Dealing with sleep regression: 5 tips

As a new parent, you look forward to those wonderful moments when your baby sleeps peacefully. There will undoubtedly come a time when your baby is suddenly restless, has difficulty falling asleep or does not sleep through the night. Don't panic, you are not alone. Almost all parents of young children struggle with sleep regression, a phase in which your little one grows and develops further. Read this article for some useful tips to ensure that periods of sleep regression go as smoothly as possible.

If you are looking for the tip that will help your baby always sleep peacefully, then I'm sorry to disappoint you. It's not that simple. Whether your baby sleeps well depends on many factors and every child is different. Therefore, also read these tips for creating the ideal sleeping environment , so that you have the best starting point. That said, let's dive further into the topic of sleep regression.

What is sleep regression?

Sleep regression is a temporary phase in which the sleep pattern of a previously sleeping baby becomes disturbed. It is a normal part of development and often occurs during different stages of life as babies learn new skills. Some examples:

  • Around 4 months: Many babies experience sleep regression around 4 months, when they start rolling over. Discovering this new motor skill can lead to restless nights.
  • Around 6 months: In this phase your child learns to see the relationship between different events. The individual puzzle pieces fall together, making the world suddenly look very different. Your baby has to process this and this often manifests itself in poor sleep.
  • 8-10 months: During this period, babies often try to stand or crawl, which can affect their sleep patterns. They practice new movements and may wake up more often during the night.

Sleep regression is actually always linked to important developmental milestones, with baby's growing curiosity and motor skills influencing their sleep patterns. The urge to discover new things can result in restless nights and changes in sleep behavior. It's a normal part of growth, but it can be challenging for parents as they help their babies cope with these developments. So here are some tips.

1. Flexibility in sleep schedules

Sleep regression can lead to unpredictable sleep patterns. While it is normally important to work with a fixed bedtime ritual and predictable patterns, it is now important that you as a parent can be a little more flexible. Therefore, don't have too many expectations and adjust the sleep schedule to your baby's needs. Maybe he now needs shorter naps during the day, or he wants extra comfort at night. Follow his guidance and create a sleep schedule that suits these needs.

2. Create a comfortable sleeping environment

Make your baby's sleeping environment as comfortable as possible. A quiet, dark room with a comfortable mattress and a constant temperature promotes a good night's sleep. Also consider using soft blankets or sleeping bags for extra security. Tip: the NUNKI sheet has been specially developed to give babies a secure feeling in bed. The fine pressure helps your baby relax and process stimuli, making it easier for your child to fall and stay asleep.

3. Comfort and hugs

Sleep regression may be accompanied by a desire for more closeness. Your baby has to get used to all the changes and may feel a bit unsafe in the 'new' world he has discovered. Therefore, always give your baby the comfort and cuddles he needs. For example, an extra cuddle session before bedtime can do wonders. The point is to reassure your baby so he can feel safe.

4. Observe and adjust

Every baby is different. That is why it is very important to carefully observe your little one's behavior and adjust your approach based on his signals. He may respond better to a soothing lullaby, a rocking motion, or a specific sleep ritual. Be prepared to make (temporary) adjustments and realize that this is not forever! It is completely normal for your baby to have some difficulty at times and there will be times when sleeping will improve again.

5. Trust your parental instincts

This last tip is an important one: dare to trust your parental instincts. You know your baby best. Don't be discouraged by advice that doesn't meet your child's needs. Ultimately, you are the expert when it comes to your own baby. If one approach doesn't work, just try something else. Give your baby some time to get used to changes, because he already has so much to process during these periods!

Sleep regression is temporary

The episodes of sleep regression can be extremely challenging, but remember that it is just a phase in the unique journey of parenthood. By being flexible, creating a comfortable sleeping environment, providing comfort, observing and adapting, and above all, trusting your parenting instincts, you can get through this phase together with your baby. Every child is different, and your loving approach will have a long-lasting impact on their well-being and sleep habits. Stay calm, be patient and try to enjoy every little moment. You got this!


Frederieke Meihuizen

Owner Fedde&Kees®

Ik ben Frederieke, getrouwd met Ewoud en mama van 4 kindjes. Na op veel plekken gewoond te hebben, ben ik gesetteld in Nieuwkoop. Ik werkte in de commercie tot mijn vierde kindje geboren werd. Fedde was een huilbaby en vanuit deze wanhoop heb ik de producten van Fedde&Kees bedacht. Ik gooide mijn leven om en begon met ondernemen. Sinds 2018 help ik andere ouders naar een betere slaap!