A question that pops up for me a lot is “is the 8/9/10 month sleep regression even real?” Or course, not all babies are affected by the 8-10 month sleep regression, but and I’m here to to tell you, yes, it is.
Between 8–10 months you may notice that you’re having some bedtime battles, nap stand-offs, overnight wakings, and perhaps even some early rising just to top it all off. If this sounds familiar, it’s likely your baby is working through a sleep regression.
First of all, don’t panic. This too shall pass. Secondly, pour yourself a strong cup of coffee and read this post so you know what’s going on and what you can do to help.
Reasons your baby is going through a 8–10 sleep regression
There are a few different reasons why your baby may be diving head first into a sleep regression at this time. Let’s have a look at the different factors at play:
1. A transition from 3 naps to 2 happened a bit too soon
Lots of babies around the 8–10 month mark are making a transition from 3–2 naps, and that can always cause a few wobbles. It’s so important to hold onto 3 naps for as long as possible.
If you have transitioned your naps down from 3 to 2 a bit too early, chances are you will experience a sleep regression more so than someone who is capping naps, managing the morning wake up and preserving 3 naps for longer.
2. Your baby is hitting developmental milestones
This is a time of great physical and mental development, which makes for tired little bodies at the end of the day, and overstimulated minds.
Your baby has most likely started to crawl or shuffle, insists on sitting independently, and may have even started to pull up and surf along each and every surface.
This is exhausting for little bodies and little brains. Not only that, it’s exciting and fun! Why would you want to sleep when there is crawling to be done!?
Oh and let’s not forget about the whole separation anxiety thing. Baby doesn’t want you to leave and have fun without them.
What can I do to help my baby if they’re going through this sleep regression?
Like always, my first step is to review your sleep foundations. Have you got a routine and environment that is conducive to good sleep and that is age-appropriate?
Then have a look at whether or not your baby knows how to fall asleep independently. If not, now is the time. This is my favourite age to work with when transforming sleep habits. They are SO ready and I’m sure so are you.
I also want you to try and put your baby to bed earlier than normal. Think about how exhausted you are after a big dose of physical and mental exertion. This is what your baby is going through. So, avoid an overtired battle by putting your little one to bed earlier.
PRO TIP: Remain consistent. It is all ok. Your baby will go back to being a good sleeper. Don’t introduce anything new. Stay calm and consistent.