Regression or progression? If you have been following me for a while you will know I like to refer to these regressions as “PROGRESSIONS”, because simply it is a positive sign of development rather than a step backward in development and you baby is wanting to practice some new skills!
So, you have survived this first year of parenting and reached this awesome milestone your - child’s first birthday! Maybe you will celebrate with a cake smash photo shoot or perhaps invite all the family over but you may also be planning this celebration in a fuzzy haze of sleep deprivation….
Let's find out why...
Well this millstone can also be met with yet another sleep “progression”. Don’t worry, it to shall pass and you will be onto something else (!) but let’s explore what this sleep “progression” is really all about and how you can navigate your way through it with confidence and ease.
SO FIRST OFF, WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
It’s important to know that this is COMPLETELY normal, an expected developmental progression. It is a sign your child is developing “normally”.
At 12 months your child will be going through a LOT of new experiences. They may be pulling themselves up on the furniture, starting to walk, speech development is coming along and their food intake will be increasing. This is all very exciting for your baby and their busy little brain will be processing it all – at night time!
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS?
Refusal of naps, more often the first nap of the day
Waking early from a nap/cat napping
Increase in waking’s during the night
Fussy and hard to calm and console back to sleep
HOW LONG WILL THIS LAST?
As with all sleep “progressions” it should only last about 2 weeks. However all babies develop at different rates and you may find it is shorter or longer. If you notice symptoms lasting longer than 3 weeks it may be worth doing a little trouble shooting.
Has anything changed in your baby’s world recently, perhaps a house move, started nursery
Could they be ill – it may be worth speaking to your GP to have a check-up.
Speak to your health visitor and arrange your child’s 12 month review
Consider sleep training
WHAT TO DO TO NAVIGATE YOUR WAY THROUGH THIS…
It is super important to ensure you do not introduce any “unwanted” sleep habits or re-introduce old ones such as bed sharing, offering extra feeds (unless you are sure your child is hungry), start rocking or hugging back to sleep. Of course if you are happy to do these things then of course, go for it, but do bear in mind it may set you back in the sleep training department and you could start embedding new habits.
Be super consistent with your daily routine and bedtime routine. Do not be tempted to drop down to one nap too early, this can cause even more night waking’s and disturbances.
Ensure your response is consistent every time, not to over stimulating, take away any potential barriers that could be inhibiting your little ones sleep such as external noise (close the window/ use white noise), ensure the room is pitch dark, remove toys and mobiles from the cot.
Fill up your little ones love tank during the day with lots of cuddle time, eye to eye contact.
Have a calm bath and bedtime routine.
Support your child back to sleep with a loving response method you find comfortable to implement and that suits your child’s temperament. Continue with a dark room and white noise on.
It is key to be extremely consistent and preserver. You may feel theses 2 or so weeks are never ending but with your consistency, perseverance and love you will find just maybe the next night your little baba sleeps all the way through the night!
As always, please share this blog with a tired family you know out there. It may just shed some light on their parenting and sleep journey!
If you would like some help and support to navigate your way through this sleep “progression” feel free to get in touch and we can set you up with a free discovery call to see how the best way for me to help you is!
Your Paediatric Sleep Consultant