Uh oh here comes the three year sleep regression….

three year sleep regression

You’ve made it through the OMGs!!!! of the sleep regressions of the first year of baby, battled through the WTFness of the 18 months sleep regression, been wearied by the two year sleep regression. Then, aside from the sleepless nights of illness, you are finally lulled into the comfort zone of uninterrupted sleep…that is until the three year sleep regression rolls around.

Ha ha ha you didn’t think you’d got off so lightly after just a couple of years of sleep regressions and broken sleep did you? No, before you start sliding into the dream of uninterrupted sleeps for like…forever…the three year sleep regression comes along and makes a rude appearance in your sleep obsessed life.

At first, you can be forgiven for thinking it’s the neighbours kid next door, or a crooning cat, or a fox making that hideous noise which makes our skill crawl in the middle of the night. But slowly as sense comes to your sleep befuddled brain, you switch on the baby monitor (yes, my god I still have one at the age of three! what am I thinking?) and yes, your three year old is sitting bolt upright and howling¬†for some unknown reason….and so it’s off to investigate.

A misplaced tissue (yes I know, really?) was the culprit on this occasion. No biggie, just a one off…so let’s pretend it didn’t happen and get back to bed yeah?

That is until the following night the wailing starts again. This time there’s no denying that this is your monkey in your circus. What could be the reason now?

The pillow moved.

Good god, give me strength.

And you know what they say…three time’s a charm and so it would be rude to leave things where they were. So on the third night of the three year sleep regression my true love gave to me….

I heard volcanoes.

Holy moly, volcanoes?! Are you for real? And so the story continues.

Like with all sleep regressions, the night wakings for some rather bizarre reasons have gone hand in hand with some very obvious developmental changes like the uttering of some rather impressive lingo for a three year old like “absolutely” and “complicated”….errrrrr…say what?! and a new found ability to be able to scale that scary looking web like climbing frame right to the top in the playground while I stand about and busy myself with trying to look as though I’m not cacking my pants.

Three year sleep regression…you cheeky little bugger…just when we thought we were out of the woods, you dress up as granny and wolf us down.

Has your child had a three year sleep regression? Do leave a comment and share your experience below…

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photo credit: Rise ‘N Shine via photopin (license)


  1. Little T seems to be getting better. She used to wake up several times in the night too, but thank goodness at six, she seems to be getting better. Phew.

  2. My son is nearly three and I am still waiting on that one night of uninterrupted sleep. He has gotten used to waking up at night for a bottle and I have become too lazy to take that habit away from him. But at least he sleeps right after the bottle

  3. My 6 nearly 7 year old is going through sleep regression for the first time and its driving me insane! I got lucky all these years with him going to bed easily and sleeping all night every night and then we went through a period of intense change, moving countries, moving house, changing schools etc and his sleep is where the stress of it all shows. Riding it out and reminding myself it doesn’t last forever.

  4. Haha, I know the feeling very well. And going through it all over again with little man no2, the joys!
    It did make me smile when your little one said “The pillow moved” I had that one “The quilt is falling off the bed”. Any excuse to get me in his room really, hehe xx

  5. Luckily I am a child sleep therapist so will prepare for this regression but know first hand with my twins that lack of sleep is a killer. Sleep, glorious sleep

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