Sleep Regressions: Everything You Need to Know

Sleep regressions are a common occurrence in a baby’s sleep patterns and can leave parents feeling exhausted and frustrated. These regressions usually happen at various ages, including around 6 weeks, 4 months, 8 to 9 months, 15 months, 18 months, and 2 years old. In this blog post, we will explore what sleep regressions are, how long they typically last, and provide tips on how to handle them effectively.

What Are Sleep Regressions?

A sleep regression refers to a period of approximately 3 to 6 weeks when a previously good sleeper suddenly starts experiencing disrupted sleep patterns. This can include frequent night waking, shorter naps, or even skipping naps altogether. Many parents find themselves caught off guard by these changes, especially after having enjoyed a period of improved sleep. Sleep regressions often coincide with developmental leaps in a baby’s life, adding to the challenges parents face.

How Long Do Sleep Regressions Last?

On average, sleep regressions tend to last for about 3 to 6 weeks. However, it’s important to note that each baby is unique, and some regressions may resolve sooner or linger for a bit longer. It’s crucial not to introduce new sleep habits during this period to avoid prolonging the regression. With consistency and patience, most babies will eventually return to their previous sleep patterns once the regression phase is over.

Signs of Sleep Regressions

Recognizing the signs of sleep regressions can help parents understand what their baby is experiencing. Common signs include increased night waking, shorter naps, heightened fussiness, and sometimes separation anxiety. It’s essential to remember that these regressions often coincide with significant developmental leaps, so a combination of factors may contribute to the disrupted sleep patterns.

Sleep Regression Ages: When and Why They Happen

While sleep regressions can vary for each baby, there are specific ages when most babies experience a regression that affects their sleep. Let’s take a closer look at some of these regressions and how they manifest:

6-Week Sleep Regression or Growth Spurt?

Around the six-week mark, babies often become more alert and may experience a peak of fussiness due to a growth spurt. This period can disrupt their sleep patterns and leave parents feeling exhausted. Understanding the difference between a sleep regression and a growth spurt can help manage expectations and address the baby’s needs effectively.

3-4 Month Sleep Regression

The sleep regression that occurs between three and four months is considered permanent. It marks a transition from babyish sleeping patterns to a more adult-like sleep schedule. During this regression, babies may experience increased night waking and shorter naps. It is crucial to adjust sleep routines and provide comfort to help babies adapt to these changes.

6 Month Sleep Regression?

Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t a specific sleep regression that occurs at the six-month mark. While some babies may experience sleep issues around this age, it is not characterized by a 3 to 6-week period of chronic sleep problems like the other regressions. Nevertheless, it’s important to address any sleep difficulties that arise during this time.

8 Month Sleep Regression

The eight-month sleep regression is closely tied to the developmental milestones that occur around this period, such as crawling, pulling up, and increased brain development. Teething also becomes a factor at this stage, leading to more night waking and shorter naps. It’s crucial to support your baby through this phase by providing comfort and maintaining a consistent sleep routine.

9 Month Sleep Regression

The nine-month regression is often an extension of the eight-month regression. Some babies may not experience sleep disruptions until they reach nine months old. This is entirely normal, and it’s important to remember that babies develop at their own pace. Addressing any sleep challenges with patience and understanding is key during this time.

10 Month Sleep Regression

Similar to the nine-month regression, the ten-month regression builds upon the developments and challenges experienced at earlier stages. The regression usually lasts around 3 to 6 weeks, with some days or weeks being better than others. One notable difference at ten months is that many babies can stand up in their cribs, which can complicate sleep further. Implementing strategies to ensure a calm sleep environment can be beneficial during this time.

11 Month Sleep Regression

The eleven-month regression primarily affects naps, particularly the second nap. Some babies may start resisting the second nap and try to transition to just one nap a day. While this transition can be a natural progression for some toddlers, it’s important to evaluate their readiness for this change. Most toddlers are not ready for one nap a day until around 15-18 months on average.

12 Month Regression

The twelve-month regression is often similar to the eleven-month regression, with some babies potentially transitioning to just one nap. It’s advisable to treat this period as a phase and observe the sleep patterns for a few weeks to ensure the transition is successful.

15 Month Sleep Problems

At 15 months old, many children are learning to walk, which can impact their sleep. Additionally, transitioning from two naps to one nap can lead to increased nighttime waking if the child becomes overtired. Most sleep problems at this age are related to schedule adjustments rather than a specific sleep regression.

18 Month Sleep Regression

The 18-month regression can be particularly challenging for parents as toddlers begin to assert their newfound independence. Increased vocabulary, tantrums, and separation anxiety can contribute to disrupted sleep. Teething, specifically the arrival of molars, can also play a role during this period. Providing a consistent bedtime routine and addressing separation anxiety can help manage the 18-month regression effectively.

2 Year Sleep Problems

Sleep problems at two years old can stem from various factors. As toddlers’ awake time increases, their sleep patterns can be affected. Life transitions such as potty training, transitioning to a big-kid bed, and the arrival of a new sibling can contribute to sleep regression around this age. Nightmares and night terrors may also become more prevalent, leading to disturbed sleep.

Handling Sleep Regressions Effectively

Navigating sleep regressions can be challenging for parents, but there are strategies to help ease the transition:

  1. Maintain a consistent sleep routine: Establishing a predictable sleep routine can provide comfort and signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep.
  2. Offer extra feedings when needed: Growth spurts can occur during regressions, so don’t hesitate to offer additional nighttime or daytime feedings. Remember that this is temporary and you will return to your normal schedule.
  3. Provide comfort without creating new sleep associations: During regressions, offer extra kisses, cuddles, and reassurance to your baby. However, avoid developing new sleep associations or reintroducing old ones that may disrupt sleep patterns in the long term.
  4. Seek support from your partner and loved ones: Sleep regressions can be exhausting, so don’t hesitate to ask for help from your partner or family members. Share the responsibilities of caring for your baby to ensure both parents get enough rest.
  5. Consider an earlier bedtime if necessary: If your baby is experiencing missed sleep due to the regression, adjust their bedtime to ensure they get enough rest. Overtiredness can exacerbate sleep difficulties, so prioritizing an earlier bedtime can be beneficial.

When it comes to ensuring a good night’s sleep for your newborn, choosing the right overnight diaper is crucial. The best overnight diapers for newborns are designed to provide exceptional absorbency and leak protection, keeping your baby dry and comfortable throughout the night. These diapers are often made with extra layers and enhanced absorbent materials to handle nighttime wetness effectively. Additionally, many parents find pant-style diapers to be a convenient choice for overnight use. Snuggy diapers are easy to put on and take off, making diaper changes in the middle of the night a breeze. They offer a secure fit and have stretchy waistbands that allow for freedom of movement while preventing leaks. Whether you opt for traditional overnight diapers or prefer the convenience of pant style diapers, choosing the right option can make a significant difference in your baby’s overnight comfort and uninterrupted sleep.


Sleep regressions are a normal part of a baby’s development, and while they can be challenging, they are temporary. By understanding the common ages at which regressions occur and implementing effective strategies to manage them, parents can navigate these periods with greater ease. Remember to remain patient, seek support when needed, and maintain a consistent sleep routine to promote healthy sleep habits for your little one.

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