Sleep Regression: What to Expect and How to Cope
Written by Gabrielle Hatten for her blog, The Unpretentious Mummy.
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A Story Featuring Sleep Regression
Ahhh, the ever elusive ‘S’ word. Before we get started, I want you to take a moment, close your eyes, and think of your happy place. Great, now that you’re feeling calm and relaxed, I want you to picture this…
You’ve somewhat adjusted to living off a minuscule amount of sleep. You’re learning to appreciate every second you do get, instead of thinking about every second you don’t get. You’re looking less like a deranged zombie and more like a middle aged suburban mom (even if you’re only 20), and you really feel your life coming back together.
Just when you think you’re able to function on your lack of sleep, your annoying friend from high school (who only shows face when they need something) shows up at your door at 11:30 at night. How long are they staying? Who knows. What you do know, is you can kiss your sleep and any other routine you had somewhat going goodbye.
Well my friends, that annoying friend from high school is sleep regression.
Sleep regression is when a baby that has been sleeping totally fine, starts to wake through the night and/or skip or take shorter naps for no apparent reason. The good news is, it typically only lasts 1-4 weeks. And the bad news is, it typically lasts 1-4 WEEKS.
A little known fun fact: the word parent is actually just a nicer way to say ‘semi-functioning over-caffeinated zombie.’
Sleep regression hits in waves, but can typically be expected around 4 months, 10 months, 18 months, and 2 years. Looking at the timeline can help take the edge off, because it is spaced out pretty nicely!
How to Survive
I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that your baby is only a baby for such a short amount of time. Times may be tough and sleep is definitely scarce, but they need you. You are their entire world.
All you can do during this time is provide plenty of snuggles and love. If you’re a fellow essential oil enthusiast, rub some lavender oil (make sure to dilute with coconut oil if you’re using pure lavender) on the bottom of their feet. That will be just the extra push you need to get them to sleep.
To survive, first you must accept what’s going on. I believe the key to survival is knowing and understanding what is going on with your baby. Call me silly but try to put yourself in their shoes. Do you think it’s fun for them to not be able to sleep for no apparent reason? No, it’s not. If it’s hard on you then chances are it’s hard on them too.
Now you know what sleep regression is, when to expect it, how long it lasts, and how to cope.
Get your coffee pot ready and keep it full because you’re really going to need it!
Have you already survived sleep regression? Have any weird or random things that helped your little one sleep? Help another mama out and share in the comments! ♥️