In this week’s episode of the My Sleeping Baby podcast, I’ll be discussing everything you need to know about your little one’s sleep regression.

You might be wondering what a sleep regression even is- I’ve got you covered 🙂

I’ll be going over the basics of what’s entailed with sleep regressions, as well as when they usually happen, what the different regressions look like, and how to tackle them when they arrive so that they’re short-lived and as pain-free as possible! Enjoy!

Want to get your little one consistently sleeping 11-12 hours at night so you can be a functioning human?  Join my FREE training HEREhttps://mysleepingbaby.ac-page.com/registration-page-v-2

Eva (00:04):

Hey there, you’re listening to the My Sleeping Baby podcast, which is all about baby and child sleep. I’m so excited to teach you how you can get your little ones sleeping so that you can sleep too and enjoy parenthood to its fullest. I’m Eva Klein, your resident’s sleep expert, mom of three, founder of the Sleep Bible online coaching program, and lover of all things sleep and motherhood. If you’re looking for tangible solutions for your little one sleep woes or you simply want to learn more, this podcast is for you. For more information, check out mysleepingbaby.com and you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook @mysleepingbaby.

(00:40)
All right, welcome back to the show, everyone. So in this week’s episode, we’re gonna be talking all about sleep regressions when they happen, why they happen, what causes them and what you can do about it. But first I want to read a review that was posted by a past client named Fernanda. And she said after a few successful attempts to sleep treatment, maybe by myself, I decided to pay for a sleep consultant. And Eva was the best referral I could have possibly had. She is super empathetic and knowledgeable with her customized sleep plan and one-on-one calls. I had all my questions answered. And my eight month old who usually wakes up three times in the middle of the night was finally sleeping. 12 hours straight. Yvette helped me to skip the 4:00 AM feed and I started to have a full night sleep. It is priceless.

(01:32)
Thank you so much for posting that Fernanda. So if you would like to hear more about how you can work with me either via one-on-one coaching or in my sleep Bible program, you can just send me an email, Eva, my sleeping baby.com, or you can start your journey by watching the free masterclass posted in the show notes, and then we can take it from there. All right, let’s dive right in. Let’s first talk about the basic question here. What is a sleep regression? So a regression is basically when typically things are going well or very, very well in the sleep department or things when it comes to your little one sleep or at least decent. And then all of a sudden out of nowhere, things just appear to fall apart. And you have no idea where, or how or why this is happening. And there are some very well known regressions that happen at specific developmental points in a baby’s life.

(02:31)
So we’re gonna delve into each and every one of those so that you can have a general understanding of when each of these progressions happen, you know, why they happen and what you can do about it. Now, one thing I just wanna emphasize is that with sleep progressions, sometimes it’s a little blip that you might experience with your little one sleep. And sometimes they are very big blips. <laugh> it really depends on the circumstance, but, uh, let’s first talk about newborns. So there is a very common regression that happens with newborns around the six week mark that is primarily caused by a very well known growth spurt. So, um, newborns are, they go through multiple growth spurts, I would say throughout the first six weeks to two months of their lives, but there is a very well known gross spurt that happens around that stage, where you might find that your baby just needs to eat much more frequently than he usually does.

(03:31)
And at that stage, when a baby is going through a gross spurt, they might be eating more during the day, but they’re likely going to need to be eating more at night. And especially if you are breastfeeding, this regression can be tricky to navigate, can be really exhausting because it can take your milk supply 12 to 24 hours to catch up to your baby’s bigger appetite, right? The demand, the demand for more milk is going to signal to your body to produce more milk, but it doesn’t always happen, you know, uh, quickly the way that it can with let’s say a bottle fed baby. So just remember it’s temporary, your baby’s not gonna be in a growth spur forever. You just gotta learn to ride this one out. All right. After the newborn regression, I would say the next, very famous milestone that babies reach is the four month mark.

(04:26)
So the four month regression is very, very common because what happens around this specific mark is your little one is graduating from sleeping like a newborn to sleeping like an infant, which specifically means that you are now infant is, has sleep cycles that are beginning to mature and become more adult-like. So now your little one is cycling in and out of deep and light sleep similar to the way that adults do, except that with an infant with a four month old, to be exact, their sleep cycles are usually only about 45 minutes long. Um, so it’s a very short cycle. And so what this means is that if your little one needs help falling asleep, whether it’s nursing rocking, you know, holding et cetera, then there is nothing stopping that baby of yours from waking up repeatedly throughout the nights. Not because they suddenly need to be eating more or because they’re hot or cold or scared or lonely or something’s wrong, but simply because they need you to come back and recreate those conditions to help them go back to sleep.

(05:37)
So it’s not really a real true regression as per the definition of a regression, because a regression implies that your little one is just simply going through a phase that they need to. And all you need to do is just ride it out. This isn’t a phase, this is a permanent change to your little one’s sleep patterns. So the solution here really is if your goal is to go back to getting consistent, reliable, amazing sleep, or to get that consistent, reliable, amazing sleep to begin with, then that’s where teaching door little one, how to fall asleep independently comes in. Now, one of the first episodes of the, my sleep BBB podcast that I released is on the four month regression. So I am going to link to that in these show notes. If you want to learn more about this in more detail, now there is another well known regression that happens in the eight to 10 month mark.

(06:32)
And this is an actual regression because it is a phase that is triggered by new developmental milestones, that your little one is reaching. So it’s very common for babies to be developing new, gross motor milestones at this age. So they are learning how to crawl. They are learning how to sit up. They’re learning how to stand up. Sometimes they’re even learning how to walk at this stage, but they usually aren’t. So don’t worry. <laugh>, don’t worry if your little ones, nowhere near learning how to walk just yet. I’m just saying that it can sometimes in rare circumstances happen and that can trigger a bit of a regression in the sleep department, because all of a sudden there is so much learning and so much happening in your little one’s brain that they can feel overwhelmed at times. And it can be that much more of a struggle for them to settle at bedtime because they’re so busy trying to master their new skill.

(07:35)
What’s also very important to note at this stage is that their language processing skills are improving remarkably and that all of a sudden, they are really beginning to understand that much more of what you are saying. And people around them are saying, this can be a lot for them to be digesting, right? Their brain is working at over CAPA at over capacity, trying to process all this new information, which can have a bit of an undesirable side effect on sleep. The other thing about this age that you do wanna be very, very mindful of are the scheduling changes that you might have to make to their naps. So be extra mindful of what kind of wake windows they might need. You know, spoiler alert, the wake windows that worked for them when they were six to seven months are no longer gonna be working when they are 8, 9, 10 months.

(08:32)
So you don’t want your little one to be going down under tired. Yes. You don’t want them going down overtired, but you also don’t want them going down under tired either. Um, you don’t want them going down, not being ready to actually go to sleep because then they’re just gonna fight. They’re gonna fight that nap and fight bedtime tooth and nail no different if they were overtired. So you wanna be extra mindful of that. Give your little one lots of opportunity to practice their new skill. So if they are learning how to stand up, give them lots and lots of space to practice standing up and sitting back down in your living room throughout the day. You might even wanna give them some space to learn how to, how to, to practice standing up and sitting down in their crib. Right? But the most important thing I wanna emphasize here, and this is probably gonna apply across the board to the other regressions is don’t introduce habits or new routines that you don’t want in the long run.

(09:33)
So if you don’t want to be rocking or feeding your little one to sleep in the grand scheme of things, remember that new habits can form in a matter of dates. So you wanna be very, very mindful when your little one is going through this phase, that it will only stay a phase. If you don’t introduce these new, these new habits in the grand scheme of things. All right, now, let’s talk about the toddlers. The 18 month olds, the two year olds and the three year olds, because I think that the regressions that can happen at this age are all PR in this age bracket are all pretty similar. And that is that you now have a toddler or a preschooler on your hands. And it is very common for them to test the boundaries and find out what happens when they say no in some way, shape or form, maybe you’re 18 month old.

(10:26)
Just learned how to say no for the very first time. Maybe your three year old is eloquent enough to say, I don’t wanna go to sleep. Mommy, five more minutes, five more minutes, mommy. And what they’re all doing is they’re all exploring those boundaries and figuring out if throwing mud at the wall is gonna actually stick, right? They wanna see what happens. Is it worth it to test those boundaries, fight the good fight. Maybe even throw a temper tantrum in there that they don’t wanna go to sleep and then see what ends up happening. Now, if you have an 18 month old or a two year old and they are fighting nap time specifically, you might be thinking in the back of your minds. I wonder if my kid is ready to be dropping his nap. And I can tell you basically unequivocally that the answer is no, that your 18 month old, your two year old still absolutely needs their nap.

(11:20)
They might just need their nap bumped later. So if your little one was taking their one nap at 1230, maybe at 1230, they’re not tired enough anymore. And you can try bumping that nap until when and see if that ends up helping, but whatever you do, don’t drop that nap. As I can promise you, your little one is going to be over tired. And this is going to backfire in the form of having a monster on your hands come four or 5:00 PM. Bedtime battles, night wakings, early rising, the whole shebang you could possibly get. And it’s not very much fun. So rather than giving up on the nap, play around with the timing and potentially bump it later. If you need to. Now, if you’ve got a two and a half year old or a three year old on your hands, and you’re specifically dealing with some bedtime battles refusing to go to sleep.

(12:13)
In addition to the fact that they might be exploring those boundaries and seeing what happens, you also wanna be mindful of their nap because it is very possible that the two hour nap that was working for them at 24 months is now getting in the way of them going to bed nicely. So if that is happening and your little one is taking a solid nap during the day, cut that nap down by 30 minutes. You may even need to cut it down by 60 minutes. But so you’re gonna wanna experiment with the schedule, a shorter nap, maybe a little bit of a later bedtime to create more sleep pressure so that your little one is not constantly yelling and screaming and saying no and refusing to go to sleep, cuz that’s not fun. So that in a nutshell is a general overview of some of the most well known sleep regressions, what they look like, what causes them and how to best ride them out.

(13:08)
Now, here is a really important point that I want to make about regressions across the board. And that is that the type of blip that you will experience or not experience when it comes to your little one’s sleep. When they’re going through this regression is all going to come down to what their sleep was like before this regression. Okay, let me repeat the effect that this regression is going to have on your little one’s sleep is going to depend almost solely on what their sleep was looking like beforehand. You see it’s like this. If you have a solid 10 out of 10 sleeper who falls asleep on his own consistently sleeps 11 hours through the night, like a champ, and is suddenly learning how to stand up for the very first time versus you have another baby, same age going through the same milestone, learning how to stand, but his sleep is mediocre.

(14:16)
You know, may he, he can sometimes go to bed by on his own. Sometimes has to be nursed. Sometimes he wakes up once more often than not. He wakes up like three or four times. I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that that second baby whose sleep is mediocre or not great is going to be affected by that milestone. Learning how to stands much more than the 10 outta 10 baby will. And that’s because when a baby has solid sleep skills and solid sleep habits, more often than not, they are strong enough to weather the bulk of these regressions. So versus a baby who is not that great of a sleeper to begin with has the potential to have their sleep completely fall apart and shattered to pieces. The second, their learning a new skill or the second that they realize that they can say no and wanna see what happens.

(15:16)
So the biggest piece of advice that I would give you across the board is if you want to avoid these regressions or at least minimize the impact that they will have on your little ones sleep. The biggest piece of advice I would give you is to get your little one to that 10 out of 10 standard, right? You want, if I’m gonna compare, I like comparing swimming, uh, sleeping to swimming because they’re both skills, right? And there are skills where there’s a spectrum. Some are great at swimming. Some can, you know, sort of swim. So we want your little one to be the Mike Phelps of swimming because you throw Mike Phelps into an ocean with a tidal wave. He’ll probably be just fine. He’ll show that tidal wave who’s boss, but you throw someone into an ocean with the same tidal wave who just learned how to swim a few weeks ago.

(16:09)
He might be in trouble. So when your little one is a Mike Phelps type of sleeper, then there is a significantly higher likelihood that these milestones are not gonna impact your little one’s sleep too much. They might not even impact a little one’s sleep at all. On a personal note, I will tell you that the only regressions that I experienced with JJ. So with JJ specifically, he gave me a little bit of the four month regression, um, when it came to his naps, but I did 45 minutes of sleep training. And that literally just put the problem to rest <laugh> because he, he knew how to put himself to sleep independently since basically he was born. Um, thanks to me. Thanks to him having me as a mother. Um, he did not experience any regression in the eight to 10 month mark at all. He did not experience any regression in the 18 month mark at all.

(17:06)
It was just when he turned two, that he started to explore the boundaries, figure out what happens if he says no, if he refuses to lie down, um, it was a cute attempt, cuz again, he doesn’t realize what his mother does for a living. So, you know, cute E for effort. Um, didn’t get very far because I knew exactly how to tackle it, to make sure that we nip it in the bud. Um, but that one was kind kind of an on again, off again, effort on his end until I guess he put it to rest cuz he realized it wasn’t gonna go anywhere. So, and this is an example of a sleeper who has been a 10 outta 10 since basically he’s been a few weeks old. So if that is your goal, then that’s what you wanna do when your little one is not going through these, you know, regressions of any kind hammer down and get your little one sleeping like a champ.

(18:01)
And if you wanna know where to start, if that’s what your goal is, but you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything on the internet because there is so much to Google and so much to read and learn. I got you covered start off by watching my free masterclass in these show notes of this episode. How to get your little one consistently sleeping for the night. So you could be a functioning human again. And that is where you go to learn how to get your little one sleeping like a champ. Thank you so much, everyone for listening. You all have a wonderful day.

(18:36)
Thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a review and share this episode with a friend who can benefit from it. I also love hearing from my listeners. So feel free to DM me on Instagram @mysleepingbaby, or send me an email at eva@mysleepingbaby.com until next time have a wonderful restful nights.

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