Sleep Regression or Developmental Progression?

The term “sleep regression” is thrown around a lot by everyone from GPs to parents to specialists. What this term refers to though is something much more positive than a regression. It’s actually a very exciting stage in your child’s development. So, should we refer to it as sleep regression or developmental progression? I know what my thoughts on the matter are. Let’s discuss…

What is it?

Regardless of whether it’s being referred to as sleep regression or developmental progression, it’s a guarantee that every single child is going to go through one or more of these stages. If you find that your baby or toddler has been sleeping well for a long time, having no issues through the night, then suddenly their sleep patterns go awry – this is what we’re referring to.

Why does it happen?

A child’s development happens in leaps and bounds – it’s sometimes hard to keep track of everything they’re learning. As they learn, they reach pivotal points in their development that impact their brains in a big, big way. When they reach these pivotal points or “mental leaps” (see more on mental leaps below) it causes disruptions to within their brains and their bodies, resulting in their usual patterns going off the rails for a little while.

When will it happen and how long will it last?

Generally, these big developmental progressions tend to happen at 6 weeks, 3-4 months, 6 months, 8-10 months, 12 months, 18 months and 2 years old, however, your child’s sleeping pattern may not be affected at all these points. When sleep issues do occur, they’ll generally last between 2-6 weeks, depending on the child and whether you put the right practices into play. We can help you with that.

How can we help?

The Wonder Weeks is such a great reference for this kind of information. It outlines the different stages of development or “mental leaps” beautifully. What we do here at Sleep Sweet Sleep Deep is take into account where your baby is at on the developmental cycle and tailor a plan to help them sleep sweet and deep through that particular mental leap. At one stage they may need a certain type of help in comparison to a different stage.

So, what do you think? Sleep regression or developmental progression? I’m hoping that you’re with me on this and are going all in with DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRESSION! It’s something to be excited about, not something to dread. Especially with the help we here at Sleep Sweet Sleep Deep can provide.

As always, sleep sweetly and deeply, everyone!

Read about Emma’s sleep success story (11months).