3 Quick Solutions for Sleep Regressions - Baby Chick

3 Quick Solutions for Sleep Regressions

sleepUpdated September 6, 2021

by Jenni June

Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant & Certified Lactation Counselor


Ah, sleep regressions! Dreaded and feared by parents of children under two-and-a-half all around the world, and rightfully so. Nothing is worse than when our at least decent little sleeper starts napping poorly—and even more of a nightmare when the missed or shorter naps start wreaking havoc on nighttime sleep!

Sleep regressions usually occur around the time your baby is embarking upon an exciting new gross motor development skill. Here is what to do to not only survive but thrive during sleep regressions while protecting your child’s sleep:


It is very helpful to give babies lots of extra practice with their new and budding capabilities, such as learning to roll over, sit up, crawl, stand, walk, run, and climb.

When we wear them out with these things during their wakefulness periods during the day, they will be more satisfied and ready for their naps, rather than lie in their cribs crying or wanting to practice their new skills in their crib, causing them to miss or resist naps. It’s the equivalent of having an itch you can’t scratch.


Cap the morning nap after just one sleep cycle (50 minutes for kiddos under 3, once they fall asleep), rather than letting this be your long nap.

This should allow for just a little more sleep pressure to build up on the brain, helping them be ready for their afternoon nap, which is usually the one that suffers most when sleep regressions occur. Let’s not forget, the quality of night sleep is based on the quality of the afternoon nap, so we must be careful to protect this nap the most!


Early bedtimes! Believe it or not, the popular 7 pm bedtime may still be too late. Look for that brief window of “relaxed state” cues (still, quiet, spacing out). Anticipate these cues in advance by logging when you see this for a few nights. Most parents are shocked at how early in the evening they see this happening.

Once you realize the true timing of correct sleep cues, have dinner and bedtime routine complete just in time to catch this 10-15 minute window. Then lay them down in their crib or bed and say goodnight. This is when they are apt to have the highest levels of that powerful sleep hormone, melatonin, in their system. When this happens, you will have a child who actually receives the benefits of sleep, wakes less throughout the night, and wakes later in the morning, not earlier, as our adult sleep logic would have us believe with an earlier bedtime.

If you focus on healthy sleep hygiene instead of sleep behaviors, you won’t find yourself getting caught up in poor reactive habits surrounding sleep, and you’ll be able to help your little one ride out this 2-4 week regression storm like a boss!

Beautiful mother and daughter sleeping together in bed. It is the evening and there is lamp on. Mom is holding her daughter and keeping her close. There is a teddy bear under the covers.

10 Things Co-Sleeping Parents Think in the Middle of the Night

From above photo of a cute girl lying in the bed at home and napping.

What Is White Noise and Which Noises Can Help With Sleep?

Cute baby girl looking at her grandmother while laying on the bed with her mother

Bedtime Routine Tips To Help Baby Fall Asleep With Others Besides Mom

Portrait of cute crying toddler boy. He's in the living room.

Avoiding Toddler Tantrums at Bedtime

Mom breastfeeding her baby in the dark. There is a little light in the background.

What Is a Dream Feed and How Can I Do It?

A young mother is kissing her newborn son on the forehead. They are at the hospital. The mother is wearing a hospital gown and the baby is wrapped tightly in a white blanket.

Experts Are Warning Against a Dangerous Baby Sleep Item