Finding a sleeping routine that works for your household is the number one issue families face today. As our little ones grow and change so do their sleep habits and cycles. We know establishing a consistent sleep routine is important but what happens when that routine is interrupted by ‘Sleep Regression’?
What is Sleep Regression?
Sleep Regression is a short period of time in which your little one, who is normally a good sleeper, suddenly shows signs of difficulties falling asleep or starts to frequently wake up during bedtime.
Typically sleep regressions can happen at any age under 4, but are most common in children from 3 months to 3 years old. With so many changes in your little one's sleep cycle, there are a number of reasons why sleep regressions may occur, including:
- Growth spurts
- Reaching new developmental milestones
- Illness, like a cold or possible ear infection
- New routines, like a new house or starting daycare
Most of the time these factors can cause your little one to feel anxious, restless, or even uncomfortable, just remember sleep regressions are temporary. To help make your nights easier, here are 4 helpful tips to help your little ones sleep through the night:
- Be Consistent: Find a schedule and pattern that works for you and see it through, even through the regression. By establishing a set routine your little one will feel more relaxed, and it may make it easier for them to fall and stay asleep.
- Create a Soothing Sleep Environment: Make sure your little one’s sleeping environment is sleep positive. This can include making sure the room is dark and quiet, or using a white noise machine or soothing music. Also, make sure that your little one is comfortable, this can include adjusting room temperature or dressing your child accordingly.
- Offer Comfort and Reassurance: During sleep regression, your child may need extra comfort and reassurance. You can try soothing your little one with gentle touches or soft words and lullabies for comfort. Stuffed animals or a familiar blanket can also work for older children.
- Be Patient and Persistent: Sleep regression is usually temporary, and it may take some time for your little one to adjust to their new sleep patterns. Be patient with your little one and yourself! Continue to practice and be consistent with your daily bedtime routine.
While sleep regression is common, it will generally disappear on its own with comfort. If you have any questions about your child’s sleeping patterns or health please do not hesitate to contact your pediatrician or a sleep consultant.
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