01:04am – Sleep Not Found.
Lately, Alex became what I could only describe as ‘a different child’ . There was something about his actions and this ‘change’ that I found familiar. I couldn’t put my finger on it, I just had niggles in the back of my mind that told me “we’ve been through this before, I’m sure we have” . I was right! It was the dreaded sleep regression. We went through this back in Alex’s early stages, I knew it was familiar.
Sleep regression is one of those terms which I never heard of before until I became a parent. It’s a sudden disturbance in the sleep of baby’s/toddlers who would usually be well sleepers. Most of these disruptions can be predictable as they are associated with developmental milestones. (There is a surge of growth in brain activity as they go through these developmental milestones) Some milestones such as , rolling over, crawling, walking and speaking are usually times when we will notice sleep regression may or may not happen. Most babies/toddlers experience a few sleep regression’s over the first 2 years of their lives. (You may not notice these if your small human doesn’t sleep well generally.)
- 6 weeks
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 8-10 months
- 12 months
- 18-ish months (can start as soon as 15)
- 2 years old
*Please note, all babies don’t necessarily go through all of the stages.*
How To Help.
- Ride out the regression. Don’t try to start new habits such as getting them back to sleep with feeds or rocking/swaying etc. They might end up wanting this continued when the regression passes. You can still soothe them with feeding & rocking of course, just make sure if you do this, when you put them back down that they are relaxed, not sleeping.
- Wear them out during the day with helping them with their milestones. Make sure they are fully awake at these times and they may feel satisfied with the time spent learning. (These regression’s are pretty much our little humans lying in the cot awake but wanting to be up practising their new skills.) It’s almost the same as having an itch you can’t get to.
- Through my research, I have learned that the popular 7pm bedtime may still be too late. You should try keep an eye out for the ‘relaxed state’ cue. A lot of parents exclaim that they can’t believe how early this actually occurs in the evenings. Try to catch this cue, then work towards using the same bedtime routine but at this new time.
(This is when the tiny humans apparently have the highest levels of melatonin in their system aiding in a powerful sleep) I have read that when this happens, you will have a child who receives the benefits to sleep, wakes less in the night & later in the mornings, not earlier, as our adult sleep logic would have us believe with an earlier bedtime.
I have been informed that if your baby has good sleep habits before a sleep regression hits, he will go straight back into his pattern once it finishes. However, from experience, although we know there is an end to these, they do last a few weeks and become very tiring and testing on us.
Alex was always a good sleeper in general after his 4th month earth side. We did go through a patch of sleep regression at this stage (typical, he turns 4 months, starts sleeping through the night and then it suddenly stops without explanation.) Word of warning to new parents, the 4 month sleep regression can stick and become permanent.
We have went through the usual disturbed nights such as teething and temperatures. However, at this moment in time, we are midst sleep regression – turning to toddler mode.
At night Alex goes down at 07:30pm, he is now waking at 10:00pm until 01:00-01:30am . In this space of time, all we can do is get up with him, give him milk/juice, let him roam about and watch some tv until he gets relaxed. Some nights there has been no signs of sleep on him that I’ve ended up buggy rocking him to a relaxed state. Sometimes, nothing works and then when it gets testing and tiresome.
During the day, Alex is constantly practising his walking, trying to build his confidence to go it further alone. He is also getting very good at words and speaking. He loves to try hard. When he gets it right he celebrates with a chuckle and claps his hands. Needless to say, his little brain is in overdrive. This is a positive side to sleep regression, think about how much they are learning and achieving during the day. Focus on the milestones. Stay positive.
Your doing great Mama’s !
If your baby or toddler wasn’t sleeping well from the get go, you can learn healthy sleeping habits (here)
Ex Oh (xo)