Having an infant at home can give a very warm feeling to the whole family, particularly to the parents. However, when sleep regression kicks in especially as early as three months after the baby’s birth, it can be very bothersome and stressful. A baby’s sleeping pattern normally changes at this infanthood phase. During this period, the baby wakes up frequently at night or takes short naps and it can be a very demanding time.
What exactly is a sleep regression?
Sleep regression is when somebody experiences a disturbance in their sleep for more than a couple of days. It is when a supposedly steady and regular sleeping schedule gets disrupted and becomes bothersome.
It is more prevalent among children and begins at about their third or fourth month and then likely to happen again at the eighth, twelfth, and eighteenth month. It sounds a little bit worrisome, doesn’t it?
Since this article focuses on sleep regression among three-month-olds, let us talk about it in detail. Before a baby’s third or fourth month, they tend to sleep for a long time – sometimes almost all day. It is usually a pleasant, deep, and sound sleep that hardly anything wakes them up. It is said that this is a recovery behavior from the trauma of being born. After this period of recovery, they start to sleep somewhat milder and become aware of their surroundings. This change in consciousness results in a more active brain and an inquisitive mind. These factors can interrupt their sleep routine.
What are the signs of sleep regression among three-month olds?
Infants are normally fussy because they do not know yet how to express their feelings and communicate their needs. However, when the fussiness increases for no clear reason and becomes distressing, they are probably experiencing regression.
Babies tend to sleep a lot during daytime, and this can be normal, but they should also be able to sleep well at night to keep it balanced. If the baby is not sleeping at night, they are likely to feel tired throughout the day, resulting in more naps than usual.
Other common signs would obviously be frequent waking at night, change in appetite, being irritable and inconsolable, and being restless while sleeping.
We understand how frustrating it can get, so in this article, we present valuable information on how you can deal with this phase.
Continue regular sleeping practices
Continue your bedtime routine. It can be nursing them, holding them while sitting in a rocking chair, or co-sleeping. All these regular practices should uninterruptedly be done to help the baby fall asleep.
Darken the bedroom and/or use white noise
Darkening the room can lessen the baby’s imagination and help them sleep faster. You might also want to consider using white noise as this can become a positive sleep association that will help them fall asleep.
Use a swaddle and/or a pacifier
Swaddling may decrease the baby’s stimulation, making them feel comfortable and therefore sleep sounder. A regular swaddle should work, but if your baby feels a little uncomfortable in it, try a sleep sack like the Tillyou Microfleece Baby Sleep Bag.
This product is great for newborns until up to six months so it will be worth its cost since you can use it for a long period of time. Its oversized V-neck design with inverted zipper will surely make your baby feel warm inside, giving them a great sleep. It comes in six different colors with cute animal embroidery.
Give a dream feed
A dream feed is when you feed the baby while they are asleep before you go to bed. By doing this you will ideally get a longer sleep. Imagine this: if the baby can last five hours without being fed and you put them to sleep at 7:00 PM, they will probably wake up at midnight and you as well since you need to feed them.
By dream feeding at a later time while the baby is still sleeping, the baby will not wake up hungry again until a certain period and you can sleep longer.
Observe the baby’s development
If you are considering changing you and your baby’s bedtime practices, look at their behavioral patterns and responses to your daily routine first.
It will also help if you do some more research as infants have different developmental rates and reactions to the changes happening within them. Asking for advice from family and friends who are experienced parents will surely be of help as well.