Sleep Regressions: What’s a Parent to Do?
Yay! Baby sleeps through the night consistently now, and you feel totally comfortable with a grandparent or sitter putting them down for a date night. Mornings and nap-times predictably unfold, and you’re on cruise control. Who said babies were hard? You’ve got this in the bag.
UNTIL THE SLEEP REGRESSION MONSTER COMES AND STEALS ALL YOUR JOY.
While not all babies experience this dreaded life-sucker (ahem, rude), many do and it ain’t no joke. Sleep regressions may occur at any age with the most common causes of sleep inconsistencies being growth spurts, teething, developmental leaps and illnesses. While there are many reasons for sleep inconsistencies, actual regressions happen when we don’t stay smart as these little interrupters occur.
Once babies are old enough to sleep all night, there is nothing practical you can do in the room in the middle of the night to make them sleep. Your job is to offer the consistent routine and bedtime, the rest is really up to them. This may sound harsh, but think about it. If they’re going through a developmental leap – what are you really going to do at 2am to help them through it? Rock them and sing to them until they fall asleep? Sure, this might work one night, but we cannot forget how SMART those babies are. If it works one night, why wouldn’t they do it again and again? Perspective: If you cried in the middle of the night and your husband gave you a back rub every time and told you how beautiful you were, you’d maybe consider making this a regular gig, #amiright?
Simply make the necessary changes with the sleep schedule, sleep environment, sleep associations, feeds, and play time to get baby sleeping more soundly at night. Sidenote: we can help with this! While we can’t guarantee a number of days until the sleep inconsistency will end, we can promise you the surefire way to prolong it: getting off your sleep plan. Unless there is an illness (in which case baby gets whatever they want), stick to it.
There are so many changes in the first year of those little nuggets’ lives, but if you are proactive and anticipate necessary changes, sleep inconsistencies will not commonly turn into sleep regressions. As part of all of our Sleep Consultation Packages, you receive 6 months of email access to ask ALL your burning questions surrounding sleep regressions. You have a registered nurse to hold your hand and guide you on what to do in these days of unknowns. We would love to help you or a loved one receive the gift of CONSISTENT sleep.