Just when you think you’ve conquered bed time routines and baby begins sleeping through the night, sleep regression may hit your house. This typically occurs around 10 months (but can begin months earlier) and is largely due to the major development baby is going through at this time. They are learning to do so many things, like crawl, babble, pull themselves up… who wants to sleep when the world is such a cool – and busy – place?!
Fortunately, sleep regression is just a phase. You will get through it! Not everyone’s philosophies are the same but here are some tips that may work for you.
- Make sure there’s nothing really wrong. Check on baby to make sure they aren’t hurt, or they haven’t wet/messed their diaper.
- Keep the lights – and your voice – low. Make it clear that it is still night time.
- Try rocking them in the chair, singing a soft lullaby before putting them back into bed.
- Some babies see mom and assume that she’s there to nurse them. If you don’t want to breastfeed, this is a good opportunity for your partner to step in and put the baby back to sleep.
- If you don’t mind breastfeeding to get them back to sleep, nurse them until they’re sleepy and then place them back in bed. As best you can, try to avoid having them fall asleep at the breast because you don’t want their sleep patterns to be dependent on breastfeeding. (Keep in mind that it is not the end of the world if they do nurse to sleep. Sometimes that is the closeness and comfort your baby may need to get back to sleep.)
- Don’t make it a struggle if your baby is up a lot at night. We know it can be frustrating and you may be so tired from the frequent waking but babies don’t stay babies forever. The more energized or upset you get, the more rattled baby can get and trying to put an agitated baby back to sleep can be even more exhausting for everyone involved.