- Jessica Berk
The truth about sleep regressions
Q: What’s the difference between the tooth fairy and a sleep regression?
A: Parents believe in one of them 😂😂
Am I confusing you with my poor attempt at sleep coach humor?
Let me explain….
You’ve probably heard of sleep regressions throughout your toddler’s life, right?
The idea that at certain ages and stages of childhood, mental and physical milestones occur that can throw sleep out of whack.
I’ve heard people talk about a 2.5 year sleep regression, a 3 year regression, a 4 year regression, and on and on and on.
You may have even seen evidence of this type of sleep disturbance with your child. It’s such a common complaint.
Well, you might be surprised to learn that there is NO real data
that supports the concept of sleep regressions.
The scientist who came up with the concept of sleep regressions “largely relied on 15 mothers to accurately fill out questionnaires about their baby’s behaviors for each week of their baby’s first 20 months of life. The researchers asked the mothers to record their infant’s behaviors for every half-hour of every day.”*
🙄How reliable do you think that was?
That scientist used the data he gathered and went on to author the Wonder Weeks book.
You may own this book or have the app on your phone right now.
Over the years, many other scientists have tried to recreate his theory with larger sample sizes; but no reliable data has been found.
I think the theory of sleep regressions should be thrown out the window.
Taken out of our mom lingo for good.
Why? Because it’s a cop out.
When we dismiss sleep issues as “sleep regressions” it feels like it’s some natural, mysterious part of childhood that we can’t control.
“Timmy’s going through a bad sleep regression right now,
neither of us have slept through the night in months.”
We think that once the regression is over, things will magically get back to normal.
Well, it’s bullsh*t. And if you’re someone who's been thinking your toddler is in a “sleep regression” and it’s been going on forever, you know I’m right!
Now, sure, sleep can get disrupted for various reasons - we can’t expect every single night to be perfect. But, if a sleep problem has been going on for longer than 3 weeks, you’re dealing with a new sleep HABIT, not a regression.
A bad sleep habit is good!
Well... not good -- but much better than a mysterious sleep regression.
Because YOU have the ability to change a bad sleep habit.
You don’t have to feel helpless, wishing and hoping for the curse of the sleep regression to end.
A sleep habit is formed and strengthened by two components:
1. Your child’s behavior
2. Your responses to their behavior
It’s not more complicated than that.
You can learn the tools NOW to change those bad sleep habits and fix sleep for good.
So, stop wishing on a star. 💫
Learn the tools to feel empowered at night and kiss the sleep regression excuse “buh bye”!
If you need help establishing great sleep habits, learn more about my proven 4-part REST Method™ by reserving your spot in an upcoming free Toddler Sleep Masterclass. >>CLICK HERE<<
*Source: New York Times article April 2020