How to Manage Baby Sleep Regression
If your baby has been sleeping for solid stretches for quite some time already, but suddenly she is now waking up and fussing or whining like a newborn, is this just a nightmare or something else? Well, according to pediatric sleep specialists, who test and treat babies for sleep issues and offer various baby sleep packages the baby could be in the throes of the four-month sleep regression! Here are a couple of helpful ideas on how to manage baby sleep regression.
What is Baby Sleep Regression?
According to pediatric sleep experts, the four-month baby’s sleep regression is a perfectly normal part of a baby’s development. However, it can leave parents flustered and exhausted!!
According to pediatric sleep experts, who are specialists in tailoring baby sleep packages, sleep regressions are disruptions in a baby’s sleep radar where toddlers wake up more often throughout the night or have a difficult time sleeping.
Baby sleep regressions are very much normal, and often take place at predictable times during the baby’s first year, which includes the four-month sleep regression, and it can happen anytime between three to four months. Sometimes it can even strike at around six months or even eight to ten months!
These blips occur when a toddler passes through a major developmental stage, like when the baby learns to crawl, flip over or pull up. However, these do not last forever. And once the baby’s acclimated or gotten used to his or her new skill, the sleep patterns should revert to normal.
Sleep regressions affect babies differently, as some toddlers may take a little bit longer to get back to their normal sleeping patterns than others. But they certainly do end, provided parents stay consistent with their toddler’s bedtime routine and take the necessary steps to avoid any bad habits which may form. Normally, the four-month sleep regression should end on its own in two to three weeks!
What Causes It?
Baby sleep regressions are usually the result of the baby passing through a significant developmental phase or stage. Babies understandably are very much eager to learn and practice new skills, which may leave them anxious or restless, and would make them prone to waking up more than usual.
The four-month sleep regression may be occurring because the baby could be trying to master flipping over or rolling, and the eagerness to hit this phase or milestone would leave them waking up more overnight and having a tough time settling down for naptime or bedtime.
These could also happen if the toddler is becoming more aware of their surroundings, which could be difficult for them to sleep because they cannot stop noticing all the wonderful new things around them and play! If you’d like to learn more about this phase, talk to a pediatric sleep specialist to learn more about how to cope with this stage, and to learn more about the various baby sleep packages they offer.
Now, what are the tell-tale signs of sleep regression in babies? By three or four months, most toddlers can sleep for five-hour stretches or periods at night without waking up. Some babies might even sleep for six to eight hours.
Either way, the baby may have probably developed a fairly typical pattern in terms of when and how they often wake through the night. A night or two of unusual wake-ups may still not count as a sign of sleep regression. However, if the toddler is regularly waking up more than her normal pattern, especially if there’s no obvious reason behind it, then that could be a sign of sleep regression.
You’ll also know that its sleep regression if the baby is working on practicing a new skill like flipping or rolling over during the daytime, or the baby has suddenly become way more interested in her surroundings. Perhaps she gets distracted more easily while eating, or she may have a tough time sleeping in places other than her crib.
How to Manage Baby Sleep Regression
According to pediatric sleep experts, who are good at testing and treating children for sleep apnea and other issues, and are best at designing baby sleep packages for their clients, the key to managing baby sleep regression is being consistent.
While parents cannot control whether their baby wakes up during the night, they can set the stage for helping the baby sleep as well as possible, and keep them from being overtired.
For starters, parents should stick to their regular bedtime, as this will encourage the baby to unwind before bed, and reinforce the message that nighttime is for sleeping. If the parents are not yet doing so, then they should get into the habit of putting their baby down while she’s drowsy but awake.
If the baby is used to falling asleep on her own, then he or she may have an easier time dozing off when she wakes up in the middle of the night. Thus, refrain from letting your toddler fall asleep in your arms!
Next, help your baby stay rested. Babies this age often require twelve to seventeen hours of total sleep, and this includes nighttime naps (especially for babies zero to three months old).
If the regression is causing the toddler to get less sleep, and he or she seems tired during the day, help the baby make up for lost sleeping time with a little extra naptime! And, don’t make so much of a fuss of the wee-hour wake-ups, because the best thing to do is to treat these blips or disruptions like you would have in the past.
Sticking to your usual routine should help you avoid forming bad habits, where your toddler needs even more help to fall back asleep. To learn more effective sleep-training methods, contact a pediatric sleep specialist so that they can offer you tailor-made baby sleep packages that can make your baby sleep soundly again!