Does every baby have one? How can you tell if it’s a regression or just teething? Will I ever sleep again? We know infant sleep regressions can take a toll on the whole family, so we’re setting the record straight on some common misconceptions.
Myth: Every baby has a 6-month sleep regression.
Reality: Almost all babies go through sleep regressions, and this particular regression is very common. However, regressions are often associated with developmental leaps, so they’re more associated with the developmental stages than a specific age. So, this sleep snafu can occur anywhere between 5 and 7 months of age.
Myth: By 6 months my baby should sleep through the night.
Reality: About 38% of 6 month old babies don’t sleep for what is considered a full night, or six hours plus, without the occasional wake-up. And even at twelve months, about 28% of babies still have not reached that coveted sleeping through the night milestone. So, take comfort in the fact that you’re in the good company of many other parents who have to navigate this sleep shortage with their little ones.
Myth: I can prevent the 6 month sleep regression altogether.
Reality: Unfortunately, it’s impossible to control how your growing little one reacts to the growth and development that comes along at this age. But, the good news is, you can help ease its effects by preparing for inevitable sleep hurdles. Even something as simple as a consistent bedtime routine can help set your baby up for success.
Myth: My baby’s sleep schedule will never be the same.
Reality: Sleep regressions don’t last forever! Typically a regression will last two to six weeks. By using some simple strategies to aid your baby in their growth journey, you’ll get over the hump sooner than later. As we mentioned, sleep regressions are normally a result of your baby developing in some way — whether they’re learning to sit up, crawl, or chew. So, a pro tip is to help your baby practice their new skill a lot (like a lot, a lot) during the daytime, so when it’s time for bed they're ready to rest.
Myth: I should do whatever it takes to comfort my baby while they’re restless
Reality: Routine for our little ones is always crucial and that is especially true during a sleep regression for a couple of major reasons. One, a steadfast bedtime routine helps signal to your baby when it's time to start getting sleepy. This day-after-day routine may help you kick the 6-month sleep regression faster. Second, you don’t want to foster bad habits. It’s completely okay to give extra snuggles and comfort, but it’s also important to maintain some sense of normalcy to avoid developing sleep associations with things like nursing or rocking — to avoid baby becoming dependent on those things to fall asleep. A great way to set your baby up to successfully self-soothe is to use gently weighted Zen Sleepwear to mimic your touch, so they can fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.