Just when you think you are handling the baby well and the sleep schedule is fine, a regression comes along the way, and everything is back to unbearable again. If your baby's sleep schedule has been changed, he is up more often, or the nap time has been reduced, all of these are signs of sleep regression.

The newborn phase is difficult and exhausting for every parent. While newborns are known for their irregular sleep patterns, this is not a regression in the traditional sense. Instead, it's the initial adjustment period to life outside the womb. Every new parent finds themselves sleep deprived as there are feeding sessions, irregular sleep patterns for the baby, and never ending diaper changes.

In this blog, we will discuss what sleep regression is, when it typically occurs, how long it lasts, which sleep regression is the worst, and what you can do to help everyone sleep better again.

What is Sleep Regression?

Sleep regression is a period of time, usually two to four weeks, during which a normally sleeping baby has difficulty falling asleep or wakes up fussing in the middle of the night.

The four-month sleep regression indicates a permanent shift in your child's sleeping patterns. And it is a sign that the baby is growing and developing normally.

Signs of Sleep Regression

Waking up is the most obvious sign of sleep regression, and it can take various forms.

  • Shorter naps.
  • Extreme irritability during the day or night
  • Fussing; hard to settle down.
  • Sleeping for short periods of time.
  • Waking up in the middle of the night.

What Causes Sleep Regression in Babies?

A baby's sleep regression can be caused by multiple reasons, including:

  • Babies go through a growth spurt, which increases their hunger.
  • Teething ache.
  • Hitting a new (and wonderful!) developmental milestone (like as crawling, sitting up, and standing)
  • Change in routine, such as starting daycare.
  • Sleeping in an unfamiliar place.
  • Illness, such as a cold

Do all Babies Experience Sleep Regression?

True sleep regressions are different from a few challenging nights' sleep. In fact, they can last for two to six weeks. Not every baby experiences evident sleep regressions, and for problematic sleepers, you might not notice any difference at all!

Can you Avoid Baby Sleep Regression?

Unfortunately, for many sleep-deprived new parents who struggle with an anxious baby, there is no way to prevent sleep regression. It is a normal part of babyhood and toddlerhood. In the meantime, sticking to an evening routine and sleep schedule can help minimize the chance of sleep disorders.

When do Sleep Regressions Happen?

During your baby's first two years, he or she might experience many episodes of sleep regression. It can happen at four, eight, twelve, and two years. Always keep in mind that each baby is different as is sleep regression.

4-month Sleep Regression

One of the worst sleep regressions and the most avoidable is the four-month period when your baby is going through major physical changes.  At this age, baby sleep problems can be caused by a number of factors like teething pain, hunger due to growth spurts, and the excitement of rolling over for the first time.

It normally lasts about 5 weeks, and during this time, your baby will be fussy and have difficulty sleeping. Don't skip on daytime naps in the hopes that your child will sleep through the night. At four months, your baby should get 12 to 15 hours of sleep every day.

8-month Sleep Regression

Most babies start to crawl about nine months of age, however some start earlier and others later. By ten months, they learn to stand. Separation anxiety is very common (and entirely natural) at this age, and your baby may wake up during the night asking for comfort from you.

12-month Sleep Regression

Between 9 and 12 months, babies learn to stand by themselves. Some start to take their first steps around the age of one. The 12-month regression typically lasts roughly two weeks. Fortunately, your baby's new physical abilities allow you to engage in many different kinds of physical activities that will thoroughly exhaust them.

18-month Sleep Regression

Your toddler might be going through teething at 18 months old. Due to the pain caused by the eruption of canines and molars babies can find it difficult falling asleep. If they have been sick, this might also lead to sleep problems. As their second year approaches, your child may have tantrums and get bored with things they are doing. To get through this, follow your nighttime routine and avoid giving extra naps in the day to make up for a lack of sleep at night.

2-year Sleep Regression

All that learning and growing can make it difficult for your little ones to sleep soundly at night. Children at the age of two have a significant increase in their physical ability, verbal capabilities, and social abilities, which can result in more difficult bedtimes and night waking. The two-year sleep regression can last up to six weeks, although it can sometimes last just one or two. Understanding the importance of naps, bedtime routines, settling, and nourishment will help you and your toddler navigate the regression.

Which Sleep Regression is the Worst?

Honestly, the very first sleep regression (about four months) is usually the most difficult. So, if you get past that, you'll be on your way to becoming an experienced professional! But every child is unique. As a result, both your and your child's experiences will be unique.

How do I Deal with Sleep Regression?

Always keep in mind that it is temporary and quite normal. Every other parent is going through the same phase with their babies. You can follow these tips to manage sleep regression.

Put the baby down when they’re drowsy but awake: Help your baby relax and fall asleep by themselves. Sit by their side and reassure them, both physically and verbally, as they close their eyes and go off to sleep. That way, they'll learn to fall asleep on their own and will be less likely to panic if they wake up later and you're not there, not knowing how they got into that situation.

Fully feed your baby during the day: Giving your baby a full meal during the day and right before bed will help keep them from being hungry in the middle of the night. Once your baby begins to sleep through the night, avoid feeding them if they begin to cry. If your baby is constantly fed to stop screaming at night, they may begin to expect this answer whenever they wake up.

Let your baby practice: Your baby is working hard to pick up new skills and may be so anxious to learn that they attempt to practice at night, which may keep them awake. Helping them find out how to sit back down after pulling themselves up can be extremely beneficial; place toys at their feet to encourage them to work on it.

Keep the room dark and noise free: When you put the baby down for a nap, keep the room as dark as possible and try to reduce noise to a minimum. If the baby wakes up in between, the darkness will help them fall back asleep. Similarly, when it's time to get up in the morning, make sure the room is brightly lit with natural light. Light serves to inform the brain about the sleep-wake cycle.

Create a sleep schedule: Babies at this age need between 10 to 14 hours of sleep every night, as well as a few naps during the day. Now is the time to start managing your baby's sleep and nap schedule. If you haven't already, make a sleep routine and stick to it. This may include taking a bath, changing clothes, reading a bedtime tale, or singing a lullaby. Adjust your own daily routine to accommodate your baby's nap and sleep schedule. Meal and play times should also follow a consistent schedule. Consider your baby's schedule while planning your day.


A sleep regression doesn't last forever. You can do your best, but your baby might still not sleep throughout the night. During this period, try to get as much sleep as possible while also remaining consistent with your baby.

As your baby grows, he or she becomes highly interested in engaging and lively things. If it is time to introduce a pillow to your little one, you should get a baby pillow. Regular pillows are larger in size and not designed for newborns.

The Sleepsia head shape pillow is specifically made to fit a baby's head. These pillows are often smaller than adult-sized pillows and made from softer materials like feathers or down. They are mostly used to support a baby's head when sleeping, but they are also useful to keep a baby's head cool in hot weather.


Q. What not to do during sleep regression?

Ans. Maintain your baby's nighttime routine and avoid developing new negative behaviors (rocking, nursing, feeding to sleep, or allowing them to sleep in your bed). If you stay consistent, it should pass within a few weeks. Also, do not change your baby's sleep environment throughout the regression.

Q. Do babies sleep better after sleep regression?

Ans. The 4-month sleep regression is challenging, but it is a completely normal part of babyhood. The idea is to help your kid maintain her regular sleep habits as much as possible (and maybe sneak in a nap yourself). Within a few weeks, you should both be back to more consistent sleep time.