What is Infant Sleep Regression?
It’s seems to be a running theme that parents now consider sleep regression as a stage or a phase that a baby will definitely go through between the age of 4-8 months.
So why is sleep regression from month 4 so common, that it’s now an expected hurdle much like teething?
The newborn stage lasts only 3 months, and then transitions to the baby stage between months 3 and 4. Although both stages are as a baby, the two are quite different – much like the baby stage is to the toddler stage and then from toddler to child.
From the age of 4-8 months a baby almost transitions through two stages as the toddler stage can start from month 9. A lot happens in this short period that it can be hard to keep up with! From a milk fed newborn who sleeps day and night to a walking, communicating little human.
A baby’s or child’s routine needs to change according to their age and development especially with the amount of sleep needed during the day, and of course the amount and type of food they eat.
For instant if your baby is ready to wean from month 4-5 and you start weaning at month 6 on single veggies and fruits this is unlikely to sustain and encourage good quality sleep.
Research shows that babies are ready to wean between 4-6 months not at 6 months. Babies and children’s development will vary with first smiles, talking, crawling, walking and of course eating, so waiting for an exact age to offer solid food makes no sense.
Sleep regression therefore can be a direct result of hunger and needing a more substantial diet. Interestingly research also shows that babies weaned at an early age from month 4 are more likely to avoid allergies.
The weaning process can take 1 or 2 months to achieve 3 filling meals, and adopting a slow gradual process is easier on digestion.. So starting ahead of any issues with no pressure will help and even stop sleep regression happening.
If your baby’s needs are not met dietary or routine wise, then sleep regression will creep in day and then night. The most common time for sleep regression to hit is the transitional period from newborn to baby anywhere from month 3 but typically from month 4. As well as food intake being a factor so is the routine or sometimes lack of.
Your baby’s patterns of sleep will gradually keep changing until they no longer sleep during the day. The pattern could progress as frequently as every few months.
Of course with sleep regression, other factors maybe at play such a teething, behaviour and associations with settling and sleep.
To book your personalised plan to regain solid sleep or to investigate sleep issues head over to my consultancy page.