The words "Sleep Regression"… I just have to say it: I really dislike these words.
I was going to type up why I believe and know sleep regressions to not be real when I remembered an amazing lady I follow on social media who released one already! So why not use it right?
The following information was taken from motherly and written by Rachel Gorton. Her take on sleep is spot on and very similar to my own.
“But, unlike the many methods, steps and practices that accompany sleep challenges, there is only ONE thing I want you to know about sleep regressions: They aren’t real. Let me clarify. Your baby suddenly not sleeping through the night or the abrupt change in her positive sleep habits? That’s real. Your baby who decides to start protesting naps? That’s also real. But, let's for a moment break down the very definition of this term: regression is “the act of going back to a previous place or state, return or reversion.” While it might seem that your baby is returning to previous sleep habits that were less than stellar, it is important to know that she is also going through huge developmental milestones for the first few years of life—all of which can and most likely will affect sleep. Wait, you think. I’ve heard this word over and over, read about it in books and even talked with professionals. So surely sleep regression must be a thing, right? What I realized after years of studying this term is that there are many stages in your child's life when sleep patterns may shift. Somewhere along the way, these changes were coined as “regressions.” Here's what is really happening... Your baby is growing and developing quickly and experiencing many exciting firsts. In just one year she will likely go from crawling to walking, rolling over, developing her own sleep cycle, laughing, responding to words and sounds, sitting without support, eating more foods and the list goes on and on. That is a lot of action for a little human and certainly enough for her sleep habits to shift a little (or a lot). And guess what? That is totally OK! Even though these phases sometimes come with less sleep, they are important to your baby's emotional and physical development. In other words, they need to happen. And while you may be happy to welcome these transitions, you are probably still wondering how to handle them. I got you, mama. Here's what you can do... First, ditch the term regression. Doesn't it just sound yucky? Instead of regression, I like to call these transitions. Transitions can bring challenges at any point in your life and, trust me, they will never stop happening. But rather than resist them, you can embrace them. #perspective If your 4-month-old suddenly goes from sleeping six straight hours per night to waking up every hour—congratulations! She is moving out of the newborn sleep cycle and starting to develop her own unique cycle. Maybe your 8-month-old is suddenly refusing naps, meaning she could be in the middle of transitioning to a two-nap schedule. Or her nighttime sleep could be causing earlier wake-ups than normal. You can help her by trying to provide as much consistency as possible. (This isn't a great time to move or adopt a puppy.)” - www.motherly.com
Okay so now that I have taken a full section from Motherly about sleep regressions… you're probably wondering “well how do I get through the new stages of my child’s life and how can I help them?”
Well first you need to be aware of the changes that are happening, and provide appropriate support. If its teething find ways to help ease the pain or discomfort, there are many great options these days. If they are learning to roll over and get stuck in uncomfortable positions, practice this during awake times, make it fun! Learning is amazing and should always be done in a fun way.
If they are now resisting naps, look at the timing of the naps and are they still appropriate... Should we transition to two naps, one nap or none at all? If you are still struggling then knowing it is okay to reach out for help. YMM has many support networks available to parents, and when used properly can be very helpful.
If you still find yourself struggling with transitioning through all the changes of your little ones sleep then Sleep Tight Consulting can help you!! Whether it is a full sleep plan, advice phone call, or refresher plan I have many options on how I can support your family.
This blog was originally published here.