Sleep regressions can occur at any age, from 4 months to 2 years old. Around the baby's first birthday, some children may start to experience a 12-month sleep regression, while others may experience it as early as 10 or 11 months. A 6-month sleep regression is less common, but it can happen between 5 and 8 months and usually lasts for two to six weeks. Berry Brazleton explains that these nocturnal awakenings are the result of normal childhood development. A sleep regression is a period when a baby who has been sleeping well suddenly stops following their normal patterns.
It may include shorter naps, extreme nervousness during a nap or at bedtime, trouble sleeping, and waking up often at night. This regression can be frustrating for parents, but it usually only lasts for two to six weeks. The 4-month sleep regression is caused by a change in the baby's sleep cycles. Before 3 or 4 months, babies' nighttime sleep cycles last 4-6 hours, but after this time, babies go through massive development and their sleep cycles become more organized and pronounced. This can also be accompanied by separation anxiety, where the baby holds on to you more or cries when you stay with someone other than you. Nap transitions usually occur between 6 and 8 months and 12 to 15 months.
During this time, your baby may become more attached during the day and it is more difficult to settle in at bedtime. If your baby is not sleeping because he is sick, look out for signs such as fever (101 Fahrenheit or more if your baby is 6 months old or older), runny nose with blood, swollen glands, or ear pain (babies can pull their ears).Sleep regressions are a normal part of your little one's development that can't be avoided. Kim West, a licensed clinical social worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for over 21 years and the creator of the original, gentle and proven method to get a good night's sleep for you and your child explains that apart from the four-month sleep regression, the other regressions are not permanent and can disappear in a matter of weeks. The main sign that your little one is going through a regression is that their sleep pattern is getting worse. Some babies sleep for longer periods at night and take shorter naps during the day, while others sleep for shorter periods at night and then take two long naps during the day. We often see cases of regressing children who already have independent sleep skills, but their expectations have changed during a period when the parent has temporarily offered new bedtime help.
This can make your baby sticky and difficult to adjust to naps or bedtime, or you may need to stay in the room with him or her while he sleeps. It's not something that just gets better over time; since the ages of sleep regression are different for each baby. So, instead of relaxing to take naps or sleep in his crib, your baby can start practicing his wobbly posture.