If you have just had a baby and, above all, if you are a new mother or father, you will have noticed that their sleep routines change from time to time. It is common for children with stable sleeping habits to suddenly begin to experience difficulty falling asleep, wake up in the middle of the night, or even not rest during naps. The reason for your sleepless nights has a name and it is called sleep regressions, a phenomenon that coincides with the milestones of your child's physiological development.
Sleep regressions occur when babies begin to acquire new skills such as rolling over in bed, crawling, or talking, depending on the stage. Difficulty falling asleep is associated with greater restlessness and excitement that children feel when they are learning something new. Normally, these regressions last from 2 to 6 weeks, until the baby returns to normal sleep patterns.
There are several key times in child development when babies may experience sleep regressions. The most common ages at which this could occur are around 6 weeks, 4 months, 8 to 10 months, one year, one and a half and two years, as stated in an article in the Children's Guide by the coach. of childhood dreams, Olga Sesé.
However, not all children have to go through these types of regressions. The most common is 4 months and, once passed, it is likely that you will not experience them again. Below, we explain the causes and consequences of sleep regressions depending on the baby's age.
Your baby grows rapidly from this moment on, and that is why he is much hungrier and has a harder time falling asleep.
At this age your child's biological rhythms begin to change, which is why he or she wakes up more frequently during the night, sleeps for much less time, and cries and irritability increase.
This is the period in which many children begin to crawl, say their first words or sit up and stand up, among other skills. In some cases, this sleep regression also coincides with teething.
Difficulties falling asleep are accentuated because the baby is beginning to walk. Sleep routines will be reestablished when your child has completely learned to walk and, therefore, consumes much more energy and becomes more tired.
This regression is linked to the adoption of new motor skills, such as grasping and manipulating objects, which makes them more autonomous. A whole new path of sensations to discover through which they will be more restless and eager to stay awake.
New habits such as going to the bathroom alone, transitioning from crib to bed, or night terrors can negatively influence your child's sleep habits.