The Thing About Sleep Regressions

fussing and crying during sleep regression

Every once in a while your baby’s sleep will mysteriously become a disastrous mess. At the same time your baby will become really fussy which is either the cause or result of the sleep deprivation. The slender thread of normalcy you’ve been clinging to will disappear and you will stumble into the void of parenting despair wondering “Why did we think this baby thing was such a great plan anyway?!?!?”

If you’ve ruled out all the obvious causes of sleep stoppage (teething, colds, ear infections, etc.) then what is probably going on is a “sleep regression”. Lots of people have written about sleep regressions but the best post I’ve found, bar none, is to be found over at Ask Moxie.

Moxie recommends a sleep regression book called “Wonder Weeks” by the Danish researchers Vanderijt and Plooij. I don’t recommend this book for two reasons. One – it’s pretty expensive. Two – the only thing you really need to know (which comes from Wonder Weeks) is this:

According to Vanderijt and Plooij, the spurts happen at weeks 5, 8, 12, 19, 26, 37, 46, and 55.

This seems like a lot of growth spurts and if you’ve just survived one you’re probably looking at that long list and fighting back a wave of nausea. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it seems. I’ve never known anybody to have more than 2-3 rough sleep regressions. In my experience the most COMMON sleep regressions seem to come at 6 weeks, 4 months, and 6 months.

What Happens During a Sleep Regression


Sleep stops.

Naps get short, helping baby fall asleep takes forever, baby wakes up constantly, baby wakes up miserable, baby simply won’t sleep, etc. Unsurprisingly this often leaves parents a bit shell shocked.


Fussiness starts.

Perhaps it’s due to sleep deprivation but your sweet happy baby will morph into a fussy cranky little gremlin. And since they’ll be barely sleeping you’ll have ample opportunity to enjoy it.

Nursing/feeding is endless.

Sometimes regressions are also called “growth spurts” and (especially for nursing moms) the idea is that your baby is demanding more from you to amp up your supply because they’re getting bigger and need more food. Thus if you’re nursing you may find your baby is glued to your boobs endlessly. We’ll it’ll feel endless because even a few days with a baby attached to your boob can feel like an eternity. Bottle fed babies also demand more/frequent food.


Must. Be. Held.

Babies often become clingy and needy during regressions. No longer content with some playtime on the bouncy seat or play mat, your baby ONLY wants to be held. Generally ONLY by you. Note: in case it’s not clear, sleep regressions are a bad time to try to end co-sleeping.

How to Live Through a Sleep Regression

Regressions generally last anywhere from a few days to a week (although I’ve talked to people who swear that their baby took up to 2 weeks to navigate a regression). And I won’t lie to you, sometimes they can be really rough. Especially if things were already feeling a bit shaky. But…


Don’t Panic!

You’re already feeling pretty beat up so when things take a determined turn for the WORSE it’s easy to flip out. But this is temporary. It’s a bad week. It’s shorter than having the flu, right? You can do this!


Do What Works (for now)

Your baby may need extra soothing. Crib sleepers may go back into the swing. You may need to break out the swaddle and paci again. Babies who were going down awake may need to be nursed/rocked to sleep. You may find baby sleeps better in your bed. Don’t look at this as a “step back”, look at this as taking steps to help everybody sleep. Right now.


Get Back on the Sleep Path

Sleep regressions are temporary. Unless you let it push you off course permanently. It’s OK to do what works (nurse to sleep, rock to sleep, use pacifiers) to navigate a sleep regression. However if a month has gone by and you’re still doing these things then you’ve fallen into the classic sleep regression trap – you let a temporary survival tactic become the new sleep norm. Which is OK until you want your baby to start napping longer and actually sleep through the night.

Don’t let a temporary sleep regression become a permanent sleep problem.

Sadly babies do not come with alarms that ring to signify the end of a sleep regression. Sometimes you’ll know because miraculously your baby will sleep a ton (for a day or two) and everybody will breathe a heady sigh of relief. Sometimes things will just gradually get better (and thus it’s less obvious). But keep an eye towards your fundamental sleep goals – helping baby get enough sleep, not letting baby stay awake too long, and helping baby learn to fall asleep.

Anybody have any experiences with sleep regressions to share? How long they lasted? Did anything help?
Photo credit: {Tosdatophoto & Lisa Schaffer}

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  1. I have been meaning to comment for ages how much my husaband and I love your website which I found in a frenzy of desperation when our newborn baby WOULD NOT sleep and when he did it seemed that it had nothing to do with anything we had donebut just that he was so exhausted but with some seriously helpful knowledge about baby sleep we got there. Anyway at 4 months we hit a sleep regression which might have just been that except then little fella got sick about two days after we got through the sleep regression. Anyway a month later and as you mentioned in “number 3” it had become a pattern which was getting worse and it felt like we were back in newborn ‘lost in the woods’ mode. Anyway I bought the Ferber book which I found so, so useful (I was so sick of being told all the negatives of this approach by people who had never read the book) and with the info from your site about how important it is for babies to learn how to fall asleep on their own before 6 months we realised that Cry It Out was the best option for us given our and our little boys personality – anyway, it worked really well for us and I just wanted to say thank you, thank you for your site. My husband and I have been known to often say to each other “Alexis says…..” when we are talking about our baby’s sleep. For two people who knew NOTHING about baby sleep we are so grateful for your site.

    Anyway, I am just curious about a couple of things mainly I was wondering how you know when babies are ready to drop a nap?

    • {speechless}
      This is the nicest thing anybody has ever said to me! Also I can’t believe that there exists on the planet somebody who actually says, “Alexis says….”

      Wow :)

      Greetings from Australia. Ironically I have lots of Australian readers. I keep telling my husband that I’m like the Oprah of Australia but he refuses to believe me.

      OK back to your question.
      Typically (although there are rarely typical babies), babies settle into a 3 nap schedule anywhere between 3-6 months. The 3rd nap (late afternoon/early evening) is variable. May be long, short, or not happen. Most babies are done with the 3rd nap around 9 months. Then babies drop the morning nap anytime between 12-18 months.

      You’ll know your baby is done with whatever nap when they really fight going down and generally don’t sleep very long. For example, when your 13 month old baby struggles to fall asleep in the morning and then barely naps for 30 minutes, you’re probably done with it.

      Actually napping is a pretty big topic that I should put something together on. Why do you think you may be done?

  2. I wished I had read this post when I was going through hell handling my daughter’s (now 7 :) sleep regressions! It still makes me cringe looking back, but this is great advice for those who’re going through it. Can’t say enough how important it is not to panic!

    • “It makes me cringe looking back…”

      That pretty much describes the first 3 months with my first son. Man we struggled with EVERYTHING – nursing, regressions, reflux. I think I looked perpetually tired and confused ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. The Oprah of Australia – I like that!!

    About my question our fella (currently having his first nap of the day) is five and a half months old and he naps three times a day and then goes to sleep at 9 – generally wakes up at 7, sometimes a bit before sometimes a bit after. We are in a nice predictable patch at the moment. By the way the baby sleep guide is really helpful and just makes us feel like him going to sleep at 9 is OK. There seems to be this weird thing where I live that ppl seem to think babies should go to sleep at 7 – I think it’s in all the full on routine books that are around. While sometimes I would quite like him to go to sleep at 7 it is just not going to happen.

    Anyway he definitely isn’t close to dropping the last nap at the moment but I remember when he moved from 4 naps to 3 it was because he just started napping for longer so then he couldn’t fit 4 naps into the day. So, I was just wondering how it would work with him being able to stay up longer between naps but then still having 3 naps. Does that make sense? At the moment we wake him up after he has napped for 2 hours to make sure I can get enough food in him during the day and because after a while he seems to do that ‘shifting sleep from nighttime to daytime’ thing.

    Anyway, it might sound like I am obsessing about something that we are not up to yet, but really I have just found learning about baby’s sleep fascinating. A post about naps would be great.

    Also, what got me over the line about taking on your info (in the maze of crap info about baby sleep) was the photo of you with your baby in a sling, finger in mouth and holding a hair dryer…. and your love of Joss Whedon.

    • 1. Post on naps just as soon as I get home from vacation. My brain will work better after a break from the bleak snow-free VT winter we are suffering through :(

      2. I think I may have created the impression (on the sleep chart) that a late bedtime is the way to go. The reality is that yes, a 7:00 bedtime is the goal. It ensures your baby isn’t getting overtired by being awake too long. It carves out some baby-free time for you in the evening. And as babies tend to wake up early, its the only way you can help your baby get enough sleep at night.

      So for a lot of reasons you want to move towards an earlier bedtime. BUT – if your baby is still taking a chunky nap late in the afternoon – you’re temporarily stuck with a later bedtime.

      Also if he wakes up at 7, I’m assuming nap #1 happens at around 9:00, maybe the second nap is at 12:00ish, then his 3rd nap would be around 3:00/4:00. Is he awake from 4:00 in the afternoon until 9:00 at night? If so then I would definitely start nudging bedtime earlier (try 15 minutes a day). Only because if I’m right, he’s awake too long (5 hour stretch) AND it’ll give you back some quiet time for yourself.

      Generally I don’t wake sleeping babies. For the first 2 naps of the day I would suggest leaving sleeping babies lie. But maybe for the 3rd nap you start waking him up so that he’s not sleeping too much later than 4:00. That way he WOULD be more ready for bed at 7:00 (vs. 9:00).

      Well I’m glad the crazy picture of me and the sling & blowdryer helped convert you. I debated putting that up as, frankly, it’s not particularly flattering. I just didn’t want to come across as being so much better than everybody else – I’m JUST like everybody else ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Hello from Smurf country Belgium.

    Great site. Thank you so much for great content and wonderful style.

    I just saw Janey’s question and mine is very similar. My little miss (19,5 weeks) also gets up around 6.30-7.00 with one bottle between 3.30-5.00am. Following actually the chart i downloaded from your site, i tend to put her down 8.30-9.00pm assuring she is awake for 8-9h. After 2 fairly long morning/ noon naps (4 h in total) and a short afternoon nap (45min) that tends to mean a short 4th nap as her awake time is about 1h50.

    But i have also noticed that most moms follow a 7-7 schedule so no thinking i put her down too late.

    PS. Also wanted to let you know that until last week I was one of those people still suffering from 2-3 night wakenings but especially short 45min naps. When switching last week from BF to bottles my little girl got a serious allergic reaction. They suspect cow milk allergy so I switched to soja milk and her sleep pattern got so much better over night. Although she’s also at the age that sleeping should get better the difference is remarkable. So I suspect short cycles where also caused by cow milk getting through breast feeding (I eat a lot of milk products). So just a tip for those suffering mums, it might be allergy.

    • Dear Smurfette,
      So sorry to hear that you had a dairy issue but you aren’t alone – 10% of babies have a milk protein issue and it definitely can be a challenge to figure out.

      My guess is that now that you’ve solved the dairy issue, you’ll notice things changing in the next week or two. It sounds like she was a bit sleep deprived and is now sleeping a ton to catch up. Fairly quickly you should see her sleeping a bit less and staying awake slightly longer (maybe 2 hours between naps?). Also I think once she get’s caught up on sleep she’ll probably drop that 4th nap. Then her bedtime will drop down to closer to 7:00 too.

      Hope that helps!
      ps. My husband is French and has a bunch of Smurf comics. Which was strange for me when I met him because American men don’t typically read Smurf comics past the age of 8 ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Hi Alexis,

        Mmmmm…. Frenchies aren’t supposed to read the smurfs past the age of 8 either. Gazing at them in chilhood nostalgia yes… but reading :-) Many other comics are fine though for us Euro-folks.

        In the meanwhile we moved to a around 7pm bedtime and no 4th nap and it was working fine. 4 meals and number 5 somewhere between 2-4am.

        Pediatrician said i should move that feed to the day… Would love to but she only is hungry every 4h (7 – 11 – 15 – 19) so as the only solution i tried to dreamfeed at 23h yesterday.

        Never really wanted to do that because it feels so unnatural to wake them up to feed. We tried it, she ate a little more than half a bottle while asleep and woke up 4.30 which is later than most of the time.
        > Would you dreamfeed too and if so I suppose I should try to wean her off the 4.30 feed by reducing the quantity of milk and trying to give it to her later.

        But little miss of course never stops throwing us some curve balls. Today I woke her up around 6.45 – she nows stays awake 2h (hurray), but instead of a 2h and 1h45 nap she did 2 2h30 naps which meant nap 3 could only start at 5.45pm (6.45up – 7.30 feed – 8.50 sleep – 11.30 up and feed – 13.30 sleep – 1600 up and feed – 17.50 catnap but after nearly falling asleep, fussing and some crying catnap from 18.30-18.50) and that’s trouble. Already noticed before that if it is after 5 she doesn’t easily fall asleep which was the same now. It took her after her 2h awake time about half an hour of first fussing and then crying to finally fall asleep in my arms – a very rare feath for us as she is very good at falling asleep alone in her crib. She woke up after 25min – well, she opened her eyes and I turned on the lights as a cat nap should be enough to hopefully now not put her down at her usual 7pm but 8.20 (1h30 awake time but as nap was short and it’s her bedtime I’m hoping that’s okay). > If this scenario repeats itself tomorrow, do you agree I should still keep nap 3. She is only 20 weeks and if I would have not had her nap but would have moved into bad and last feed to still have her sleep around the usual 7pm she would only have been awake a total of 7h today (excl night wakenings). Seemed so short. I know if I put her in her car seat the 3rd nap will go easier.

        Say Alexis… you already must be a content lady with all these compliments, but also from me… it’s so nice you actually reply and give your opinion. The only thing I get from the professionals here is – take a cue from your baby and all babies are different. Of course I agree, but when you’re lost in new motherland a bit of ‘this is what I would do’ is really helpful.

        Un grand merci! Ps. Smurfette rocks!


        • No no…I LOVE compliments! I will always happily take a compliment! :) Thanks!

          Yes I always hated that “every baby is different” bunk too. How does saying that help anybody? How does it help you figure out if you’re on the right track or not?

          I’m not sure if this answers your question but:
          1) I gather she is only eating 1X a night yes? That’s pretty awesome for a 5 month old baby. You could just wait a month or two to see if she drops it on her own. You could try sticking with the dreamfeed. But if you really want to drop it I would start to gradually reduce the formula as described here:

          2) Generally I don’t wake sleeping babies. UNLESS the nap is messing up bedtime. If she has a normal bedtime then you don’t want her 3rd nap mucking it up. If her early naps are long then maybe her 3rd nap should just be a short cat nap (10-15 minutes). Enough to take the edge off but not so long to push back bedtime significantly.

          Most babies take a 3rd nap until they are about 9 months old so generally I think a short 3rd nap is better than having her be awake for a really LONG period of time between nap #2 and bedtime.

          Bonne chance por la bebe! (My French is terrible so apologies if that is wrong. Merde ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Hi Alexis,

            I too LOVE this site! I’ve been a very spoiled mom. My 5 1/2 month old has been sleeping through the night for two months. ….until recently! Aaagghh! He was going down between 8:30-9:00 pm and not waking at all until 7:00 am. The problem seemed to begin at 5 months when he began to absolutely NEED his paci. If it falls out, he would cry until it was replaced. Now, he still NEEDS his paci, but he is also waking fully at 4:30 am in order to play, eat, poop, play again. I have seemed to forgotten everything I did in order to get him to sleep through the night to begin with. I plan to “dreamfeed” around 10:30 – 11:00 pm and hope that helps. His nap schedule has become shortened as well. 30-1h at 9:30am, same at noon, same at 3pm, and sometimes another at 6-7pm. What in the world should I do to make sure that we do not fall into the trap of permanent sleep regression?

  5. Hmmmm that has given me a lot to think about. An earlier bedtime would definitely be a good thing.

    His third nap of the day is usually quite late and pretty substantial, by the time it rolls around he is definitely tired and usually goes to sleep easily and it usually finishes between 5 – 5:45. So, for example today he woke up at 7:30, he went to sleep for his first nap at 9am – I woke him up at 11, he went back to sleep at 1pm – slept for an hour (I didn’t wake him up but usually he would sleep for longer) and then his last nap started at 4pm and it is 5:15 and I just heard him wake up.

    I reckon I might see where he is at if I don’t wake him up for any naps for the next day or so. Maybe he would naturally be in a more of a two nap cycle if I didn’t wake him up? The thought has crossed my mind!!

    Would be interested in what you think – enjoy your holiday :)

    • Why are you waking him up at naptime? As a general rule I don’t wake up babies unless you HAVE to. Presumably if he is happy sleeping then GREAT! If he takes HUGE naps then you might need only 2 a day. As long as that doesn’t leave him with a HUGE window of no sleep in the afternoon.

      So if he slept in the afternoon from 1:00 – 3:00 you might not need a 3rd nap if his bedtime was early, say 6:00. OR he may need a short 3rd nap at around 5:00 to put him on track for a 7:30 bedtime.

      Most kids take something of a 3rd nap until 9 months FYI.

      • Yeah…. Not too sure why I was waking him up, I think I was feeling influenced by some other mums I know who who were following strict routines – I feel a lot better now that I am not waking him now. Every now and then he has two huge naps but generally he still needs 3 naps but the past week he sometimes skips the third nap making him really overtired. I think on these days we aren’t getting him in to bed soon enough or I need to take him out in the pram so he can at least get a brief third nap in. Do you any thoughts about having a consistent time for bedtime? Thanks for replying it was really, really helpful. He has just woken up so I am off!!!

        • You shouldn’t be taking advice from other mums. Unless that mum is ME in which case you totally should ๐Ÿ˜‰

          As a general rule you want to be sort of consistent about bedtime (give or take). And at ~6 months you may need to force a brief catnap (10-15 minutes) in a stroller walk or whatever in the late afternoon.

          So for example if he woke up from nap #2 at 3:00 and you tried to keep him up till 7:00 he would be super tired. On the other hand you wouldn’t want him taking a huge nap at 5:00 which would likely mess up bedtime. However if he took a 10 minute stroller nap at 4:30 it would be just enough to get him happily going to bed at 7:00.

  6. Yeah bit of a problem taking advice from other new mums who have about as much of a clue as I do!!

    That is really helpful re the bedtime and pushing (literally:) the nap. We are also slowly moving his bedtime earlier which is going well.

    Thanks again, I am sure I will be back with another question! Thanks also for introducing me to white noise – the best portable sleep association ever. Yesterday he had a nap at a friends house in his portacot with the white noise and slept just as long as at home – yay!!

    • I should say, 2 weeks so far.

      • 2 weeks of what? A two week sleep regression?

        Hmm….that’s sort of long. If things aren’t turning the corner soon (yesterday?) I would start to wonder if you haven’t fallen into the very common sleep regression trap – the ways you respond to the regression have now become habit.

        Hoping things turn the corner for you soon!

        • we seem to be going through sleep regression as well but it’s been about 2 weeks now. If we’ve fallen into the trap of making this a habit, how do we get out of it??

          Also, we are following a baby wise routine. I don’t know if you are familiar with it but it mean we have our 4 month old on a 2.5 hour schedule. He naps, wakes up to eat, plays for 1.45 hours, and naps again. The problem with this is that he only naps for 45 minutes about 5 times a day. This is fine if I am going to stay indoors all day but that’s the exact opposite of what I want to do! I’ve tried dropping these naps in favor of bigger ones, but he gets SO grumpy if we go longer than 1.45 hours of wake time, and he still doesn’t sleep any longer. Do you have any advice about how to get him onto a different nap schedule? Thanks so much!

  7. Loving reading through the posts! I left a message in another post about my 2 yr old. Now its time to ask about my sweet 12 week old :-). She will be 3 months old on April 25th. So far she has been what I would call a “text book baby”, whereas my first child was as high needs as they come (and still is at 2.5 yrs). At 6 weeks she started doing a 6 hr stretch at night. She likes to do this stretch in the first chunk of the night. For example, take a bottle at 8pm and sleep until 2 am. Then at about 8 weeks we tried the “dream feed” about 1130pm and as late as 1230 am and some nights she was sleeping until 630am! Other nights she would rise anywhere from 5am to 6am. All of which I was OK with. But about a week or so ago she started waking earlier after that midnight dream feed. Sometimes as early as 4am. So questions: 1)IS this the 12 week growth spurt? 2)Does the dream feed work? Or should we just let her sleep her natural rhythm which is the 6 hr chunk in the 1st part of the night? 3)When she wakes in the later part of the night (4-6am) she DOES NOT want to go back to sleep, do I let her play or try and force her to go back to sleep, which doesnt seem to work? :-) Again, thank you thank you for sharing your wisdon! Wish I had had something like this with my first child!

    • I’m not entirely sure but my guess is that she just can’t go for two LONG stretches so when you dreamfeed at ~12, she is hungry again at 4:00 AM. However she’s gotten enough sleep that she doesn’t easily go back to sleep then which results in her starting the day at 4:00 AM. Which is a pretty uncivilized time to be making your first cup of coffee.

      So while generally dream feeds can work great it sounds like it’s not working so great for you. You have to feed her at night anyway right? You just shifted it from 2:00 AM to 11:30 PM, right? So yeah if it’s not consistently getting you to 6:00 AM then I would go back to the 2:00 AM feed to see if that doesn’t solve your early morning issue.

      Trying to force her back to sleep may not work well as she’s gotten enough sleep to not feel super tired at that point. When babies are UP at 4:00 AM it is often rough to get them back to sleep if they aren’t keen to do so ๐Ÿ˜›

      This could be a sleep regression but usually that is a MAJOR thing where your issue seems pretty specific to the morning so I would stick with the 2:00 AM feeding for a few days and see if that doesn’t get you back to 6:00 AM. Let me know what happens!

  8. Thank you so much for your suggestions and advice! We are having a better sleep week. We started letting our little one wake on her own for the middle of the night feed vs. doing the dream feed. She tends to eat around 7pm – 8pm and wake on her own anywhere from 1230am to as late as 245 am. I don’t know why it’s so much earlier some nights then others. Initially, when we put her to sleep at night she goes to sleep on her own in her crib (laid down drowsy but not asleep). After reading your suggestions with swing sleeping we have started to put her in the swing after that middle of the night feed and at least for now that seems to have solved our issues! So she sleeps in her crib half the night and finishes the night in the swing. She’s been sleeping until 6/630am that way. I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do but it’s working for the moment. I also started her napping solely in the swing and she is consistently taking 2 hr naps there. Yay for the swing!! Although, she just turned 3 months old so the swing should actually be on the way out, correct? We will keep working on the crib. I think I struggle with the unpredictability of when she will wake to eat at night. But for the moment we have the 4am wake up call solved so I’ll take that. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and advice. You are providing an amazing forum for learning and support for the hardest job in the world!!

    • Crib+swing=sleep=success!

      And 2 hour naps are AWESOME. How nice life is when you get a free moment to yourself, right?

      Some babies are out of the swing at 3 months but it’s not a deadline. Plenty are still napping in there at 6 months. So personally it’s NO rush but when you’re ready to try, why not put her back in her crib after her night feed? If it goes poorly, no problem, try again next week. You’ve got tons of time.

      So glad this is helpful for you. I know I had nowhere to go when I was struggling so it feels good to pay it forward :)

  9. Hi Alexis,

    Thanks for another great article. I’ve emailed you before and appreciate all your advice. To remind you, my son is 16 weeks old, had colic (which is thankfully improving), has reflux (on a PPI) and has never been a good sleeper. Due to his various issues, we have always bounced and nursed/fed him to sleep. We used to hold him all night because that’s the only way he would sleep but in the last month, he tolerated being put down in his bassinet after he was soothed to sleep. One week ago, all that changed and he was started waking up every 45 minutes-1 hour after being in his bassinet, but would sleep his usual 2.5-3 hour chunk if we held him. He didn’t seem hungry when he woke up, which made me think this was not a growth spurt. We increased his PPI dose, gave him some Tylenol just in case he was teething, and he eventually stopped this crazy pattern after 6 days. (Frankly, I don’t think the PPI dose increase nor the Tylenol made a difference.) He reverted back to being able to sleep in his bassinet for 2 days, but has now started waking up every hour again. My question is whether this could still be a sleep regression or if he has now developed a habit of waking (along the lines of learning object permanence). During a sleep regression, is it common to have these starts and stops? He has never embraced the travel swing we had but I’m starting to consider trying a full-sized swing because I’m running out of ideas. I would appreciate any input and advice. Thanks!

    • I would totally invest in a full-sized swing. Really refluxing babies do SO much better when they sleep at an angle. I’m pretty confident that is why he sleeps great when held but not in his bassinet. Either a swing or something like the nap nanny (which is simply a wedge with straps so baby doesn’t slide to the bottom). Personally I would give up on the bassinet or crib for now full stop.

      I can’t really tell you why he was up all night and now isn’t. Could have been reflux (drugs take a while to kick in then it takes a while for the irritation to heal), sleep regression, habit, or some other mysterious baby reasons (all babies are mysterious).

      But I think good sleep is definitely worth investing in a swing. How much would you pay to not be up every hour all night long for just one night? How much would pay to avoid this for the next 2 months?

  10. Hi Alexis,

    I have 6 month old identical twins. Up until about a week ago they were only waking once a night, usually around 3:30 (the odd night they were waking twice, and a couple times one or the other went from 7-7). Last night, however, they were up 4 or 5 times and tonight I put them down at 7 and they woke at 7:45 *screaming* … I did check n console and they fell asleep finally after about 45 minutes. It was terrible. I am dreading the rest of the night, and tomorrow when I have to take care of my twins and my toddler alone after getting very little sleep. I have given them a taste of solids each day over the past few days (once a day – one day avocado, one day banana)- could this be a contributing factor? They do not have a fever, gums look fine, eliminations are normal, they are breastfed. Naps are 9 a.m., 12ish or 1ish depending on how long the first nap is, and a variable third nap around 4ish depending on nap#2. Bedtime is anywhere from 6:15 if no third nap to 7:30 if it’s a late nap (but usually aim for 7). What do I do with these frequent night wakings? Feed? Check and console? CIO? Please help!

    • Have you read this?

      This sounds like a CLASSIC object permanence issue. I could be wrong but I wanted to respond to your comment right away because I’m 90% positive that this is what is going on (it’s a 3 part series you can read all of them but DEFINITELY check out #1).

      It’s not the avocado or banana. People jump to food but really – a SEVERE reaction to avocado? Highly unlikely.

      My guess is you are rocking, nursing, etc. to sleep or there is some other surprise in their environment (things on timers can mess you up). Read the article I linked to and let me know what you think.

      • Thanks so much for your quick reply!! You rock!

        I read the link you suggested – I really like the article and fully agree with the content (we are Ferber followers who Ferberized our toddler way-back-when and she’s a champion sleeper now). We aren’t rocking/nursing to sleep; I nurse, then story, then into the crib awake (for bedtime; no nursing before naps as whenever possible Daddy puts them down and I always feed them when they wake up during the day). There is a sound machine but it is on throughout the night and during naps. Sometimes they fall asleep during the night feed though (but not always) – could that be the problem?

        I can’t thank you enough for your input here!!

        • No I don’t think that having them fall asleep during the night feed is the issue. It sounds like you are doing all the right stuff. But it REALLY sounds like and object permanence issue. Waking up 45 minutes after bedtime screaming is a CLASSIC symptom.

          Is there anything else that could be causing a surprise? A nightlight on the timer? Pacifier falling out? Mobile that was moving but isn’t? If they were just waking up more at night you could write it off as the 6 month sleep regression (well it COULD be the 6 month sleep regression) but the 45 minute screaming thing just smells like object permanence.

          If it’s the sleep regression I would probably console them for ~1 week and then work back on check and console after things have passed. If there is some hidden cause of surprise then that’s the issue.

          I would love to know what you finally figure out. Hidden surprise? Things mysteriously get better in a week? If the latter = sleep regression.

          • Hello again!

            Nope, no mobile, no nightlight – just a fan that’s on all the time and a sound machine that’s on non-stop during sleep times. They had been down to just one feed, together, at around 3:30ish up until a few days ago. Just yesterday they developed really snotty noses so I’m wondering if they have been coming down with this cold for the past few days, and if congestion has been the culprit? Yesterday they were sleeping for very long naps after about a half-hour less of awake time; conversely it took them almost an hour to fall asleep at bedtime, which is very odd for them (they are usually out in a matter of minutes). One of the boys eventually passed out, and the other I had to pick up because he was *losing it*. Then they woke at 10:30. The other night they woke at 10:30 and we did check and console but they were showing no signs of stopping, so I fed them and they went right to sleep. Last night when they woke at 10:30 we figured it was from the congestion (they sound like buzz saws now) so we tried to calm them down and put them back down drowsy – major backfire. Finally one passed out at midnight and I ended up feeding the other one, who promptly fell asleep. Then they woke at 3 and I tandem fed them – they went right to sleep. Then every hour after that they woke briefly for about 10 minutes and fell asleep again on their own.

            I guess my question is what do I do at the 10:30 wake time? Is this a temporary feed? ARgh! My daughter was so easy! She just went from two feeds to one feed to no feeds by 7 months on her own with no regressions, and sickness was obvious and honestly very rarely affects her sleeping. These guys are kicking my butt!

            • Regression? Cold? Both? Who knows!

              If they are literally freaking out then I would feed them. If it’s a regression/growth spurt then they might literally be hungry! Wait a week and then try to gradually wean off the 10:30 feed again (shortened feedings, water down the formula). Because as you said, you don’t need to be adding new night feedings over the long haul.

              Twins are WAY harder. HUGE. Good luck!

  11. Hi Alexis,
    Just found your blog and am HOOKED! SO reassuring and informative! Anyway I have a question. Since reading a few of your posts I’m beginning to think that my 5 week old daughter is having a sleep regression (praying that’s what it is so that it will end eventually!). For the past 8 days she has totally changed from an amazing sleeper (huge day time naps and asleep for the night by 6, waking up twice for a feed and sleeping till 7-9am) to refusing day time sleeps at all costs and being SO hard to get to sleep for the night- sometimes taking 3 hours of holding/rocking/patting before she is asleep. Thankfully once she’s asleep for the night she is still sleeping soundly for 4-6 hour stretches and goes back to sleep easily after a feed. But the day time is killing me, I’m spending the whole day fighting her over sleep! She will go to sleep for about 20 mins and that’s it!
    So, back to the question, you mention that any longer than a week and you suspect that we’ve dallied into the sleep regression trap. If its been over a week of this so far and I’m in ‘the trap’ how do I get out of it??
    Any advise would be amazing!
    Ps. I’m buying a swing tomorrow after reading your blogs, can’t wait!

    • Well the swing is a great first step.

      Sometimes what happens is the sleep regression results in an overtired kid and as you know overtired kids don’t sleep well. So you get stuck in this vicious cycle of overtiredness.

      I would start with the swing during the day. That may solve the problem. If naps are still hard to come by do whatever you have to do (temporarily) to help her sleep during the day. Sleep ON you, car rides, baby wearing, etc. Not your ideal scenario but a means to circumvent a temporary setback. Does that suggest that for the next week you are driving about for 3 hours a day with a sleeping baby in the car? Perhaps.

      Obviously the swing is preferable (for you and the environment ๐Ÿ˜‰ but whatever will guarantee some sleep and break the cycle of tired baby is OK.

      • Thanks so much for your reply. I’m hanging out for the swing to arrive in the post, fingers crossed it will get here tomorrow. I’m spending most of the day sitting on the couch patting her to sleep and then just sitting with her on me for sometimes an hour before even attempting to put her down so I can be sure she’s had a decent sleep just incase she wakes up as soon as I put her down. Hopefully we will eventually overcome the over tiredness this way. I’m feeling so much better and a lot less stressed and confused since finding your blog so THANK YOU!

  12. *autocorrect- dallied = fallen!

  13. I just found your blog when trying to figure out what is going on with my 7 month old, and you have helped me a TON. My little boy has been sleeping 7pm-7am since 3 1/2 months old. He is a fairly structured schedule throughout the day (naps around 9, 12, and 3)- has never really napped WELL but he does nap. His naps are only about 30-45 minutes long usually- an hour max.

    Imagine my surprise when about 2 weeks ago, he woke up at 5:30am. I said okay, this stinks, but it’s just one day. Well, he has done it repeatedly since- waking between 5:30 and 6 every day. Since then, he has also had a few nights where he woke up more frequently in the night as well. Typically, in the night, he will go back to sleep with his pacifier. THEN- this morning was 4:45!!! I’ve tried EVERYTHING!!

    So thankful to learn about sleep regression. I knew nothing about I will wait it out (and pray!) that this ends soon!!!!


    • I hope that it is a sleep regression. Well that doesn’t sound right (I’m not wishing a sleep regression on you or anything). But you know what I mean, right?

      But you don’t mention how he falls asleep and you did mention paci use and that might be part of the issue too. Because while pacifiers are the bees knees for newborns, at a certain point they become your frenemy. Have you checked this out?

      This might explain why he’s waking up earlier. You’ll know for sure if things don’t get better or even (noooooo!) get worse.

      Also 45-1 hour naps aren’t really a problem per se. It might just be who he is. Or it could be the result of object permanence. Hard to say which is why I’m just throwing it out there as a possibility.

  14. Alexis- I have been reading your blog for awhile and thin you’re great! Love your Tough Mudder pic! My husband did it a year ago and he had a blast! :)

    My son is 17, going on 18 weeks now. I think he’s hit a 4 month sleep regression / wonder week…

    His naps have always been a challenge with me having to rock him to sleep every time. I try putting him sleepy but he just fusses and then cries uncontroleably to the point he can’t catch his breath- breaks my heart! Obviously I can’t do the CIO method…

    Usually I can get him to nap after rocking him 5-15 mins and can nap anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, usually I have one long afternoon nap which is the 2 hr one.

    The past few days it’s been so hard to get him to nap and when he does it takes me longer than usual to get him to nap and when he finally does fall asleep in my arms he screams / cries when I put him down. It’s like he’s more aware when I put him down in his crib where as before it was easier to lay him down without waking him. It’s been hard- in him & my arms! And when he does nap its only 10-30 minutes. Sometimes with him waking up crying after a few mins of napping. So total naps during the day has been about 3-4 naps ranging from 10-30 minutes.

    He also rarely sleeps through the night- he never really has. He eats every 3-4 hours. However the past few days he’s slept 5-7 hours before his first middle of the night feeding. So his bedtime is 9-930 (we have tried earlier bedtimes and he refuses…but that’s a while other story) and he wakes 2-3:30. Then after he nurses for about a hour he will fall back asleep fairly quickly. The past few days while his day naps have challenged me- the bedtime has as well. After I nurse him, my husband will give him a bottle (we supplement with 3-4 oz formula topper at bedtime), swaddle him and puts him down relaxed and he falls asleep on his own. Well, now my son will start crying in the middle of the bottle ( we burp him and wait assuming it was gas) but he still screams and cries after he’s 1/3 or 1/2 way done drinking from the bottle. Then my husband will take a few minutes to try and calm him down and swaddle him for bed and he’s usually still crying and finally falls asleep in his arms… he usually puts my son down awake and he will fall asleep but now that doesn’t fly.

    Overall my son is a happy and easy going guy but lately he’s been a bit fussier during the day and super talkative which is too cute!

    Any advice- is this a wonder week / sleep regression??

    • It definitely sounds like a sleep regression.

      If it were ME and I was struggling with 10 minute naps, I might play around with “desperate measures.” Like what you ask? Well what about car naps – drive around while he sleeps LONGER than 10 minutes? Have you tried the swing? If he likes being rocked to sleep he may like that too. Stroller walks?

      Am I misunderstanding you or are you saying he “nurses for ONE hour?” Like literally you are up for 1 hour for that feeding? If so I think you might want to consider talking to an IBCLC about that. Most babies will nurse for ~10 minutes a side. Any longer is just a trickle of milk or comfort nursing (no food). So either you are a human pacifier (which is fine, lots of Moms do this) or there is a supply issue (also fine, and potentially fixable).

      Regardless, I’m assuming you might like to get the night nursing done in 20 minutes so you also can go back to sleep yes?

      I don’t know why he’s screaming at the bottle. He doesn’t want it? Is protesting the taste of formula? If it continues I would be curious to know what he does if you offer him a few oz of expressed BM instead. But typically babies who are USED to a little extra formula don’t freak out about it.

      Overall I think you’re right – 4 month sleep regression. Sounds like a pretty rough one too. Hopefully you’re almost all done!

  15. Btw- sorry for the typos (stupid phone) and repetitiveness (sleep deprecation and up in the middle of the night…)

  16. Hi,

    How common is it for a 15 month old to have a sleep regression? My daughter has slept through the night (8:30 – 6:30 or 7)since about 8 weeks old (lucky me I know), and for the past few months has gone down no problem (no bottle and after a book and rocking for a few minutes I could lay her in the crib with her eyes open & walk out & she would go right down). We were on vacation last week but noticed she needed to be all the way out to not fuss. She was sleeping in a pack & play but still being pretty regular with naps & bed times. It was only an hour time difference. She got progressively more difficult to get to bed as the week went on but no extreme measures. Since we got home she has to be put all the way to sleep with rocking & even then she screams as soon as I lay her down. I tried to let her cry it out some but she was almost hyperventilating she got so worked up. She also woke up last night and had a lot of difficulty going back down. She has had a cold for about a week, but now is much better although sleep is worse. And she was eating like a horse last week. Am I foolishly hoping its just a growth spurt/sleep regression?!

    • I wouldn’t call you foolish, but maybe overly optimistic?

      I can’t 100% say that it’s NOT a sleep regression. But I don’t think so. A far more likely scenario is that this is PTSD – Post Travel Sleep Disruption.

      Unfortunately that means that this problem won’t likely miraculously disappear next week. This is REALLY common by the way. Travel is great because it keeps you sane and is really a healthy way of taking care of your own emotional needs. But generally kids sleep like crap and you end up establishing all these bad habits which then bite you in the arse when you get home.

      So last week you put her all the way down to sleep and this is her new normal. She’s having a difficult time falling back to sleep when she wakes because she’s freaked/disoriented because you were rocking her to sleep and then she woke up alone in her bed. This will continue (and generally get progressively worse) unless you tackle the issue of putting her down to sleep AT bedtime.

      I know this sucks. But it’s really really common.

      • Thanks for your help! I think that is exactly what is going on. She woke up last night but got herself right back down, so hopefully if I can just “start over” on the training to get her to go into the crib awake again, hopefully we will get back on track. WOW I really didn’t want to have to do it again, but I think it is time to start the CIO method again before it gets to be a more established habit. Thanks again!

      • Alexis,

        Do you have tips to avoid PTSD? I will bring familiar objects for the routine. At home we walk out while baby is wide awake. But what if baby just won’t settle in unfamiliar territory? Is it better to ensure baby sleeps on vaca by giving in, and dealing with PTSD later? I really hope my baby will surprise me and fuss no more than 10-15 min, but I’m wondering whether you have some tips in general?


        • I don’t have any major tips for you. Bring as much sleep soothing as you can – travel swings, white noise, lovey, swaddle. For older babies (who have outgrown those things) it can be rough. I wrote this about traveling with kids although it mostly pertains to older kids. I also sing the praises of stroller and car naps while traveling.

          If you are putting baby down awake at home you definitely want to stick with that on vacation. Until it’s midnight and you’re stuck with an exhausted non-sleeping baby in your hotel room in which case you should absolutely do whatever you need to do just to make it work ๐Ÿ˜›

  17. I LOVE this site it has been a life saver for us and two of my close friends with new babies! Thank you so much for your hard work. I just wanted you and your readers to know that you can buy a smart phone application for The Wonder Weeks for less than $2 and it gives you details regarding what milestones/leaps they are making at each interval.

    • Excellent tip – thanks for sharing!

      While we are an iPad house I am woefully ignorant of the cool apps for babies these days so I should probably take a rainy weekend and go see what the cool Moms are using on the app front ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. hi alexis – our 17th month old is going through a serious sleep regression. he was sleeping on his own fine for the last 9 months and all of the sudden in the last few weeks he’s waking up more at night and really resisting his crib. he starts crying when we say it’s time for sleep. his cries have been louder and longer than ever before – he even pauses and yells “mama!” which break my heart… we have tried check-in’s every 10 min and give up after 30 min or so. he used to resist coming to our bed but in the last 3 days he’s asking to come to our bed… i don’t want this to be the new routine. i need him to go back to his crib. i think we are having a cognitive leap, teething and separation anxiety all at once. is crying it out going to work – is it ok during all of these new milestones? i’m so tired and delirious i don’t know what to do. i just know i need to do something differently so that I don’t reinforce bad habits.

    • Anne,
      I think (yes?) I answered your question in email but just in case anybody else is reading this…

      My gut says this is behavioral vs. a sleep regression/growth spurt. Which doesn’t mean that there may be some developmental influence in there somewhere! Who knows?

      With older kids (it’s REALLY common to see this when kids turn 2 or when a new baby shows up) how you respond to night waking can determine how much of a problem night waking becomes. And depending on how astute your kid is – things can turn south REALLY quickly. I don’t know the history of all of this but kids will do what works.

      If “mama!” breaks your heart then you’ll go pick him up. Other heartbreaking things that older kids will try are:
      – I’m thirsty
      – Had a bad dream
      – Need more kisses
      – I feel sick

      You get the idea. I’m not saying that these can’t also be true! But if it happens constantly/frequently then your going in has rewarded bad behavior and now it’s the new “norm.” This was the unintended consequence of you gently trying to meet your child’s needs. Don’t feel bad – EVERYBODY does this at some point.

      Also I’m not a huge fan of check and console (going back every 10 minutes) because it’s also a form of intermittent reinforcement. And reinforcing a behavior intermittently is the quickest way to make sure that the behavior never ever goes away.

      If you don’t want him in your bed don’t bring him into your bed. Fullstop. Simply take it off the table. I know he is little but you can tell him that this is where Mommy sleeps and this is where HE sleeps. Tell him this a few times throughout the day. Point to where everybody sleeps – this is where doggy sleeps, this is where birds sleep, this is where YOU sleep.

      If he wakes up and you absolutely must go to him – make it 1 short visit (<2 minutes) where you reinforce the message. "I love you, I'm nearby, I can hear you, but I'm not coming back in. It's time for you to sleep. It's time for Mommy and Daddy to sleep. We love you baby. See you in the morning." Then you leave.

      When he learns that you mean what you say I think you'll see this stuff stop.

      • thanks Alexis. you are right! the only problem is me and getting the courage and strength to let him cry a few nights in order to get back on track. it’s so amazing how for many months we had a great sleeper and then “poof” a horrible sleeper who has dragged us quickly down the chute of bad habits (co-sleeping, patting, sitting in the room, you name it)… it just kills me to hear him cry but i know its for his own good and mine too. besides leaving the house, and showering, i need ways to distract myself…

  19. I think we are going through a sleep regression and I’m at a loss as to what to do. I so don’t want to go backwards with the rocking etc. Bub is now just over 4 months and from 3 months we had him getting himself to sleep for two hours, if he woke he’d resettle. Night time sleeps have been fantastic down at 7pm waking anywhere from 1130-130am for a feed then back down until 630-7am. The last two weeks he goes down okay for his day sleeps but wakes at the 45 minute mark and on an off screams for the remainder of the 2 hours. If I go in to re-settle it doesn’t help. I don’t want to go back to picking him up and rocking etc but I’ve noticed the last two nights he’s been waking around 8 and I’ve had to pick him up to resettle.
    Do I just go with it for a couple of weeks and let him sleep on us just to get him some sleep? How do you know when you you should start back down the path of having him resettle himself? Help!!

    • Catherine,
      I’m not sure if I’m understanding what you are talking about when you see “on and off screams for 2 hours.” Are you saying you leave him in there for 2 hours because that is what his previous nap duration was?

      Personally post-nap once baby is screaming, that nap is done. Even if it was a short nap. Sometimes you might get lucky and be able to settle him back down with a back rub or some patting. But generally once a baby has slept 30-45 minutes and is now REALLY upset, nap is all done. CIO in that instance doesn’t really accomplish anything.

      Also at 4 months I wouldn’t sweat resettling at 8 pm if that is all that it takes to keep the night going smoothly. The 4 month regression is often one of the toughest and plenty of people would LOVE to have their 4 month old baby only need a bit of rocking at 8:00 pm ๐Ÿ˜‰

      So generally I would say – yeah, give him some extra soothing to resettle, pick him up when he wakes up after a 45 minute nap, and work on getting things back on track in a week or so when he’s over this.

  20. Hi

    Please please tell me this is a sleep regression! Otherwise I don’t know what to do! Lo is 16 wks tomorrow and has been fab-settles himself in his crib for naps and bedtime-naps classic 45 min but can be resettled sometimes goes thru the 45 for a full 2hrs! And wakes once a night was 4am now more like 2am (he’s a big lad I think he needs more!) this wk Sunday night he screamed every 1.5 hrs-not really awake but crying/sobbing v upset, mon normal, tues again with screaming sobbing all night, weds normal, thurs awful again-I got one hours sleep-I swaddled paci and put him in vibrating chair but didn’t help! Tonight he’s still not settled keeps screaming/sobbing! I’m a gibbering wreak!
    He’s a lil snotty (tiny weeny bit)
    Please help!!!

    • Tell me more about the screaming? So you put him in bed and he wakes up every 1 hour all night long screaming. Does anything help soothe him? Is he hungry? How long does the screaming go on until he falls back to sleep and how do you GET him to go back to sleep?

      This could be a regression. It could be other things too. Typically regression = short naps, crappy nights, and lots more eating than is the norm. Screaming constantly could fit into that umbrella but I wouldn’t say it’s typical.

      • I think he’s been fighting a bug or something as his glands are up and has been coughing sneezing etc! His naps are still fine goes down awake in crib, mobile on and leave and he sends himself off. Had better night last night-moved onto four hourly feeds and he went down awake (which he hadn’t done for couple days as soooo tired with not sleeping!) and heard nothing from him till 2:30 :-) the screaming was odd (please let it be done) all of a sudden about an hour after going down he’d cry-a real hard high pitched cry-we tried paci, patting, rocking, vibrating chair etc etc, he settles mostly in his cot but these nights he had to be held and rocked for a while before settling then I’d put him down but he’d often scream and going down-which hadn’t happened before! Praying it’s done! X

      • Hi
        He was definitely poorly! Think we’re in it now tho! As our naps have gone from two two hour naps to waking after 30/40mins, won’t resettle unless in my arms (he’s here now!) and grouchy! No happy may play! And v hungry-so far night time has been ok but waking early! Sound like a regression? Xx

        • Screaming? Not so much like a regression.

          The frequent feeding and difficult to soothe part? Sounds like a regression.

          So hopefully the screaming was because he was sick, you weathered that and NOW he’s having a sleep regression. So….yay?

          • He is totally confusing me! After I wrote this he started sleeing through! 7-5ish did ten nights! Then three nights ago naps went crappy again and he’s waking in the night-isn’t hungry, just waking restless thrashing about-took 50mina to settle him last night :-( he is breaking free of his swaddle and managed to get it over his face :-( this am so I’m thinking for safety sake we’re done with it! Also he’s in his Moses basket in our room still-he’s too big for it now-do you think that could be disturbing him or us maybe? So gutted the night wakings are back-they seem so random-any thoughts??? Thank you so much for your time xxx

    • Hi Sarah!
      I’m sure Alexis will reply to your post, but I wanted to share my story. Yes, I think this is a sleep regression. Yes, it will get better. I had a similar post a few weeks ago when my little one was 15-16 weeks old! We had a rough 2 weeks. It started with LO waking up more frequently. Then, we had a few nights where he would wake up every hour or two. The only way I could get him to sleep was to nurse him. (I never nursed him to sleep before this sleep regression.) Then, when I went to put him down, he would scream. It was awful. I spent a few nights sleeping upright with LO camped out on my boob. It was the only way we could both get any sleep. This was the worst of it and just when I thought I would die if it continued, it slowly reversed. For my LO, this sleep regression lasted about 2 weeks total. The good news? After that, it has been a wonderful stretch! We are down to 1 feeding a night, he goes down without crying for all naps and bedtime and it is amazing! I say hold on and do what you have to do to get through it. Each night, try to go back to what was “normal”. When the regression is done, your LO should go back to the way it was. Just know that it will get better…at least until the next sleep regression!

      • Jennifer,
        Your post has given me hope! My lo is 4 months old. 4 nights ago he started waking every hour fussing and the only way I can console him and get him back down is by nursing. Prior to this he was sleeping for a 5 hour stretch at the beginning of the night and then up every 2-3 hours after that. I would give anything to get back to that routine! Now he is grumpy, fights naps, and is up 6-7 times at night. I am struggling with trying not to introduce “bad habits” versus doing whatever works (which is nursing to soothe at night, and naps in the swing during the day). I feel like I’m losing it! I’m hoping it really is sleep regression and that this is all temporary.

        • Hey Joni, not sure if ours was regression or what but we’ve had two nights back to normal now! :-) so had 6days of rubbish-shorter naps up a lot at night and moody bum baby and now 48hrs of happier baby! So hang on in there-we did what we needed to get him to sleep x

      • Yes it DOES get better!

        I think the key takeaway is that babies are not linear. They do not get gradually easier in a nice predictable step-wise fashion. Things will blow up on you. They’ll go from STTN to needing to eat at night (sleep regressions are also known as growth spurts because they’ll legitimately need more food).

        Which can be really frustrating because you think you’re making headway then WHAMMO!

        The good news? It’s temporary and there is no problem that can’t be fixed. Thanks for sharing your words of hope :)

  21. Dear Alexis
    So where do I start!! It is a wonderful wonderful website you have here, and I cant get enough of it. Well literally because my DS who is completing 5 months this 27th of July has been napping/ sleeping crappily for over a month now. From what I read, it looks like I have let the regression become the norm.

    Well heres the issue – please do enlighten me, any help/inputs is much appreciated!

    I had to deal with OALD (overactive letdown, aka milk flowing too fast) since day 1 – this led to lo constantly feeding and this kinda set a vicious cycle. He ends up getting a HUGE chunk of foremilk and will wake up gassy and feed some more, and then a HUGER poop! Finally after some intense research and weeks of block feeding around 2 months he started sleeping well – he used to take 2/3 naps about 1-3 hours. And used to go to bed at 7 PM, and wake up every 5 hours to feed, he was a generally happy baby. Around 15-16 weeks he started waking at odd hours in the night, and started feeding. I did think this was a growth spurt as he had just learnt to roll over. The problem is he continues to wake up odd hours in the night (sometimes every 45 mins, sometimes 1.5 hrs and so on) and naps only for 45 mins – which would have been ok, but he is terribly cranky and clingy when he wakes up. I mean – after 15 mins of waking up from a nap, he yawns, rubs his eyes and wants to be held ALL the time. He does not go down into his next nap without a fight or a feed. Feeding is the next issue – cos he has to deal with OALD and all the gassiness associated with it.
    To sum up – he goes to sleep between 7 – 7 45 PM every night, will wake up in 45 mins and I feed him to sleep. He wakes up every 3 hrs after that and has little trouble going to sleep. Some nights he wakes up every 45 mins to 2 hrs, and is awake by 6 AM. Gets cranky by 6 30 AM and sleeps by 8/8 30 AM – wakes up in 45 mins , again cranky. Sleeps by 11 – 11 30 AM and is up in 30-45 mins, goes to sleep in another 2 hours and is up in 45… you get the idea right?

    Can you pls help me in understanding what the issue might possibly be..!

    • I’m thinking this:

      I know when you have nursing struggles everything starts to look like a nursing struggle. (My kids had reflux so every time sleep went crappy or they had a huge tantrum I was like – IT’S THE REFLUX!)

      But I’m wondering if this is not more of an object permanence struggle? The “doesn’t want to go into his next nap without a fight or a feed” jumps out at me as object permanence/nursing sleep association. Also the waking at odd hours and being cranky and clingy when he wakes up. So I’m pretty confident that I’m on the right track there….

  22. Hello Alexis,

    I wonder if what my LO is going through is sleep regression or another mysterious baby thing. Just 2 days before his half-birthday he started waking up at 3am for the day (before he slept 7pm-6am, with two feeds, now he sleeps well, goes back to sleep after 1st feed, but does not go back to sleep after second feed). He wakes up happy and wanting to play! And I can’t possibly be mad with him when he is staring lovingly at me with a wide open smile, in the middle of the night!

    He is not compensating with day naps, they are crappy as usual: 3×30-45mins. So in total he is completely sleep deprived, but looking absolutely normal and full of life during the day.

    This does not completely fit your description of a sleep regression. So what could it be if not it? Any advice on how to handle this?

    Thank you so much!

    • What happens when he wants to play in the middle of the night? How are you responding?

      It could be a regression or it could be bad habit. I mean of course he would rather play with you than sleep in a dark room! Personally I’m a bit of a pisser at 3:00 am and just. don’t. play.

      At 6 months I would go in and offer a feed, if that’s what he’s used to. Then I would use my words to tell him I love him, it’s time to sleep, maybe a bit of soothing rocking or whatever you do. Then I would put him down and leave.

      Which yes would probably involve some crying for a few nights. But I’m a beast at 3:00 am because I want to sleep then. Like REALLY want to sleep then. So that’s probably what I would lean towards :(

      • Thank you Alexis, you make me feel better as always. The trauma of the last 6 months makes me feel like i have no rights for a good night’s sleep once i became a mom…

        Normally when he starts being noisy at 3am i nurse. At this point he falls asleep but wakes up again in 10-15 mins and just does not want to sleep any more (and he is complaining too loudly so I can’t just ignore him…)

        So i take him from his crib and into a big bed in his room (in a safe manner) and try to calm him down (shushing, holding his flailing hands etc). I pass out several times, so don’t know what exactly happens then, but I think he sleeps a little too.

        Do you think I encourage his behaviour by this partial co-sleeping? I know it’s a very short-term solution, but this way I could get at least a little bit of sleep. But you are right, this can’t go on. I need to let him cry, even if it means i don’t get any sleep for a few nights…

  23. this sounds just like what we are going thru. my dd is 15 weeks old and for a week now bedtime has been a nightmare. she takes FOREVER to go to sleep. every.time.we.put.her.down.she.wakes.up! argh. lol she wakes crying and this goes on from 7:30-11:00. i go back to work on monday and would love to go to bed before 11. lol she used to wake up maybe once at night, but now at least twice. i am ok with the midnight feeds because she goes back to sleep, but i don’t know how to get her to go down initially. she used to take her paci and is refusing it (about 2 weeks now). we are all sooooo tired. lol

    • Why are you laughing out loud? I think I would be crying by now.

      Well it’s probably a good thing that she’s done with the paci as you would need to ditch it in the next few months or so anyway.

      Maybe you temporarily accept the late bedtime. Do lots of soothing and try to gradually move it forward (10:45, 10:30) – long warm bath, infant massage, feed, books, songs, etc. See if you can inch it back to where it was.

      Hopefully this is temporary and often when a sleep regression breaks it’s relatively sudden – BANG – everything back to normal. So you could be surprised and all will be OK by the time you go back to work. Fingers crossed!

  24. Hi Alexis!
    I just discovered your website through a google search I did for “3 month sleep regression” – what a great find! I’m hoping you can help me with a problem I’m having with my baby girl.

    (apologies in advance this is a novel)

    My little one has always been very alert and we had a lot of trouble getting her to sleep for the first 6 weeks (she was EXTREMELY overtired, most of which was my fault – I mistook her overtiredness to mean that she was alert and wanted to play! First time mom, can’t ya tell? ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

    I read a few sleep books and after a week of getting her to nap whenever/wherever we finally started on the right path to daytime naps and night time sleep. From about week 7 she was taking 3-4 naps a day, ranging from 45mins – 2 hrs. Sometimes naps were a struggle but more often than not she would go to sleep after a few minutes of rocking/lullabies, maybe a few minutes of crying, usually with a pacifier and white noise (though not always). I would leave her in her crib half awake and it worked great. If I missed this golden time to get her down for a nap she became overtired very easily and thats when getting her to nap was harder. During this time we also started putting her to bed between 6-7pm (previously was around 9) and she would sleep until 3-4am, feed, and then sleep until 7ish. It was glorious. I always complained about nap time problems but I knew to appreciate her awesome night time sleep pattern. During the day she was eating every 3-4 hours depending on how long her naps were, averaging 5-6 meals a day (I am breastfeeding).

    Well, that has all changed. The day after she turned 11 weeks old the problems started. We came back from vacation that day and she woke up twice that night instead of once (woke up about 1am and 4am). I thought it was because we were back from vacation and didn’t think much of it. The next night she slept for about 5 hours then was up every 2 hours crying really hard wanting to eat. I figured she was going through a growth spurt and, again, didnt think much of it. The frequent feedings lasted through the next day and then that night she woke up twice to eat. Ever since then (6 additional nights) she has woken up 2x a night, except for one night she went back to her old sleep times (slept from 8-5, ate, slept 530-730), I thought we were in the clear after that night! I assume that she is waking up because she is hungry so I feed her both times. Her AM wake up is now earlier as well, ranging from 6-630 instead of 7am.

    In addition to the more frequent night wakings she has started to fight going to sleep a lot more. At it’s worse it takes me 1.5-2 hours to get her to go to sleep (meaning she doesnt get to sleep until 830-9 instead of 630-7) – there is often a lot of crying (sometimes inconsolable), lots of “talking” (she loves to “talk” when she is overtired). Naps are tough too, sometimes it takes me so long to try and get her down for a nap that it is time for her to eat again and she still hasn’t gone to sleep (effectively missing that nap).

    Some more changes that have happened during this time: she has started to grunt really loudly and frequently when I am trying to get her to sleep. In addition to grunting she pushes away/fights her swaddle. Even when she isn’t swaddled she still starts to grunt a lot. I thought maybe it was gas/bowel movement but often times the grunts dont lead to either of these things. She also started HATING the pacifier. She has constantly tried to suck her hand/fingers since birth but can never get a good grip so we started using the pacifier at 2 weeks. Sometimes she needs it to go to sleep, sometimes she doesn’t. But recently she has started screaming when I try to put it in (sometimes I just know when she needs it to help self soothe). Also she has started to fight the swaddle. She is CONSTANTLY trying to get her fingers in her mouth (with lots of drool to boot) and has her hands near her face all the time, which I think is leading to frustration since she cant get a good suction on them…either that or shes teething early :( she moves around like crazy when she sleeps so I dont think shes ready to be without a swaddle yet (she cant get to sleep w/o it).

    I thought it was a growth spurt but now that its lasted more than a week Im afraid Im creating a new habit by feeding her when she wakes up 2x at night. I tried consoling her and putting the pacifier back in but she just cries/grunts louder.

    I have kept her bedtime routine the same as much as I can, because Im hoping its just a temporary thing…what do you think?

    THANK YOU!! :)


    • Tracy – you literally just described my son in a nut shell, and the reason I’m on this site today, as well! He will be 11 weeks tomorrow, and his sleep has just been all over the place lately (basically exactly what you described – down to the pacifier refusal). I’ve been wanted to stop the swaddle because he’s started moving around like crazy in his sleep and I’m afraid he’ll get himself into a spot that he can’t get out of in the middle of the night, but it seems like his sleep is so erratic, now is not the time to try that. So instead of risking him turning over in his crib swaddled (we had just started transitioning to the crib) we have him back in his little infant rocker to keep him in one place. He is still sleeping for a good chunk of time at night (we try to put him down at 7 and he may make it past 12) but then we’re up again around 3-4, and then again by 6-7, but he still seems tired after eating during that morning hour, but I can’t get him to go back down for longer than 30 minutes until the afternoon, and after LOTS of fussing. Today it was 1.5 hrs of crying until I changed, fed him, and started all over again. Forget trying to put him down when I see the first yawn – it’s like he knows it’s coming when we get to his bedroom and he starts crying as I’m swaddling him. But he won’t go down unswaddled either. What a mess! I’m very interested to hear the response…

      • Oh man I’m sorry to hear you’re having the same problem! But I am a little glad to hear I’m not the only one ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I was able to get her to take the pacifier yesterday (thank god!!) which helped a little but her naps were really short and she still took forever to get to sleep at night. She keeps waking up after 30-45 minutes crying. I usually put the pacifier back in and soothe her (w/o picking her up) and she is back to sleep in 5 minutes. Last night that happened 3 times! And she was up a record three times last night and wanted to play after her 430am wake up!

        I think its a combination of a growth spurt last week and now shes really overtired since she misses a little more sleep each night. I am going to try and put her down to sleep really early tonight and see if that helps. Im hoping naps today are easier – otherwise its just a vicious cycle! I’m hoping Alexis has some good advise for us :)

      • Taylor,
        Can you see my response to Ms. Cupcake below? Same advice applies (generally speaking). Don’t stop the swaddle! Use LOUD white noise and a DARK room. 3 months is a bit early to be in his crib so I’m not at all surprised he’s not sleeping well. Also I wouldn’t be overly concerned about your 11 week old flipping or getting stuck in the swaddle (if you’re concerned I would invest in a night vision monitor before ditching the swaddle).

        Also if you’re trying to put him down at first yawn you’re already too late. This may help give you some ideas about how long:

        It sounds like you’re waiting too long to put him down for naps and now he’s overtired which makes it REALLY hard. Don’t feel bad – everybody does this! But basically when you see any sign of fatigue you’ve missed your window :(

        Also most newborns don’t nap well in a crib so even if he’s in there at night I would put him back in the rocker for naps – I think you’ll have better luck there.

        Good luck!

        • I’m glad I completely forgot about this post and talked with a family member who’s a doctor and mom, and also our pediatrician before coming back to see your reply. Both said by 3 months my son should be in his crib, and he WAS flipping by 12 weeks, so we HAD to break the swaddle. We did one night of Ferber with his arms out of the swaddle and he hasn’t been swaddled to sleep since, and sleeps nice long stretches. I was told if I kept him sleeping in his infant rocker at this age, it could adversely effect his development, as babies are supposed to move in their sleep to reach milestones (if they’ve gotten to the point where they’re too mobile to be swaddled, which he is). As for the 30 minute naps, we’re still working on them, but if I put him down before I noticed any sign of being tired, with the 30 minute naps, my entire day would be spent feeding and just trying to get him back to sleep, since the first yawn comes about 1.5 hrs after he’s been up (and a lot of that is nursing time). At this age, I think he also needs time to play. So we’re working it out on our own!

    • Is there a big 3 month regression? Well not typically but babies are not robots – things don’t always happen on schedule.

      To be honest however, what jumped out at me was this line: “We came back from vacation that day …”

      Vacations are NOTORIOUS for throwing things totally off kilter. There was probably a ton of distraction – she may have ate slightly less than usual. You’re in a strange environment – naps, schedule, and sleep in general wasn’t as easy as at home. You had to fall back on other tricks (nurse to sleep or what have you) just to ensure she slept at all. Even so she probably didn’t sleep as many hours per day as normal. So….

      You come back from vacation with a baby who is now slightly hungrier than normal, sleep deprived, and who once had a very clear idea of how and when sleep happened but that’s been shaken not stirred.

      Also overtired babies sleep like crap which creates this whole cycle of desperate sleep deprivation which only gets worse until it’s spinning out of control. I’m not saying this is YOUR problem per se but it very well could be.

      Now she’s overtired which means she’s so tired she’s inconsolable, having a hard time falling asleep, which as you said, in itself leads to missed naps which makes her even MORE tired.

      I would keep swaddling her. Swaddling isn’t the solution but it’s the basis for the solution. Karp suggests minimum of 4 months for swaddling to sleep and I’m on board with that.

      She could be teething early but you would see large red painful looking lumps in there and if so, she should respond pretty well to tylenol and such.

      I would give her MORE soothing – swaddle, dark room, loud white noise. If needed pull out that swing. I don’t think the paci is helping you so probably wouldn’t push it (unless you think it IS helping in which case have at it).

      I would shorten the amount of time between naps by 15-20 minutes because I DO think she’s overtired. You can probably slide this back to whatever “normal” was once she’s caught up.

      I would also try to tank her up on food during the day. Offer food more often than usual to see if you can’t help her “catch up” and thus go back to waking 1X a night. Although to be honest I’m not totally horrified by 2X (because that’s pretty standard at 3 months, even if she used to get by with 1).

      The grunting doesn’t bother me too much. Ask your pediatrician if they have any concerns but lots of babies grunt a TON (they’re really really noisy) so without evidence that there is a problem I’m tempted to give it a shrug.

      Also not too concerned about dropping 30 minutes on the wakeup time. If she’s sleeping from 7:00 – 6:00 she’s doing great at night (11 hours is the gold standard) so while it may seem like a bummer to you (I don’t like getting up at 6:00 either!) it doesn’t strike me as a “problem.”

    • Hi Tracy (and Taylor),

      I’m not sure you are still monitoring responses to your posts, but I wanted to write, because my 11-week-old baby girl has been exhibiting the EXACT same behavior during the last few days that you were describing. We had a rough beginning for the first six weeks or so (bad reflux, a bladder infection, nursing problems, etc.), but around 6-7 weeks, my daughter became a relatively “easy” baby. She would only cry if she was tired, and once we figured that out, we put her on a nap schedule that had her sleeping 2-3.5 hours midmorning and early afternoon and another 1-2 hours in the late afternoon before sleeping 5-6h plus another 2-3 hours at night with a feeding in between).

      A few days ago, she started fighting the swaddle like crazy. Sometimes I can’t get her swaddled at all, because she fights so hard and sometimes she simply “houdinis” her way out of it within minutes. She still takes a 1.5-2 hour nap in the am, but the afternoons are absolutely miserable. I get her to nap 30-40 minutes at best and it usually takes a long time, sometimes 2-3 hours.

      (Alexis, I really, really appreciate your advice and I agree with your comment to another reader that she’s probably overtired, but I can’t seem to figure out when exactly to put her to sleep. She doesn’t really show any obvious signs of being tired, so it’s hard to know when it’s too late already. I’ve tried putting her to sleep anywhere from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours after she first wakes up, but she still won’t nap half the time and only naps for a short time the other half. Watching her, I noticed that she often wakes herself up by flailing her arms and legs and she can’t go back to sleep on her own. I haven’t really started experimenting with the whole “going to sleep on her own” thing, because I thought she was too young for that. I typically soothe her until she falls asleep, primarily with shhhh-ing, white noise, and occasionally nursing (I never wanted her to become dependent on that, but sometimes it’s the only thing that calms her down enough). Could this be a developmental stage???? She has been changing a lot in the last couple of weeks, i.e. being more mobile, alert, and interested in everything that goes on around her.

      Sorry for posting much the same thing that others have already posted. I don’t want you to have to beat a dead horse, but I’m a bit desperate for other people’s experiences around the 3-month mark, especially since my daughter really hadn’t had any problems taking long naps before…


  25. 5 wk old daughter takes at night almost 2 hrs to fall asleep after bottle. Is this the witching hour? She sleeps in swing and takes naps in it as well as per your fantastic advice. She fights and fights but once she calms down we put her in swing and she sleeps really well. Why at night like this? Bottle is at 8 usually after warm bath. She is swaddled and paci if she wants it. She isnt crying just fusses and squirms. Should i be putting her in swing while still sleepy and not totally asleep or is it too early and we will be in her room getting her every 20 min because she wasnt fully asleep? Also her swing is on high. She likes it like that is that ok or should it be lower

    • Is that the witching hour? Probably. These things can be hard to suss out with newborns. If she JUST. CANT. SLEEP. then yeah – it’s probably the witching hour.

      Most newborns have a pretty late bedtime (see post linked below) so I’m not surprised that she’s not actually going to bed till closer to 10:00pm. Also it might be better, for now, to accept that and do your wonderful bedtime routine closer to 10:00pm.

      You can try putting her in the swing “sleepy and awake” because she may be able to handle it. If not, don’t beat yourself up (she’s only itty bitty). But it’s a good thing to start practicing here and there.

      Most newborns like the swing on high. Eventually she won’t need as much motion and you’ll be able to dial down the swing. Now and then try putting the swing on a lower speed. If she continues to sleep great then you know she’s ready. If not, back up on high. Then try again in a week or so.

      Good luck with everything!

  26. Hi Alexis,
    Excellent, excellent site! It has definitely saved my sanity!
    I’m not sure if this is a question or a need of reassurance, but things have gone hay-wire with my four month old (as of yesterday).
    Up until about a month ago, my son’s sleeping and eating schedule was on a nice three to four hour rotation, with a eating, awake, sleep pattern. He would have two 2 hour naps and 2 45min naps in that order and then be in bed between 9 and 10. He would only wake once at about 3 to eat and be up between 7 and 8. (NB I was able to get this figured out only after I read your website and printed the sleep chart. Thank you again!)
    Now, things are totally messed up.
    On Aug 3-6 we went to my parent’s cottage which went well. The day after we got home (Tuesday), our then three month old became very sick. He ended up in the hospital and we didn’t get home until the following Thursday (over a week later :-( ). His sleep and eating schedule were completely messed up, which was understandable. We were then home for five days where things did not get much better. Then we left on a previously planned vacation to the Netherlands and have been here a week. His sleeping and eating are still as messed up as when he was in the hospital and he is getting up 2-4 times a night. Let’s just say that this vacation is more stressful than being at home!
    So I guess my question (need for reassurance) is, have I ended up with an awful new normal or will things go back to being more predictable once we are back home? Is there something I can do now to make the remainder of our vacation a little less stressful? We don’t have access to a swing so that potential sleep aid isn’t going to work.
    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give!

    • I thought I’d update since we are heading home tomorrow and I’m still hoping things will get better.
      I must say that reading others’ posts about their four month olds is somewhat comforting, knowing I’m not the only one with a baby who has completely changed their sleep habits.
      So we are heading home tomorrow after an almost three weeks in the Netherlands. Things have become a bit more routine so that my 4 1/2 month old has been taking three 30-45 min naps and has been going to bed between 8-9pm and waking up 2-3 times to eat before getting up between 8-9am. So i survived our vacation although it hasn’t exactly been restful.
      Unfortunately we have a VERY long day tomorrow to get back to Canada and then our little one needs to re-adjust to being home again after being away for so long, and to make our sleep matters worse, we have our four month vaccines on Thursday. Lovely. So after dealing with messed up sleep for over a month now, I get the feeling our sleep issues aren’t going to go away anytime soon.
      ok, i’m done venting. I think the most frustrating part is that I know he can go at least 7 hours at night as he was doing that before all the craziness started.
      I suppose all I can do is hold onto the hope that things will get better eventually.

      • Marina,

        For most people, major travel with a newborn would be, all by itself, a HUGE source of stress and sleep disruption. Because let’s face it – travel mucks with sleep. Schedules are all thrown off. You don’t have all the neat bits and bobs you do at home (you mentioned lack of swing). Air travel is a horror show. So you gets stressed and over-tired so you get home and find your baby has regressed back to newborn sleep patterns.

        But you added a special-super-olympian challenge by having a pretty serious medical problem (one WEEK in the hospital?!?!) to the mix. And whatever issue resulted in you guys having to spend a week in the hospital (so sorry by the way cuz that must have been a scary/stressful/horror show) could also be contributing to what is going on.

        What do you do? Your “now we’re home” homework is to be super diligent about sleep (no blowing off naps for playdates – not right now anyway) and give him TONS of soothing. Helping him sleep is your new full-time job. Because the only way OUT of this mess is to help him sleep MORE. Does that make sense?

        I hope everybody is OK and that the hospital nightmare was a once-and-done thing. Don’t sweat about the 7 hour stretch at night – it WILL come. This IS a temporary setback. Stick to your homework and it’ll get better. Promise :)

        • Thank you, thank you, thank you for responding!
          I will definitely work on more sleep and be super diligent about naps and bedtime.
          A huge thank you again!
          I have to go get cracking on my homework :-) Munchkin is being a cranky pants so it’s time for some sleep.
          ps he was diagnosed with meningitis so while the week in hospital MAJORLY sucked, he received treatment and is doing much better and has been healthy (aside from a cold) ever since :-) Hopefully I never have to go through that again!

  27. Hi Alexis,
    Help! I’ve been battling my first baby’s sleep issues for a little over a week now. He used to be an excellent model sleeper until 2 days before he turned 6 weeks old with 1-2 hour naps swaddled and anywhere you put him, and sleeping 7-9 hours at night with only 1 quick feeding in the middle somewhere and falling back asleep immediately without having to rock him. We would go to bed at 10-11. This Tuesday he’ll be 7 weeks. He’s my chubby chipmunk weighing 8/13 at birth and now a whopping 13/12. He is formula fed because literally/medically I can not produce milk. It was like changes began overnight.


    His naps are only 25-35 minutes long, never more, and he refuses to sleep for 1-2 hours in between naps which is fine and normal but not when he’s not sleeping well. When he naps he must be rocked and jiggled for at least 15 minutes. I read your short naps blog. Yes I have a swing, after reading your blog I even exchanged the swing I had thinking he just might not have liked the one I had….I even got a Mamaroo hoping he liked the different motion. Now he sometimes likes the swing. He’s obviously tired all day rubbing his face crying yawning sneezing. He now fights the swaddle with all his might and wake himself more from a good sleepy state trying to Houdini himself out. In general, many times he will be sleeping and wake up as if someone slapped him in the face crying, and he won’t necessarily open his eyes and will leave them shut until he feels like it. He also starts his bedtime like that with me trying to get him back to sleep several times until the next feeding or often until 2 or 3 am more or less with a inconsolable crying fit for a few minutes (I’m sure my neighbors love me) and then he will sleep until 7am usually and that’s all he sleeps overnight. His first nap is sometimes longer to compensate but after that it’s back to his new regimen not by my decision of course.

    After reading your sleep regression blog and from general knowledge I was hoping this is a 6 week growth spurt. Each night from 7pm-1am he was eating more than normal but that is subsiding but the sleep issues aren’t. I may have started a bad habit by putting him in bed with me when it hits the wee hours in desperation but interestingly it almost looks like he’s smiling when I do it and he’ll sometimes sleep for 5-6 hour stretches that way. During the day he’s in his crib but at night he’s in my room in a pack n play. My poor husband and I sleep separately now so he can sleep enough to be sane at work after he commutes for 1.25 hours each way.

    I have a white noise machine, have tried different swaddle cloths, have tried a lullaby CD, darkened/lightened the room appropriately, tried car rides in addition to the above. I’ve even tried running to him at the start of any crying hoping to console him to extend his sleep.

    Help! and thank you in advance.

    • Ive also started his bedtime regimen earlier and give him a bath each night to see if that will help, but nope!

    • I have progress in the past 10 days!!!

      First: I relaxed. I’m sure he could feel my anxiety.
      Second: I said screw worrying about the co-sleep and get on with sleep, period.
      Third: I bought a Nap Nanny Chill sleeper thing because he has bad reflux and also it would prevent me from smashing him while sleeping. Before he came I thought who in the world would spend that much on a piece of foam and a cover???? I did. He sleeps in it all the time now.

      He naturally started sleeping better at night and now he is down by 10-10:30 but wakes up every 30 min until about midnight-ish and then he sleeps until 4am-ish to feed then wakes up at 7:30ish.

      Naps are still bad. 30 minutes. Still cranky (but not as bad since sleeping better at night) and still yawning all the time. I know the crankiness is due to sleep because one day my husband and I had to go to San Diego and he slept so much that day in the car, that evening and the next morning/afternoon he was the happiest baby in the world. Swing is still hit or miss. Sometimes I can get him to sleep more if I do the shush pat, but will I ever get to not do the shush pat? Will I ever get the awesome sleeping before this horrid wonder week/growth spurt/sleep regression?

      I heard that some babies generally can’t nap past 30 minutes until they get a little older….. Is this true?

      Suggestions with this instead of the original post please!!!!

      • Are some babies short nappers because consolidated naps are a developmental milestone? Yes. But I doubt that is what you are looking at.

        If he slept like a champion in the car then the answer is he definitely CAN sleep, just under the right conditions.

        Few things to consider:
        – 6 weeks is the WORST. This is NOT the time to be sweating sleep, this is the time to “do whatever works for you!” Fussiness peaks and sleep is not happening for anybody at 6 weeks.

        – It get’s gradually better so your 10 day update could simply be, “We made it over the hump!”

        – Your baby has reflux so none of the “regular baby” rules apply to you. Sorry about that.

        But back to the “he slept just fine in the car” part – I think therin lies your answer. I would REALLY stick with the swing (nap nanny is cool but the swing is better). Forget the lullaby CD. You want LOUD white noise, ALWAYS swaddle, and swing on HIGH speed. AT 6 weeks FORGET “put down awake” and just focus on “put down asleep” for now. Especially with a refluxie kid the whole “put down awake” thing is going to be an extra challenge so for the next 3-4 weeks, just help him master the “fall asleep and STAY asleep” part.

        Basically you want to recreate the car experience as much as possible. 50 db white noise. Swing on full speed. Always swaddled to sleep. Offer a paci if he’ll take it. And probably 2 hours awake is too long so I would lean towards closer to 1-1.5 tops.

        Also it’s hard to figure out what works/doesn’t work with newborns because they’re so variable. So you don’t want to jump to conclusions too quickly. Give the setup I’m suggesting a good 3-4 day run before you decide he’s not into the swing.

        Why? Because your car ride experience would suggest otherwise.

        Good luck fellow reflux Mom!

  28. I’m hoping what we’re going thru is sleep regression, but it may be vacation regression. My 4 1/2 month old was sleeping great at night (some nights 7-5:30, nurse and sleep til 7). We did CIO recently which went pretty smoothly. Then went out of town for a weekend where she fell asleep in car or in our arms. She will not go to sleep without help now. Two hrs crying last night I finally gave up, rocked her to sleep. When she woke 3hrs later brought her to bed where she woke every 2hrs. I’d blame it all on vacation but even the end of last week she fought naps and went many hours between them, and required a stroller. She’s never been a good napper – 30 min, no matter what I try (except when driving long distances she’ll fall back asleep usually), 3-5/day. But she’s a pretty happy baby and generally doesn’t seem overtired so I don’t worry too much on that. Anyway, should I wait a week and do whatever to get her to sleep and hope this ends? Do we need to stick to our guns and CIO again? Her screaming is pretty awful, worse now. Oh, and she got her first 2 teeth last week, during which she slept pretty well. Eugh, help! :) Maybe the poor girl’s just overwhelmed like her mom.

    • I’m not a huge proponent of CIO for younger babies. Plus you’ve got teething, possible sleep regression, and post-travel sleep deprivation issues complicating everything. So for NOW I would really focus on just helping her sleep.

      Of course since you mention how great she sleeps in a stroller or in the car my big answer is:
      – DARK room
      – LOUD white noise
      – Swing

      She digs it, it could very well be the tool to help you smooth out the lumps without tears! It’s also your best bet to get naps > 30 minutes.

      Don’t try just one time, make a concerted effort for a few days and THEN see if things are going better/getting easier. I think for sure you’re all a bit sleep deprived and anything you can do to help her catch up on sleep will make things better all around.

      Good luck catching up :)

  29. I should add she’s also nursing like crazy, which I originally attributed to teething.

  30. Alexis,

    Your site has been very informative and helpful in reducing new mama anxiety so thank you. I think my LO seems to be in a sleep regression. Saw his ped last week for his 4 month appt and she wasn’t too concerned but my husband and I are exhausted. He is almost 18 weeks old. Up until recently he would go down around 9 and sleep until 6 maybe waking up around 4 am tooting/pooping and needing a little soothing. Before then he was sleeping all the way through the night and we were getting used to that. For the past 8 days or so he has been able to put himself down around 8 but basically wakes up every hour to hour and a half fussing especially if his paci falls off. He does this until 5 or 6 when I feed him. He is up for the day around 9 after eating again at 7 or 8.

    I EBF him 7-8 times during the day and he is a good size baby. 3 days before this all started he rolled over for the first time. Wonder week perhaps….Ped says he is not sick or teething. Sleep regression? Any suggestions besides hanging in there? Thank you!


  31. I am currently recovering from this regression, and I’ve decided to make my last month of torturous non-sleep redemptive by sharing some things I tried with my baby to survive. Here’s my post of practical tips!

  32. Thanks for posting this!
    My 14 week old was a great sleeper from 5 weeks. He’d do 9-4am and then 5am-8am with 3 2 hour day naps.

    Overnight (actually on the same day he started rolling) he started waking at 12, 2, and 6 almost on the dot. I’m really worried he’s turning in to a bad sleeper but reading this I guess it sounds temporary. I’m on day 4 and exhausted. Hope it wont last much longer…..

    • So – was it temporary?

      Babies often have sleep disruptions when they’re learning a new skill. Sometimes helping them practice a TON during the day can help. Or at least it makes you feel like you’re doing something useful ;P

  33. Love love love this site, my boy will be 25 wks sat (1wk late) and yest woke early from all naps and woke in the night too! He is mega hungry-shouting for his food and wanting it sooner! I know it’s a WW developmental leap/growth spurt so I can deal with a few crappy days! Just praying it’s not as bad as the four month! Eek!
    Seriously this site give great practical sensible advice and information! My husband banned me from all forums etc when my pnd got bad but said troublesome tots is fine as it makes sense!!
    Thank you and keep doing what you are doing tired Mummies need you! X

    • WOO HOO! I made the cut.

      Actually I think it’s awesome that your husband was pulling you out of the sucking void of forums. I have a half-finished post currently titled “I hate Yahoo Answers” which talks to why so many of those public forums are the WORST.

      He’s a smart man to get you out of there ๐Ÿ˜‰

  34. Hi Alexis,
    I love this blog, btw. It’s so rad.
    I am reposting this question because I accidentally posted it under another section.

    I am having this sleep problem with my now 19 week old. About a week or two ago, he just started having a really rough time napping. He has a good temperament and doesnโ€™t get fussy, just WONT sleep. But I know this is not a good thing. Thank god I donโ€™t listen to people (read:his grandmother) who says he just doesnโ€™t need to sleep. I know he does. He started sleeping from about 9pm to 7am at 10 weeks with only a dream feed around 11pm, which is awesome. Well, was awesome, because in conjunction with the shortened naps, he has started waking up around 3/3;30 at night. I know he was hungry at least a couple times, so Iโ€™ve started trying to squeeze in more feedings during the day, and making sure my milk supply is ok, (I recently returned to work so I know the pumping instead of actually feeding him has taken a toll)but even with these adjustments, he still seems to be waking in the middle of the night. He falls asleep on his own at night, and used to do the same for naps (back when he was actually napping). I am praying this is a temporary sleep regression. Thoughts? I was so frigginโ€™ spoiled on the nighttime sleep thing and now I am a mess, waking at 3am, and up for work at 5:30. Please be a sleep regression!!

    • It could be LOTS of things.

      – sleep regression
      – sleeping poorly due to non-napping (it’s a vicious cycle)
      – prefers to eat from you vs. bottle so doesn’t eat enough during the day & waits to get it from you at night
      – baby won’t nap at daycare (common problem)

      Going back to work is super hard on SOOO many levels. Leaving baby, pumping, night parenting, etc. So I hope things have gotten better (it’s been a few weeks). If they HAVEN’T then it’s not a sleep regression. So hopefully time has answered your question?

  35. Hello, I have a 3 1/2 month old baby girl. I am exclusivesly nursing her and she used to sleep well. From the time we brought her home we had her sleeping in a reclined bassinet (mainly because she had issues with spitting up). She would sleep in her bassinet next to my bed at night and in her room during the day for naps. At 3 months I wanted transition to sleeping on a flat surface. I started with having her sleep in a cradle next to my bed for her night time sleep and kept her in the bassinet for daytime and eve naps. This has worked well and her night time sleep has remained the same (she sleeps from around 10pm or 11pm-5am or 6am). Then I started working on taking the bassinet away for her naps and put her in her crib. I also used to bounce her to sleep in my arms but started putting her down sleepy. This worked fairly well for the first few days then it all fell apart. I don’t have much trouble getting her to fall asleep on her own (she fusses a little and maybe cries for a few mins then falls asleep). However, my problem is getting her to stay down for naps longer than 45 mins. She used to nap for 1 hr-3 hrs at a time in her bassinet. I don’t know if I started too early in taking the bassinet away but she seems to be getting too big for it and I didn’t want to wait too long to transition to a flat surface. I also wanted to teach her to fall asleep on her own as early as possible to avoid it being harder later on. Her naps get worse as the day goes on. She naps well after her 6am waking and usually sleeps from 7am until about 10am. Then I can get her to go back to sleep around 11am or 12pm and sleep an hour to hour and a half but for the naps that follow for the rest of the day are only 45 mins and she totally falls apart in the evening becomming very cranky and fussy and won’t go down for the night until 10pm-11pm. Any advice? Thanks!

    • Christine,

      It’s been a few weeks but my answer is MORE SOOTHING. You’re putting a newborn in the crib with really nothing to work with. She’s still a newborn (OK just BARELY out of the newborn phase but when it doubt, treat like a newborn). I would love to go back to the swaddle for naps if you have a safe place for her to sleep where you can strap her in so she can’t flip over (baby swing would be awesome). Also is she routinely flipping over while swaddled? Or was it a fluke? It’s pretty unusual to have babies flipping at 3 months but if she is, well then she is. Bummer.

      Also loud white noise too, yes?

      It’s OK for her to be in her crib at night and nap strapped into a swing (even if the swing isn’t moving). And yes the 4 month sleep regression is probably tripping you up. It’s really HARD to find a time to make changes when sleep regressions, teething, ear infections, etc. aren’t going to muck things up. But the 4 month sleep regression is generally the worst so not, ideally, the best time to try to switch things up.

      Hope things are going better for you now!

  36. Alexis, I forgot to add that my baby used to be able to be awake 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours at most of awake time during the day before needing to go for a nap. When she would fuss and yawn I would bounce her in my arms to help her fall asleep. She has always had more trouble with evening naps and her naps typically get shorter as the day goes on. I also used to swaddle her which definately helped make naps longer. I had to take the swaddle away since she has mastered rolling over from back to tummy at 3 months. Since trying to transition her to the crib she is awake longer between naps in addition to her naps being shorter. She is often falling asleep while nursing now. Have I tried to change too many things in a short period of time? Taking her swaddle away, moving her to a flat surface to sleep, trying to teach her to fall asleep on her own. She has never taken to a pacifier (doesn’t like it)and has been sucking on her fingers more to soothe herself without her swaddle. Thanks in advance for any advice!

  37. These sleep regression tips are both helpful and chilling!

    I don’t know if we’re in the midst of a sleep regression or what, but my son (20 weeks actual, 16 adjusted) seems to want to stay up and play after his night feeding. We are lucky in that he usually only wakes once, around 3:45 or so, but the hour plus play session he’s wanted to have after eating is killing me. His bedtime is variable, usually between 7 and 8, but some nights he fights sleep til 8:30 or so, and last night, due to truly horrid napping during the day, he passed out around 6:30. He woke to eat around 3:45 this morning and seemed to fall asleep at the end of the feed, but when I put him back in the crib, in the dark mind you, he went nuts, squealing and thrashing and having a good old time. If I left him (not that I’d get any sleep with the monitor on with all the squeaing, he’d start to fuss. Finally around five he took a pacifier and some belly rubs and went back to sleep for nearly 45 minutes (at which point I was too frustrated and jangled to do the same).

    So is this a regression thing? An in bed too early thing? I hear all these people talk about how their baby will sleep 11 or 12 hours at night, but we’ve never had that kind of stretch (even with night wakings in between). And what do I do? Will letting him roll around and squawk in the dark eventually fix the problem? He seems too little to cry it out, but after a couple of days of starting my day before 4 am, I seriously want to crawl into a hole and die.

    • Our baby (now 6.5 mo) totally did this for a while (around 4.5-5.5 mo), even though she was done eating at night. 2-3 times a week she would wake up and play, sometimes for an hour. At 4 am we would hear “woooooooo!” through the monitor or hear the music turn on. We would just leave her alone and usually she would go back to sleep. If it ramped up to fussing we would let it go about 15 min (unless it ramped up to real yelling) before going in to re-settle (rarely had to do this). She caught on pretty quick that if it’s not morning she has to amuse herself until civilized people get up. And of course we couldn’t sleep with the racket but at least we felt like we weren’t making it even more fun for her by going to her room to “hang out” :) And then suddenly she stopped. Babies are weird.

    • Page is possibly right. Babies will wake themselves up to enjoy even MORE of your delightful company. When they realize you aren’t going to play, they’ll give up, get bored, and hopefully stop waking up.

      But I would count your baby a 16 week old (when in doubt, go with adjusted). So definitely you have to consider it’s a sleep regression. Horrid napping + crappy night sleep sounds really sleep regressiony to me.

      At 4 months if he’s waking up in the early AM he may need extra soothing to continue sleeping till a more reasonable hour. Swaddle, white noise, and swing are all possible solutions. You put him to sleep in his crib at 7:00 and if he wakes at 4:00 AM and can’t fall back to sleep you put him in a swing.

      Crawling in a hole and dying won’t accomplish much. Unless there is a fairy living in the hole who will give your husband some baby sleep fairy magic in exchange for your tragic sacrifice. But make sure you check for the presence of the fairy before doing anything rash.

  38. Hi, I have a 4.5 month old who was the best sleeper from day one giving us 7hours a night. Now since 3 months she thinks it’s ok to wake at between 3 to 4am. It is doing my head in and making me hate her. How can I get her to keep sleeping? She has been only BF but I am thinking I will start solids to see if this helps. She is still in her hammock so most times I just bounce it till 5 and then get her up feed and back down till 730ish if I am lucky. Then she is up 1.5 to 2 hours. I get 3 naps a day, 2hr, 2hr, 45min unless we are out bed by 8pm. She has random nights of sleeping through till 630. Please help, thank you.

    • Hey Chris,
      It’s REALLY easy to get frustrated with newborns, to feel that things are moving in the WRONG direction, to feel really resentful and run down.

      But let me tell you what I think is going on, I think she’s genuinely hungry. Babies DO sometimes need more food so being done with feeding at one time doesn’t mean that a baby might legitimately need more food later. You may not be keen to do it but I bet it’s the answer to your problem. The sleep regression is AKA a growth spurt. And when babies/kids have growth spurts they DO eat more.



      Honest. Solid food has FAR less calories than
      BM so feeding her solids too early is unlikely to accomplish anything. She won’t have the motor skills to get much of it into her mouth/stomach and if she does, it’ll fill her up with low-calorie food which will leave her even hungrier later.

      Really she is sleeping like a champ. There are a ton of people out there who would gladly trade with you. Having her wake 1X a night puts you squarely in the “lucky” category.

      One last thought, but it’s really totally normal and SUPER common to feel resentful about your baby. But if you have an easy baby and you feel resentful it might be worth getting some help. I don’t know when therapy became a bad word because it isn’t – it’s awesome and frankly if I were king it would be required for all new parents as a default.

      Anyhoo hope that helps.

  39. Hi, I love your website. My 5.5 month old was going to bed really well on her own a few weeks ago then she got sick. Since then she only wants to be bounced in my lap to sleep, not rocke, bounced. Even if I bounce on the mattress. Then when she’s asleep and I try to put her to sleep she screams. Sometimes I end up doing it 3 or 4 times before she will stay asleep in her bed. I’ve tried save our sleep method but she just keeps screaming. I don’t mind nursing or rocking her to sleep. But I can’t keep bouncing her, my back is killing me. Plus she used to go to sleep on her own so well. She does this for her naps and her sleep at night.
    On the up hand once she’s down, she’s an awesome sleeper, sleeping 12 hours overnight waking up once or twice for a feed.

  40. Your information is somewhat incorrect and this is why you should not post info unless you have actually read the source, in your case that would be the book “The Wonder Weeks.” The authors discuss how many wonder weeks can last 3-7 weeks not the 3 days – 1 week that you post. In my case, my son’s wonder weeks last 4 weeks all the time and I know he’s still in them because at four weeks, everything just goes back to normal instantly. You could end up making a lot of people feel bad for the coping mechanisms they might use (cosleeping, etc) if they are still doing it after a week is up and their child is still actually suffering from a wonder week. You should let people know that, according to the book, the later wonder weeks tend to last longer and that if they still have “symptoms” after a week, it’s probably still a wonder week, and that’s pretty common.

    • Oof, a bit harsh, don’t you think? Alexis’ website has helped hundreds, if not thousands, of new parents who are frustrated, exhausted, and have very little hair left from nightly pulling. I am one of these parents. I too suspect that my son’s wonder weeks last much longer than the ‘typical’ 3 days – 1 week, and I have accepted that as who he is. After reading tons of blogs and books, I have come to the conclusion that they are all correct, and many parents can find the information helpful – although many may not. Totally depends on their baby.
      In conclusion, I’m just sending a friendly reminder that Alexis 1) does not do this for profit, and 2) is a parent, and genuinely is here to help. I think there are P-L-E-N-T-Y of other people/websites/etc. that really do make you feel ‘guilty’ for co-sleeping, using swings, or whatnot. Seriously. Alexis ain’t one of them.

      • Totally agree with Abby and every point she made. I also think you’re being WAY TOO HARSH. It’s clear that Alexis’ primary goal is to make parents feel better and to provide them great advice based on her wealth of experience.

    • Yikes –
      I think it is unwise to base any parenting off of any one source – be it a blog, another parent, your own parents or a book. Every baby is different, as evidenced by the hundreds of posters and questions on this site.
      Nowhere that I have seen has Alexis stated that the time frame you mentioned is the hard and fast time frame for wonder weeks. Similarly, nowhere does she make people feel bad for what gets them through – quite the opposite, in fact. She does point out that something like co-sleeping is difficult to get out of when you are ready, she supports it as long as it is safe which is what doctors and most books say as well.
      She never presents herself as an “expert” beyond being experienced as a parent herself. I think it’s important to read her answers to posters as well as her articles to really get a better picture of the advice she is giving.

  41. My 4.5 month old son has gone from 2 wakings to nurse at night to 5 the last 2 nights (10:30, 1, 1:40, 4, 5:40). I fed him at 10:30, 1, 4 and he settled himself the other 2 times. He goes to sleep between 7-7:30 and wakes up between 6 – 7. He sleeps 2 naps (9-about 10:30, 12:30 – depends) in his crib and 1 nap (4:30-ish) in the stroller / swing. He is put down groggy but awake and settles himself. I realize it is only 2 days, but I have a 2.5 year old DD who this happened to and suffice it to say at 1 year old I was getting up 7-10 times a night, and don’t want to make the same mistake. My question is – which of these wake-ups should I be feeding him for? How do I figure out if he is hungry vs. just awake? How do I stop this, before it starts? How long does this last? I am still waking up with my toddler so I am a little terrified of this new development, especially since the day I brought him home he slept better then this. Please help

    • I just wrote a reply two seconds ago to someone else, but I have to write something here…
      GIRL, I FEEL YOU. It’s like we’re both mothering the same little 4.5 month old boy. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I read “10:30, 1, 1:40, 5:40”, and my jaw dropped, since Matthew wakes up at those times too! And before, he was sleeping so well. His naps though, are super crappy lately. And omg he is constantly eating. He has 2 sprouting teeth, so I was thinking it could be teething, but apparently they eat LESS and sleep MORE when teething?! He is one big mystery to me, I tell you what.
      Anyway, I know I’m not offering ANYTHING in the way of advice, just comfort that there is another mama out there who hears you loud and clear.

  42. Hi Alexis!
    Let me just say I’ve been addicted to your website since I found you a few weeks ago. Your posts on what is normal and the importance of not letting baby stay up too long were our savior as first time parents! Our babe has always been incredibly hard to settle for sleep – in the early weeks she would stay awake for hours at a time b/c we just didn’t know better and she has a terrible time self soothing. Even now at 15 weeks, with swaddling, swing, white noise and nursing, it sometimes takes her 15-30 minutes to drift off – and more often then not she fights it by hollering & arm/leg flailing until I pick her up and nurse her. And god forbid I put her tiny hiney into a seat/crib/bassinette before she’s full zonked out – I better be prepared to start at square one! At this point, nursing is the only sure fire soother we have in our arsenal, she hates pacis and sometimes even the swing won’t work! Despite all this, she’s been a great night sleeper, going to bed at 7pm, waking to feed only once around 4/5am, feeds for 10 minutes and is back out until 7ish am.
    But recently we’ve had terrible sleep regressions – with her needing to nurse to sleep for an hour or more, then waking up 4-5 times a night, with only nursing/comfort nursing (sometimes for 45 minutes) getting her back to sleep. It all started when she started day care (and me back to work) at 12 weeks – where she’s been naping in a swing, but taking short crappy naps. Then she got a terrible cold at 13 weeks and continued the waking because she was congested and couldn’t breath, then I think she had her 3 month growth spurt because suddenly her clothes didn’t fit and then she just started rolling over at 14 weeks….and here we are going on our fourth week of downright terrible night sleeping.
    Before this whole regression I was working on separating nursing from sleep, and trying to put her down awake…but at this point I feel like her sleep is so discombobulated, and I’m so sleep deprived, I have no idea what I should be working on. I would LOVE it if you could help us redirect, and give me an idea of how to tackle this problem before she’s 6 months old and we’ve lost all of our precious ‘teach baby to go asleep on her own’ time.
    And right now she’s in a bassinette in our room, although I’ve moved the swing to her room next to her crib in preparation for trying your techniques for going to sleep on her own. Should we just start that and see if the swing can help with her night waking? Should I stop nursing-to-soothe if she wakes up any time between 7p and her old 4am night feed?
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for any help you can provide, I promise to buy any book you ever publish or donate to any charity you support in return for your invaluable advice! :)

  43. Hi Alexis,
    We are at a loss at what to do with our daughter. My husband was so frustrated last night and it got me quite upset. I stumbled across your site as I was “googling” sleep regression and glad the posts are still active.

    Kat is a 22.5mth old who has never fallen to sleep on her own. She still sleeps in our room, as we have no other place to put her and this probably is another reason as we hear her every move and jump up to respond. Yes she is our first and we had some idea based on other parents but what we knew and what we practised was different. She was exclusively breastfed and it made it hard for me to know when she was suckling for comfort or food and by the 7th month I’d lost the plot with her waking up 3 times a night, aunt flo was in the process of coming back and I was about to lose the plot something major. By the start of her 11th month we switched to formula so hubby could take th enight feedings and it worked to some success. We then changed to lactose free milk when we realised her gas was worse than usual and it has helped.

    So basically we’ve always held her to fall asleep. Sometime after her 12th month, she got too heavy for grandma (who looks after her during the day) and she’d put her to bed with a bottle of milk and leave her there (and perhaps do the intermittent talking thing) and she’d fall asleep. At her night nap we still had to hold her.

    She has always had gas problems to the point that even now at night for dinner we give her puree baby food that we think won’t give her gas so we can get a full nights sleep. I kind of suspect that the times she has fallen asleep for the whole night for 2-3 weeks at a time has been when she is NOT teething. And let me tell you that I can tell you which months we slept as she’s always teething… even if she only does have 9 teeth. It seems like for her they ache for ages before they pop out.

    anyway, I got pregnant with number 2, (21weeks) so daddy is taking care of the night routine. To the point she only wants dad if she wakes up at night (hence his frustration from lack of sleep). This month we finally got sick of holding her to put her to bed. She would drink her milk, throw down the bottle, then carry on like chopped liver till we came to pick her up. We started leaving her for 20 then 30 mins before we’d go in and we’d only go in if she got hysterical. But at the start of this month we’d had enough and wanted our own down time and so we left her till we’d watched our 30 mins show and we’d realised the yelling was more of a whining and she never escalated to her hysterical crying, so after drinking her bottle and carrying on for 20-30 mins she’d eventually go to sleep. We don’t go in there to settle. WE don’t talk to her, cos if we do she just wants us more. We close the door, curtains, put on repeat of twinkle, twinkle and pray she falls asleep. Which she did for 2.5 weeks. She’d wake up once or twice, but that was a wet nappy or gas (we sometimes let her work it out and she’s back to sleep, or when she calls out mama, baba, we usually get up – the crappy thing is she sometimes wants to play/read and do everything but sleep at 3am- her witching hour).

    This weekend I went away for the first time ever. She was with dad. And from Friday she was a terror. She didn’t sleep on her own. Saturday night, she refused to drink her bottle on her own – she usually drinks it in the crib before calling out for us. She had a bit of a sore throat, but is over it by Tuesday morning. Last night (Tuesday) as hubby was so frustrated, we put her in her crib, we said good night. She started crying (oh my heart ached) but we kissed her left the bottle near her bed and walked away. She carried on for 30 mins and I couldn’t take it anymore. She hadn’t touched her milk. I picked her up, she drank her milk, I sang some songs and by 915 she was in her bed (she woke up at 9 when I tried to put her in the first time). She woke up at 1am for a wet nappy and at 5am for gas, which we tried to ignore but she called out our names. So I picked her up, massaged her tummy, got the gas out, held her till she fell asleep but she refused to be allowed to be put back in bed. I couldnt even get up before she stiffened and cried no as she knew she was going to bed. I even tried to put her in our bed and that didn’t work. My husband stupidly spoke and then she only wanted “baba” and at least I got to sleep for 90 mins before I had to get up for work and they slept on the couch.

    she usually sleeps for 2 hours at lunch time and sometimes 3 hours. She goes to bed at 1230ish to 330 and then the sleep time is 8pm to 7am. She’s been doing the 3 hour thing the last few months and I suspect it is her learning nap as she’s been talking alot (albeit in her language, along with Greek, Spanish and English). She goes out to play for 90 mins each morning and an hour or so in the afternoon. She barely eats after her nap so basically she has 2 feeds a day and sometimes on the weekend we can squeeze an extra one in. She eats everything but we limit the food cos we can’t figure out what gives her gas.

    So can you provide any advice in any way. We can’t carry on with holding her to give her milk and then have to rock her to sleep, especially when she hasn’t needed us to hold her to drink her milk for over 7 months. We’re just frustrated. I don’t know if she is teething again, she has poked on ear that I’ve noticed, but other than that she’s happy and perfect, just a terrible self-sleeper and this new regression is killing us. I have no idea how this will affect her when the new baby comes and where we put them both and whether this one will be a bad sleeper too.

    Thank you in advance.

  44. Hi Alexis and anyone reading this. I could really use any advice/help/motivation from anyone that has gone through the 4 month regression hell.
    My LO turned 15 weeks last Thursday and since then her nights have gone from waking up every 3 hours to waking up EVERY hour. It has only been three nights of this but MAN I already feel like a zombie. At first, I thought she was too young for the regression and that she was waking up because of strong sleep associations with rocking, bouncing, and using a pacifier to fall asleep but now I think it might be a combo of the above and the 4 month sleep regression…
    When she wakes up I feed her if it has been over 2.5 hours since she last ate but most of the time she settles if I rock/bounce her back to sleep, which is not as easy as it sounds! It has been taking much longer for her to fall asleep and when I’m pretty sure it’s safe to put her down her eyes pop back open!
    I was really working towards putting her down more and more awake before last Thursday and thought I was making a tiny bit of head way but now I’m back to doing anything to get her to sleep…to include naps. The past two days she actually napped really well but today is a much different story. Naps have officially fallen to pieces as well. She will go down but then wake up 15-20 mins later and a paci reinsertion won’t cut it. So my husband and I have gone back to rocking and bouncing her back asleep and then just letting her sleep in our arms for the remainder of the nap. Is that a bad idea? She was sleeping so well for naps in her crib and I hate to undo that but she’s just not going to get the rest she needs otherwise. I’ve tried the swing but the dang thing is so loud when I start it up that she always wakes up and cries.
    So what do you think? Just do I have to do to survive this or try to cut out the associations? If it is the regression I know there really isn’t much I can do but wait but sometimes just hearing from others who have gone through similar situations is help enough :)

  45. Julia! I feel your pain…my 18 week old son started his sleep regression about 5 days ago. We have tried everything from co-sleeping to a little formula at night ( he is breast-fed). Nope, nothing works. So, last night at 4:30 he goes down for his last mini-nap and sleeps till 10 pm! I feed him and then he goes back to sleep. I’m thinking, this will either be very good or very bad since I’ve heard that babies sleep a lot AFTER the growth spurt is over. Nope! Up at 2,3,4,5,6 etc…..sigh, holding white knuckled onto my coffee today. Really hoping this is a slaep regression and not something else. Only odd thing is that he is not cranky like they say babies are during this period ( I’m making up for it though!). Thoughts Alexis? I too was trying the put down awake and weaning of the paci…not gonna attempt that one right now methinks.

    • Any improvement on your end? We are going on night #12 tonight and still going strong :( I’m afraid she’s getting used to the wakings now and just does it out of habit but I’m too afraid not to feed her in case she actually is hungry!

  46. Hello! Your site has helped me so much I dot think I would have survived the first month f I didn’t find your site! My lo has always gone to sleep at night easily, a feed, rock and she is out and ok to sleep in her bassinet. Lately she will only be soothed by being nursed to sleep and I can’t transfer her to the bassinet or she wakes up! And the only thing to sooth her again is my breast. She won’t take a pacifier and she was using my finger as a pacifier but now we won’t take that either! Needles to say I’m exhausted from lack of sleep! Also car rides are something I dread. She screams bloody murder! Again she used to be soothed by my finger but since she won’t take my finger is a very long car ride! My question is- is she going through a sleep regression right now? This is going on a week. And do you know anything about screaming in the car?
    I appreciate any advice you can give! Thanks so much!

  47. I forgot to add my little one is three months, or fifteen weeks.

  48. I am one of your biggest admirers and your site has completely changed our experience with our second child versus our first because, admittedly, we had no idea what we were doing with the first. Thanks to you, my son (now 6 months) has been ana amazing sleeper since around 8 weeks. He usually goes down around 8-8:30 and sleeps until around 7-7:30. Well, for the last week or so, he is both not acting tired until past 9 and is waking up at about every other night at 4 am. Nothing is working to get him back to sleep at that time except a bottle. I assume this is the dreaded 6 month sleep regression. So, here is my question. Is it Ok to give him a bottle or am I creating a bad habit? Also, I am little worried because he is in daycare now and so no more blissful 2-3 hour naps during the day (except occasionally) – could this create a more permanent problem in that he is mnot sleeping great during the day that could possibly spill over into the night? Love you Alexis!

  49. I’m not saying that Alexis is bad, just saying maybe the part about how long regressions last should be more accurate, as many parents suffer through them for weeks, not days. I also like her site and would recommend it to parents.

  50. My 5-1/2 month old wakes at 5:30am due to our work schedule and her bed time is at 8:30 – usually falls asleep around 9pm. She will take about 4 30-45 minute naps a day with the last one being around 7pm. Do you think this last nap is too late?

    • Angela, I was wondering the same thing about the last nap of the day. Just yesterday I tried to see if we could skip the last nap (so she only has 3 a day) and go to bed earlier. That blew up. She went to bed at about 7:30pm and woke up at 8:30pm, 9:30pm, 11:30pm, 1:30am, 3:30am, then 7:00am. What a nightmare. My little one is 20 weeks old, so maybe that has to do with a sleep regression… I’m not sure.

  51. Just want to let all those people know who are in the midst of wonder weeks or sleep regressions that there is hope! About 5 days ago my son ( 4 and a half months) calmed down and we are back to the standard 2 feedings a night. Phew, I’m like a new woman! I actually baked a cake last night! I highly recommend the wonder weeks app since it shows you what’s coming and more importantly, when it ends!

    • Thanks for the hope, my son is the same age and he has been waking up at 1230, 230, 330, 530. When we started CIO method, it was only the 230 and 530. I hope you are right about it going back to the 2x at night feedings.

  52. Hi Alexis,

    My 14 week old girl is having sort of a sleep regression and I’d like to get your advice on it.Since introducing the swing,white noise, and swaddling at 6 weeks (it was a horror show before!), she has consistenly slept from 10pm to at least 4am each night (sometimes longer but never shorter). I would nurse her, and she always fell back to sleep within minutes of being back in the swing, and slept until 9am. I always make sure to put her in awake. About 2 weeks ago (12 weeks old), she woke up at 1am to nurse, then 7am, then up at her normal time. I assumed it was her 3 month growth spurt. This lasted 2 days, then she started waking up for just 1 feed again, but much earlier (3am instead of 4, then 2am).She still went back to sleep no problem and would still sleep until her usual wake up time. This went on for about a week, and now, for the last 3 nights, she has woken up at 1am again, and then every hour until morning. Except for the 1am wake up (which I nurse her),and her usual 4am feed, I let her fuss for about 5 minutes and she always goes back to sleep. She never cries, just fusses. Loudly. But I guess I should be grateful that she falls back asleep on her own!

    So my question is, is this a growth spurt? Sleep regression? The start of a bad habit? It’s been 2 weeks now. She’s still getting about the same amount of sleep (minus the 5 minutes of fussing every hour), and her naps are normal. She’s not extra fussy or hungry during the day either. I’m not sure how to proceed. She hates the paci, and I don’t want to crank up the swing speed becuase I was hoping to start weaning her soon(she’s only ever needed half speed). Any advice would be wonderful. Thank you!

  53. What an amazing site!!

  54. My son is 19 weeks. I have been sleep deprived for a few days. It sounds like he is going through sleep regression (which I didn’t even know existed until going onto this site). At 12 weeks he started sleeping through the night, 7 PM-6 AM, so we got spoiled. A few days ago he started to wake up 2-3 times through the night crying. Of course I jumped up out of bed cause I got nervous not being used to this. When I went Into his room his eyes were closed and he seemed to be crying in his sleep. A simple touch of his hand or rubbing his tummy put him right back to sleep. My question is should I keep doing that for a few days or let him cry it out?
    Thanks in advance for the help!

  55. Hi Alexis,

    My 4.5 month old used to wake up 2-3 times per night, but for about a week has been waking every hour to comfort nurse. We co-sleep because I kept falling asleep during feedings (breast feeding…..) so up until now we all got pretty good sleep….now, though, I feel like she is used to having the deli open all night and it’s becoming a habit. If I didn’t comort nurse her she would scream all night and nobody would sleep….. Don’t know what to do!!!!!!! How do I break the habit without collapsing from exhaustion?? I need to wean her from our bed too, just don’t know where to start, it’s all a bit of a mess…. Please help….

  56. Hi Alexis,

    My 4 1/2 month old started rolling from back to tummy about a week ago. She had been sleeping pretty well until this happened. Now she keeps rolling on her belly in the crib and can’t seem to roll herself back (she rolled a few times from tummy to back about a month ago but hasn’t done it since she learned to roll from back to tummy). When she rolls on her tummy, she plays for a bit but then gets frustrated and starts screaming. She won’t put her head to the side either, she just smushes it into her mattress face down so I run in and flip her. Do you have any advice for this? When we put her on her back for play time she immediately rolls on her tummy (she’s a little obsessed with her new skill) until she get’s frustrated. When we put her back on her back, even though she was just crying because she was on her tummy, she rolls right back to her tummy again… this repeats multiple times! I don’t know why she can’t seem to roll to her back since she has done it before. How long does it usually take for most babies to figure this out? Is there anything I can do to help her?

    • We’re doing the same thing right now as well!!! Crazy frustrating, I am ALL ears if anyone has offered up any sound advice to you as to how to correct this and that is pretty much when our sleeping went out of whack as well shortly after this new skill was learned! (We’re now pushing the 6 month marker…still not corrected :-( )

      • sounds really familiar! i am flipping her fifthteenthousand times a day… sometimes during play time i let her complain for a while. Read somewhere, its helps the development to leave them frustrated, not immediately running to their help (but i havent notice any improvement by doing this)

        but at night? i cant do that, she wakes up the whole house!!! i was having nightly heart attacts, running to her in the night, cuz i thought she was dying an aweful painful death, just to find her on her tummy….

        so if any moms of dads have any tips how to help us get back our rested nights, please do share :)

        • I had the same problem and found if I put my little one in a sleeping bag then tuck her in nice and tight with a sheet she rarely flips over. its worked really well for us.

    • I am afraid we just have to wait it out. It’s a new skill and they practise whether it’s day or night. It seems to me that there are babies that will sleep through any developmental stuff and those who will be up all night rolling and crawling and what have you. I still get up at night at 8 months to put baby back on his back because he rolls over and then crawls and gets stuck somewhere or bumps his head. He is only now learning how to sleep on his tummy so I cannot really just let him be because he will cry and cry not knowing how to go to sleep on his tummy. I expect it won’t get much better with sitting and standing. I am trying to accept that he is simply one of those babies…

    • the rolling to tummy and getting stuck is very common my daughter was doing the same thing and getting super mad! ! we just did lots of floor time and encouraged her how to get to her back it took about 2 weeks and sometimes she still forgets and get frustarted but the sleeping thing we used one of those curved changing pads so she couldnt roll over.

  57. How long does sleep regression last?

  58. Hello all!

    While i find this information reassuring that all people go through these sleep regressions with their young ones i am still concerned about my nearly 6 month old son and what the issue could be, he was sleeping like a champ from 2 1/2 months to nearly 5 months, he was going 12 hrs a night, which i know is rare to begin with but it was heavenly he put himself to sleep and woke up talking to himself at about 8:15 every morning he was amazingly pleasant and Nov 8th, just 2 days before he turned 5 months it all stopped :-( It’s TERRIBLE at night he screams and throws these horrible temper tantrums and even trying to give him a bottle to try and calm him down is a feat in itself, soothers don’t work he never took one, wrapping him up doesnt work he screams even louder and I am still waiting for the end to near…he is 6 months next week and no sign of stopping his sleeping issues…i actually have the book the wonder weeks and feel like i’ve surpassed the 19 week spurt already and just do not know what to do….anyone else able to relate to what is not technically a “normal” time to be going through a sleep regression and if any techniques helped turn it around??

    • I am going throught the same thing. My baby was sleeping though th nigh waking up once to feed and a few days after turning 5 months old he started waking up every hour! It has been 3 weeks. Wonder weeks saiys that between 23-26 weeks they have a sleep regression that could last 3-5 weeks so I am hoping he will get through it soon. Everyone is suggesting I let him cry a little but I feel guilty letting him cry if this is just a sleep regression.

  59. I need advice/help/thoughts! My almost 17 week old son used to nap so well, and now his naps are 30-50minutes long. He’s still sleepy when he wakes up and therefore hes fussy until hes put to sleep again. But its hard to put him down again sometimes. I used to put him in his cot in the afternoon to come in the room 5-10mins later and find him asleep–so he was able to fall asleep on his own apparently! but now theres no chance of that. He hates being put in his cot, he hates being put down when hes sleepy (which is most of the time since hes not getting his longer naps). I thought it might be the sleep regression so i let him fall asleep whichever way–now hes gotten used to sleeping while feeding/using me as a pacifier, he doesnt take his pacifier as much anymore either when its time for nap/sleep until hes really drowsy then i can exchange myself for the paci lol (im sort of glad, I wanted to ween him from that by 6months too, but was debating if i should teach him to sleep on his own first, or do them both together??)

    Anyway how do i get his naps to be longer? I sometimes walk in and see his eyes drowsy and think he’ll fall back asleep like he used to, but then 2 mins later hes awake, and frustrated. :( And Ive always had to rock him, sometimes i can lay with him and pat him to sleep but thats not happening anymore. I just use my ergo… im afraid he’ll stop liking that soon, too.

    So iguess my questions:

    -Is this just a phase?
    -If not, how do i get him to nap longer? since he wants/needs it too.
    -Should i ween him from paci at the same time as teaching him to sleep on his own?
    -Does putting him down while drowsy really work? ive tried that for 4 days and he still wants me there until hes really really drowsy but he’ll become more alert if i put him down before being extremely drowsy/almost asleep. so, i didnt see much progress. i guess i need more encouragement :-p

    -I forgot, i tried moving his bedtime earlier too. he sleeps around 10-11pm, he used to sleep 7pm and wake up 10-1030 for a feeding but keep he just takes naps until then. I tried waking him earlier, i tried giving him bath and doing routine earlier…I tried moving it just by 15mins a time…but hes keeping it a nap.

    we’ve been co-seeping but i use his cot for his naps. I do want to move him to his cot at nighttimes too, but by the end of the night of struggling to put him to sleep and all, im too exhausted and just keep him by me. He doesnt fall asleep with his dad unfortunately, he just screams and cries until he comes back to me.

    Anyway sorry for the long post.. Advice would be much appreciated. I’ve been reading your posts for weeks now!

  60. Hi Alexis,
    My 6 month old is definitely in the middle of a huge sleep regression. He used to sleep 11-12 hours overnight with one waking to eat and napped 2 sometimes 3 times a day for 1-2 hours each. A lot has been going on in the past few weeks. We recently moved, and my little guy is also learning to crawl. He is constantly up on all fours rocking during awake times and when I put him into his crib to sleep. He has been able to go down for sleep awake for months with loud white noise, a dark room and a small comfort blanket. For the past week he has been going to sleep ok but then waking during the night 2-3 times and then waking up early around 5:30-600 when he used to wake at 7. His night feed used to occur anywhere from 2-5am but for past week I have started feeding him once he wakes after midnight thinking maybe he’s hungry? He will usually fall asleep quickly once he returns to his crib but then wakes a few hours later again. I don’t think its a physical growth spurt as I am sure this happened already a few weeks back where he wanted to eat constantly day and night and it only lasted a few days. I realize that regressions are normal and that they need to be endured but I am worried about making matters worse. My son used to have a pretty predictable nap schedule, 9am and 1pm with sometimes a third nap anywhere from 4-5 with bedtime of 6:30-7. Now because he is so overtired from poor night sleep, early wakings and short naps I have returned to short wake times and multiple naps to keep him as well rested as possible. I have read that keeping baby on his normal schedule during a regression is the way to go but if I did that he would continue to spiral into a deep dark pit of sleeplessness from being too overtired. Do you recommend I continue what I have been doing and worry about his schedule once this has blown over? His naps are all over the place so there is no consistency but what else should I do?

  61. Hi Alexis! I just found your page and we are currently going through a sleep regression with our 4 month old daughter. However, she isnt waking up fussy or crabby. She is just waking up for her 4:30am feeding and staying up for 2 hours talking and giggling. Better than crying but still exhausting.

    So my question to you is when and how should we wean/eliminate her nightly feedings? Im exclusively breastfeeding. I plan to try the CIO method but dont know how to do it if your little one is still needing to eat in the middle of the night. Thanks!!!

  62. Hello there!

    I’m sure this has been asked before, but with 141 comments I just don’t have time to read through them all! We are currently in the 4 month sleep regression. Up until this month our little one has been anamazing sleeper at night. Sysrted sleeping through the night by week 7 or 8. Then all of a sudden the whole month of December consisted of nights waking up at least 2-3 times, sometimes 4. Seemed the trifecta happened. We started sleeping her in her crib v. her co-sleeper, she started teething, and realized she had bad allergies.

    So my question is how do you stop this from spiraling out of control? You mentioned in #3 if its a month later and you’re still on the same track yoire in bad shape. I should mention we exclusively breast feed, as she won’t take bottles. We’ve tried a million ways and she just won’t take it.

    Any thoughts or suggestions welcomed!

    • Im right there with you, 17 days in and very tired. I cant give advice as struggling with same type of thing but I can offer my sympathy as its crappy.
      Good luck I just keep telling myself this too will pass

    • I tried sleep training after a month of the same thing..worked like a charm (until the 9 month regression we hit last week). I used the book called ‘The sleepeasy solution’ by Jill spivack. It’s a modified CIO with checks and within 3 days she was sleeping 8-9 hour stretches for a total of 12 hours of night sleep and only ‘waking’ to feed. I hope this helps!! Good luck and I’m right there with you!

    • I don’t have any advice either, just have to share my woes. I hope it ends sometime. My LO has wakened 4-5 times a night since birth pretty consistently until hitting the 4 mo sleep regression. He is 19 weeks and two days and has been going for 3 weeks already with the regression – we are at 7-8 night wakings plus shortened naps during the day and I am just about ready to have a breakdown :(

      • Omg this is my life, has yours improved yet?

        • I’m sorry, but honestly, the improvements have been barely perceptible, even after months of non-CIO sleep training (yes there is crying involved). The only thing that has sort of helped is I really did give up on getting more than 4-5hrs of broken sleep a night and having DH go in for NW before midnight when I go in, feed him, and co-sleep the rest of the night. Its still really horrible. Maybe this wasn’t the best day for me to reply either because I am having a non-napping baby morning and ready to scream my head off. I hope your LO starts sleeping better for you sooner than mine ๐Ÿ˜‰

  63. Another frustrated mama with sleep troubles. My lovely 6 month old daughter has turned into a screaming banshee the past week or so and I am VERY confused and sleep deprived. The confused part is that so much is going on for her I don’t know what to tackle first and what to let go of for now. Prior to last week, she was sleeping 7 to 4ish most nights. Then back down after the 4am feeding. That totally worked for our family. Now we are dealing with a bad cold (she is all sorts of congested), 6 month growth spurt, 2 new front teeth and holiday travel. It started when we were traveling that she was up on and off all night. I nursed her most times she was up as she sounded very hoarse with her cold. Now we are home and she is still showing this same pattern. She goes down awake but with a pacifier. Then she is up on and off through the night often for hours at a time. She still has the cold. The teeth have finally broken through and I don’t know what is growth spurt feeding and what is bad habit.
    Okay sorry for the extremely long word vomit. I get wordy when I am tired :)
    Here are my questions:
    1. She still takes a pacifier. I am guessing that object permanence with the pacifier is only adding to our problems. Should we try to wean her off the paci in the middle of everything else?
    2. After the pacifier, what would you tackle next. Right now, she goes down fine but once she is up in the middle of the night, she is up screaming. This continues even with pain medication and even sometimes after nursing her.
    3. How long do growth spurts last? Most times she seems like she is really eating. How long until I am creating horrible habits?

    Please help. We are desperate.

    I don’t know what my other questions are.

  64. Hello!!
    I have a very needy 9 1/2 month old boy. He co-sleeps and crib sleeps. We’re trying to get him in the crib more, been gradually working on it for a couple of months now. He is still nursing and he eats 3 good meals and snacks per day. He takes very very very short naps. In the morning its usually about 15 minutes in them morning and we might get an hour nap in the afternoon if one of us falls asleep with him. I basically only nurse him to sleep nowadays but he wants to crawl around so it doesn’t work anymore. Recently we brought back swaddling (but with a huge blanket) and its kind of scary to leave him in a crib like that as he wants to roll all around, but he just wont sit still, ever! He has eczema that he is finally growing out of and it kept him up when he was younger by itching, but he has to keep his hands or feet moving constantly so he still wants to itch out of habit.
    I feed him mostly organic foods and i do not give him dyes or artificial flavorings. I spent a long time blaming teething for his fussiness but i guess that would only count if it took him since october to get this new tooth in, ha.
    I am a softie and it’s really hard to “condition” my baby. Mike is very adamant about being consistent and on schedule and we have dinner, lavender (dr. bronners) bath, play and bed time at the same time every night. We have been trying to get him asleep for over an hour now and it’s not working, yet we know he’s exhausted.
    He will fall asleep after so much fighting it and then wake up 5-20 minutes later and its a vicious cycle that we want to end.
    I give him hylands teething tablets and gel at least once a day and it has the calming chammomile in it. I also tried some hylands nerve tonic today ( 1/4 of one) and it seemed to have zero effect, he was still parading through the house screaming and carrying on, whining and even attempting to talk back! (babble)
    I really don’t know if I made him this way or how to break it at this point but I know that I have no life, We both had 2.5 hours of sleep last night and something’s gotta give. My 9 month old is running us!
    i think I am going to try calm’s forte again but until I can get ahold of it, do you have any suggestions? Anything at all?

    Thank you so much,
    Danielle and Mike

    • I used controlled crying when my daughter was six months – it was good because she was not able to move. i needed to use it as she is very spirited and the softly softly approach does not work. it took two days and she was going down awake and sleeping sloundly. things will distrupt her sleep – teeth, sleep regressions – but when she is ready I use controlled crying again and it seems to work really well. i have to say it was when I was extremely exhausted that I tried and wished that I had done it sooner. Worth thinking about but if you are going to do it, you need to stay consistent and see it through. good luck

  65. Hi there

    I just wanted to say that my 17 month old daughter appears to be going through her 18month sleep regression and I have been trawling through the internet to find some tips on how to manage it. all the other sites were telling me that it was normal and not to worry but were not telling me what to do. Eventually, I have come across your site telling me that it is ok to pick her up and cuddle her (she previously was going to her cot awake and happy and sleeping 13 hours). I feel so relieved and not scared of introducing bad habits after I had worked so hard to help her successfully self-sooth. so thank you loads, I will feel happier when I am cuddling her tonight.


  66. What a relief. My daughter has been doing this for the past 2 days and i was so confused until now. it’s so stressful and imagine it’s only been 2 days. i cannot wait for her to get back to her normal routine.

  67. Hi everyone

    I really hope someone can help and offer advice as I’m DESPERATE!!!

    My LO (nearly 16 weeks) has never been a great sleeper but the last 4 nights have been awful. Previous to that he had a litte spell where he was going from 7 pm to 4 am before a feed and then sleeping until between 7 and 8 am. Amazing!! But lately hes been waking up between 9 pm and midnight and then on and off from 4 am with me trudging in and out putting his dumy back in. Last night he came back in with us in his travel cot as it was feeling like the wall of doom to his room and back. He sleeps in a swaddle (tried to break him of it a couple of weeks ago and after 7 nights of sleeplessness he went back in!) and he has a dummy. Both of which I wish i’d never started. Naps are on and off, pretty much always wakes after 30 mins but can be soothed back to sleep normally and then will have between and hour and a half and 2 and a half hours with a few dummy stops. He has half an hour nap about an hour and a half/2 hours before bed time as oherwise its complete meltdown, but even with that hes shattered by bedtime (6.30/7). Have tried later bedtime but he still wakes early so pointless as he just gets even less sleep. I’m assuming this period we’re going through is the 4 month sleep regression a little early. So what am I asking here?! I think its this…

    1) should i try taking him out of the swaddle again or is that crazy sleep deprived talk?! The reason I want him out is that I want to get rid of the dummy but I think its cruel to leave him no access to his hands for soothing as hes a really oral baby.

    2) should i try to get rid of the dummy even if I can’t get rid of the swaddle or again is that just crazy?

    3) can anyone offer hope that this will end?! I’m so scared that its permanent as we’re a much happier house with sleep!

    I feel confused and like i’ve no clue what i’m doing anymore.

    Thanks in advance everyone. And I love this site btw, a breath of fresh air so thank you!! x

    • I think we have just exited this 4 month sleep regression (fingers crossed). I contemplated all things like getting get rid of dummy as i was back and fore every 30 mins etc. I failed halfway thru the first night of trying that. Anyway what I would say is just ride it out (mine went on nearly 2 weeks)and seems to have stopped as suddenly as it started. Have you read the link above to the Moxie blog? I found that very helpful in understanding. My mum stayed over 1 night for me to get some rest. Is there someone who can do this for you to get you thru it?

      • Thanks bambini. It’s good to hear your LO is through this phase, fingers crossed. It’s so hard not to panic it’s going to be endless! I guess my reason for thinking about the swaddle and the dummy is because he’s already not sleeping well so should I try to get it all out of the way in one go! But it’s probably not wise. That thoughts a bit out of the window today anyway as he had his jabs on Tuesday (great timing!) and is poorly today so we’ll leave him hanging on to his dummy!
        He used to always wake at 4 am and be hard to settle and this is what he’s back to doing. Am I wrong to be feeding him more than I would have done before do you think?? He’s quite hard to settle without a bottle.
        Thanks so much for replying! X

        • Ps sorry, my partner does a night when he’s not working and you’re right, it makes all the difference. Sometimes I wish he worked less!!

  68. Hi. My little boy is almost 17 weeks. Up until about a week ago he was a fantastic sleeper, sleeping 8-10 hours straight a night without waking up. But from about a week ago he has started waking after about 5 hours & needs fed again at that point. He is feeding quite a lot during the day too. He is a big baby (at his last weigh in at 12.5 weeks he was 15lb) He is exclusively breast fed. Also, he is rubbish at naps, only sleeping for 45 mins at a time but not at the same time every day. he always wakes up crying after a nap. I was just wondering if you might be able to explain why he has started waking up again at night (I am missing my sleep!!) & how I might rectify the problem. Is it a growth spurt? Do I just ride it out? Do I need to start on solids to keep his tummy fuller for longer?
    Thanks :)

  69. Hi Alexis,

    I posted to you maybe a month ago about a paci addicted reflux baby.

    He is 4 months old and I am happy to say we made a seamless transition from swing to crib for both naps and night time!

    We had been in a tizzy because we thought his zantac was losing its potency every 10 days-2 weeks. We increased the dosage and nothing happened. Finally we realized that the pharmacy we were going to gave us the wrong syringe and he was being way under dosed. We hoped it would fix the problem to start giving him a proper dosage (we are still in the process of figuring out what that is. He is 18.5lbs and we started with 1ml and today we started increasing it to 1.5ml). However I think we just hit a major regression and I’m not sure if it’s reflux or a regression. His eating has decreased a lot. A lot of the times he just doesn’t want to eat and gets upset when we try to feed him. For the past week he was waking up 3 times a night instead of once (usually he wakes up twice MAX) and last night he topped it off with waking up 6 times. He wanted to eat every time and I’m not surprised because he eats so little during the day (maybe on average 3oz every 3 hours). Other than the lousy appetite and lots of night wakings he is great. He’s not fussy, he laughs constantly and generally seems happy. When he wakes up at night after we feed him he goes right back to bed and now sometimes he can fall asleep on his own with no fuss and no paci. I am reluctant to stop feeding him every time he wakes because of his reflux and his small appetite.

    Do you have a hunch on whether this is a regression, reflux or both?

    Thanks so much!

  70. Hi Rosie

    I posted above in the same situation as you and I think (like bambi) we’ve just come out of a sleep regression. We have had 11 nights of regular wakings sometimes needing feeding, sometimes not, refusing to go to sleep by himself, needing rocking etc. Awful after he’d been a decent enough sleeper (apart from naps) previously. Then one night he just stayed asleep like he had done before. So I would say ride it out. Ours was particularly long but 4 days in he had his jabs which meant he reduced his bottles from 7 oz a feed down to 3 oz for a week. I think he’d have got through the regression quicker if it wasn’t for the jabs.

    For ladies still struggling with the regression there is hope! For me the worst thing was the thought that it might be permanent but it wasn’t. I was worried about falling in to bad habits after reading this blog and it really helped that I was aware of trying to make sure that didn’t happen. I kept trying to put him down awake and back in his own cot and only gave in when it was clear it wasn’t going to happen. He has slept with me from about 3 am ish through the regression. But then as I say one night I put him down awake and he stayed down and didn’t wake up until 2 am (from 7 pm which is normal for him) and I knew it was over. He’s woke up at 5 am a couple of times and struggled to go back to sleep but after a few nights of him waking ever hour that’s ok!!

    We’re now working on getting him out of the swaddle as he’s starting to roll to one side so we need it gone. We’re currently one arm out for naps and I’m making sure I follow a routine for naps like we do bedtime and he’s now going down awake for every nap and bedtime. I’ll give it a couple of days and then try the other arm. Think it’s going to be a slow process and I’m not even thinking about the dummy yet. One thing at a time! Don’t quite know how I ended up with so many things to need to work him off but there you go. We’ll get there I hope. X

  71. Is there a possibility that our 7 month old is having a sleep regression?? As soon as she hit 7 months her naps have fallen apart, and I’m feeling shell shocked…. She had been sleeping for 60-90 minutes per nap, and now sleeps between 10-30 minutes, if she sleeps at all…. We did CIO two weeks or so ago and it was wonderful, she slept for up to 6 hours at a stretch at night and stopped fighting naps. Now, while she still puts herself to sleep easily at night, she wakes every two hours :( i do not nurse her to sleep anymore, and have a gap of about 30 minutes between nursing and bed at night. She is fussy, attached to my boob all day, cries when I leave the room, when I put her down…….. Similar thing happened at four months, minus the excessive clinginess….. Could it be a bad regression combined with separation anxiety? She is also learning to walk and stand while holding on to something

    • ….or maybe she’s teething? :( The mind boggles when I consider the number of things that could be wrong. She has taken to biting me while nursing over the past week (about as long as she hasn’t been sleeping well and been really fussy etc) even without any teeth yet.

      • Hey Kristin, I was just wondering what, if anything, worked for your daughter or if it was just another phase that (hopefully quickly) passes. My son is 7 1/2 months and has been going through the exact same thing as you commented about for the past week. I’m wondering if I should try to give him something for possible teething pain, or if really it is just seperation anxiety because he calms down and is quite happy once he is picked up and cuddled.

        • Hey Janee, it was so long ago I’m not sure if anything we did made much difference, but I’ve a feeling it was just the beginnings of separation anxiety. She still has periods of terrible clinginess where she will just lose the plot if we walk awake from her…. and she still has no teeth!!! If your son stops crying when you pick him up then it’s not pain, he just wants cuddles because he misses you :) Now when our daughter cries during the night (sometimes every hour on a bad night even though there are no sleep associations) I will go to her, rub her back and reassure her that we are still there. When I started doing this at first she wasn’t happy, she wanted to be picked up. Pretty quickly she got the message that while we won’t pick her up, we are always there for her. It requires patience but it works for us. She puts herself to sleep without any problem but I don’t feel comfortable leaving her to cry in the middle of night- I want her to know she’s not alone when she’s scared or lonely.

  72. I am so glad I found this page. After wondering why my good sleeper turned into a complete monster at night I googled “4 month not sleeping”. Of course I found this page and realized my little monkey is in his 19th week! We are going on night 3 of terrible sleeping at night. All I can say is I see light at the end of the tunnel now!

  73. Yep just when I thought I had naps mastered (she was going 2 hrs to 2hrs and 30 minutes) my 16 week old turned on me. Last week naps were going great. I wasn’t letting her stay up more than 1 hr and 15 mins, rocked her a few minutes till drowsy, laid her down and she went to sleep. I only had to use the pacifier to extend the nap.

    Now, with naps I’ll rock her, but she won’t settle. She’ll be calm but not drowsy or sleepy, but will yawn endlessly. I’ve had to put the pacifier in just to get her to go to sleep. The same thing happened at bedtime Monday night. She would not settle. I gave her an extra two ounces (on top of the 8oz she gets before bed)and it worked. She was able to settle and go to sleep. Last night at bedtime I didn’t do that, instead used the pacifier and she woke up every hour demanding it (which is a first as she has never done that)! The pacifier is now the bane of my existence.

    If this is the dreaded 4 month sleep regression, and you say in your post that babies eat a ton during this time, should I have gone with my gut and given her an extra ounce of formula and not worry about creating a bad habit (feed to sleep) if it helped to settle her?

    And will the pacifier evenually become a useful tool in my sleep regression arsenal, or will I have to ditch it and find some other way to help soothe her?

    I should mention that we have a bedtime routine that we start at 7pm (bath, bottle, bed – I know the order of things will eventually have to change, I just don’t know when to make that change). She will sometimes fall asleep when she finishes her bottle (I know this will have to change too). Other times when she doesn’t fall asleep after the bottle, I’ll give her the pacifier to help soothe her to sleep. She usually spits it out before completely going to sleep. She doesn’t wake for nightfeedings, but will fuss at about 2ish and I’ll give her the pacifier and that usually gives us a few hours. Then our day starts at 6:45am.

    Is it okay to be giving her a bit more food at night if it will help settle her to sleep during this regression?

  74. I need some help here! We started our 20 week old baby girl on the teaching her to fall asleep on her own. She likes to be walked around the house to sleep so we thought the swing was the best thing. For the first 4 nights she did great. Fussed a bit, cried bit but went to sleep fairly quickly… the 5, 6 and 7 night, (tonite) have been very weird. She will not fall asleep on the swing, and tonite specially she is fighting her sleep so much. She is so sleepy and she keeps closing and opening her eyes and fighting her sleep. It almost seems like she knows I will put her down to sleep on her own… :(

    Do sleep regressions happen so quickly?? Please somebody help me… I was very encouraged we were on the right track but now I am very confused…

  75. Hi Alexis,
    I’ve been having problems with my 4 month old baby sleep. Hope you can recomend me something..
    At the first two monthes he was doing 7-9 hours of sleep straight during a night. When he turned 2 month old it broke in once. He’s been doing maximum 4 hours of sleep straight. So he does 2-4 hours at the first sleep than he wakes up every hour untill the morning. I still feed him only once at night (I put him in sleep at 8pm, feed him at 2 am, and he wakes up at 7 am). The times when he wakes up before 2am feeding I don’t pick him up from the crib, just calm him down by padding and pacifier. After the feeding he might sleep for another 1-2 hours, then I just put him in my bed for the rest of the night.
    During the day he takes short naps, normally 30 minutes. Even when he takes a long nap after walk or car ride (2 hours) he still does the same at night.
    Please give me some recomendations.. BTW he does not cry when he wakes up, s I don’t think that he’s hurting.
    Thank you,

  76. Im having huge troubles with my 6 mo little girl at the mo. Up until a few weeks ago she was a pretty good sleeper, has gone down awake in her crib, falls asleep on her own (but does have to have a paci) and slept until half 8 am waking once for a feed. Amazing. The 4 mo sleep regression hit us really hard as it came at the same time as her first two teeth butafter 3 weeks things calmed down and she went back to normal. But now a few weeks ago she began battling bedtime and would cry and cry everytime i put her down. After hours she would fall asleep and sleep all night but would not go to sleep on her own. I decided to try cry it out and the first night took 40 mins of crying which i felt was pretty good for a first night and felt ready for the second but it turned into a disaster as after an hour of crying it turned to screaming and choking and stuggling to catch her breath i had to rescue her. Now after a week or so of this she is back to going down pretty easily but will wake up after and hour and cry and cry for ages then if i can eventually get her back to sleep she will wake up a few hours later, and will not go back to sleep no matter how much soothing i do. I have also tried feeding her then and she will drink the bottle but then be up for hours still after and i can not get her back to sleep! What could this be? As you can guess its making me and her incredibly grumpy in the day and her naps have become awful, 45 minutes at the most :( please if you have any advice? Your site is the only one that i feel you truly know what your talking about!

  77. HELP! My 5 1/2 month old baby boy is sleeping on average 10hrs in a 24hr period… he had colic the first 3 1/2 months and just transitioned to the crib from the newborn rock n’ sleep in play 2 weeks ago. I am not a fan of the cry it out method, he has cried enough. The only way he will get to sleep is if he is nursed and falls asleep in my arms, then I can place him in the crib and he is out like a light for a good 6-7 hr stretch, until recently… now he will wake up almost instantly and it takes hours to get him down for the night,some nights he’ll sleep a 6 hr stretch others he will wake every 2 hrs or so, naps aren’t happening either, he’ll fall asleep in my arms and when placed in the crib wakes and cries. I am worried that he is overtired as am I. Any advice will be greatly appreciated! One more piece of info, he was breastfed exclusively until 2 weeks ago when we started rice cereal once a day only about 2 tablespoons.

    • Hi Andrea, just wondering what has happened since you posted this.. W are in the same situation with our son who also had severe colic… Did anything help get him sleeping longer stretches again?

  78. This is such a wonderful article- I am def sharing this with my friend who is going through a first month growth spurt with her baby and it can be so frustrating!
    I would also love to have you write a guest post for our site since our momma readers would totally benefit from this info! Check out our site: and contact me if that sounds good to you too :) thanks!

  79. My son is 8 months. Two weeks ago this started every nap every night is nothing but screaming and moving. He.recently learned to crawl. Amy’s I keep hearing during sleep regression the baby is always hungry my son is being the complete opposite he does not want the bottle. I many questions and want so many questions I idea where to start. Guess its partly exhaustion. I guess I’m wonder how much longer, should I let him sleep as long as he wants. Does his schedule go out the window since.he wont go to bed till 3am. I’m so confused. Its Ben two weeks with non stop fussing always wanting to be held putting up an hour fight everytime its time to sleep. I will rock walk sing read nothing works to keep him alseep after he wakes up at 10pm he always stays up till 3am. I’m sorry this is everywhere I’m extremely sleep deprived and very upset my baby is having a hard time.

  80. Plus sorry the spelling is so horrible my phone couldn’t keep up

    • I feel your pain. Our daughter is now 11 months and has been sleeping like crap for THREE MONTHS now. At some point around 9 months she got sick and I think that plus a really bad sleep regression messed everything up….? She still has no teeth. I am so tired I am seeing spots and dizzy. Sometimes she wakes in the night and is wide awake and crawling all over the bed for hours. Sometimes she wakes every hour and cannot resettle herself. Every night is different but every night is awful and I’m starting to go insane. Have you had any breakthrough? :(

  81. Had to review this once again and of even though I’ve been through each one, the 53rd week regression is here ! I feel like now that I’ve finally figured out these stages I can cope when it happens. The first thing I notice is that for the first few days, he is active and happy. Then I get two great days of 2 hr morning and afternoon naps then boom…. Resistant to sleep, sleeping late and this time, he is well aware of signing “milk” so you can imagine when I get into the groove of working, cleaning or just sitting down, I get this boy of mine signing milk… Lol. I can’t thank you enough for this post to refer to. It’s kept me same and much more patient with my self and my son.

    • THANKS SOOOO MUCH for this post!!!! I REALLY believe you are right about the, what I call hibernation period!!!! This post TOTALLY made me think of that, but I have always noticed it with my daughter before she gets sick. It’s like she would eat tooooons extra and sleep aloooooot, like a bear getting ready for hibernation ya know?!?!?, then boom be sick and eat less and sleep could go either way depending on sickness???? But I have never thought to connect it or look for it with regressions!!!! I will TOOOOOTALLY take notice next time he has one of the extra eat sleep moments and see if the regression progresses soon after!!!! HAHA And also TOOOOTALLY feeling ya on the right when I get into doing something really well BOOM around the corner is my lil whiny 8 month old now precious sweet lil boy!!!! GOTTA LOVE EM ALL!!!! Thanks again and SMILE! GOD and JESUS LOVE and BLESS YOU!!!!

  82. Just wondering how you are meant to rule out the “obvious” causes of sleep regression? In my experience they aren’t always so obvious. Eg. My 16 week old is drooling a lot and sucking/chewing on her hands. She’s also started waking at night and become really hard to put down in her cot – she just wakes up and cries. How do I know if this is sleep regression or teething? Ditto if she seems cranky all day, how do I know whether that’s because she’s a bit unwell (no fever, but I have been unwell recently) or just sleep deprived?

  83. 8 month old, and she’s a climber. She’ll wake up and immediately start climbing (I.e. Pulling herself up) the side of her crib. Sometimes with her eyes closed, I’m not kidding, wish I was…

    So, I’m assuming this annoying behaviour will end in a week or so for sleep regression? It’s awfully hard to sleep when you’re standing up, or standing then plunking back down. When she wakes up in the night she makes a B line for the side to start climbing / practice standing. If it wasn’t 10 times a night it would be the cutest thing ever, but it’s getting a bit old on night 3…

  84. could this happen an 11 month old??? My son has been a dfficult sleeper since a newborn…but lately it has gotten to be ridiculous! :( I nurse to sleep because I cannot do cry it out. but lately it takes a hr a half every time!!! naps or bedtime. what can I do to help this?

  85. Thanks for all the information. I think my baby is going through a sleep regression. She’s 4.5months old but she was born two weeks late. She’s been waking up a lot more frequently at night..but the sleep regression seems to not affect her naps at daycare. Does that seem strange or does it mean that she isn’t going through regression??

  86. My son seems to have this as well he is 9 months old and he wakes up anywhere between 3_5 times a night he will sleep during the day if i let him up to 2 hours. Feeding him is endless does not matter how much he gets he will still throw a fit. I do my best to controll his feeding but before i got custody of him his mother would literally stick a bottle in his mouth if he even slightly getting agitated it wouldnt matter to her if he had just ate. Many times he has goten so red in the face at night with his eyes closed he sweats he flails his arms and legs and nothing will comfort him no bottle no paci no swaddle not even rocking him it will go on for up to half an hour being a single dad i work 8+ hour days so this is seriously hurting my worki just need something to get him on a regular sleeping schedule. He does roll over and crawl but he can sleep on his tummy or back it does not bother him i just dont know if im doing something wrong. I feed him 6 oz per feeding every 5 hours with some snacks and baby food inbetween during the day he is clean his teperature is fine he is full he can sleep through alot of noise so i know thats not the problem i just do not understand this at all i love my boy and i am very patient with him so soothing him when he is like this does not faze me but i am worried about the little guy this cannot be healthy for his growth with him not getting a good long rest in. I have also tried cuttting his nap down alot but still same thing

  87. My baby is 20 weeks and we just went through a 2 week sleep regression.. Wouldn’t nap, waking all night to practice rolling over, extemy fussy…

    Today he is taking a 3 hour morning nap!! Do I wake him? Or does this mean the regression is over?

  88. Hi,

    Like many others I’m so thankful for your site. It’s given me desperately needed relief, sanity and encouragement!!

    My BF 7 month old boy has reflux and also intolerances to dairy, soy and gluten which was discovered at 16 weeks after lots of screaming since birth and 10 weeks of explosive diarrhoea. He also would refuse the breast for a couple of days leading up to when I got my period (which came back when he was 8 weeks old!!) Lots of angst and expressing.

    We got to pretty ok sleep routines at 4 months once his gut settled. Down awake and wrapped, using a paci but rarely having to put it back in once asleep (paci helped the reflux), and using a lullaby CD to go to bed for the night but not for day sleeps. He never slept more than about 6 hours at a stretch, but would wake for 1-2 feeds a night but would just go straight back down again (not falling asleep on the breast) without the CD. He started sleeping 1 1/2 to 2 hours x 2-3 during the day then as well.

    (I’ve put him down awake since day dot more or less. In fact he’d rather be on his own than in arms. But doesn’t mean he sleeps well.)

    Just before 6 months sleep stopped being ok. Day naps went back to 45 min naps with lots of fighting to get down to sleep. He started waking 4-6 times overnight and was difficult to get back to sleep. Then he got sick for a week and a couple of weeks later is sick again. I’m going nuts after this 6 weeks of no sleep. Have had only a couple of sleeps longer than 2 1/2 hrs and quite a few nights with only 1 hrly sleeps basically. Lullaby CD has stopped being very effective too.

    I just read about sleeps regression. Do you think that is what it could have started out to be? He’d just started sitting and doing a few other things at the times. He seemed to be in development overdrive – verbalising lots more etc.

    I don’t know what to do now. It’s still going on. I realise being sick doesn’t help anything…

    My current plan is:

    On waking each time in the day, BF then solids.

    He’s waking for the day around 7 (quite civilised I know, just not sleeping solidly at night.)

    Keep him up 2 1/2 to 3 hours at a time during the day, and he’s back to 2 x more or less 2 hr day naps.

    After the second nap, he wakes around 4 or 4:30ish. I BF him then give him solids, play and then bath, story and +/- another BF then bed at 6:30-7ish. I’m not sure what to do with BF then or not? He doesn’t feed well unless I’m really full and after 3 hours I’m not that full. I can give EBM in a bottle but not sure if it’ll help or hinder. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. He goes down better with a feed (BF/EBM) but it doesn’t mean he stays asleep any longer. He’s often waking again at 8:30, 11-12ish, 2ish, and often 4ish as well. If I feed at 7ish, I’ve been trying to only feed him again around 2ish. If I don’t feed him at 7ish, I feed him when he wakes between 9-11ish and then at 3-4ish. By 9-11ish it’s 5-7 hrs since his last BF, I’m full and he seems really hungry.

    I’m really struggling to work out what to do with feeds. His weight is ok but on the lower side. I don’t think he’s ready to have no feeds overnight and I think my supply will drop quite a bit if there’s no feed overnight (my supply is a bit dicey with hormones etc – adequate but only just at times).

    What is realistic to expect for his age (just 7 months) with feeds and overnight sleep stretches?

    Is there some way to get back to easy resettling overnight?

    BTW I’ve tried to get rid of the paci for about 5-6 nights with lots of screaming (him and occasionally me!!) and he just can’t settle without it. He’s a real “mouth sucker” needs to be sucking for comfort. Not having it when awake unless sick and distressed.)

    He seems to settle ok if I wrap with one arm out (at least during the day) but not sure if that’s part of the issue…him needing to be freer?? He just quite likes being wrapped to sleep, calms right down and so far doesn’t try to roll at all in bed. (Rolling when playing, very active, just not in bed.) He does break free with his arms often now when he wakes up so am wondering if he learns to go to sleep with his arms out he can then resettle himself with his arms out. He can often get his own paci in if his arms are out.

    Sorry this is long and detailed. Like so many others I’m pretty desperate. I’ve never asked a question on a blog before but am just at the point of not knowing what to try next.

    Thanks for your help.

  89. I was looking for this book in denmark but could not find it nor the authors.
    The book is written by Dutch and not Danish writers!

  90. Hi Alexis,

    I’ve been reading your blog since my daughter was born. Thanks for all that you do!

    I have to respectfully disagree with you about the purchase of “The Wonder Weeks.” I bought it a few months ago (about $10 for the Kindle), and it has been nothing short of my bible ever since.

    Some parents are not “researchers” at heart and might not crave the kind of scientific guidance that the book provides, but it has been invaluable for me. It’s so nice to know exactly when the fussy periods are coming, and to be able to read about what’s going on in my daughter’s head as she’s screaming for no reason at 3am. Knowing exactly what’s going on helps me to have more patience with her and to endure her mercurial moods during the “fussy periods.” The book also contains anecdotes from other parents, which I also find helpful. I think parenting can be lonely sometimes because most people don’t want to talk about all the crappy things their kids do, so it’s easy to think that you’re the “only one” who has these issues or who feels a certain way.

    • Yeah the price has changed since I wrote this ~2 years ago. They also have an app that people like that is either free or like $1? Personally I find the “this week X is happening and next week Y is happening” to be overwhelming and not particularly actionable. But if it’s helpful (and now less expensive) then by all means have a go! You would probably like the app too?

      cheers :)

      • Haha, I know the post is old. I still wanted to plug the book, since I’ve found it so helpful. I think I would have paid the original $50 and found it to be money well spent! People pay that amount on all kinds of silly baby things that are nowhere near as informative.

  91. My son will be 14 months old on Sunday. Since the week before his first birthday he has not slept through the night. It started with an ear infection and his molars coming in followed by another ear infection a few weeks ago. I just took him to the doctor and his ears are all clear but he still will not sleep through the night. He is up at least once and it can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours to get him back to sleep. I have tried cry it out, ignoring, comforting, etc…the only thing that seems to remotely work sometimes is giving him a bottle which I really don’t want to do. I do not want to make a habit out of feeding him in the middle of the night as I feel he gets more then enough food/milk throughout the day. I am 5 months pregnant so am hoping to get this under control before our 2nd baby comes. Everything I read about sleep regression said it should correct itself after 6 weeks. We are going on 8. My husband and I both work full time and are exhausted. What can I do?

  92. I was going to work on transitioning my three and a half month old out of her pack play newborn napper and into the crib. I hear the four month regression will start soon and wonder if I should hold off on this? She is only 10 pounds so she hasn’t reached the weight limit yet, and she’s not rolling over, but they recommend transitioning by three months. I’m worried too much change at once will be a disaster.

  93. Alexis,
    I tried your swing idea two days ago…and it worked after I swaddled my 5 months old and turned up the speed…She will only need the motion to fall asleep but then we turn it off and she continued to sleep from 8 pm till 3:30 am =) However after two days of SOLID naps and SOLID night time sleep with the exception of the 3 or 4 am feeding…my child will not sleep…She went to sleep at 7 pm last night tired and fussy…but was light sleeper all night long and woke up at 1:20 am for feeing and again at 5 am…we had to keep the swing and sound machine running most of the night…and she did not look refreshed when she was up at 8:15 am (one hour later than our normal schedule.) Missed her 9 am nap of course because of waking up late…tried to put her for a nap at 10 but she cried for 15 minutes…tried again a bit later, she slept for the hour and woke up…I tried I again at 1 pm but she cried for 15 minutes, slept for half hour, then woke up again…cried another 15 minutes and fell asleep again…

    Could this be teething?? She’s pulling on her ears which is unusual…she never reached for her ears before…Do I ignore her cries when she is in the swing? I can’t figure out if she is in pain and needs some TLC or if this is a “she needs to learn to fall asleep” situation…I mean she did it on her own the last two days with minor complaining if she is swaddled…

    HELP : ( I was getting excited about making progress and now I’m lost!

    • Hey JayZ,

      Babies get sick all the time. Honestly it doesn’t sound like teething to me but she definitely sounds “off.” Why is she off? Who knows. Illness would be my top guess. But the fact that she slept 13 hours (even if it was restless sleep) says something.

      Assuming she is off, sick, etc. I Would lean toward being gentle. If she’s crying, go to her. She IS a bit old for the swing so once things settle down (hopefully in a day or two) I would work on weaning her OUT of the swing. Meaning – use the swing now to teach her to sleep on her own then start gradually dialing down the speed. Start with night time, then if you’re feeling sassy, try the same with naps. I say that because most 5-6 month olds are generally moving out of the swing so you want to use the tool (swing) while it’s working. Because it may not work for you that much longer.

      Good Luck and say hi to Beyonce for me!

  94. I only got her in the swing two days ago…after reading your suggestion regarding breaking the nursing to sleep habit…which only started while being overseas with 12 hours time switch get there and then getting back…

    I’m really frustrated…no naps today 15 or 30 minutes tops! she used to nap in her crib for 2 or 3 hours straight! aaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  95. My babe turns 7 months tomorrow and after survivng the 4mo sleep regression from hell, it seem like we’re heading into another one. :( She keeps waking up earlier and earlier at night (used to wake at 11 &4, now at 9,12,3..on and on.) Nothing gets her to fall asleep again unless I feed her. and it HAS to be milk. tried giving water (because Im sure she’s not hungry), but she wont go back to sleep if I do. Im pretty miserable and exhausted right now. :(

    • Beth…I feel for you…my baby girl has been having a few of those days since she hit 4 months…I hope Alexis will have a helpful tip.

      Alexis…we need an article about nursing for comfort…not in relation to sleep but in general…I think its such a privilege and blessing to be able to do that… but aside from being sore chronically…are we spoiling them? do they just outgrow it?

  96. Hi Alexis
    So, I think we just got over the 4 month regression for my baby girl. She was never a 12 hr sleeping baby and woke up one to feed at night. It started on New Year’s Eve ….some nights it was every 2 hrs and other nights every 3 hrs…or between 2 and 3 hours. She is exclusively breasted so you imagine what a toll this took on me and I had just started going back to work. In any case for the first time 2 nights ago she slept for more than 6 hrs straight. Woke up once to eat and then back to sleep!! It lasted 5 weeks and I really thought it would never end…I didn’t mind the nursing but the sleepless nights were killing me!!
    I finally downloaded the wonder weeks app out of curiosity and it is so useful! the 4 month regression or what they call the 4th leap is supposed to last from14.5 to 19.5 weeks..and what do u know,her nightly wakings started in the 15th week it was exactly after she finished 19.5 weeks (2days ago) she slept without waking every 2-3 hrs! …so I am hoping this will last for at least a few days…
    Now if i can get to “put down drowsy but awake ” land..But that’s for another day. One step at a time..

  97. Hi Alexis
    So, I think we just got over the 4 month regression for my baby girl. She was never a 12 hr sleeping baby and woke up once to feed at night. Then It started on New Year’s Eve ….some nights it was every 2 hrs and other nights every 3 hrs…or between 2 and 3 hours. She is exclusively breastfed so you imagine what a toll this took on me and I had just started going back to work. In any case for the first time 2 nights ago she slept for more than 6 hrs straight. Woke up once to eat and then back to sleep!! It lasted 5 weeks and I really thought it would never end…I didn’t mind the nursing but the sleepless nights were killing me!!
    I finally downloaded the wonder weeks app out of curiosity and it is so useful! the 4 month regression or what they call the 4th leap is supposed to last from14.5 to 19.5 weeks..and what do u know,her nightly wakings started in the 15th week it was exactly after she finished 19.5 weeks (2days ago) she slept without waking every 2-3 hrs! …so I am hoping this will last for at least a few days…
    Now if i can get to “put down drowsy but awake ” land..But that’s for another day. One step at a time..

  98. Ok, I’m pretty confident that my 5.5 mo old started going through the 4 mo. sleep regression when she was about 3.5 mo. Problem is she seems to have retained her bad sleep and I’m not sure how to get her to go back to good sleep. First off, I have to preface this by saying that I know that even the worse way she is sleeping now is better than a lot of babies, but when you’re used to it being easier, anything worse is hard!

    So, here’s what happened / is happening. From about 1.5 mo to 3.5 mo she had a great schedule where she’d sleep from between 8:30 – 9:30 pm til between 7:30 – 8:30 am . Her naps have always been all over the place. Anywhere from a 1/2 hr. to 2.5 hrs. Around 3.5 mo. she started waking up a little earlier each day. first 7:15, then 7, then 6:45 and so on. She bottomed out around 4 am, and now she will wake up anytime from 3:30 am to 6 am. If she wakes up before 5:30 or so she will usually go back to sleep after I feed her, otherwise she won’t, but will still be tired.

    From when she was an amazing sleeper until now we’ve basically been doing the same things: bedtime routine, swaddle, binkie, white noise machine. Nothing has really changed there. Also, when she wakes up we don’t go get her right away, in case she will go back to sleep. So, why did she not go back to the way she was sleeping before and is there anything I can do to nudge her that way?

  99. We’re using the Wonderweeks app which is great for quickly working out if you’re likely in a regression (and how far you’ve got to go…!) and it’s FREE :-)

  100. Sleep Regression

    I was so proud of myself achieving the put baby down awake and he would fall asleep…until he started waking up every 2 hours at night after 2 weeks of CIO working.

    By reading the regression post, I realized I have a sleep association problem. I need to cut the bottle/feed out right before I put him in the crib.

    So I fed him 20mins before I put him in the crib, and he cried like crazy….CIO take 2!

    Will I have to go through 2 weeks for CIO sleep training again???

    Is there anything else that I can do to keep him sleeping longer at night?
    What is a good stretch of sleep at night for a 5 month old?

    Any advice to a sleep deprived zombie mom of four would be much appreciated!


  101. 6 months regression… O..M..G.
    my baby used to be able to sleep on her own… now she wakes x 2 per night, wants more milk and need to be rocked to sleep and short naps constant wakings… sigh.. im just soooo relieved to see alexis’s post.. thank you!!!

    • My LO finally decided to only wake up two times at night at 5 1/2 months. Prior to that she was up every two hours. Enter 6 month sleep regression. We are back to up every two hours, no naps, incredibly fussy.

      I would love for twice a night :(

  102. Thank you for the great info. I’ve read and re-read your posts and some comments but can’t remember if I’ve seen anything about how to reverse getting trapped into a sleep regression pattern. I’m too exhausted to remember…

    Do you have info on how to break the nasty sleep regression patterns that have become my three month old’s new pattern? She’s waking up every 45 minutes to an hour starting at 2 or 3 am, until 6 or 7 am. Goodness, help me!

    She sleeps for 3ish hour stretches starting at 7pm and then it falls apart in the middle of the night. She loves her paci and her swing.

    Thank you, thank you!

    • Hello Beth,

      I was wondering how did things progressed with your baby since that sleep regression?
      I have 8 week old baby boy and I am noticing that after 3a.m. He wakes up every hour until 6

    • And nurses every hour. I wanted to know if things did change for you?

      Really would appreciate your help!
      Thank u in advance

      • Hi Yulia! Wow my baby has come a long way since then–she’s almost 8 months old now! She wakes up usually two times a night these days. But what broke her pattern of waking every hour is that I moved out of her room. I slept next to her while
        She slept in her cosleeper. The night I moved out she slept for 7 hours straight!!!!! I think that I was hearing every whimper and squeak and picked her up unnecessarily and fed her when she didn’t really need to eat! She definitely wasn’t hungry every hour! I don’t know if that’s helpful. I guess it depends on your sleeping arrangements :)

  103. Help! My lo is 4 months today. She hates nap time and fights me all the way to sleep for naps. I try to get her to fall asleep and after a crying fit she passed out but when I lay her down she wakes. If I lay her down awake she either cries forever or lays there laughing and giggling! Then bc no nap she’s super fussy by the evening!

  104. I’m currently undergoing the good ole four month sleep regression with my second baby. My first baby woke up every two hours until he was… Wait for it… 19 months old. For 19 long months I was up with him 4-5 times a night and I’m terrified of this happening again. My baby cries almost instantly when I put him in his crib, I’ve tried dousy yet awake and he cries and wakes himself back up. Any tips or advise for this, I myself am not a mom who can let my kiddo cry it out (no offense to anyone who does, I just simply can’t). I can’t figure out how to get him down without crying.

  105. Please help! My little one slept between 6-8 hours from about 7 weeks to 3.5 months. She’s almost 4.5 months and initially it started with her waking up once a night for a feed when she was about 3.5 months. She had started teething at 3 months. I would put her to sleep either with a soother or breastfeeding. It worked great for us. For two weeks now she refuses the soother, naps an average of 1 to 2 hours the whole day! (She used to have 3-4 naps that were between 1.5-3 hours long) and wakes up every hour and a half at night to feed. By 3 am she refuses to let go off my breast and just sucks all night :( if I move she wakes up and starts to cry. I don’t know if she’s hungry or teething or regressing but its causing her to not sleep and she’s become a very fussy baby. Cries if she’s not held or if I leave the room. She refuses the soother now, teething aids have not helped and will only doze off if latched on my breast. what do I do??

  106. Help!!! I don’t know if my almost 9 month old is experiencing a sleep regression or if this is something else, and I’m desperate for some advice that will get him to fall asleep. My son bed-shares with me and has done so for months. I would take him to bed with me, nurse him and he’d fall asleep no problem. He’d wake a few times per night but was fairly easily settled with nursing. I know people will have issues with this routine, but let’s not go there right now as my problem hasn’t even been mentioned yet. About 4 nights ago my son started having trouble falling asleep. I’d take him to bed and he would just cry. Nursing didn’t help and he would just toss from tummy to back, slap at the mattress, and even refuse the breast. All this while crying (or screaming). He was clearly tired as he’d rub at his eyes. It’s like he was too wired to sleep or something. I tried changing our routine by giving him a big bottle of milk about 30 minutes before bed, changing him, getting him into our room with the lights very dimmed, reading stories, and then turning out the lights. As soon as the lights go out he frantically reaches for me and seems to panic. I offer him my breast and he may or may not go for it briefly, but then starts to cry. This has gone on for hours. The longest night was last night when he didn’t fall asleep for 4 hours. I don’t know what to do. Is this a phase or something else? I should mention that his first tooth came through yesterday. He wakes in the morning very chatty and doesn’t appear to be in pain from the teething. I hope someone can offer some insight/suggestions. Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Vi

  107. My daughter is 14 weeks old. Starting 8 days ago, she began to wake up every 1-2 hours after we had finally achieved a livable sleep pattern (bed at 10, up at 1:30 and 4:30). She has never been a great sleeper, but this regression is killing me. She’s not 4 months old yet so is it even possible that this is a standard regression? We recently moved her into her crib in her own room, but the constant waking began even before we moved her. She will sleep longer if I put her in the bed with me. I’m just not sure what to make of all of this. Any advice or thoughts?

    • Hi Kelly! My little girl is 13 weeks and I think she may be going through the 4 month regression early as well. I was wondering what happened in your case? Did your daughters sleep improve after a few days? My daughter was going to bed and naps awake with no help from me and she would sleep a nice chunk at night. Now she is a fussbot who has to be held to sleep and g-d forbid I put her down too soon…her eyes pop wide open and rinse and repeat ;). She is waking every hour at night!!

  108. My son woke up between three and eight times a night until he was a year old and we finally sleep trained him using the pick up out down method and it worked in two nights. My 4 month old daughter was better but also not a good sleeper but this time around every time she wakes up I do not give her the boob. She gets picked up/put down until she falls asleep there’s very minimal if any crying. I know she can sleep between 6-8 hours stretches because she started doing this at 2 months at night so if she’s up after two hours of me nursing her it’s not for hunger, it’s for comfort. With your baby pick him/her up and put them back down ….he whimpers again pick up pop back down.
    I created insane habits for my first that led to bad sleeping and I refused to do it with my second. Btw my girl is not starving from this method. She is exclusively breastfed and weighs 18 pounds at 4.5 months.

  109. Baby is just about 24 weeks (6months) I think we have hit the six month regression, fusses when I put him down fights all naps and bedtime even if he’s rocked, nursed etc. any tips?

    • I think we’ve hit that mark too… My baby boy is almost 6mo and he’s fighting naps and sleep, just fine if I hold him but as soon as I set him down he cries.

  110. Please help!!! My 5 month old son gas always slept great at night. Now all ofva sudden around 1 am he starts rolling around and whining in his sleel until i nurse him. Its like no matter what position i Put him in he cannot get comfortable. This has started 3 nights ago. He has never napped well.

  111. Hi there

    My 9 month old gas croup 2 months ago and ever since then we have such a hard time.putting him to sleep , he’s bad for naps as it is unless we are out he will sleep for hours ..he loves motion and because of the croup we were told by the doctor to keep him.upright in his car seat at night. Now every night he will sleep for an hour in his crib and hysterically freak out and be awake for hours sometimes not falling asleep until 12 am or later, we have to rock his car seat or push him.around in his stroller to have him calm down and fall we are so desperate and absolutely over tired . :(
    P.s he’s never been a really good sleeper and when he wakes up from naps he’s crying before he used to babble and play after a nap until I got him.

  112. Hi Alexis,
    I absolutely love your blog and cannot wait for your book to come out! Your advice is the reason that my now 16-month old has been sleeping through the night since 7 months. However, something is happening with her for the last few nights and I just can’t figure it out.
    She has suddenly become completely unwilling to fall asleep on her own. I put her down awake (as I’ve done every night since 7 months) and she SCREAMS bloody murder. I have basically reverted back to cio fur the last 3 nights. The first night she cried for 35 minutes, the second night 10 minutes, and tonight 10 minutes- but only because I put a second lovey in her crib, which she found and stopped crying. She’s been throwing hers out as soon we walk out of her room. Is there some sort of sleep regression at this age? She’s acting totally normal all day. I’m so baffled and sad about this…
    Thank you for all you do for us!

    • Thanks for your kind words :)

      It’s possible that she’s letting you know she’s ready to drop to 1 nap per day. If however she’s already on a 1-nap schedule it could be because she’s a toddler now. (I mean there is an 18 month regression but regardless your approach is the same.)

      Toddlers want what they want and they DO NOT WANT to go to bed. Crying for 10 minutes feels like “I don’t want to sleep!!!!” more than a real problem. Also throwing out the lovey is something that kids do. This is where natural consequences come into play – if you throw it out Mom will give it back to you one time with a gentle reminder to not toss bunny. If bunny gets tossed again bunny will have to sleep on the floor tonight.

      • Hi Alexis,
        Thank you for responding. I just thought I would let you know that whatever she was going through seems to be over. It seemed like she just randomly needed to be re-sleep trained. I have no idea why, but those 3 nights of CIO did the trick. You should know that I would NEVER have had the strength to use this method, had I not found your site when she was 3 months old. I had forgotten how hard it was to listen to that crying! Especially now that she can talk . Anyway, thanks again…

  113. Hi Alexis!

    I’ve been an avid reader since my first was born in 2013. Now I’m on my second and I feel compelled to ask. Can sleep regressions start and stop? My 7 week old was sleeping 3 hours at night and then all of a sudden stopped at the 6.5 week mark where he started to wake up and fuss every 1 to 2 hours. Then, after 3 or 4 nights (i can’t remember) he stopped. Had one day of EPIC sleep (probably 20 hours of out of 24) and then went back to sleeping 3 hours sessions. Then all of a sudden at 7.5 weeks he went BACK to 1 to 2 hours for some strange reasons.

    He has fallen asleep on his own in his rock and play several times. We swaddle like no one’s business as well as have a sound machine going for him. He falls asleep fine but seems to be struggling with staying asleep unless he’s in the carrier or being held. He’s only 7 weeks old (almost 8) so I’m just not sure what options I have to try to get him to sleep longer or if this is just another case of “this too shall pass.” Any advice?

  114. Hi Alexis –

    I discovered your blog a few days ago via a Google search and I wanted to say I love all your advice. I have a 19 month old son and 6 week old daughter right now. Two kids under two has been challenging to put it nicely :).

    With my son, I have a hard time remembering all the details early on. He did sleep through the night at 10 weeks and has been a tremendous sleeper ever since.

    Our daughter on the other hand seems like she is going to give us a run for our money..up until a few nights ago she was doing really well for her age – sleeping 5 hours her first stretch then fed and went another 3 or so. However, now she has been been fighting her nap in the afternoon, more fussy and most nights (in general) she takes a while to be put down for “bed.” And has been waking up an hour or two after I finally get her down. When she wakes up I don’t think she’s necessarily hungry. Sometimes I can sooth her back to sleep w her pacifier. But going from 5 hours to now one or two is driving me crazy. Do you think it is a sleep regression or growth spurt? I am not sure what to do. I know she is only 6 weeks but I have been trying to train her as much as possible early on. Any advice?!


    One tired and frustrated momma :)


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