The 8-10 month Sleep Regression

The 8-10 month Sleep Regression

Is your baby between the ages of 8-10 months and sleep seems a little more challenging?

Here, our friends (and expert sleep consultants) Slumber & Sprout talk about the 8-10 month sleep regression, what is happening for your baby and why their sleep can go a little belly up.

At this age your little sweetheart is going through SO MUCH. Your baby might start crawling, sitting up, pulling up and cruising. It is also a stage where there is a lot of brain development occurring such as absorbing language and beginning to put things into categories for example a cat is a cat and a dog is a dog. And on top of the physical milestones and mental leaps your baby may also get a first tooth or more teeth around this time. Anddddddd just to add another element to the full on period your baby may be ready to transition from 3-2 naps. So again, your baby really does have SO MUCH going on.

So what does this mean for sleep? As you may have heard there is such a thing as an 8-10 month sleep regression.

This regression is across two months because the regression can occur at any of these ages BUT it doesn’t mean that you can expect your baby to sleep badly for two months. Because of all the development that your baby is going through sleep can take a hit. You might find your baby is too busy to nap because they want to practice their new skills. Or they may begin to wake regularly in the night because they are too stimulated to wind down (or lack of napping creating night waking).

While it can be a bit of a shock to see your baby go from sleeping beautifully to not sleeping so well – this phase shall pass, Mama. Typically with sleep regressions your little one will return to good sleep within a couple of weeks (4-6 weeks at most). To return to good sleep though your baby does need the right sleep habits and foundations to be maintained to support the return of good sleep. 

To help your little one to get through this regression and have your beautiful sleeper return as soon as possible Slumber & Sprout recommend the following:

  1. Don’t do nothing – if your baby isn’t sleeping well during this phase it means that you aren’t sleeping well either. Little sleep for weeks on end isn’t going to be good for anyone. It’s about finding a way to help your baby through this phase but without introducing a whole new set of sleep habits that could become long term habits and make this regression longer than it needs to be.
  2. Remember to always reflect on how well your baby slept previously. Just because they are between the ages of 8-10 months it doesn’t mean the regression is what is causing their sleep issues – particularly if there has always been sleep challenges and you’ve struggled to have consistently good periods of sleep in the past.
  3. During this regression although your baby may protest sleep it’s important to keep encouraging sleep and stick to your usual routine and habits as best as you can. Consistency and familiarity is what will actually help your baby to get through this phase quicker.
  4. If you haven’t already, introducing a comforter to your baby can really help during this phase as it’s also a peak time for separation anxiety to set in.
  5. During your baby’s awake time practice all the new skills that they are trying to master. By practicing in awake time your baby will have less interest trying to practice these skills when they should be sleeping.
  6. Your baby may need more support than usual but try not to change everything up – give them some extra cuddles and reassurance if they need some support BUT if they are used to falling asleep without your help try and keep this going so you don’t have to teach your baby how to self-soothe again once they are out of this phase.
  7. Be patient. As difficult as these phases can be try and think about what your baby is going through. Just like us when we have a deadline to meet, we are learning something new or we are feeling stressed about something – we don’t sleep as well, we toss and turn, we wake earlier etc. Your baby is no different and there will be times when their sleep won’t always be perfect. At the same time inadequate sleep isn’t something that should carry on for months either.

If you have been struggling with sleep beyond the regression then it might be time to explore this a little more and our friends at Slumber & Sprout have a range of options and would love to help you to get your good sleeper back - they can work remotely and work with families worldwide.

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