At around 3 months old, your little one will enter a new developmental stage known as the “3 month sleep regression“. The steep increase in cognitive skills at this age also means that they are now able to recognize and react to things in their environment much more than they could before. This means that your 3-month-old baby is going to start testing boundaries with much more vigor than before.
Whether you are preparing for the 3-month sleep regression or it has already started, there are some important things you need to know about it so that you can be prepared and ready for it when it happens. In this article, we explain everything you need to know about the 3-month sleep regression, including why it happens, how long it lasts, what causes it, and what things you can do to help reduce its impact on your baby’s sleeping habits. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the 3-month sleep regression.
What is the 3 Month Sleep Regression?
To put it more plainly, a baby is said to be experiencing a 3 month sleep regression when their sleeping patterns become disturbed.
For instance, regressive sleep behaviors are quite likely to occur in the following cases:
- The baby used to just wake up once or twice during the night, but now they do it multiple times.
- The infant was a natural sleeper when they were younger, but these days they sleep more slowly and it takes them longer to get back to sleep when they wake up.
- The average length of naps is decreasing over time.
Why Does the 3 Month Sleep Regression Happen?
Babies in their third and fourth months of life are in a transitional period of sleep. This stage can last anywhere from one to three months. The pattern of the newborn’s sleep, which initially consisted of several brief sleeps throughout the day and night, eventually transforms into a more constant sleep cycle somewhere between the ages of three and four months. As a direct consequence of this, regressive sleeping patterns may emerge as the brain matures. The term “regression” does not refer to moving in the opposite direction; rather, it represents proof of progress.
What Causes the 3 Month Sleep Regression?
The factors that contribute to the 3 month sleep regression phase are:
- The Formation of Sleep Cycles Starts.
The infant had been consistently sleeping in a shallow sleep cycle up until that point. When you go to sleep, your cycles of deep sleep (non-REM sleep) and shallow sleep (REM sleep) eventually begin to repeat themselves in this order. One cycle often comes to a close with a deep sleep, and awakening typically occurs after a shallow sleep. Additionally, during the night, beginning three hours after falling asleep, the baby will experience frequent and regular episodes of shallow sleep, as well as an increase in the number of sleep cries.
- The Rapid Development of the Limbic System
The limbic system of the brain, which detects and expresses emotions (unpleasant, pleasant, etc.), rapidly develops and becomes sensitive to what is occurring to them during this time. This system is responsible for sensing and expressing emotions. When they feel “tired” as “uncomfortable,” when they feel concerned because there is no family nearby, or when they are sleepy but in a bright or difficult-to-sleep area, they are able to express their feelings by crying. This is one way that they can communicate how they are feeling. In addition, their brains become unsettled, which causes them to cry whenever they do not get enough sleep, are overly fatigued, or go to bed too late.
Ways to Help Reduce the Impact of the 3 Month Sleep Regression
Please check that you have completed the following steps in order to establish a rhythm from the 3 month sleep regression. Maintaining a steady state of compliance is recommended.
- Establish a sleep schedule
It is stated that a baby between the ages of three and four months sleeps for approximately 14 hours on average. If it seems like it won’t be enough, you can move the time of their nap or bedtime, as well as change your baby’s overall sleep routine.
- Maintain a consistent routine for your waking hours
You should make an effort to spend time with your baby in bright surroundings and in the sun. Ensure that they receive enough stimulation while they are awake by engaging in limb exercises with them, playing music for them, providing them with toys and picture books, etc.
- Adjust the surroundings so that it is conducive to sleeping.
Adjust the temperature and humidity levels so that your child is comfortable. Temperature at room level throughout the winter: 18-20°C (humidity about 50-60 percent ). During the summer, you should have the air conditioner set to between 25 and 27 degrees Celsius.
- Follow a Sleep Onset Routine
You don’t need to stick to a specific regimen; all you need to do is let the child know when it’s time for bed. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it on a daily basis, including taking a bath, reading books, or giving your infant a massage.
As a parent of a child who is experiencing a 3 month sleep regression, you should try your best to be patient and keep these suggestions in mind in order to reduce the amount of stress you feel at this stage.
A sleep regression can bring back memories of the challenging period of caring for a newborn, when your body and your lack of sleep were both under strain. This might happen just when you are finally starting to feel comfortable with your new role as a parent. It might be challenging right now, but things won’t stay this way forever. At this point in time, you have reached the stage of development that is typical for your baby. It is a joy for parents to be able to observe their children’s progress.