8 tips to overcome your baby's sleep regressions
Many parents go through an intense and challenging time when their baby is in sleep regression. Often a fixed rhythm had already been established, which was then disrupted by mini naps during the day and periods of waking at night. The process of helping you fall asleep takes what feels like an eternity and when it comes to sleeping, everyone feels tense instead of relaxed. So that it doesn't stay that way or doesn't even get to that point, here are eight tips on how to get through this intensive phase.
1. Your child only takes mini naps?
During a sleep regression, your child's sleep needs are temporarily reduced. For many children, daytime naps are shorter during this phase. Continue to pay attention to age-appropriate waking periods and offer your child a nap at the usual times. This way you avoid your child becoming overtired and sleeping even more restlessly.
2. What helps if a daytime nap is suddenly refused?
Some children find it very difficult to detach from the day during a developmental leap that causes sleep regression. Your child just can't put himself to sleep. If your child skips a daytime nap entirely, offer him a break where he can relax and rest. You can also move the bedtime a little earlier in the evening so that your child goes to bed earlier. This means that a larger proportion of your sleep needs can be covered through nighttime sleep.
3. It suddenly takes a long time to fall asleep?
During sleep regression, many children need more closeness and reassurance. As a reminder: there is a developmental leap behind sleep regression. Saying goodbye to sleep always means separation for the little ones, which is why it can take longer to fall asleep in this phase. During this time during the day, give your child closeness and reassurance. You can give your child even more security by sticking to your usual rituals and routines as much as possible. Rituals and routines make the day predictable and give it structure. In this way, they form fixed anchor points that always run the same way and provide support in uncertain times.
4. Restless baby sleep?
If sleep suddenly becomes restless, this is a typical sign of sleep regression. After all, your child learns many new skills during a developmental leap. We often particularly notice external developments, such as sitting, crawling, walking or the expansion of vocabulary. Your child also has to process these developments mentally. Finally, your child sees the world from a different perspective when, for example, he or she begins to sit. Your child has a lot to process, which can make their sleep more restless. During this phase it is important that you are there for your child and show him understanding. But remember that restless sleep is not automatically a signal that your child needs your help sleeping. We all process things in our sleep and therefore sleep more restlessly. If your child needs your help to stay asleep, he or she will give you a clear signal.
5. What helps with periods of waking at night?
During a developmental spurt, your child learns many new skills. Maybe your child has just learned to sit up on their own or is already pulling themselves up. Until your baby has internalized these movement sequences, he or she will have to practice the sequence of movements many times. Some children find their new skills so exciting that they practice them at night instead of sleeping. Therefore, give your child plenty of opportunity during the day to try out their new skills and practice the movement sequences.
6. Your child is more hungry than usual?
Developmental leaps are very stressful for your baby. New movement sequences must be practiced and new skills must be tried out. It's no wonder that your child is often hungrier than usual during this time. During a developmental leap, calorie needs may temporarily increase. Therefore, offer your child more food than usual.
7. Would you like quick solutions to finally get more sleep again?
Especially when we are restless for several nights in a row and we want nothing more than to sleep, we are tempted to resort to quick solutions. Getting back to sleep quickly and making up for some of the sleep deficit are the biggest wishes at this time. This is where new habits often emerge that offer short-term relief, but do not represent an improvement in the long term. So always check whether you want to keep the new habits in the long term.
8. Think about yourself too: Sleep regressions are also a stressful phase for parents
Sleep regressions are also a stressful time for parents. This special time can be very challenging. Especially if you don't get any sleep at night and your child is very clingy during the day. So take care of yourself and get as much support as possible. Don't be afraid to ask your partner and those around you for help. Build a reliable network of grandparents, friends or babysitters from whom you can get support. After a short break, you can look after your baby again with more energy and calmness.
Guest article by Jana and Linda from Schlaf gut Mini:
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