Can Your One-Month-Old Baby Experience Sleep Regression?

Sleep changes are a natural part of a baby’s development, and sometimes these can create temporary challenges in their sleep patterns. This is what we often refer to as a ‘sleep regression’. Now, you may wonder, “Does a sleep regression occur at one month old?”

In this article, we’ll delve deep into this question and explore what you can expect regarding your baby’s sleep patterns during the first month. As an experienced baby sleep consultant, I’ll also share some practical strategies that can help you navigate this phase with confidence.

1. What is a Sleep Regression?

Before we dive into the specifics of a 1-month sleep regression, let’s clarify what a ‘sleep regression’ means. In essence, a sleep regression refers to a period when a baby who has been sleeping well suddenly starts waking more often or has difficulty falling asleep. These periods usually align with developmental milestones and growth spurts, which can temporarily disrupt sleep.

However, the term ‘regression’ can be misleading. It’s not that your baby is forgetting how to sleep. Instead, they’re progressing in their development, and these changes are temporarily impacting their sleep.

2. Is There a Sleep Regression at 1 Month?

In terms of traditional ‘sleep regressions’, these are more commonly reported around the 4-month, 8-month, and 12-month marks. However, this doesn’t mean that the first month of a baby’s life is devoid of sleep challenges. On the contrary, the first few weeks can be particularly challenging as babies adjust to life outside the womb and parents navigate the steep learning curve of caring for a newborn.

Some of the common sleep issues you might encounter in the first month include day-night confusion, frequent feedings, active sleep, and challenges in transitioning the baby to sleep in a crib. Let’s delve into these a bit more.

3. Day-Night Confusion

During the initial weeks, your baby may mix up day and night. You might find your baby sleeping extensively during the day and then wanting to be awake, feed, or play at night. This ‘day-night confusion’ is quite common as the baby’s circadian rhythms, the internal biological clock that governs sleep-wake cycles, are still developing.

4. Frequent Feedings and Sleep

Newborns have small stomachs, and so they need to feed often, typically every 2-3 hours, even during the night. This can disrupt their sleep and your own. However, it’s essential to respond to your baby’s hunger cues and ensure they’re feeding effectively and not just snacking. This helps ensure they get adequate nutrition and can also aid in developing more consistent sleep patterns over time.

5. Active Sleep and Newborns

Newborns spend a lot of time in active, or REM, sleep. This is a lighter stage of sleep, during which they might twitch, jerk, grunt, or even smile. Sometimes, parents mistake these signs for wakefulness and end up unintentionally waking the baby. Understanding the characteristics of newborn sleep can help you avoid unnecessary wake-ups.

6. Transitioning Baby to Sleep in a Crib

Many parents find that their newborn sleeps best in their arms or on their chest, which can make the transition to crib sleeping a challenge. Developing a consistent sleep routine and creating a safe, comforting sleep environment can help ease this transition.

7. So, Is It a Regression or Just Normal Newborn Sleep?

You might be wondering whether these sleep challenges constitute a ‘sleep regression’. In reality, these are common aspects of newborn sleep, largely influenced by your baby’s developing circadian rhythms, the demands of feeding, and the typical characteristics of newborn sleep. While these challenges can be demanding, they are typically temporary.

8. Tips to Navigate This Phase

So how can you navigate these sleep challenges in the first month? Here are some strategies:

Educate Yourself

Understanding newborn sleep and its unique characteristics can help set realistic expectations and equip you with the knowledge to navigate sleep challenges.

Encourage Day-Night Recognition 

Expose your baby to natural light during the day and keep nights dark and quiet to help them distinguish between day and night.

Ensure Effective Feedings 

Working with a lactation consultant can be beneficial to ensure your baby is feeding effectively and not just snacking.

Be Patient with Crib Transition

Gentle, gradual approaches often work best when helping your baby adjust to sleeping in a crib.

Seek Support

Don’t hesitate to seek support from pediatricians, lactation consultants, sleep consultants, and your support network. Parenting a newborn is demanding work, and it’s essential to take care of your own wellbeing too.

Remember, while the sleep challenges in the first month can be exhausting, they’re typically short-lived. With time, your baby will naturally settle into more predictable sleep patterns. And in the meantime, know that you’re not alone – many parents are navigating these same challenges, and support is available.


Jacqueline M. T. Henderson, Karyn G. France, Joseph L. Owens, Neville M. Blampied; Sleeping Through the Night: The Consolidation of Self-regulated Sleep Across the First Year of Life. Pediatrics November 2010; 126 (5): e1081–e1087. 10.1542/peds.2010-0976

Julio Ardura, Regina Gutierrez, Jesus Andres, Teresa Agapito; Emergence and Evolution of the Circadian Rhythm of Melatonin in Children. Hormone Research 1 July 2003; 59 (2): 66–72.

Peiyoong Lam, Harriet Hiscock, Melissa Wake; Outcomes of Infant Sleep Problems: A Longitudinal Study of Sleep, Behavior, and Maternal Well-Being. Pediatrics March 2003; 111 (3): e203–e207. 10.1542/peds.111.3.e203

Mindell, J. A., Telofski, L. S., Wiegand, B., & Kurtz, E. S. (2009). A nightly bedtime routine: impact on sleep in young children and maternal mood. Sleep, 32(5), 599–606.

Wong, S. D., Wright, K. P., Jr, Spencer, R. L., Vetter, C., Hicks, L. M., Jenni, O. G., & LeBourgeois, M. K. (2022). Development of the circadian system in early life: maternal and environmental factors. Journal of physiological anthropology, 41(1), 22.

Smaldone, A., Honig, J. C., & Byrne, M. W. (2007). Sleepless in America: inadequate sleep and relationships to health and well-being of our nation’s children. Pediatrics, 119 Suppl 1, S29–S37.

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