Are you struggling to deal with your little one’s sleep regression troubles? It can be really tough to finally get on top of your baby’s sleeping pattern, only to devastatingly end up back where you started. However, sleep regression is unfortunately a common and guaranteed problem.
Experts say there’s four sleep regression stages which crop up between 4 and 24 months. The two main, most challenging stages come at 18 months and 24 months. However, the other two are no walk in the park either when you’ve finally started to enjoy some uninterrupted sleep.
If your little one is going through sleep regression, there’s some tips and advice which can really prove invaluable. Here, you’ll discover 10 awesome tips to help you survive this challenging period.
1. Don’t Start Long Term Habits For A Short Term Problem
When your little one starts to regress with their sleeping pattern, it’s common for parents to think about changing their routine. However, you need to be really careful not to make any long-term changes to try to solve this short-term solution.
All sleep regression stages last for short periods of time. However, if you start to make any long-term changes, you risk prolonging the sleep issues for months. Try and stick to the same routine as much as you possibly can.
2. Consider Where They Sleep
Where do they currently sleep? If the answer is in your room, you may want to consider making them sleep in their own room. Obviously, this isn’t an option if you prefer to co-sleep with your little one. However, if it is an option you’ll definitely want to take it.
Learning to sleep in their own room will give your baby a greater sense of independence. This will ultimately help with long-term sleep habits, ensuring you both get a good night’s sleep. Some parents find the transition a smooth one, but others can find it quite challenging. Just remember, persistence is key if your little one is having a hard time with the transition.
If you don’t already have one, a white noise machine can work wonders for the early sleep regression stages. It mimics the sound your baby would hear in the room, providing comfort and helping them to drift off.
You might just be surprised how well these machines work for helping you to establish a good sleeping pattern. If you don’t want to pay for a machine, you can also use apps on your phone or tablet device. There’s a lot of great white noise apps you can download and try out.
4. Set An Earlier Bedtime
Although you don’t want to make any drastic changes during the sleep regression stages, giving your baby an earlier bedtime might help.
The trouble is, many babies nap too much during the day and have a late 9pm-10pm bedtime. If you were to alter their nap schedule and bring their bedtime forward to 6pm-7pm, it can really help to ensure they get a better night’s sleep. Remember, the older baby gets the more sleep they need. So, putting them to bed at 7pm-8pm can ensure they get the necessary amount each night. This tip alone could prove to be a real game changer for you.
5. Remember The Good Stuff
Even with the tips on this list, there’s going to be times you feel like giving up. Sleep deprivation can really cause you to feel like you’re losing your sanity. So, on those darker days it’s a good idea to remember the good stuff.
Look through your baby’s newborn photos and think about the milestones they’ve achieved so far. This is sure to bring a smile to your face and help you remember why you’re putting up with these tough times. Cling on to the good memories and it will really help to get you through.
6. Switch Your Perspective
Another tip which can help a lot during the bad days, is to change your perspective. Try not to think of the sleep regression in a negative way. Instead of focusing on the fact you’re being kept up all night, see it as a simple change in schedule.
You may be losing sleep at night, but that doesn’t mean you can’t top it up during the day. Have little naps, even just 5 minutes where you can. If you start to view it in a more positive way, you’ll be amazed how much better you feel.
7. Make Use Of A Pacifier Or Swaddling
When your baby is fussy during their sleep regression phase, make use of pacifiers or swaddling to calm them. You may already be using a pacifier and it isn’t working. If not, swaddling is definitely something you’ll want to give a go.
There’s a lot of online videos showing you exactly how to swaddle a baby correctly. When done right, it makes them feel protected, comforted and it can often send them off to sleep.
8. Use A Swing To Encourage Naps
Sleep regression doesn’t just strike at nighttime. It can also have a dramatic affect on baby’s naps. If you’re finding your baby isn’t taking kindly to their usual nap routine, placing them in a baby swing could help.
The swing keeps them happier, while also encouraging them to drift off for a nap. The only thing to remember here is to supervise them while they’re in the swing. Leaving them alone can be dangerous, even though it might seem like they’re safe and secure.
9. Ask For Help
Sleep regression is hard work so never be ashamed to ask for help. Ask friends or family to watch baby during the day while you enjoy a much-needed nap. Ask your partner to help during nighttime wakeups.
Whatever help you can get, take it! Now’s not the time to try to be a super parent by doing it all yourself.
10. Vent Your Frustrations
On the bad days, it’s perfectly OK to vent your frustrations. Cry, shout, have a little rant online – whatever works for you, do it.
Bottling up stress and frustration will ultimately lead to breakdown. So, having an outlet to release your frustrations can prove essential. If you’re not comfortable venting to friends and family, join an online parenting forum. You’ll be surprised just how many parents feel the same way you do right now, and they may even have a few tips of their own which can help.
Overall, sleep regression is a very real and frustrating problem you’ll face numerous times throughout baby’s first couple of years. However, the tips above can really help you to deal with the stress, frustration and anxiety which tends to come hand in hand with the sleep issues you’ll face.
Do you have any more great tips other parents may find useful? Share them below…