As the parent of a toddler, you’ve probably experienced your fair share of sleep regression, too. For many parents, the first few years of parenthood feel like a constant struggle. Even the most sleep-obsessed parent can find themselves in disbelief when their toddler suddenly refuses to go to sleep or wakes up repeatedly during the night. A child’s natural tendency towards regression is what makes sleep so elusive for parents. The good news is that regression isn’t something that will last forever. In the majority of cases, a six-month sleep regression is something that every parent will go through. Your child isn’t any more likely to have a sleep regression than their peers. That being said, there are a couple of things you should know about these sleep phases so that you’re prepared. Here’s what you can expect when your child goes through a six month sleep regression.
What is a six-month sleep regression?
The six month sleep regression occurs when a baby’s regular sleeping patterns and habits are disrupted at the age of six months. Babies, who previously settled easily at sleep, have become more social, find everything fascinating, and are quickly aroused by people and their environment after reaching six months of age. As a result, they resist sleep and cry out of the blue when you try to put them to bed. Some babies may be having difficulty falling asleep and are now crying as soon as you leave them.
Why Does My Child Go Through a Six-Month Sleep Regression?
If your baby is experiencing a six month sleep regression, don’t panic or overthink it. You should be aware that a variety of things can influence your baby’s sleep. Sleep regression appears to be a result of such brain and body development. Furthermore, lifestyle and environment may play a role. Babies’ development unfolds at an uneven rate, which can lead to periods when their sleep plateaus or worsens as they grow. An increase in their physical abilities and mental and environmental awareness can lead to them being more sensitive to overstimulation, separation anxiety, and other disruptions affecting their sleep.
How to Help Your Child Through a Six-Month Sleep Regression
Unfortunately, there is no way to stop sleep regression immediately. It’s difficult to avoid because it happens as newborns grow. However, learning about the occurrence of “sleep regression” is the most crucial step in preventing future sleep problems. To put it another way, simply understanding sleep regression can help you take one or two steps forward. When you understand sleep regression, you’ll be able to deal with it more effectively. These are some of the things that will help you in dealing with sleep regression. Following these tips can help to reinforce excellent sleep habits during the six month sleep regression period or even beyond.
- Ensure that you keep a regular time for napping and going to bed. Doing so will lead to stability in your child’s sleep schedule.
- As a way of signaling to your infant that bedtime is approaching, use the same routine to get ready for bed every night. Research shows this improves infant sleep. You can help your baby wind down before bed by feeding them before bed and interacting with them in a soothing way, such as rocking or cuddling.
- Teach your baby to distinguish between day and night by increasing activity during the day, exposing him or her to natural daylight, and dimming lighting in the bedroom before bedtime. These will help your baby learn that the day is for playing and the night is for sleeping.
- Maintain a quiet and dark sleeping environment for your child, and eliminate potential distractions such as noise, toys near the bed, and gadgets that are turned on.
- When you notice your baby rubbing their eyes and becoming droopy, get them ready for bed and place them in their crib when they are sleepy but not asleep. It’s preferable not to let them sleep in your arms. Allow them to become used to the concept that their bed is where they go to sleep.
- If your baby cries as you walk away from their crib due to separation anxiety, consider soothing techniques like caressing their head or speaking in a soft, soothing voice instead of removing them from their crib. You can step away from the crib once they’ve calmed down and let them fall asleep.
- It’s possible that despite following all of these steps perfectly, your baby will still wake up at night. When this happens, don’t rush to them. Watch your baby for a few minutes to see if he/she is able to calm down and fall back to sleep. In case you want to check on them without going into their rooms, you can use a baby monitor. Check out the Cubo AI Smart Baby Monitor and offer your baby the sleep they require while also providing you with the peace of mind you desire.
How Long Will a Six-Month Sleep Regression Last?
Sleep regression does not affect everyone, and some babies grow up without experiencing it. Individuals differ in how often sleep regression occurs, but it often happens around 6 months, around 11-12 months, around 18 months, and around 24 months. On average, sleep regressions last 2 to 6 weeks, although there are individual differences in the duration of sleep regressions, which can continue anywhere from a week to nearly a month.
What to Expect When Your Child Goes Through a Six Month Sleep Regression
Expect your baby to display these behaviors during six month sleep regression. It will be easier for you to detect a sleep regression if your baby sleeps independently rather than when they rely on others to put them to sleep. It’s also much easier to detect a regression in a baby who sleeps well than it is in one who wakes up a lot at night.
- The baby is waking up more frequently.
- Baby’s clinginess increases.
- Baby becomes more irritable.
- It appears that the baby takes longer to fall asleep.
- Baby takes longer naps throughout the day and sleeps less at night.
Sleep regression, which occurs when you think your baby is sleeping well, is also important for his or her growth. The remedies presented in this article may solve the problem, but there may be occasions when no matter what you do, the crying does not cease. In such circumstances, try not to dwell on it too much; instead, imagine that your child is maturing normally and keep a close check on him or her.
When a baby starts wailing or tossing and turning at night, moms usually put them to sleep or give them milk; nevertheless, it is occasionally a good idea for fathers to put their kids to sleep or feed them milk. A change of atmosphere may assist the infant stop crying and revitalize the mother.
Sleep regression may end spontaneously at some point, but do not hesitate to contact your physician if you have concerns or questions about your baby’s sleep or the cause of sleep problems (such as persistent nightmares).