Sleep regressions are never fun- and the regression that often happens between 8-10 months of age is no exception.
What is causing this regression?
For the most part, this regression is due to significant brain development. Babies this age go through many developmental milestones such as crawling, scootching, sitting up and standing up. Sleep often goes on the backburner temporarily while your little one enjoys practicing his new skill set. How can you expect them to sleep when their new skill is so much fun?
At this age, babies are also beginning to comprehend your language, which is extremely exciting and stimulating for your baby, making it difficult for them to sleep well.
And lastly, it’s very common for babies in this age range to transition from three daily naps to 2. Nap transitions can often cause temporary sleep trouble because of the unavoidable overtiredness your baby will experience when losing a nap.
What can you do about it?
Here are some tips to get you through this regression with your head above water:
1) Remain consistent: now is not the time to start rocking or nursing your baby to sleep or resorting to co-sleeping if this isn’t something you want to keep up long-term. Keep up with your good sleep habits as best you can.
2) Don’t assume all of your baby’s sleep problems are due to this regression. If your baby wasn’t sleeping well to begin with, it’s unlikely this regression is the root of your current sleep. problems. Waking up more than 1-2 times a night is excessive, even during this regression. You probably have a lingering sleep problem that was worsened by this regression.
3) Don’t assume the problem is always caused by teething. Contrary to popular belief, teething is not the cause of every infant sleep problem.
4) Be patient- Give your baby a bit of time to figure out these new developments. Sleep WILL take a front seat again soon!
5) If your baby is overtired from a nap transition or from sudden nightwakings, always make sure you are putting baby to bed slightly earlier to compensate for the sudden lack of sleep. Keep your baby’s bedtime earlier until she adjusts to her new schedule.
Don’t forget that sleep is a basic physiological requirement. The better your baby is sleeping now, the more successfully she’ll overcome sleep regressions and milestones down the road.