Sleep regressions are one of the many nightmares that parents face during the first year of a child’s life. Once you are past a growth spurt or a sleep regression, you are onto another stage that stops your baby from sleeping well. Soon, their first tooth erupts, and you have a sleepless week, followed by a few glorious days. Then, the ten-month-old sleep regression hits, and you are back to barely sleeping.
Often, parents are left wondering what is happening. Is it sleep regression? Is it just a phase? Are they extra hungry after playing all day? There are so many questions. I am here to tell you that sleep regression is real, and it happens at certain normal times throughout their first year. It doesn’t happen like clockwork; some children may hit sleep regression directly when they reach that age. Other babies are early or late.
What Causes the 10 Month Sleep Regression?
Once you survived the typical 4-6 month sleep regression, you may think you are in the clear. You are not. Your 9-10-month-old baby has a lot of milestones ahead of them, and these are what is believed to cause sleep regression. At this age, babies are doing some amazing things!
A typical ten month old is mastering crawling, pulling up to stand, cruising and some are even walking. More than likely, your baby is into everything and resembles a toddler more than the inactive child you had a few months ago. They are having so much fun; sleep takes a backseat to all of the activities throughout the day.
They aren’t just experiencing physical milestones; their brains are making incredible strides each day. Between 8-10 months of age, they are gaining meaningful connections through the cognitive development and language comprehension. Around this time, you may notice your baby responds more often to certain words and sign language if you practice it.
Another reason that the ten-month-old sleep regression is so common is the transition from three to two naps. Many people forget this stage, but around this stage, the third nap typically is weaned out. Many parents find their children sleep better with two long naps rather than two long naps and a short cat nap.
Let’s not also forget separation anxiety. Many babies develop separation anxiety around ten months and are afraid in their rooms without their parents. Their minds are still developing, and this time can be very scary for them. Imagine their thoughts! They are too young to understand mom and dad are just a bedroom away. Be gentle; this phase will pass as their brains develop a better understanding.
Your baby is undergoing great changes, and it leads to this dreadful ten-month-old sleep regression. The good news is that, like all sleep regressions and phases, it won’t last forever. Soon, your baby will be back to their regular sleep pattern.
How to Survive the 10 Month Sleep Regression?
Once you determine your child is in the middle of a sleep regression, you have to determine what to do so you both survive it. More than likely, it is a phase, but you don’t want to make a habit or continue it for the long term.
- Always check to see if something is wrong first. Some babies go through a phase of waking up and having a dirty diaper alarms them. Ten months old is a typical time for kids to have to get a few teeth.
- Is your baby too hot or cold? During season changes, your child may need different sleep clothes. Each child is different, and some may dislike being too warm or chilly at night.
- Give your baby ample time to practice their new skills. While it is more convenient to keep your child in an exercauser or pack and play, your child needs more play time with space to move. She needs the chance to practice those new skills instead of at bedtime. Bedtime isn’t the time or place to practice rolling or cruising. The living room or playroom, during the day, is the needed time for those activities.
- Keep your voice, and the lights, quiet. I know that my children think it is time to party and have fun when the lights come on or if I act happy to see them.
- Start by trying to rock them or gentle sing a lullaby. Some babies, at this age, like to read a book with their parents. I have found some good suggestions from Happily Blended for books. This age is a magnificent time to start the habit of a bedtime story! That is a habit worth keeping.
- If you have a routine, stick to it the best you can. You want your baby to recognize it is bedtime in the same ways she did weeks prior.
- For breastfeeding mothers, children typically believe it is time to nurse when you enter the room to get them. If you don’t want to breastfeed, it may be easier to send in your partner to calm and soothe your baby.
- If you are eliminating a naptime, you have to play around with times to figure out what works best for your child. Transitioning naps is a tricky process and must be handled properly. You don’t want to jump to two naps quickly because they will be overtired and then the sleep regression takes place.
- The best practice is to add time to the naps to compensate. For example, push the middle nap 15 minutes later. Soon, you will find there is no time to fit in a later nap before 4 pm. To make up for taking away this naptime, you will want to use an early bedtime. Even if you have had a set bedtime for some time, the period between the second nap and bedtime may be too large for your baby.
- While many proponents tell you to let your baby cry it out, it won’t help a sleep regression stage. Your child needs love. Remember, this time is just as frustrating and scary for them, especially if they have entered the separation anxiety stage. The phase will pass, and the goal is to do so with the least amount of crying as possible (including from you)!
There is no doubt that sleep regression is one of the most challenging things a parent will face. You face a million questions – are they cold? Are they hungry? Does her ear ache? What to Do if Baby Hasn’t Pooped in a Few Days? The questions can drive you crazy. However, if it continues for a week or two and there is no apparent reason, you may be a sleep regression.
As a mother of three children, I have lived through some sleep regressions, and I find it helpful to remember the reasons why during the late nights. Also, focus on the fact that this time is challenging for your baby and you. Try to keep your routine consistent and offer them as much love as possible. A few extra snuggles may be needed, but also try to keep your routine as normal as possible.
I hope you enjoyed this article about the dreaded ten month old sleep regression! I would love to hear how you survived. New mothers always need tried tricks and tips. Let us know in the comments!