They’re the absolute worst. If you’re a parent of a young child, you get it. My son is 21 months now (can we be for real and say 2? No? Okay) and I think he’s gone through one of his last sleep regressions, thank God. Sleep regressions turn even the sweetest of babies into little monsters. I have a few suggestions on how to deal with sleep Regressions that may or may not help, you tell me.
So first I recommend evaluating your little one’s sleep routine. Ask your self the following;
- Does my child have a set bed time?
- Is that bedtime before 9pm?
- How old is my child?
- Is my child bottle or breastfed?
The best way to combat sleep Regressions is to have a concrete routine. To help you understand, below is a breakdown of our routine.
-Nap/quiet time 7 hours after wake up.
This is how long my son’s internal clock takes to get tired. If he wakes up at 7am, he naps at 2pm. No matter the time he naps, he HAS to wake by 4pm or else he won’t sleep at night.
– Dinner between 6 and 6:30
Dinner time is flexible for us because sometimes the meal takes longer to prepare or we take longer to eat. I always try to have it ready as close to 6 as possible.
– 30 minute bath after dinner
Bath time is important to my son’s routine because it gives him some last minute relaxed play time. During bath time we work on the ABC’s and 123’s with his foam bath letters so it is also a time to stimulate learning. (The reason we work on learning during bath is because studies show the closer to bedtime you study, the more you will remember.)
– Post bath routine
This is the time where he will run around naked for a little while to air dry for a few minutes. After air drying we bag balm and diaper then lotion and pajamas!
– Bedtime by 7:30
At this point in my son’s development, he needs about 14 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. Most nights it takes about a half hour for my son to fall asleep, so he’s usually asleep by 8 if not sooner. All we do is say “it’s time for bed,” and cuddle on the couch and he will just fall asleep. This won’t work for everyone but I just love my baby cuddles even though my baby isn’t a baby anymore! He will sleep until around 7.
Now that I have broken down my schedule, there are a few more basics to go over. First, if you child is over 6 months old they do NOT need to dream feed anymore. I really wish I listened to my son’s Pediatrician when she told us this. If you still want to dream feed, I do not blame you, my son had night feedings until he was almost 19 months old (if you want to know about that journey, read my why sleep training didn’t work for us blog). Once you stop night feeding, which is hard, you will notice a HUGE difference in your child’s sleep. My son went from waking two or more times a night to sleeping though the night at until 7:30 most days! So if your child is younger than 6 months, have hope! The end is near!
Second, you may need to adjust your child’s bed time to what works best. I know a lot of people that think 9-9:30 is the best time for their little one to go to sleep. That might work for them, but we played with my son’s bed time for a few weeks and found my son gets his optimal amount of sleep if he is asleep by 8. Try adjusting your child’s bedtime by a half hour later or earlier and see what happens!
The biggest thing you need to do through the sleep Regressions is to take care of yourself. Nap when you baby naps, drink coffee when you’re tired, go grocery shopping alone. You can be the best parent when you feel your best, so if that means drinking a gallon of coffee and going to the park inside the mall to let your little one burn off energy DO IT. I wish you luck with this endeavor!
Please let me know if I missed anything or how my methodology works for you!!!