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Baby Sleep Regression- Your Questions Answered.

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Having a newborn baby in the house can mean a lot of sleepless nights. Your little one is growing fast and often needs comfort and feeds during the night – when you consider how much growing they’ve got to do, that seems understandable, but that doesn’t help you sleep any easier! These frequent nightly disturbances are typical with new babies and, unfortunately, may not just happen once.  

This article will explain what sleep regression is, why it happens, and how to get through it (relatively) unscathed!

What is sleep regression, and why does it happen? 

A “sleep regression” is essentially where your baby’s sleep becomes disrupted, seemingly out of nowhere. For example, a baby may sleep relatively well from 2-3 months, but wake up frequently, become upset, or refuse to fall asleep at 4 months.

Sleep regressions most commonly occur at ages:

  • 4 months
  • 8-10 months
  • 18 months

Some people refer to the 8-month sleep regression as the 9-month sleep regression as it can occur at any time from 8 to 10 months old. These ages typically align with growth milestones, causing sleep disruption.

As a new parent, it’s important to remember that sleep regression is just a phase, and as difficult as it feels in the moment, it will pass. If you are aware that these age milestones can be difficult, you can better prepare for potential nightly upset.

 Why is the 8-10 month sleep regression so difficult?

At this age, your baby is going through a lot! Their world is getting bigger all the time – they’re sitting up, shuffling around, crawling, using furniture and people to stand up, and some even start finding their feet. They’ve got a taste of independence for the first time.

This is an exciting time for them and you, and their brains, muscles and joints are having to develop quickly. It’s not a surprise that they’re feeling overtired and uncomfortable at night when the body does most of its growing.

Like the rest of us, your baby is starting to find the world such an exciting place that they find it difficult to switch off at night. They may try to “practice” at night when they should be sleeping, and they often resist your efforts to soothe them.

What should I do when my baby starts going through sleep regression?  

Every baby will respond differently to various techniques, so this will require some trial and error on your part. You may also find that what works for a few days doesn’t work after that (the joys of parenthood!) so bookmark this page so you can reference it again in the future.

Here are some tips to help:

  • Reassess Your Baby’s Sleeping Area: It’s not uncommon to fill our baby’s sleeping area with interesting things to look at when they’re so young they can do little without you. You may have pictures on the walls, mobiles above the cot, and toys nearby. However, when they’ve got some independence, too much entertainment can give them things to keep investigating. Make sure their sleeping area is as boring as possible, or simply ensure it’s pitch black when you put them down for the night.
  • Reassess Their Sleep Schedule: If they’re fighting you before every nap time or before bed at night, you may need to adjust how frequently they sleep throughout the day. Consider skipping their last nap of the day or doing something active with them a little while before bed to use up their excess energy so their body will be ready to rest.
  • Don’t “Baby” Them Too Much: Yes, obviously they are a baby, but regressions should be a short-term thing spurred on by their biological changes. If you make too much out of their nightly or bedtime issues, you may find these short regressions turn into a true Try to keep any new tactics as close to your normal schedule or things you plan to continue to do into the future. For example, if you start sitting with them until they fall asleep, make sure it’s something you either have been doing already or something you could turn into a pre-bedtime story in the future.
  • Remain Calm: While constant waking in the night is frustrating, try to remain calm. Babies pick up on disruption and can become even more agitated and difficult to put back to sleep. Sing softly, play gentle music, read a book to them just to give them a sense of calm, or sit and read a book for your own pleasure to give them your calm presence.
  • Stick to a Routine: You may have to try new things, but most people and babies respond well to routine. Create a bedtime ritual or routine that you do before they go to sleep at night. Try to give them signals that this is the best time to settle down and rest.

As new parents, you know that peace and comfort are paramount in the early days. You want your little one to have a full back, head and neck support, comfy blankets and soothers so that they can sleep safely and comfortably. While being attentive, caring and patient, there are also products you can buy to keep your baby warm and snug at night. Whether you’re looking for a cosy swaddle or an organic eucalyptus bed sheet for your cot, Koala Bambino has it all. 

For more information about our full range of products, you can email us at hello@koalabambino.co.uk or visit our website