Did your baby’s sleep patterns suddenly become disrupted? With more frequent wake ups and a whole lot of exhaustion for everyone involved? As a parent myself, I know firsthand just how frustrating and challenging the infamous 7-month sleep regression can be. But don’t worry – there are some simple solutions that can help you and your baby get through this tough time. Let’s dive into the causes of sleep regression and some tips for how to deal with it!
What is the 7-Month Sleep Regression?
It’s a temporary period of disrupted sleep that many babies experience around the age of 7 months. During this time, your baby may start waking up more frequently during the night, have difficulty falling asleep, or experience changes in their nap and sleep schedule.
What Causes the 7-Month Sleep Regression?
The exact reason why sleep regression happens is not entirely understood, but there are a few theories about what might cause it.
At around this age, your baby may be learning new skills such as crawling, sitting up, or pulling themselves up to stand. These new skills can be exciting for your baby, but they can also cause them to wake up more often as they practice these skills in their sleep.
As your baby grows, they may start to become more aware of their surroundings and develop a stronger attachment to their parents or caregivers. This can lead to separation anxiety, which may cause them to wake up more often at night looking for comfort and reassurance.
Teething can cause discomfort and pain for babies, which can make it harder for them to fall asleep peacefully or stay asleep.
During a growth spurt, your baby’s body is working hard to grow and develop, which can interrupt your baby’s sleep patterns. They may need more frequent feedings or wake up hungry during the night. It’s important to be patient and offer extra comfort and nourishment during this time.
How to Deal with the 7-Month Sleep Regression
Stick to a Routine
Sticking to a routine is a really helpful way to get your baby to recognize when it’s time to go to bed. I know it can be tough as tired parents to maintain a consistent schedule with all the demands of parenthood, but even a simple relaxing bedtime routine can do wonders. For example, you could give your baby a bath, read them a story, and sing a lullaby before putting them down to sleep. It’s all about creating a calming and consistent environment that signals to your baby that it’s time to wind down for a good night’s sleep.
If your baby wakes up crying or upset, it’s important to offer comfort and reassurance. I know it can be tempting to rush in and pick them up, but sometimes a simple pat on the back or comforting word can be enough to help them settle back down.
Encourage Independent Sleep
If your baby is struggling to fall asleep on their own, it’s worth trying to encourage them to learn how to do so. By putting them down when they’re drowsy but still awake, you can help them fall asleep independently and also develop healthy night sleep habits that will last a lifetime.
Create a Calm Environment
Babies sleep better when we create a peaceful and calming environment for your baby to sleep in and reach deep sleep. This can include using white noise or a sound machine, keeping the room dark and cool, and minimizing stimulation before bedtime. We want to prevent sleep disruption from noise or light.
Adjust Feeding Schedule
Some babies may need more calories during the day to make it through the night without waking up hungry. Adjusting the timing or amount of feedings during the day can help ensure your baby is getting the nutrition they need to sleep longer at night, and so they might not need a night feeding as much.
Establish a Consistent Nap Routine
This can include a similar routine to their bedtime routine, such as a quiet activity, a soothing story or song, and a comfortable sleeping environment. Additionally, try to offer naps at regular times each day to help regulate their sleep-wake cycle. It’s also important to pay attention to your baby’s cues when it comes to napping. If your baby seems tired or fussy, it may be time for a nap even if it’s not the usual nap time.
Activity During Awake Time
Make sure your baby is getting enough physical activity during the day. Babies who are more active during the day tend to have a better nighttime sleep. You can encourage physical activity through tummy time, playtime, and age-appropriate exercises.
Adjust Your Expectations
It’s also important to remember that the 7-month sleep regression is a temporary phase. As frustrating as it can be, baby sleep regressions won’t last forever! Adjusting your expectations and being patient can go a long way in getting through this challenging time.
Consider Sleep Training
If you’re really struggling with getting your baby to sleep, it might be worth considering to sleep train your baby. However, it’s important to consult with your pediatrician first to make sure it’s the right approach for your baby. There are different sleep training methods you can try, but they all involve gradually teaching your baby to fall asleep on their own and self-soothe when they wake up at night.
How Long Does a Sleep Regression Last?
The 7-month sleep regression typically lasts for a few weeks to a month, but it can vary from baby to baby. It’s important to remember that every baby is different and may experience the regression differently. However, most babies do eventually return to their normal sleep cycle once they have passed this phase. It’s important to be patient and consistent with your baby’s sleep routines and habits during this time to help them through it.
Remember, sleep regressions are a normal part of a baby’s development and will usually pass on its own. By implementing healthy sleep habits and being patient and consistent, you can help your baby get through the sleep regression and sleep issues and get back to a healthy sleep routine.