Just when you think your child is sleeping well, sleep regressions occur and it seems that all your hard work is out of the window!
Don’t worry, you’ve not lost all the hard work you’ve put into sleep training. But there are some things you can do to get back on track ASAP.
This happens when your child begins to sleep differently. They begin to sleep more like an adult. With REM sleep and 45 minute sleep cycles.
This regression can last up to 6 weeks (agh!).
There is a lot going on with your child when they get to around 9 months old. They maybe learning to crawl, stand up. They are also entering the biggest phase of separation anxiety that they will go through. Making leaving them to fall asleep independently a thing of the past.
Just when things were getting back to normal after the 9-month regression the 12-month regression hits!
This regression isn’t as long as the 9 month (thank goodness!)
Now things begin to get interesting! Your child will be more opinionated when it comes to going to sleep and may refuse you go down to sleep as easily as they used to.
Much the same as the 18-month regression.
What you need to do
Obviously we want your child to get over the regression as quickly as possible. I think this is fairly easy to do with all of the regressions apart from the 9-month regression. As your child is also dealing with a separation anxiety this can be more of a challenge.
Your child will need more help going to sleep during the 9-month regression. I suggest giving them the extra help, but without creating new habits. Sit next to your child’s whilst they fall asleep, but don’t begin to rock them. Talk soothing reassuring words to them, but don’t give them a feed every time they wake.
Daily routine is really important during this time. Having super consistent routines, nap, night and daily, will make your child feel really secure and help them with the separation anxiety.
For all the other regressions, I suggest just going with the flow without introducing new habits. You will get less sleep during these regressions. Be prepared for them and be prepared for being tired. If you continue with your routines and how you deal with your child when they wake, they will get over the regression quicker and you’ll all be getting more sleep quicker!
Things do get interesting when your baby becomes a toddler. Toddler’s LOVE being in charge! And being in charge of sleep is no exception. This can really make things a challenge. Remember you are the grown up, you are in charge. Your toddler may not like the fact that you are, but remaining in charge is paramount to them getting over these regressions quickly.
A toddler in charge at bedtime doesn’t fall asleep quickly or easily and will need your help many many times a night.