can really make a difference!

Getting the help and guidance you need to confidently manage regressions is really important, Apps like the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™ combine expert sleep coaching with tools to help you track your baby’s sleep so you can stay in the driver’s seat when sleep setbacks happen. It will help you see patterns emerge so you can celebrate as your baby re-adjusts back to their normal routine.

The Sleep Regression Timeline by Age

No sleep regression timeline is completely precise, but most babies will experience sleep regressions related to developmental milestones as follows:

4-months – Develop natural circadian rhythm

8-months – Emotional development and separation anxiety

12-months – Increased activity and awareness

18-months – Increased independence

While each regression comes with it’s own challenges, these are exciting and important developmental progression for your baby. Remember they will pass and if you’re looking for extra support and guidance, be sure to check out the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™ App.