Sleep Regressions: The Party of Five (4, 8, 12, 18 & 24 Months)


My sweet baby Elle.....easiest infant ever, and now in the running for Sassiest Toddler Ever ( 1 going on 13, I swear....)!  Elle has recently begun walking & her language is developing quickly, which makes me a happy Momma but I know what comes with gross motor & cognitive leaps: SLEEP REGRESSIONS.  


Not even I can stop or foresee the madness brought down by the five sleep regressions that children can experience.  Some children will breeze through the majority of the them with no noticeable problems, while others will force you to kiss those date nights goodbye (at least temporarily).  Elle for the most part is wonderful sleeper, but this month I have experienced night fears, protesting naps, short naps, naps that are too long & occasional night waking.  Sound familiar??  If you haven't already, download your "Pin" button because you're going to want to pin this page for future reference, trust me. So grab a glass of vino, and scroll through the most honest breakdown of the five sleep regressions: "Party of Five".  Hardly a party, but catchy.

4 MONTH REGRESSION: Possibly the worst, and most unavoidable.  So unavoidable I dedicated an entire blog post to this regression you can find HERE on why it's happening and how to make it through.  Also commonly referred to as "Wonder Week 19", your child at this age basically has a cognitive explosion: he starts to notice the dog, unfamiliar sounds, your older kids, etc.  Children begin to understand their place in the world now, and become highly distracted- a great tool for any parent who needs to calm a fussy baby, sure, but not when you're begging them to feed instead of staring at the squirrel outside.  With all the new experiences, wake windows can be missed, and you guessed it- baby becomes overtired.  And what happens with an overtired baby??  Harder to fall asleep and harder to STAY asleep.  Lovely, right?  Anyways let's move on.

8 MONTH REGRESSION: Now this could come slightly early, slightly late, or in my case, collide with the 12 month regression (ack!).  This regression is partly to blame due to gross motor skills: crawling, cruising the furniture, pulling to stand (Holy crap, I can crawl into the toilet?! #BabyMindBlown).  Another possible problem could be lack of adequate napping.  Most babies are beginning to drop from three to two naps, and thus some days two naps isn't quite enough, and three naps are TOO much (confusing isn't this?!).  Sleep begets sleep- meaning the more they sleep during the day, the better they will sleep at night.  Err on the side of too much napping if you're going through this.  And go ahead, refill your glass.


12 MONTH REGRESSION: Again could be early or later, depending on when your little one begins to walk.  I blame it all on this new outlook of life on two feet, yet another mind blowing moment in Toddlerland. They want to practice in their crib too, and NO they won't lay down.  Beautiful.  Moving on....

18 MONTH REGRESSION: Language development is happening fast at this age- finally we are able to somewhat communicate past pointing & grunting (well almost anyways).  Cognitive leaps with verbal advancements are very exciting to parents and their children, and like walking, must also be practiced in the crib past bedtime.  Or if you're lucky, going through their entire repertoire next to you in bed, on vacation, at midnight, while you are silently begging them to fall back asleep and cursing yourself for having that second glass of wine.  They KNOW.  

And Finally.....THE 24 MONTH REGRESSION:  Aww the Terrible Two's.  This regression is most commonly due to our sweet angels learning to assert themselves and be more independent, by testing Mommy & Daddy at bedtime.  Some parents even believe that their children no longer need a nap (it's a good idea to keep it until at LEAST 3 years old) therefore an overtired child will wake more frequently at night.

So how do I get through these regressions??

Option 1: Keep it simple and drop us a line.  We can help you through these regressions faster & easier than your old lady neighbor that had 14 "perfect sleeping children" probably can. ;)   It is extremelllllllly common to get stuck in one of these regressions and not be sure how to climb out.

Option 2: Ride it out and stay consistent in your response, and respond age-appropriately.  And then drop us a line if it all goes south.  


The angel pictured above is now sleeping 11 hours straight again at night with a 2 hour uninterrupted nap.  Professional photos taken by the talented Lindsey Wiatt Photography.