Puppy Sleep Regression (Month by Month)
Updated: Sep 26
Nothing is more disheartening than finally getting your puppy settled and in a routine only to have them regress just a few weeks or months later. Having a new puppy can be a lot of hard work, it often seems when you finally feel like just when you've got the hang of it, things go haywire!
If you are reading this blog today, then you are probably wondering why your puppy who has been sleeping through the night all of a sudden is starting to wake you up earlier than normal or is crying for your attention.
Puppy sleep regression certainly is real! We have very much been struggling that last few weeks! For context Crumble has been quite a good sleeper going to bed at around 9/10pm depending how busy the day has been and waking at 7.30am this has been her routine from around 12 weeks old. Thankfully we've not had to much sleep regression but once I started researching it, I found that puppies can go through it at a variety of stages.
Many things can cause puppy sleep regression including:
- Growth spurts
- Going through a fear period
- Outgrowing their crate
- Bonding with their owner
- Adolescent hormones changing
Sleep Patterns by Months
Newborn - Newborn puppies will be sleeping anytime they aren’t feeding
2-5 months - Puppies will generally sleep around 18-22 hours in a 24-hour period. This includes sleeping at night and daytime naps.
6-12 Months - Most puppies will be sleeping through the night at this point and will sleep about 14-18 hours throughout a 24-hour period.
Puppy Sleep Regression at 3 Months (8-12 weeks)
So why would a puppy who has been sleeping wonderfully through the night all of a sudden start waking up?
There are many reasons and the cause may not always be known, but rest assured that it is completely normal. Puppy sleep regression at 3 months old may be caused by your puppy getting used to their new environment, hitting a growth spurt, or going through a fear period.
For Crumble this was the point that she said no to the crate and as she was toilet trained I began allowing her to sleep in her basket. Luckily she still slept through the night only waking slightly earlier than her normal 7am at around 6.15am
Puppy Sleep Regression at 4, 5 & 6 Months
At this point puppy sleep regression is most likely to be caused by your puppy teething or going through a growth spurt. Between 4 and 6 months old, your puppy is losing all 28 of its baby teeth and gaining its 42 adult teeth which is obviously can be very uncomfortable and painful for them.
With Crumble we did have some regression at this point she was around 5 months and was waking at 2am and crying, clearly in pain with her teeth and just wanted to be cuddled. This only lasted a around 3 weeks and wasn't every day.
Puppy Sleep Regression at 7-18 Months Old
The point we are currently at! Around 3 weeks ago I started a course of Prednisolone for a flare up. If your new here I have Arthritis and my Rheumatologist uses Prednisolone to reduce the inflammation in a flare up. However it gives me Insomnia which sometimes means I don't get to sleep to 2/3am, Not ideal when you have a puppy!
Depending on the size and breed of your dog most dogs start to go through adolescence at this stage. Puppy sleep regression at 7-18 months old can be caused by painful growth surge. This sudden growth means that they may outgrow their crate/bed. Puberty can disrupt your dog’s normal sleeping patterns and may cause them to wake up at night for no apparent reason. They also go through a secondary fear period which can also cause disruption to their sleep just like it did when they were 3 months.
Anyway before this Crumble was easily sleeping till 8am which was great. Then all of a sudden she started waking up at 7am the the next day 6.50am and then 6.40am and soon it was 6.30am and normally this wouldn't be a problem that would stress me out and I'd just got to bed early and wait it out with some calming music. But with the Prednisolone I wasn't sleeping, was irritable, had no patience and was generally not myself, it makes my anxiety incredibly high. Solution's i knew weren't going to work effectively until I'd finished the course but I wanted to do some research so I was prepared.
- Sheet or crate cover on crate
- Sleep in bed with you
- Snuggle buddy
- Calming Music
- Walkies before bed
- Calming Treats
- Keeping the room dark for the lighter mornings
If nothing works then a vet check might be a good idea to rule out any illness.
I've been off the prednisolone for a week now and i'm happy to say the sleep regression seems to be under control. We are keeping to a strict bedtime routine:
10pm - Out for Wee
10.05pm - Calming treat
10.10pm - Lights outs
I'm please to say she's progressively sleeping longer. If she wakes before 7am I'm taking her out for her business and than back to bed till our alarm at 8am she can decide if she sleeps or just chills with her teddy.
Thanks for reading
Sarah, Chester & Crumble