You have arrived you see the light at the end of the tunnel for your little babe. It was some long hard 6-7 months of big changes, nailing down the bedtime and trying to settle in to 3 solid naps a day and you finally raise your arms is victory. Just before you take the victory lap here comes the dreaded 7-9 month sleep progression. If you remember from the 4-month sleep regression I spoke about referring to these times as progressions, as your baby is making progress towards new goals. This progression in particular usually has a broader range, because each baby will hit their milestones at different times triggering this sleep progression to hit at various times for each little one.
There are a few reasons for this sleep progression to take place.
Milestones are happening by leaps and bounds at this age. Babies are learning to sit more easily, scoot, crawl, pull up and even some are working to shuffle, or cruise around and even walk by 10 months old. Cruising and walking is on the early side at this age, so do not compare your baby to another one, they will meet these goals at their own time.This is exciting for little ones and they want to work on these big milestones anytime, especially while they sleep. What other perfect opportunity, then when you are confined to your crib during sleep time, but that also means it can cause frustrations while they bust through every big event. You may notice they wake at random times in the night for extended periods, just rolling, pushing up, pulling or sitting up and laying down over and over this is very normal, and nap times can also see little ones working on these important skills.
Nap transitions are hard work, many babies work from 3-2 naps around 8-9 months old. One day could be a 3 nap day while, the next is 2 naps solid, the transition is not always easy and can also effect their bedtime and wake up times each morning until their body has adjusted to the full change. It can take time for them to fully move down to the 3-2 nap transition and another area that can effect this progression.
Mental developments and progressions are coming full force at this age. Separation anxiety starts to take place, as baby begins to really notice their environment and surroundings. When mom and dad are not around or their familiar caretakers, it can have an effect while they sleep. They wake startled, confused and feel the anxiety from being separated during sleep times. They start to understand that when objects or people are not around it sends their senses into high alert. They can become clingy and attached more than normal and this can change their world.
How to handle the sleep progression and move through it like a rock star!
First ask yourself does baby have the sleep foundations set in place at this time, once the progression is over, will baby be able to go back to their healthy and happy sleep? If the answer is no, then this is more than just a progression, baby is missing the vital sleep fundamentals to set up a healthy sleeper.
Next, be sure you are giving ample practice time during the day and awake periods for baby to explore and test out their new talents.
Place baby in their crib to “play” while you put away laundry, clean up their room or doing a task in their room. This will give them a chance to explore and work on their skills in their sleep environment for short periods.
Stick to your normal routine, many times parents quickly dive into new routines, nap schedules, bedtime routines and much more and the inconsistencies can set you back further and further.
Keep a daily log for 7-10 days of the schedule day and night, this will help give you resources to refer to and see if or where any adjustments need to be made.
If baby is amid the 3-2 nap transition, have a few different schedules, so you can have a game plan depending on baby’s wake time and naps during the day.
ALWAYS offer an early bedtime if the naps were a miss for the day, this helps baby get into the bed earlier to recoup any lost sleep and start fresh the next day. An overly tired baby can be on a downhill slide to create more issues in the future.
Run now and download BabyConnect app, the one needed resource to keep all important information for your little ones in real time and in one place.
Any time you head into a sleep progression the uncertainty can create more anxiety and stress for everyone. Knowing there are certain areas you can control and adjust than do so, and hang on for the ride, better times are just over the horizon.
If you feel you have taken on the 8-10-month sleep regression and need extra help getting everything on solid track, we have a guide to help you not only though this sleep regressions but all of the sleep regressions in the first 3 years of your little one's life! I also offer customized sleep plans with 1-on-1 assistance to establishes a foundation for healthy sleep!