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FAQ: What is Sleep Regression? Why does my baby not sleep for long duration? Why does my baby wake up often?
What is a sleep regression?
As the name suggests, regression means a demotion or return to an earlier state. Sleep regressions are when a baby who has started sleeping in a set routine suddenly starts waking up very often. Babies find it difficult to fall and stay asleep during sleep regressions.
Why do sleep regressions occur?
The research is ongoing, but the following reasons have been indicated to cause sleep regressions.
1) Physical Development -
Sleep regressions occur when the baby goes through physical developmental milestones and is learning and mastering new skills. It is believed that babies process and practice new experiences in sleep which leads to them waking up often.
2) Cognitive Development -
Cognitive leaps also cause sleep regressions. Mental leaps enhance the baby’s awareness; which in turn causes some anxiety leading to the need for parental closeness and frequent reassurances. This is why babies find it difficult to separate for sleeping and wake up often to ensure closeness.
3) Overtiredness -
Overtiredness can also be associated with many developmental milestones. It can lead to sleep disturbances.
4) Other causes -
Other causes affecting sleep include illnesses, change in the environment, travelling, teething, separation anxiety etc. But these are individual and experienced at different times by each baby.
When do sleep regressions occur?
Some of the “infamous” sleep regressions with their corresponding developmental milestones are as follows...
How to cope with sleep regressions?
Sleep regressions can be very challenging for mothers and parents. Breastfeeding can work as a blessing during these times as it comforts the baby, soothes the baby and helps her sleep better. Here are certain coping strategies that help mothers survive these regressions.
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