Causes of baby waking: Sleep regression or growth spurt, or both?
Trying to work out why your baby is waking can be difficult, this may help
There are so many reasons why your baby may wake in the night. The first obvious things to check for are hunger, a dirty nappy, teething, feeling unwell; room is too hot/cold or too light. But when the obvious doesn’t seem to be the cause, what else could it be?
Many babies experience sleep regression at various stages and growth spurts can affect babies sleep, so what and which is it? Understanding the development stages when these tend to occur can help you figure out what might be going on with your little one.
Common stages for sleep regression
4 months old is the first common stage babies experience sleep regression.
8-10 months old is the next common time.
12 months can also be a time babies start to experience sleep regression
It can also surface again at around 18 months old or even up until 2 years old.
Common stages for baby growth spurts
Growth spurts tend to last about a week and you may notice your baby has a bigger appetite, which may see them wake in the night for a feed. Your baby may also seem extra-sleepy and actually sleep more in the day during a growth spurt.
Every baby is different so this is not a guarantee, but common times for growth spurts include:
Is sleep regression and growth spurts the same thing?
The quick answer is no. Sleep regressions are said to be related to the inside mental and emotional development whereas growth spurts are related specifically to physical growth in your baby.
There can be timing overlaps between the two so there’s no guarantee which may be causing unsettled sleep, but a combination of the two is definitely challenging.
Whichever is causing your baby’s unsettled sleep, be assured, it won’t last forever. Understanding the usual stages when some of these things occur, can help you at least understand why your baby’s sleep might have been affected and give you the confidence to stick it out and not fall into common sleep habits that parents unwittingly come to rely on.