Baby Sleep Regressions: What to Expect and Best Practices

Parenthood is a journey filled with love and joy, but it's not without its fair share of challenges. One such challenge that many parents face is navigating their baby's sleep regressions. These periods of disrupted sleep can be both frustrating and exhausting. Here, we'll explore what to expect during baby sleep regressions and offer best practices for parents to help ease the transition for both themselves and their little ones.

Understanding Baby Sleep Regressions

Here, we’ll look into the intricacies of common sleep regressions in infants and, equally importantly, how to distinguish them from potential risks associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Additionally, we will explore the role of baby movement and sleep apnoea monitors, such as those offered by Snuza, in providing invaluable peace of mind to parents.

In each regression, your baby’s usual sleep habits could be disturbed. Babies often nap for shorter periods, are more fussy when being put down to nap or sleep, and may awake more frequently at night. These periods of disturbance are frequently linked to developmental changes — as your baby grows and learns new skills, their quickly growing brains can affect their sleep quality.


Around the age of four months, many parents face their first encounter with a sleep regression. This phase is characterised by a sudden disruption in your baby's sleep patterns. Expect more frequent nighttime awakenings and shorter naps. The underlying reasons for this regression are often tied to significant developmental shifts in your baby's sleep cycles and heightened awareness of their surrounding environment.


At approximately six months of age, another sleep regression may emerge. This phase typically coincides with the introduction of solid foods and your baby's increasing mobility as they begin to roll or crawl. 

8–10 Months

Between the eighth and tenth months, another sleep regression can make its appearance. Factors such as separation anxiety, teething discomfort, or exciting developmental milestones like standing and walking can contribute to this regression.


As your baby approaches their first birthday, yet another regression might take place. This time, it may be connected to the transition from two naps to a single nap or other shifts in your baby's daily routine.

Differentiating Sleep Regressions from SIDS Risk Factors

While sleep regressions can be confusing — and tiring! — it's essential for parents to be able to distinguish them from the potential risks associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a concerning issue. Here's how you can do that:

  1. Always place your baby on their back to sleep: This fundamental practice significantly reduces the risk of SIDS. Ensure that your baby's sleep environment remains free of loose bedding, stuffed animals, or toys that could pose hazards.
  2. Monitor your baby's breathing: Consider using baby movement or sleep apnoea monitors. These sophisticated devices are designed to track your baby's movements and breathing patterns, providing real-time alerts should any irregularities be detected.
  3. Understand SIDS risk factors: Familiarise yourself with the known risk factors associated with SIDS, which include maternal smoking during pregnancy, secondhand smoke exposure, and overheating. Taking proactive steps to mitigate these risks is paramount.
  4. Trust your parental instincts: If you ever have concerns or a gut feeling that something isn't right with your baby's sleep, don't hesitate to reach out to a healthcare professional. It's always wise to seek guidance when in doubt.

Best Practices During Baby Sleep Regressions

Navigating sleep regressions can be challenging, but there are several best practices you can adapt to help both you and your baby during these periods:

  • Maintain a Consistent Routine: Stick to a consistent bedtime routine. Predictable routines can provide comfort and signals to your baby that it's time to sleep. Try not to change anything significant in the bedtime routine during a sleep regression.
  • Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment: Ensure your baby's sleep environment is safe and comfortable. Remove any potential hazards such as loose bedding, toys, or crib bumpers.
  • Be Patient and Understanding: Recognise that sleep regressions are temporary phases. Be patient with your baby and yourself during this time.
  • Adjust Nap Times: Depending on your baby's age, consider adjusting nap times to ensure they are well-rested during the day. An overtired baby may have more difficulty sleeping at night.
  • Seek Support and Rest: Don't hesitate to ask for help from family or friends. Taking breaks and getting enough rest yourself is crucial for managing the challenges of sleep regressions.

The Role of Baby Movement and Sleep Apnoea Monitors

Baby movement and sleep apnoea monitors, such as those offered by Snuza, play an integral role in providing reassurance and peace of mind to parents. These monitors are designed to track your baby's movements and breathing patterns. They operate as a vigilant guardian during your baby's sleep, instantly alerting you if any irregularities are detected. While they may not prevent sleep regressions, they serve as an invaluable safety net, allowing parents to rest a little easier knowing that their baby is being monitored with unwavering precision.

Get Some Sleep

Sleep regressions are a natural part of your baby's developmental journey, albeit a challenging one. Understanding the various stages of sleep regressions — and how to differentiate them from potential SIDS risk factors — is vital for creating a safe and nurturing sleep environment for your little one. Moreover, the inclusion of baby movement and sleep apnoea monitors, such as those from Snuza, adds an extra layer of assurance, granting parents the priceless gift of peace of mind as they watch over their sleeping bundle of joy.


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