Sleep regression is a concept formulated by a popular theory that babies go through an uncomfortable change in sleep routine. And thus, sleeping is no longer the same for those who have children.
At birth, children do not have the same sleep pattern as adults, which can cause fatigue and stress for parents. However, after a while, the child begins to establish more fixed times for sleeping, and the parents usually adapt to the baby’s habits.
But suddenly, oh surprise! The baby, who had regularized his sleep schedule, suddenly no longer wants to take a nap or wakes up in the middle of the night. According to Dr. Plooij’s theory established in the 1990s, this is called sleep regression, and it occurs periodically with babies and children up to 3 years of age.
When some external factor creates stress for children, it is normal for them to go through regressions in relation to the things they have learned. These factors can range from the discomfort of their first teeth coming into a move. The developmental stages are essential milestones in which babies and children learn new things, but they can also be delicate times. For example, learning to crawl, walk and talk are very demanding things on the brain and body of children, and this can cause regression of sleep.
Sleep regression tends to last 2 to 6 weeks and usually coincides with the ages when babies typically go through a period of accelerated growth. It is common for this to occur when the baby turns 4, 7, 9, 12, 15, or 18 months and at 2 and 3 years.
Fighting sleep regression is not an easy task and requires calm and patience on the part of caregivers. However, here are some suggestions for dealing with these periods!
Establish a Routine – (Sleep Regression)
Routines are essential for little ones, and bedtime is no exception. Maintaining a routine during the sleep regression phases can help, as well as provide the security your child needs. For this, it is necessary always to be aware of everything you do when putting your child to bed.
Avoid exciting the child in the middle of the night.
Although some needs need to be met in the middle of the night (like changing a diaper or breastfeeding), we suggest you teach your baby that this is not the time to play. For example, it may be good to use only night lighting and not encourage the child with games and distractions. Instead, show him that you are there and pet him to make him go back to sleep after a few minutes.
Pay attention to the atmosphere of the room.
An essential tip is to check the environment in which your baby will sleep. For example, is the room too cold or too hot? Is the environment calm and quiet? It sounds simple, but it’s a must for a good night’s sleep or afternoon nap.
Also, watch out for some risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In addition to worrying about the room where the baby sleeps, it is necessary to monitor what is inside the child’s crib. Until your child is one year old, it is recommended not to place any object in the crib to prevent this syndrome.
Try to stay calm
Mothers, fathers, and caregivers are often very anxious during these periods of transition and change because they do not understand very well what is happening and do not know how to overcome these situations. Sleep regression catches many people off guard and impacts the sleep of babies and the rest of caregivers.
Several parents even blame themselves for what is happening, when in reality, it is entirely natural! Your little one is going through a whirlwind of learning, and the world begins to look more and more exciting and challenging. ExpSo expects sleep patterns to change during this period.
Lack of sleep is stressful and exhausting, but keep in mind that things will not always be this way, and this period will pass. So, take this easy and remember that this is a natural process.
Sleep regression can scare parents and completely change the routine of a home. However, it is possible to get around this phase by caring for and promoting certain activities with babies. Kinedu is an application that helps you identify your child’s development stage and gives you valuable advice on activities you can do with him.