You’ve been waiting for this ever since the start of your pregnancy. Imagine that. No more waking up at the wee hours of midnight. No more lost sleep.
You can now finally close your eyes until the sun comes out without interrup—
Did you just hear your baby cry? Seriously?! You look at the clock and you see it’s 2am.
You groan and ask why is this happening. Is something wrong? Is he feeling alright? Is it teething? Does he have a fever? A stomach ache? Or maybe your house is haunted? You’ve been told babies and animals can see spirits.
Before you jump to any conclusion, let me just start with this: what they’re doing is normal.
Despite the fact that it’s totally out of the blue, a lot of babies exhibit that behavior. And we call it sleep regression.
What is sleep regression?
Sleep regression is what happens when your child suddenly goes back to waking up in the middle of the night after a long time of productive, undisturbed sleep.
From the word regression, we can derive that it is an act of going back to an old pattern of behavior. In this case, it’s sleeping. I know how horrifying that sounds like but it is usually caused by something that’s actually delightful.
Experts suggest that sleep regression has a direct relationship with the changes and milestones that your baby achieves.
For instance, you may notice that just before and while they are learning to crawl, babies tend to be restless at night.
Sleep regression first happens when your baby is around 4 months. Signs can include less naps, appetite changes, and of course, waking during godly hours.
How can you deal with it?
Remember that it has something to do with developmental milestones. So let’s use that to our advantage.
Your baby is trying to learn something. Of all times, they’d unfortunately pick the nighttime to explore it. What can you do? Make them do it in daytime.
That may mean a whole day of rolling over or trying to crawl. Still sounds way better than an interrupted sleep, right?
Another thing you can do is minimize their reasons for waking up. This means a dark room and a full belly.
Ensure that they are fed before bedtime so they won’t have to bug you when you’re trying to catch some sleep. Also make sure that the light in their room corresponds to the time: dark at night and bright at day.
For tips that can help you in the long run, check out this article on how to make your baby fall asleep more easily.
Sleep regression will run its course in no time. It is a normal developmental experience you and your baby will go through. If it’s going out of hand, don’t hesitate to approach friends and family or even a professional.