Everything was fine in the best of worlds, baby was sleeping through the night and then one day, he refuses to go to bed, cries in his bed and wakes up several times a night. When faced with this situation, many parents don't know what to do or understand why the night wakings return. This phenomenon is known as sleep regression and can last anywhere from two to six weeks.

It is important to note that these are normal and temporary situations, so there is no need to worry too much. It is best to be patient and try to manage this stage as calmly as possible.

In this guide, you'll find key information about how regressions develop with your baby's age and practical tips for dealing with them.

What happens during the different sleep regressions?

Each period of regression is linked to the evolution of the baby, new learning, new anxieties, a change in diet, a change in rhythm, all factors that we cannot change and that are part of the learning process.

It can be a change in the organization of the family such as the resumption of work by the mother or the professional travel of one of the parents. When you work, you spend little time with your child: you come home late and once at home, the race against the clock begins: help with the older child's homework, prepare dinner, bathe the baby and go to bed! It's a hectic evening, so we often feel guilty and delay bedtime to take advantage of our children for longer. But baby feels this guilt and takes advantage of this fault to not sleep...

Sleep problems can also be due to tensions within the family, a couple problem, a relationship problem with another child, the depression of one of the parents or simply a period a little more stressful than usual. The child perceives the uneasiness of the people around him and these tensions can be enough to disturb his sleep.

What to do when baby stops sleeping?

The most important thing is that the parents remain calm and do not change the routine, as this could make the situation worse.

After 6 months of age, a child does not normally need to feed at night. There is no reason for him to wake up to eat, so it is not necessary to give him a bottle to calm him down, a little water should be enough.

Of course, when a child stops sleeping, the first thing to do is to check that he is in good health: a cold, teething, colic can disrupt a child's sleep. But when everything is going well, the appearance of sleep problems is often a sign that something has changed within the family cocoon.

The most important thing is to adopt a bedtime ritual and be firm! Once baby is in bed, if he cries, don't rush into his room, wait 5 minutes, then 10, then 15... If he feels that you are both firm and serene he will gradually give up crying.

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You can go and reassure him by talking to him gently, by placing his cuddly toy near him, but under no circumstances should you take him out of his bed. If you start to put your baby in your bed to stop him crying, you risk making "bed to 3" for many years, at the risk of your life as a couple...

On the other hand, if despite all this advice baby still can't sleep or has nightmares, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor.