As a new parent, there is so much to get used to as your baby continues to grow, and when you think you’ve finally gotten a routine down pact, boom! Sleep regression happens.
Are you wondering then, what is sleep regression in babies? Read on as this article is tailored by our team of experts to help shed an illuminating light on baby sleep regression patterns and how to manage it when it occurs so that you and your newborn can get as much sleep as you desire.
What is Sleep Regression?
Sleep regression is generally a period when an infant that has been sleeping well now experiences a setback in a good sleep pattern.
Baby sleep regression occurs when a baby wakes up frequently during sleeping hours when he or she would otherwise have been sleeping well- whether during the day or at night. During infant sleep regression, your baby may become more grumpy, fussy, and clingy.
Sleep regression can be very frustrating for you as a parent and for your baby as well, but it’s a sign of healthy growth and development in your infant. Sleep regression can last between 2- 6 weeks and it normally occurs at 4, 9, 18, and 36 months of age; these periods are the typical phases when a child undergoes rapid growth spurt especially physical, emotional, and mental growths.
Do All Babies Go Through Sleep Regression?
Most babies experience sleep regression at some point, but it’s not a guaranteed fact that your baby will experience the same.
Infant sleep regression is a way of your baby coping through growth and changes; some babies might only experience regression for a day or two, while some experience it for weeks; others might not even experience it at all. If your baby is sleeping well all through this period, it is nothing to worry or lose sleepover. You should probably write a book or form a moms club to share your techniques and experience because a lot of parents would want to be in your shoes.
What Causes Sleep Regression?
Sleep regression is common at several age gaps — 4 months, 9 months, 18 months, and 36 months. Sleep regression usually happens for two reasons: developmental changes and shift or changes in nap schedule and overall sleep pattern.
The 9 month sleep regression is mostly due to the physical and lots of cognitive development your baby is experiencing. At this stage, your baby will usually be learning to crawl, sit up, and also be learning to recognize and absorb your language. On top of all these, teething might also be ongoing.
Hence, due to all these development leaps, the brain might be in a constant state of awareness, absorbing and learning new information. All these situations can cause a baby to experience sleep regression.
Other issues might also disrupt your baby’s sleep pattern. You can differentiate sleep regression from other forms of sleep disturbance like illness or teething based on the timing (month) and how long it lasts.
9 Month Sleep Regression Signs
Around eight to ten months is the phase when your baby experiences a lot of physical, cognitive, and emotional development as well as growth- crawling, sitting up, babbling, and saying their first words.
While watching your baby grow and learn to say ‘mama or dada’ can be exciting and fulfilling, the cons of this 9 months old sleep regression stage are that it affects your newborn sleep schedule and inevitably disturbs your sleep too.
For most parents, nine-month sleep regression introduces itself or tends to come about, when you notice a reduction in your baby’s sleeping pattern without any other cause such as sickness or teething. So a baby that would normally sleep all through the night would start experiencing multiple breaks or wake-up time. Also, an infant that would normally sleep 1 or 2 hours during an afternoon nap would now sleep for just 30 or 40 minutes.
Also during the 9-month sleep regression, a child could become excessively cranky or fussy, which can be attributed to lack of enough sleep. You can also notice more clinginess and the tendency of getting more hungry than usual.
9 Months Sleep Regression Advice
When dealing with sleep regression albeit the 9-month-old baby sleep regression, it is important to remember that it is just a phase; perhaps a difficult and draining one, but still just a phase and it will surely pass. Here are a few sleep regression tips to keep in mind during this period as parents or caregivers.
- Create a comfortable and conducive sleeping atmosphere that will foster deep sleep, keep the room cool, noise-free, and dark. Also, ensure to check on them in course of the night and remove soiled overnight diapers to ensure comfortable and long-lasting sleep.
- Make sure to calm your baby and ensure he or she is already drowsy before laying down. Also, remove toys or other gadgets that might disrupt quality sleep or nap time.
- At this phase, your baby might start experiencing separation anxiety as they now have an understanding of object permanence and can recognize their primary caregivers as well as would want you around all the time.
Try to reassure your baby that you’re not going to disappear, but also limit cuddling and extra petting; comfort them but avoid creating bad habits like sleeping together and probably enforce sleeping in a separate room from yours.
- Be flexible: sleep regression will surely affect your activities and sleep, try to adjust by planning your daily activities.
- Be consistent with routines and schedules; in a time when your baby is experiencing new things, keeping a routine will help keep some things familiar and this will help your child move through this phase faster.
- Don’t be skeptical about extra feeding; this phase is marked with growth spurts and this means there will be an increase in appetite, so ensure to keep up with your baby’s meals.
- You can try out some of the best swaddle blankets available on the market, as swaddling is a very effective method of soothing and calming fussy, tired babies. Giving baths and soothing massages also help babies sleep
- Ask for help from your partner and ask questions from other moms or parents you know on how to get baby to sleep in a crib or any other worries you might have.
- Lastly, it is important to note that not all sleep problems or disturbances qualify as infant sleep regression; other issues like vaccination, illness, or teething could cause a lack of sleep. Knowing what is what will help save lots of unnecessary worries and help you have confidence in parenting.
What Not to Do
When dealing with infant sleep regression do not introduce new sleeping aids or props, this means you should not start doing or using what you wouldn’t normally do or use to put your baby back to sleep.
This is because it will only take you doing it a couple of times for your infant to get used to it and even come to expect it as normal, so if you can’t keep up, don’t try it in the first place, just continue with how you get your baby to sleep at night normally.
Also, ensure you maintain a constant routine, keep up with your nap time and bedtime routine, this will help your baby to learn to get used to a way of doing things and can also help lessen separation anxiety because they know what’s next and know you’ll come back.
How Long Does the 9 Month Sleep Regression Last?
The 8 -9-month sleep regression would normally last from 2 – 6 weeks. During this period you and your baby will lose sleep if you don’t manage it well. As an exhausted parent, 6 weeks might seem like ages but not to worry, the helpful tips offered in this article will help tide you over easily.
Baby sleep regression is a tasking and exhausting phase for both your baby and you as a parent. However, during this period it’s imperative to be consistent — ensure to keep up on all your normal daily activities and nightly routines; this will help normalize the situation and make things as easy as possible.
It is also important that you get enough rest. As your baby is having that short nap, why don’t you rest as well? You won’t do yourself or baby any good by becoming an exhausted zombie.
Parenting is thrilling, exciting, fun, and very fulfilling when you understand the principle of right parenting. At top-mom.com, we’ve prepared this informative article for you to know the best practices during a difficult phase of parenthood. Thus, with this article, you sure know how best to tackle your baby’s sleep regression.