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All You Need To Know About Age Related Sleep Regressions

There are several sleep regressions over the course of a child’s life. They are as follows:

  • 4-6 month
  • 9 month
  • 12 month
  • 18 month
  • 24 months

The 4-6 month regression (commonly called the 4 month sleep regression) is actually the full maturation of the circadian rhythm. This causes night time sleep cycles to come into effect, which are 40-50mins in length, which may then cause frequent night waking. The best strategies to overcoming this regression quickly is to ensure that; your baby is not overtired as this makes them more difficult to settle, that they are having good day naps, and that you are using your chosen settling technique consistently and confidently. You can choose to add in a night feed or two if your baby was previously sleeping through or waking only once. Once they have learned how to link their sleep cycles, their night sleep will improve again.

The other regressions are caused by separation anxiety which comes in and out in predictable waves throughout early childhood, as well as cognitive leaps. You baby may need more emotional assistance for sleep during the regressions, however, it is important to stick to your chosen settling technique. If your baby realises that you are changing your behaviour they may think that you are anxious, and this will make them feel more anxiety, which will then fuel the regression and cause it to continue for a long time. If you are consistent with your approach, then the wave will pass, and your baby will go back to their previous sleeping patterns.

Regressions typically last 2-6 weeks, so if it continues past this there may be something else fuelling it. If this happens, please feel free to book in for a free 15min chat and I can guide you through this process.


I can help you with managing the following:
Settling your child to sleep
Frequent night walking
Early morning waking
Stopping catnapping
Establishing good quality day naps
Book your free 30 minute chat to discuss our top sleep tips, and how I can help you get the best sleep for you and your child.


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