10 thoughts every parent has during a sleep regression―and how to deal 


While every stage of parenting comes with its own challenges, there’s no denying that the sleep regressions of your baby’s first year are definitely among the hardest.

The good news is: you’re not going through it alone. In fact, those late nights and difficult bedtimes are actually a badge of honor that bonds you with billions of other parents throughout history―and we promise it’s a pretty cool club to be in. 

The experience is so universal that we can probably even guess some of the thoughts playing on loop in your brain as you struggle to rock, bounce, and soothe your little one back to the land of shuteye during an infant sleep regression. 

Here are ten thoughts virtually every parent has had while dealing with a sleep regression, plus our tips for getting through with your sanity intact.

1. “This is my life now.”

Especially if this is your first baby, one of the unfortunate side effects of virtually every change in your baby’s behavior is that it’s easy to feel like it will never change again.

But one of the most consistent things about babies…is that they are rarely consistent for long! So on those late-night stretches or moments when your little one is refusing the nap or bedtime you’ve come to rely on, remember: This too shall pass.

2. *Scrambles to remember (and replicate) everything you did the night she slept six hours in a row.*

The only thing more tortuous than a night when your baby refuses to sleep?

The nights when they actually do―because you’ll spend the rest of the week trying to mentally catalog and replicate every single thing you did that day to get the same result!

But while noting if a certain eat/play/potty rhythm helps your baby (and you!) get a little more shut-eye can be helpful, try not to drive yourself crazy trying to get lightning to strike twice.

Often when our babies have sleep regressions―or don’t―has more to do with developmental factors out of our control than anything we did. (Which is why the Cradlewise learning technology can be so helpful in managing adjustments in sleep patterns over time!) Our smart crib’s soothing bounce feature can help ease the pain of this phase for you. If your baby is extra fussy and needs additional soothing, our crib will recognize the new pattern and adjust the bounce accordingly to comfort them.)

3. “Why do you hate me?”

We promise–your baby isn’t doing it on purpose. While it can sometimes feel like that tiny love of your life has been replaced by a ruthless dictator (albeit a really cute one!), the truth is that being a baby isn’t always easy!

And when they are navigating developmental leaps and changes, it’s actually a sign of their deep love and bond with you that you’re the person they want by their side during all that newness and change.

4. “It’s a good thing you’re so cute, kid.”

Let’s be honest: Doesn’t that cute little baby face seem like the only reason you can survive the 23 wakeups every night? Of course, we’re kidding, but if you’re stuck in a late-night feeding/not sleeping rhythm, it might not be the worst idea to scroll your phone’s photo album for all your baby’s cutest highlights from the day.

You know, just to help you focus on just how much you normally enjoy their company. 

5. “If he falls back asleep now, I can still get four hours of sleep…okay, if he falls asleep now, I can still get three and a half hours of sleep…”

Ahh, the tortuous math of the sleep-deprived! As hard as it can be not to obsess over the details of your baby’s sleep regression, the truth is that it won’t make them any easier to get through.

Instead of focusing on schedule, try to adjust your thinking to prioritize routine―specifically the bedtime one. Folding in more consistency (like taking a bath, giving a massage, reading a book, having a final feed, and then going to bed) can also help your little one get back to their sleeping patterns quicker.

6. “To hold or not to hold? That is the question.”

Struggling with whether to let your little one cry it out for a while or to hop up every time they fuss?

There’s no real wrong answer―it’s up to each family to decide the right sleep training balance for them. If you do want to try letting your baby self-soothe, it can be helpful to set a timer for yourself (just five to ten minutes) to give your baby time to decide if they’re really awake or just working through a sleep cycle. 

7. “Each one of these bounces is basically a mini squat, right?”

Answer: Absolutely.

8. “I can do hard things.”

We love a good parenthood mantra to get us through the most challenging times. Raising a baby ain’t easy―and sleep regressions can sometimes feel specially programmed to break us down.

The important thing to remember is that not only are they completely normal, but you can get through them. And don’t forget to lean on your community during these hurdles.

Talk to your partner about getting more rest time throughout the day (every nap helps!), see if a grandparent or friend can come watch the baby for an hour while you rest, and put any other non-essential to-dos on the backburner on those days you’re truly exhausted. Here are 7 phrases to use when you need to ask for help.

9. “Should I get bangs?”

Our advice: Try not to make any major decisions during a sleep regression, k?

10. “Okay, I’m not hating the extra snuggle time.”

There are a  lot of things to hate about sleep regression, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to appreciate.

While we would never tell you to “enjoy every moment!” when you can, think of it this way: When you have a baby going through a sleep regression, you get more cuddle time―and you get to see a lot more sunrises than you would if everyone always slept as long as you think you’d like.

These late-night moments and snuggles will one day be memories from your early-parenthood story―so spend that extra time memorizing the feel of your baby’s skin, the way their eyelashes look against their cheeks, and the warmth of them in your arms.


Q: What is sleep regression?

A: A sleep regression is when a baby transitions from sleeping regularly to struggling with sleep. Sleep regressions are normal in babies and toddlers and typically linked to development. 

Q: How long does sleep regression last?

A: True sleep regressions are different from a couple nights of bad sleep. They typically last between two and six weeks.

Q: When do sleep regressions happen?

A: Sleep regressions can vary in when they pop up. Most experts, however, agree that the most common regressions happen around 4 months, 6 months, 8 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 2 years of age. 

Q: What triggers a sleep regression?

A: Baby sleep regressions are typically associated with big developmental changes in baby’s motor skills and brain development, including understanding object permanence and learning how to sit up, crawl, and stand. Teething can also cause something that seems like a sleep regression.  

Q: How long does 4-month sleep regression last?

A: Like other sleep regressions, the 4-month sleep regression typically lasts about two to six weeks. 

Q: Is there a 6-month sleep regression?

A: While not every baby will experience every sleep regression, the six-month sleep regression is especially common. Regressions are often associated with developmental leaps, though, so they’re more associated with the developmental stages than a specific age.

Q: Is there a 9-month sleep regression? 

A: Nine months (or around that time) is another common age for babies to experience sleep regression. This sleep regression typically lasts between two and six weeks.

Q: Which sleep regression is the worst?

A: While every baby is different, many parents feel that the 4-month sleep regression is the worst. At this age, babies experience many cognitive changes that can cause more fussiness at bed time and impact their ability to sleep for longer stretches.

Q: How many sleep regressions are there?

A: Sleep regressions will vary from baby to baby, but typically there are up to six sleep regressions in a baby’s first two years. 

Q: What are the signs that sleep regression is ending?

A: When a sleep regression is ending, your baby will start to sleep longer stretches at night and even all the way through the night. You will likely also notice that they are able to self-soothe and fall back asleep without your help. 


  1. How long do sleep regressions last. 2022. Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.Understanding and Navigating Sleep Regressions.
  2. Developmental changes in sleep regressions. 2022. Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.Understanding and Navigating Sleep Regressions.

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