Helping Young Children With Sleep Regression

October 10, 2023

Sleep can be one of the more challenging topics for some children and their parents, and one particular period where it can be especially tough is known as "sleep regression." While sleep regression doesn't happen to every child, it's relatively common - and is something that parents and other caregivers can take steps to assist children with.

At Devlin's Child Development, sleep is a regular part of our numerous child care programs for families in Sandy, which include daycare programs, preschool, after-school care and more. We assist parents with maintaining sleep schedules for their children, and we've helped many clients get through the short period of sleep regression along with their kids. Here are some basics on what sleep regression is, some of the signs that your child might be dealing with it, and what both parents and other caregivers can do to help manage it and eventually move past it.

What is Sleep Regression?

For those new parents just learning about sleep regression for the first time, it's a relatively common term used to describe short periods in a child's life when their normal sleep patterns may be interrupted. These phases can last anywhere from just a few days up to several weeks and are characterized by your child having difficulty sleeping or staying asleep at night.

Sleep regressions can take place at anytime under age four, but tend to be most common for kids ranging from three months up to three years of age.

Signs of Sleep Regression

So, how do you know if your child is actually going through a sleep regression phase or if something else might be keeping them up? Here are some signs you can look out for:

  • Changes in regular sleeping patterns
  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Interrupted nap times during the day
  • Waking up more frequently throughout the night
  • Increased fussiness and irritability during the day

Of course, if you're ever in doubt about whether or not your child is experiencing sleep regression, it's always best to consult with their pediatrician.

Why Sleep Regression Happens

There are a few causes that may be involved in triggering sleep regression, including:

  • Growth spurt: Your child is growing rapidly, increasing their need for food and sleep.
  • Cognitive development: As they learn new skills and abilities, children may have trouble shutting off their minds at night.
  • Changes in routine: Any change to your child's daily routine can make them feel less secure and affect their sleep patterns.
  • Teething: The pain and discomfort of teething can make it difficult for children to sleep through the night.
  • Illness: Sickness can disrupt sleep patterns and cause regression.

Fortunately, there are some steps that both parents and other caregivers can take to help manage sleep regression - we'll go over those in our subsequent sections.


One of the single most important measures to take when dealing with sleep regression is to maintain consistency in your child's daily routine. When it comes to young children, predictability and familiarity are key elements for ensuring a good night's rest. Keep things like meal times, nap schedules and bedtime rituals as consistent as possible.

Introduce Relaxing Techniques

Incorporating calming activities before bedtime can help ease your child into sleep. Some suggestions include a warm bath, reading a bedtime story, listening to soothing music or practicing deep breathing exercises together.

Soothing Environment

Sleep environment is another important factor. Make sure your child's room is dark, cool and quiet to promote better sleep. You can also use white noise machines or other soothing sounds to block out any outside noises that may disrupt their sleep.

When it comes to sleep needs outside the home, such as at daycare or preschool, Devlin's Child Development makes sure to follow any specific instructions from parents regarding sleep routines and preferences. We understand how important consistency is for children during this time, and our trained caregivers work closely with parents to ensure a smooth transition between home and child care.


Simply put, there may be elements of sleep regression that just need to run their course and can't be fully managed. During this time, patience and understanding are key for both parents and caregivers. Remember that sleep regression is a temporary phase, and with the right attention and consistency, it will eventually pass. While sleep regression may be a challenging period for both children and their caregivers, there are steps that can be taken to help manage it. At Devlin's Child Development, we strive to provide a supportive and consistent environment for children during this phase or any other, and are always happy to work with parents to ensure the best possible care for their little ones. Contact us today to learn about our caring child care services for Sandy clients!

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9310 So, State St, Sandy, UT 84070
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