How old is your baby? Growth spurts and sleep regressions.

Not exactly a ‘myth’, but very useful to know about.

As you probably know, a long list of growth spurts, cognitive leaps and sleep regressions occur during the first two years of your child’s life. These are likely to cause your baby to wake more often for a period of a few weeks.

Thankfully, we do know (more or less) that these are likely to strike around 4 months, 9 months, 13 months, 18 months and 24 months (see chart below). Armed with this knowledge, we can hopefully prepare ourselves, as well as knowing that this sudden change is only only a phase and not the new normal!

Growth spurts and sleep regressions (pdf file)

The detailed answer:

Think about how many changes babies go through in the first two years of life. They really are amazing little beings! They start out as a newborn, barely even aware of you, and end up as a toddler who can walk, talk and feed themselves, not to mention the hundreds of other skills they have developed.

While your child is learning one of these new skills or abilities, their sleep usually becomes disturbed.  Perhaps you have woken to your 9 month old rocking backwards and forwards on her hands, trying to learn to crawl in her sleep?  Perhaps your 18 month old has had a week of disturbed sleep (and often grumpiness and clinginess during the day too) and has suddenly increased his vocabulary ten-fold.

There are generally considered to be 5 major “sleep regressions”.  These are big growth spurts when sleep is majorly affected.  They occur at 4 months, 9 months, 13 months, 18 months and 24 months.  These are approximate timings, and each one can last from a few weeks to the better part of 2 months. (Yup!)

There are also 10 “leaps” detailed in the book and app ‘The Wonder Weeks’. These cognitive leaps also indicate disturbed sleep, but tend to only last at most a couple of weeks.

Calculate your baby’s exact age in weeks and months here. (N.B. For premature babies, use the due date rather than the birth date in the calculator. Read why here.)

Growth spurts and sleep regressions (pdf file)



Read more here:

The myth of baby sleep regressions – Pinky McKay

The Wonder Weeks