April 10, 2021 3 min read

You're probably wondering what's happening to your baby right now. A few weeks ago, you had the sleep patterns on lock. Your baby woke up and slept at specific times, making it easier for you to engage in other activities. But suddenly, your baby can’t seem to fall asleep at night. You’re frustrated, and more than anything, you want to rest after a long day’s work. Well, don’t give up just yet because sleep regression is a common thing. Babies will become fussy and wake up several times at night, and have a hard time sleeping. This pattern can last between two to three weeks, depending on the age.

What causes sleep regression?

Most parents become frustrated because they don’t understand the ins and outs of sleep regression. After all, parenting doesn't come with a manual. But be that as it may, below is a list of factors that may contribute to sleep regression. Having an idea of the causes may be the first step towards avoiding sleep regression.

  • Growth spurts
  • Teething
  • Physical developmental changes, such as walking, crawling or rolling over
  • Separation anxiety
  • Hunger pangs
  • Babies become aware of their surroundings
  • Nightmares
  • Learning how to communicate

The cause of sleep regression may vary depending on the baby. You can also look out for signs, such as:

  • Fussiness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Reduced day time naps
  • Waking up several times at night

How can you avoid sleep regression?

1.Stick to the bedtime routine

Letting go of your sleep routine and going with the flow is not an option. Keep in mind that sleep regression is a phase that will eventually end. Therefore, although you might be at your wit's end with all the fussing, always maintain the regular schedule. The routine helps the baby to unwind and adjust their mindset to bedtime. Give baby a warm bath or a massage.

Sleep training

When a baby soothes themselves to sleep, it is easier for them to go back to sleep in the middle of the night. From the onset, train your baby to soothe themselves to sleep. Rocking your baby is a sweet bonding activity, but you need to refrain from rocking them to sleep regularly.

Feed the baby

A satisfied baby rarely wakes up. Full feed your baby during the day and a few hours before bedtime. Why is this necessary? Full feedings will ensure the baby doesn’t wake up because they’re hungry. Here’s something else you should note. If your baby sleeps through the night, don’t feed them when they wake. That will alter their sleep pattern as they start getting used to night-time feeding.

Let baby practice

Often, sleep regression is a good thing. It’s a sign that your baby is growing. So, as they struggle to roll over, crawl, or walk, give them time and space to practice. If you can, join them and make the process fun. That also helps them adapt faster, which decreases sleep regression.

Overall, taking care of a baby can be challenging during such times. However, keep reminding yourself that sleep regression isn't a long-term condition. Exercise patience and don't be afraid to ask for help. You'd be surprised by the number of people willing to stay up with the baby while you rest. Stay sane, mom and dad; this will be over soon. All the best!

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