Short answer? Yes. You can most definitely sleep train through a regression. Sleep regressions are not bad. They are not something to be feared. Regressions are actually not regressions at all. They are periods of exponential growth in your child. They are alternatively called leaps. In these leaps, your child is experiencing a massive amount of mental growth. When we say that your child is in a regression, we mean that your child has seemingly reverted back to a younger, “less mature” behavior. Here are some things to consider when sleep training through a regression.
How old is your child?
Regressions typically happen at a certain time or age. These are 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months. If your little one is 7-8 months old, then it may not be a regression you are experiencing at all. It could very likely be teething or something else that is bothering them. There is a fantastic app called The Wonder Weeks which will guide you along all your child’s leaps. You can input info about your child, and it will begin giving you information of what to expect and even send you notifications/add to your calendar when a leap is coming up so you can be prepared. We used this with my daughter who is now 18 months, and it was literally a life-saver. The app added all of her leaps to my calendar, and it would send me a notification a few days before the leap began so that I could mentally prepare myself instead of being completely blindsided.
Are you just starting out sleep training?
Let’s say your little one is hitting that 4 month sleep regression, but you have never sleep trained before. Maybe right now isn’t the time to start. I don’t say this because it can’t be done because it most definitely can! I say that to make your life easier. While, yes, you can start in the pits of the 4 month sleep regression, but it’s gonna be hard. Even harder than if you were starting on a good day. But hey, if you are ready and you have your expectations set appropriately, GO FOR IT! I will be cheering you on! If you need help through this time, let me help you. Send me a message, and let's schedule a free 15 minute "get to know you" call today.
Have you already sleep trained but you’re just experiencing the regression at its fullest?
Then yes continue to sleep train like you did originally. Revert back to your original sleep training method and pick up where you left off. Let’s look at an example. You sleep train your little one at 4 months, but before long, the 6 month regression hits hard. You used the Ferber method for sleep training at 4 months, so you will just continue to use that method through this regression.
You want to make sure that you don’t revert back to your old ways of rocking or nursing to sleep. Once you drop those habits, leave them behind and RUN! It’s so easy to get caught up in the “Ugh I just need sleep so I’m gonna just go rock her for a few minutes!” We all know how that goes, right? A few minutes turns into rocking to sleep. Instead of being a one time event, rocking to sleep becomes a permanent thing. Then here we are. Back where we started! If this is you, it’s okay! You are not alone!
Okay so we are stuck in our old cycle after a regression? What do we do now?
If you find yourself in this position, don’t worry. As I said earlier, just go back to our original sleep training method. Sometimes you have to tweak it a little bit based on your child’s age now compared to when you sleep trained the first time. So if you did 3 minute check ins when your child was 5 months old but now your child is 14 months, you might need to up the time between check ins. 3 minutes might be too stimulating for a baby that old. So now instead of 3 minutes, you do 7 minutes between checks. It’s still the same method. Just longer wait times. This way your child already knows what to expect, and you have done this before.
What regressions are you facing right now? Are you just getting into the 4 month regression? Or are you in the 18 month regression and just barely alive anymore? We are currently in the 18 month regression, and I’m telling you, I don’t know how we’ve made it this long.
If you feel like you’re stuck in a regression and can’t get out, send me a message today to schedule a free 15 minute “get to know you” call today! I can’t wait to chat with you.