Baby Sleep Regressions: Ages and Everything You Need To Know to Handle Them

Sleep RegressionsBaby sleep regressions occur at many ages usually around 6 weeks, 4 months, 8 to 9 months, 15 months, 18 months, and 2 years old. It’s a phrase you probably didn’t know existed before you had a baby, but now? Now that your baby is waking frequently, and you are exhausted beyond all reason? Now that your toddler is waging a fierce anti-nap campaign? Yeah – “sleep regression” is a phrase you’re probably familiar with!

Sleep Regressions: What They Are

A sleep regression describes a period of time (~3 to 6 weeks) when a baby or toddler who has been sleeping well suddenly starts waking at night, taking short naps and/or skipping naps for no apparent reason. Parents often describe being caught totally off guard. You think you have conquered all your baby’s sleep challenges, when suddenly, out of nowhere, you’re back to constant night wakings and nonexistent naps.

Frustrating, to say the least!!

Sleep Regression Ages: When (And Why) They Happen

Remember, every baby is different, so what is true for your friends’ babies may not necessarily be true for yours. That is, your baby or toddler may show true regression signs at some of these month markers, but not others.

That said, there are some ages during which most babies or toddlers go through a regression that affects their sleep:

6 Week Sleep Regression? Or, Growth Spurt?

6-week olds seem to really start to wake up if they weren’t alert from birth. If your 6-week old baby is suddenly struggling with sleeping, you might be exhausted. Babies this age actually have a peak of fussiness and a growth spurt.

Learn more about your 6-week old here:

4 Month Sleep Regression

This one’s permanent, parents! That is to say that the changes that happen with the 4 month sleep regression are permanent changes. By 4 months, your baby has ditched her babyish sleeping patterns and is sleeping more like an adult. That translates into frequent night waking (and lots of fussing) along with shortened naps.

Find 4 month sleep regression help here:

6 Month Sleep Regression? Or, a Growth Spurt?

In my 15+ years of experience as a sleep consultant and working with thousands of families over the years, there isn’t a 6-month sleep regression. Some 6-month-olds do have sleep problems around this age, but there isn’t a 3 to 6-week period with chronic sleep problems like the other regressions listed on this page. Sleep regressions happen at many ages but not this one.

Learn what’s really happening at 6-months old here:

8 Month Sleep Regression

The 8 month sleep regression is all thanks to the developmental milestones that are happening around 8 months, 9 months, and 10 months. At this stage, most babies are making great strides physically. They’re learning to crawl, pull up, cruise, etc. There’s also a lot of brain development happening at this stage. Your baby is absorbing language like crazy!

Finally, most babies are cutting at least a few teeth during this season. Add it all up, and you get more night waking, shorter (or even skipped) naps, and one cranky baby on your hands.

9 Month Sleep Regression

The 9 month regression is really just a continuation of the one at 8 months. However, some babies don’t start this sleep regression until they turn 9 months old. There is nothing wrong with your baby if sleep was fine at 8 months old but not at 9 months old.

10 Month Sleep Regression

Just like the 9-month sleep regression, the 10-month sleep regression is really just the culmination of the regression at 8 or 9 months, depending on when your baby started this phase. The entire sleep regression lasts 3 to 6 weeks, on average, and some days/weeks will simply be better than others. The main difference with 10-month-olds is that many of them can stand up in their beds, which can complicate matters.

Find 8, 9, and 10 month sleep regression help here:

11 Month Sleep Regression

The 11-month nap regression doesn’t seem to affect as many of our clients as the other regressions do. It seems to be a less common one.

At any rate, this regression has a lot to do with naps. Specifically, you might find that your baby suddenly starts refusing their second nap, and tries to get by with just one nap.

Lots of parents assume that this is a normal nap transition and that it means their little one is ready for just one nap a day.

However, we urge parents to treat this one as the temporary speedbump it most likely is instead. Most toddlers really aren’t ready to transition to just one nap a day until about 15-18 months old, on average.

12 Month Regression

The 12 month sleep regression is really the same as the 11 month regression. If your toddler starts this one in the 12th month, it’s possible they will actually transition to just one nap early. Still, it’s better to be prudent and treat it as a phase for a few weeks to make sure.

Find 11 month or 12 month sleep regression help here:

15 Month Sleep Problems

At 15 months old, your child may be learning to walk and that could cause some disruption in sleep. But, generally speaking, if your 15-month old suddenly starts having some trouble sleeping, most likely, they are starting to transition to one nap. This is a very common age to start waking at night due to two naps being too much sleep. Or perhaps your toddler stopped taking a second nap and is over-tired at bedtime. At this age, there isn’t a 3 to 6-week period of sleep problems that suddenly go away. Most of the sleep problems around this age are related to a schedule problem.

Learn more about transitioning to one nap here:

18 Month Sleep Regression

Oh, parents – this one is a doozie. Why? Because now your baby is a toddler – a walking, talking (well, babbling at least), tantrum-throwing toddler. This regression has a lot to do with your toddler’s newfound independence. She’s learning that – guess what – she has opinions and things! And – even better – she can express those opinions by shouting “NO!” at top volume! Separation anxiety also comes into play here. Your toddler may genuinely be distressed when you leave at nap time, or when you walk out of the room at bedtime. Finally, teething is still a factor at 18 months. Toddlers are often cutting molars (those big, painful teeth!) around this time.

Find 18 month sleep regression help here:

2 Year Sleep Problems

To be honest, sleep problems at 2 years old are a little less straightforward than the others. That’s because there are a variety of factors that can cause it. For one thing, your 2 year old’s awake time is growing longer. As he makes that transition, it can disrupt sleep.

Your 2-year-old is likely also going through some big life transitions, like potty training and transitioning to a big-kid bed (and maybe even getting a new sibling!) There are many milestones at 2 years old.

And, around 2 years of age, lots of toddlers begin having very real nightmares (or even night terrors). All of this can lead to a very real, very exhausting sleep regression around 2 years old.

Find help with the 2 year regression here:

How To Handle Regressions Effectively

You know the what, the why, and the when behind the common baby and toddler sleep regression – now how about the ‘how to’?

As in, “How the heck do I fix this and get back to my peaceful nights of sleep again?!?!”

Well, for starters, remember that the 4 month sleep regression is a permanent change – there is no going back to the way things were. Once you are through the worst of that regression you will want to focus on helping your baby break her sleep associations, and on helping her learn to fall asleep without help from you. Once she can do that, she will be well on her way to sleeping through the night. And you’ll also be establishing a more predictable daytime schedule.

As for the other sleep regressions, here are a few tips to help you cope WITHOUT undoing all the sleep coaching progress you’ve made up to this point:

  • Don’t be afraid to offer extra feedings. Growth spurts can be a component of regressions that affect sleep, so don’t worry about offering an extra nighttime feeding (or even daytime feeding) here and there. Remember – this is temporary! You will eventually return to your normal schedule.
  • Offer comfort as needed, but avoid making new (or reinstating old) bad habits. You will definitely need to offer your baby or toddler plenty of extra kisses and cuddles during a sleep regression. This is okay! But avoid creating new sleep associations. Avoid rocking your baby to sleep regularly, or nursing her to sleep. Avoid reinstating old bad habits, too. If you have weaned your toddler off the pacifier, for example, don’t revert to offering the pacifier during a sleep regression.
  • Solicit help, and lean hard on your partner. These regressions last for a while (up to 4-6 weeks, in some cases!) And if you are doing your due diligence, and trying to cope while not creating new sleep associations, you are bound to get tired. This is the time to ask for help from anyone who will offer it! Have friends or family members help you. (Have them help with your little one or help with household management.)
  • Offer an earlier bedtime if necessary. These regressions can lead to missed sleep, which can lead to overtiredness, which can quickly spiral into more missed sleep. Yikes! So to ward off exhaustion, offer an earlier bedtime if necessary.

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30 thoughts on “Baby Sleep Regressions: Ages and Everything You Need To Know to Handle Them”

  1. Hi, I’m a single mum to 22 month old twin boys who used to sleep so well. I had to put them in toddler beds amd the first night i had to just shut the door as they got out their beds and stood at the door. But things were fine fkr a month or 2. Then my brother stayed over for a few nights in the single bed in their room and i think they got used to having someone in their room as since then they will not lie down in theor own beds, they scream,when i do the controlled crying they end up biting each other or throw up from crying. I now need to put tgem both on the single bed until at least one falls asleep then if the other is awake i take them into my bed as they try waking the other one. They always wake up at least twice a night now screaming. The only thing that calms them is going to my bed but often one falls out, doesn’t hurt himself but them wakes up the other kud again. I never wanted to cosleep but lately its the only way we all at least get some sleep. They used to sleep from 7-7 sometimes longer, but now lucky to get 8 or 9 hours a night. Ive tried a chair between their cots telling them to go back to bed amd putting them both back in bed like 30 times and it still didn’t work. Can your program help with multiples who are in theor own beds? I’m sgruggling so bad with no sleep and have just started a low dose anti depressant as i wasn’t coping at all.

    • Hi Bec,
      Thank you for visiting us! I’m so sorry to hear that your sleep situation at home has degraded so much recently, especially since it sounds like you were doing well! This is a tough age, though, and we work with a ton of families who have twins or siblings in the same room, especially in the toddler years. We would love to help your family too! Based on what you wrote, I’d recommend looking at our Deluxe Consultation Package, which is an email consultation package here:
      We do have unlimited email packages and telephone support too, if you need more help. If you have any questions at all, please write us at [email protected]. Hope to hear from you!

  2. My 1 month old is showing signs of sleep regression.
    I know it could be a growth spurt but how can a baby not sleep during the day other than 11/2 hour and short 20 min naps.
    Feeding is happening at an hourly basis.

  3. Hi my 2 year old son is doing this. He used to sleep from 7pm-7am no problem now all of a sudden everytime i put him to bed he screams forever and nothing will calm him down i have tried everything. Could it be sleep regression

    • @Zara stivic – I just want to say – I feel you! I am so sorry you’re struggling with your 2 year old’s sleep My son turns 2 next week and it has been the same thing for us. My guess is it would be the 2 year sleep regression, so hopefully it will pass! Here is a link that may help with some tips to help with toddler sleep if you need some fresh ideas on how to manage:
      Hang in there! Let us know if things don’t smooth out soon so we can help you further.

  4. My 20 month old is going through something and I’m starting to wonder if it is a sleep regression. He wakes in the night screaming and crying. It’s like the minute he opens his eyes he is standing up in his crib. Sometimes he will not go back to sleep. My husband will rock him to sleep, but the minute he puts him down in the crib he is crying. I know rocking him has created a bad habit that he is now expecting.
    Any advice on what to do for him?

    • Hi @Angela – Thanks for writing, and we would love to help! Since I think that your son was sleeping well previously, I would indeed suspect developmental changes disrupting his sleep. Developmental Milestones which are so prevalent in the first years do have a tendency to temporarily disrupt even good sleepers! We know how tough this can be, and hang in there! Typically this is just a phase, but he may indeed now expect to be rocked to sleep, and if this is not something that you want to continue, you may want to work on creating new sleep habits. Here is another article about sleep regressions, which should help:
      We can definitely help more with this issue if things do not smooth out! You can check out our consultation packages here:
      Hang in there Angela and let us know if you need any help at any time!

  5. My 15 month old son recently started waking up 4 or 5 times a night. Usually i flip him over to his other side, give him his training cup of water and cuddle him up, he will go back to sleep. He sleeps very peacefully during nap timeand had been taking longer naps. He has grown a lot of his teeth, probably more than most babies his age. So maybe that’s the cause…

    • Hi Misty,
      Thank you for using The Baby Sleep Site as a resource! I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling with these night wakings. As you said, it could definitely be teething, so you could check in with your pediatrician about possibly trying a painkiller, to help him feel better. Based on your comment, though, you could also just be seeing a sleep association with the water bottle and the cuddling. We have an article explaining sleep associations and how to handle them here:
      I hope this helps!

  6. My sons 11 month sleep regression is not with the naps but wakes up constantly at night now about every 20 min and I feel he wont stop twitching. Is this normal?

    • Hi @Lesley, thanks for writing to us. I am so sorry to hear your son has been waking so frequently at night! Here is a link to a free guide with tips on how to help your baby sleep through the night that may help:
      If things are not improving and you need more help, I think you would benefit from working one-on-one with one of our sleep consultants who can walk through this step by step with you. If you are interested, here are all of the various options we have available to work with a consultant:
      In regards to the twitching, I am honestly not sure. Perhaps it could be a reaction to getting worked up if he is crying or super over tired. If you have concerns I’d be sure to reach out to your child’s doctor.
      Hang in there!

  7. I originally hopped on this article to read about what in the world is going on with me almost 7 month old. Sounds like sleep regression but I had a question about my almost 2 year old….. My husband took him for a ride one night to fall asleep and I want to say this was a few months ago but honestly I can’t remember well now we have to go on a ride every night. We don’t practice the cry it out method so not an option but thoughts on breaking this habit? Will he grow out of it? If my husband isn’t home at bedtime he will go to sleep on his own.

    • Hi Jessi,
      Thank you for using The Baby Sleep Site as a resource! I’m glad our article was able to help you with your 7mo, and please let us know if you have further questions about sleep regressions. As far as your description of what’s going on with your toddler, that sounds like he has a sleep association with the car, and maybe specifically with dad in the car. We have an article about sleep associations here:

      And although sleep coaching will probably help, we do not usually recommend cry-it-out, especially for older toddlers, but you can talk to him about it and set new sleep limits around it with him. We also have an article with some alternative sleep coaching options here:

      I hope these will help you out – good luck!

  8. 11 month regression means my DD won’t nap at the usual times. She was waking at 6, napping at 9 & 2 and going bed at 7. For past week, she keeps sitting and standing in her cot when I put her down to nap. And so ends up only having 1 nap. How do I keep with 2 naps if she refuses? Do I just keep putting her down to nap at usual times even if she don’t end napping? And then leave her till her next planned nap?

    • Hi @Karen Bunn, thanks for writing to us! I’m sorry your daughter has been protesting her naps recently, I can relate to this myself! It is hopefully a phase that will pass, usually babies are not ready to transition to 1 nap at this point, it’s usually a little closer to 16-18 months for that. I personally would continue to offer both naps even if she’s fighting you on them and it will hopefully go back to normal soon! If you need more nap tips, be sure to download our free guide with nap help here:
      And if this doesn’t pass and you need more help, let us know! Hang in there!

  9. LOSING MY MIND with 6 months sleep regression. Way worse than 4 months sleep regression. Going on 4 weeks of this!
    I hope you’re right and that this passes. This is misery!!!

    • @t – Hang in there, T! If the sleep issues you’re experiencing linger much longer, you could be dealing with a sleep association or habit that may need some work. If so, please consider connecting with one of our sleep consultants. You can read more about these lovely ladies here: Good luck!

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