“I slept like a baby last night?”
Or did you?
We usually assume that babies are having the best time ever. Sleeping and eating all the time, having somebody to change them, to bath them, cuddle them and give them unconditional love.
Yes. All the above is true, but not all the time.
Not for all the babies and all the parents.
Of course, some babies are genuinely great, and they do everything by the book. You put them to sleep, they sleep. They wake up, you feed them, change, cuddle a bit. You put them back, the night goes by peacefully, and all is nice and good.
On the other hand, some babies do give a bit more trouble with their parents.
No, they don’t do that because they don’t love you. No, babies are naturally growing, and it’s not easy. Remember?
What is Sleep Regression?
Sleeping regression is when babies break out of their established sleeping patterns and have troubles sleeping at night. For example, a baby used to sleep all through the night for some time, and suddenly the baby starts to wake up, and it’s having trouble getting back to sleep.
Different sleep regression ages happen during different phases of growth or developmental leaps. Depending on a baby they can show up and go away at different times. Mostly, regressions last from two till six weeks, and it can start or stop at once.
Babies go through different phases of growth (developmental leaps) and some of the most apparent regressions may be experienced between third and fourth month, eight and tenth month, and with two years of age.
Have in mind that these regressions are natural and normal, and there is nothing to worry about.
Regressions might be more important than you think. After each of the regressions, babies learn another important thing as crawling, sitting, standing, walking, using the potty and so on.
It will be challenging and hard but remember you did this too, and everything turned right.
When Does Sleep Regression Happen?
4 month sleep regression
- A 4 month sleep regression is very common and almost every baby experiences it.
- It can occur as late as a 5 months old and as early as 8 weeks old.
- It is usually provoked by permanent changes to your little one’s sleep cycle.
As for the 6 month sleep regression, experts say that it is not really happening. In fact, there are some other development and growth going on that may or may not impact the a good night rest of your child.
8 month sleep regression
It can happen as late as 10 months old and as early as 8 months old.
The 8 month sleep regression usually occurs during a significant brain’s development time.
18 month sleep regression
It happens between 17 and 18 months old.
The 18 month sleep regression is usually connected to your baby’s teething, separation anxiety and newfound independence.
What Can You Expect?
For starters, you can probably guess, you can expect a lack of sleep.
Depending on the age babies sleep differently. Newborn babies (till the third month) usually sleep 16 to 18 hours per day, then during the night and eight during the day. Hours will change, and a baby will be nervous and miss it’s sleeping, you might be too.
Lack of rest might lead to the next thing which is hypersensitivity. How do you feel when you don’t rest enough? Nervous? Grumpy? Indeed!
That’s how your baby is feeling too. So be patient and try to understand. Your baby has been used to sleep for a certain amount of time and now it doesn’t get to sleep as it is used to, so it is confused and is hypersensitive.
What can you do to help? Simple, cuddle!
It’s win-win! You like it, and your baby wants it too. Also, it needs it right now; it needs support and love for all big things that it’s going through at the moment. Not just when it’s a baby, but throughout life as well.
Your baby works hard, and a little body is using so much energy. It’s continually growing, and it needs a lot of “fuel” to do it nicely. Don’t be surprised if formula feedings or breastfeeding feel occur more often than usual.
The more you drive your car, the more you need to fill it with fuel too. It’s simple as that.
Prepare yourself, it will be challenging, but you can do it. Here is how.
How to Survive Sleep Regressions?
Sleep regressions are not the happiest of times and nor they the worst of times. Remember that everything that starts will finish once too.
Yes, time flies by when you have fun, and it seems to be going backward when you have bad times.
One thing is for sure; it will pass.
Remember again that babies are different and that sleep regressions might last from two to six weeks. If regression lasts longer, there might be something else bothering your little one. Ask for help and look for the cause.
- Breath and relax whenever you can.
- Be flexible and try to adapt to the new situation.
- Ask for help! No one expects you to do it all by yourself. Ask your husband, your mom, granny or a nanny to help you at least during the day so that you could get some sleep.
- Don’t worry about more frequent feedings. It’s just a phase, and it will pass. Eat more if you need to, don’t let this lead to some health issues.
- Help our baby relax with music, bath, massage or simply a story and a cuddle.
- Pay attention if there is a temperature difference. Did the season change? Is it colder or hotter in the room? Is it dawning earlier than usual?
- Make a daily schedule. Baby will learn when it is time to sleep, eat, play, have a bath. In time, the baby will ask for something, and one will lead to another.
- Try to put it to sleep earlier than usual. Children usually go to bed between 18:00 and 20:00 o’clock. If you put your baby to bed earlier or later it might help, the change might be useful.
- Don’t make new habits and patterns. For example, try to avoid rocking your baby to sleep. If you create a habit now, you’ll have to do it later.
- Try to teach your baby to fall asleep alone. If a baby wakes up during the night, it will calm down itself; it won’t be crying and asking for you.
Remember to breath and try to be calm as much as possible. Both baby and you are exhausted and sensitive during the sleepless nights, use your wisdom and help yourself. If you help yourself, you will take care of your baby comfortably.
In a few months, you will forget about it. You will only remember it when you meet someone who is going through the same thing. Give them a piece of warm advice and be happy it is over for you.