Navigating Sleep Regression

Navigating Sleep Regression

Posted by Emma, Snotty Noses HQ on 27th Mar 2024

Sleep regression is a common challenge for parents, often leaving them feeling exhausted and frustrated as they try to figure out why their baby just went from sleeping through to what feels like the newborn stage all over again.

Amidst this struggle, many parents turn to various strategies for relief, including the use of humidifiers. But why do sleep consultants recommend humidifiers as a solution to sleep troubles?

Sleep regression typically occurs when a baby who has been sleeping well suddenly starts waking more frequently during the night or having difficulty falling asleep. It often coincides with developmental milestones or changes in routine, leaving both parents and babies feeling the effects of disrupted sleep patterns.

Sleep consultants recommended parents use cool mist vaporisers to add moisture to the air, creating a more comfortable and conducive environment for sleep.

While they are commonly used to alleviate symptoms of congestion or dry skin, their benefits extend to promoting better sleep quality, especially during periods of sleep regression.

Four-Month Sleep Regression

One of the most well-known sleep regressions occurs around the four-month mark. At this stage, babies experience significant changes in their sleep cycles, transitioning from newborn sleep patterns to more adult-like sleep. This transition can result in increased night waking and difficulty settling down for naps.

Eight-Month Sleep Regression

Around eight months of age, many babies go through another period of sleep regression. This regression often coincides with milestones such as crawling, standing, or teething. Babies may become more restless at night and have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep for extended periods.

Twelve-Month Sleep Regression

As babies approach their first birthday, they may experience another sleep regression. This regression can be triggered by factors such as separation anxiety or changes in routine, such as transitioning to one nap a day. Babies may become more clingy during this time and have difficulty settling down for both daytime and nighttime sleep.

Strategies for Navigating Sleep Regression

Stick to a Consistent Routine: Even adults do similar things each night to get ready for bed. It makes sense that a routine for a baby or child gives that same comforting familiarity. Maintaining a consistent sleep routine can help signal to your little one that the day of play and adventure is over and it's time to sleep and recharge. 

Establishing a calming bedtime routine can include activities like a warm bath, gentle massage, a drink of milk, or reading a bedtime story.

Tech-free is recommended during the hour before bed.

Consider the "Wake Window" - depending on age, the time between sleep cycles is critical. Read more HERE.

Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment: Ensure that your baby's sleep environment is conducive to restful sleep. Keep the room dark, quiet, and comfortably cool. 

Using white noise machines or soft music can also help drown out any external noises that may disrupt sleep.

Offer Comfort and Reassurance: During periods of sleep regression, babies may need extra comfort and reassurance from their parents. We do not believe harsh and extended "cry it out methods" are necessary. Respond promptly to their cries and offer soothing techniques like rocking, cuddling, or gentle patting. 

Consider the Role of Humidifiers: Many sleep consultants recommend using humidifiers to create an optimal sleep environment for babies, especially during sleep regression. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which can help alleviate congestion, dryness, and discomfort, making it easier for babies to breathe and sleep peacefully.

Here's why sleep consultants often recommend humidifiers

Relieving Congestion:

  • One of the most significant benefits of humidifiers is their ability to relieve congestion, which is often a contributing factor to sleep disturbances in babies. By increasing moisture levels in the air, humidifiers help to soothe irritated nasal passages and reduce congestion, making it easier for babies to breathe comfortably and sleep soundly.

Maintaining Optimal Humidity Levels:

  • Humidifiers play a crucial role in maintaining optimal humidity levels in the nursery or bedroom environment. Dry air can exacerbate respiratory issues and skin irritation, leading to discomfort and difficulty sleeping. By adding moisture to the air, humidifiers create a more balanced and comfortable atmosphere for sleep, reducing the likelihood of disruptions due to dryness.

Calming Effects:

  • The gentle hum and soft mist emitted by humidifiers can have a calming effect on babies, helping them relax and drift off to sleep more easily. The soothing ambiance created by a humidifier can create a sense of security and tranquility, which is particularly beneficial during times of sleep regression when babies may be more prone to restlessness and fussiness.

Enhancing Sleep Quality:

  • Ultimately, the goal of using a humidifier during sleep regression is to enhance sleep quality for both babies and parents. By addressing common issues such as congestion, dryness, and discomfort, humidifiers create a more conducive sleep environment, allowing babies to settle into deeper, more restorative sleep cycles.

Most parents will agree if there's something they can buy to help their child sleep better they will do it. 

New parents and mums across the world keep leaving five star reviews on our Hush Vaporiser for a reason. 

While sleep regression can be challenging for parents, it's essential to remember that it is a temporary phase in a baby's development. By understanding the stages of sleep regression and implementing strategies to support healthy sleep habits, parents can help their babies navigate these transitions more smoothly. 

Whether it's sticking to a consistent bedtime routine, creating a comfortable sleep environment, or incorporating tools like humidifiers, there are various ways to help babies overcome sleep regression and establish healthier sleep patterns for the long term.