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Sleep Regression Ages – When it Happens and Tips to Help you Get Through it
So you’re through the postpartum wakefulness (thank goodness!) only to come against the dreaded sleep regression. This is when your baby wakes up more than they usually would and is normally down to a developmental leap or two.
The most common sleep regression ages are:
Is your baby much more aware of what’s going on around them? Perhaps they have learned the super-cool skill of rolling over too? These motor milestones can contribute to your child’s disrupted sleep patterns. According to the article From Safe Sleep to Healthy Sleep: A Systemic Perspective on Sleep In the First Year (2018), ‘…advances in brain development or motor milestones like crawling, pulling to stand, and walking directly impact sleep.’
Sitting up, teething, and growth spurts are the usual culprits for this little blip. Hopefully, this settles down after a short while once they have gotten used to their new skills and that tooth has finally erupted.
This is all about separation anxiety. According to Medical News Today ‘robust separation anxiety begins when they are about 9 months old.’ A sense of object permanence can start to occur around this age. This is when babies start to understand that objects and people still exist even if they can’t be seen or heard. This is the primary evolution of child psychologist Jean Piaget’s sensorimotor stage of cognitive development.
Wow- a lot happens during that first year and now they might even be on their feet. Just when you thought you might be out of the woods, a twelve-month age sleep regression might result in resistance to napping and difficulty in falling asleep. Sleep regressions can feel so tricky but tend only to last between 2-4 weeks and are very normal. Fret not, we have some top tips to help you get through the dips.
Tips and tricks to overcome sleep regression
More sleep means more sleep
A fretful forty-winks can sometimes be put down to an overtired and adrenalized child so make sure they have enough sleep during the day and put them down before they get overtired. A relaxing and consistent bedtime can work wonders as well as putting your baby down to sleep in the same place that they wake up.
Set sail on a little boat in this magical Moshi lullaby Shh…Listen to send your little one to slumberland. Parents might just love it too.
This is for you! When you can, take some time to practice mindfulness. Sleep disturbances can feel thoroughly exhausting. I remember! To be honest, I’m not really sure what was happening in those first few months, it just felt like a blur of sleeplessness. But I do know that meditation has always been my fairy godmother.
When your baby does eventually go down (and before you tackle the mess) spend just a few moments on some alternate nostril breathing.
- Gently close your right nostril and breathe through your left.
- Notice the pause at the end of the inhale.
- Gently close your left nostril and breathe out through the right.
- Notice the pause at the end of the exhale.
- Breathe in through the right nostril, notice the pause and breathe out through the left.
- Repeat for ten rounds of breath.
Moshi Velvet Noise is a wonderful shushing soundscape created in a recording studio to help children drift off into a relaxing sleep. Bliss!
Always contact your healthcare professional if you need extra guidance or are worried about your child’s milestones. It feels never-ending at the time but these phases do pass and cherish the little moments of joy with your beautiful baby when you can.