My daughter a few months ago suddenly changed her napping pattern. Needless to say I was very frustrated and not sure what to do. All you hear as a parent is how important it is that your child gets enough sleep... and then suddenly at 3 months, 6 months and 10 months they change their sleep pattern!
What has helped us get through this stage of sleep regression is putting my daughter down in her crib awake for her nap times as soon as she looks tired. She usually will cry for a small amount of time (5 - 20 minutes) and then she will fall asleep. This has helped us immensely to get her through this time.
For us, the current sleep issues our daughter is having is due to sleep regression, but there are any number of reasons for sleep changes, such as:
1. Growth Spurt
Your baby will go through so many growth spurts throughout his or her path to becoming a toddler. Typically growth spurts are at 7-10 days old, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 9 months old. Supposedly these growth spurts only last a few days, but honestly Baby P's growth spurts usually lasted a week. So how do you know this is what could be causing sleep issues?
- Typically if your little one is going through a growth spurt they are around the ages listed above.
- They seem extremely hungry all of the time.
- And they are crankier than usual. Click here for more info.
Teething can also effect sleep. What has helped us get through our daughter's teething is to give her homeopathic medicine right before her nap times and before bed time. How do you know teething could be the culprit?
- Is your baby rubbing his/her gums frequently?
- Is she cranky?
- Is she/he drooling constantly?
- Do you feel a tooth popping through his/her gums? Click here for more info on teething and sleep issues.
3. Sleep Regression
Ah the dreaded sleep regression. This is what we are going through right now and it is combined with teething! Sleep regressions can occur at 4 months, 8, 9, or 10 months, 11 or 12 months, 18 months and 2 years. Usually this sleep regression is attributed to cognitive and physical development. These sleep regressions can last anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks and the 8, 9 or 10 month one can be the worst. At the stages mentioned above, there is a lot of cognitive development going on. For example at the 8, 9 or 10 month regression your baby is usually working on crawling or walking.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the way we have coped with this is to just adjust her sleep routine. We put our daughter down in her crib awake for naps now as soon as she seems tired. Unfortunately she wakes up lately 1 to 2 hours early at night and I have not figured out how to fix this. She usually sleeps from 8:30 or 9 pm to 7 am, but the last few weeks she has woken up at 5 to 6 am. How do you know this is what your little one is going through?
- Was your little one sleeping well and suddenly stopped, by waking up at night or not taking naps?
- Are they waking up every 20 minutes from a nap? Here is more info on sleep regression.
4. Removal of a Nap
Typically at about 12 months (sometimes a little younger) your little one could remove one of their nap times. Most babies take 3 naps a day, so they could move down to 2 naps at this stage. My baby has always been different though and she typically only took 1 large nap a day. Recently she has changed and now takes 2 small naps. This is how our nap schedule changed, so it could be different for you too. Just be aware that every kid is different and kids do not always stick to the way the books say they should be.
Taken from my blog, Picturesque Familiarity: http://picturesquefamiliarity.blogspot.com/