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Sleep Regression or New Habit?

Sleep Regression or New Habit

What exactly is a sleep regression, you ask?

First off, true sleep regressions don’t happen during the newborn stage, so let’s focus on kiddos 4 months and up. 

Let me break it down for you. 

A sleep regression means your little one who used to sleep like a champ suddenly hits a rough patch with their sleep. It’s like they forgot how to snooze peacefully out of the blue. Picture this: your once-good sleeper is now struggling to fall asleep at night or nap, leaving you puzzled. When this shift in their sleep becomes the norm, it becomes a bad habit.

Age doesn’t define a sleep regression. Sure, there are typical regression stages like at 4, 8, 12, and 18 months, but it can hit at any time because your cutie is growing fast and learning so much every day. Mastering new skills, from rolling to talking, can trigger a regression. Our brains process everything when we sleep, even as adults. 

I think of a Toddler whose language is developing who just learned a new song and then they belted it out in the middle of the night – that’s how their developing mind works! While seeing what they absorb is fascinating, we don’t want these disruptions to stick. 

So, let’s figure out if it’s a regression or a habit. 

A great way to do this??

Check the timeline: 

2 weeks or less, probably a regression. 

Over 2 weeks, likely a new habit. 

HOW TO HANDLE A SLEEP REGRESSION

So, you’ve pinpointed whether your child is going through a sleep regression or has picked up a new habit. Now, let’s delve into some strategies to aid them in overcoming this rough patch in their sleep routine!

Step 1: ENSURE YOUR CHILD FOLLOWS AN AGE-APPROPRIATE SCHEDULE

If your child’s sleep has been erratic for 1-2 weeks, the first step is to verify that they are on an age-appropriate schedule.

Often, a sleep regression occurs because your child’s nap routine isn’t quite right!

If you’re unsure about the suitability of your child’s schedule, visit our FREE Schedule Generator HERE and find out. Just enter your child’s age, and you’ll get their tailored schedule.

Once you confirm the right schedule, stick to it consistently.

While it may be tempting to tweak it daily when things aren’t perfect, I urge you to maintain consistency for at least two weeks before considering other changes.

Remember, consistency is key to improving sleep; it’s a gradual process, not an instant fix.

If your little one is going through a regression, expect it might take a few days or nights to see things return to normal.

Step 2: EVALUATE YOUR CHILD’S SLEEP ENVIRONMENT FOR DISTRACTIONS

Many times, a regression is tied to an environmental distraction. 

Check if the blackout covers have slipped down letting the light in, ensure the sound machine is working correctly, and confirm the room temperature is comfortable for your child. 

Assess your child’s bedroom environment to make sure it’s free of distractions. 

In some cases, families have discovered that environmental factors like the air conditioner kicking on or noise from a neighbor’s car were waking their child. 

After reviewing your child’s routine and creating a distraction-free sleeping environment, your child’s regression should likely improve in a few days with consistent scheduling and sleep habits! 

HOW TO CORRECT A NEW HABIT

If your child has been struggling with sleep for over 2 weeks, they’ve developed a new habit that needs fixing.

Luckily, we’ve got the perfect solution to help your little one sleep independently again!

When a child develops a new, sleepless habit, it can be corrected with sleep training.

Unfortunately, sleep training is often misunderstood and seen as taboo in the parenting world.

But let me tell you, getting a good night’s sleep is NOT an impossible dream for parents!

Being well-rested is absolutely achievable, even for exhausted parents. If you’re struggling, please don’t hesitate to book a call with us.

Let’s face it, we all need a refresher on sleep expectations from time to time, even adults!

Just think about it.

Whether you’ve been on vacation or had a demanding work period with late nights and early mornings, operating on a sleep deficit is tough.

But once you establish a consistent, sustainable sleep routine, the difference is undeniable – you feel so much better!

The same applies to your child.

If they’ve strayed from their sleep routine or fallen into the wrong schedule, it’s time for a reset and a refresh on sleep expectations. 

If you haven’t worked with us yet, let’s pause for a moment and delve into the four sleep training methods.

Here are the four sleep training methods:

1) Cry-It-Out (CIO)

2) Leave and Check

3) Stay in the Room

4) Pick-Up-Put-Down

If you have worked with us in the past, go back and review your sleep plan and implement it again till your child gets back on track. 

When deciding on a sleep training method for your child and family, it’s crucial to choose one that aligns with your parenting philosophy. Identify your parenting philosophy and sleep goals to fully commit to the chosen method.

At Fabulous Sleep Solutions, we personally utilize the Leave and Check Method as well as the Stay in the Room Method. The Cry It Out Method and the Pick Up Put Down Method are found in other sleep philosophies.

Once you’ve chosen a method, whether it’s retraining or training for the first time, your dedication and consistency with the method are key to progress and success.

Remember, you can’t make your child fall asleep, but you can make the process easier and enjoyable by offering a clear plan, consistent expectations, and lots of encouragement!

Remember, if your child is going through a sleep regression or has developed a new sleepless habit, there’s hope! Support your child by:

  • Evaluating the timeline of sleep disruption to determine if it’s a regression (1-2 weeks) or a new habit (2+ weeks or longer).
  • Ensuring their schedule is age-appropriate and maintaining consistency.
  • Creating a distraction-free sleeping environment
  • Considering their current developmental stage for insights into the disruption
  • If they’ve developed a new habit, help them rediscover sleep by retraining or sleep training them for the first time

If you’ve tried this and still would like to talk with us to have a specific question answered, you can schedule a troubleshooting call with one of us.

What was your biggest takeaway from this?

What do you think your next step will be?