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Episode Highlights:

  • Sample Scheduled for every stage of naps to adjust with ease
  • Understanding how to adjust and how long it will take to go back to “normal”

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Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together. Hello, everyone, Courtney Zentz. Here, I am excited to chat with you today about the dreaded eight, nine and 10 month sleep regression. And you may be wondering, how am I going to talk to you about an eight month, a nine month and a 10 month sleep regression in the same episode. But it is often because that particular sleep regression can happen at any of those ages. So the first thing that I wanted to chat about was when the eight nine or 10 month sleep regression happens. First and foremost, the regression is going to be different and happen at a different stage, depending on your little one’s development. Traditionally, you’re seeing it as new and other leaps are happening both cognitively and behaviorally. So for example, your baby may have just learned to sit up for the first time, they may already be shuffling around the room, or they may be just beginning to pull themselves up to standing. So developmentally, it’s very exciting for them, because there’s this whole new world that can be opened up for them that frankly, they would rather do. And that can be very stimulating, very exciting, but also very exhausting. So how long should the eight month nine month or 10 months sleep regression? Last? You may be wondering, honestly, sleep regressions are really only something that should prohibit sleep or caused sleep disturbances in the shorter term, meaning it is not a long term problem. So typically, I see it lasting, you know, maybe three or four weeks, depending on where your little one is developmentally. If you are essentially saying that you’ve had a sleep regression for the past six months, there’s likely a little bit more going on that we’re going to talk about in a bit. So what causes asleep regression, right? I think at this particular age, again, it’s going to be behavioral and cognitive development, right? Kids are being exposed more and more to the new world. And they’re learning new skills, and that they have this little side of independence that gives them the freedom to do things and make choices. And for babies, that is super exciting. The next thing that’s happening at this age is usually around timing, right. So you’re losing traditionally that third nap of the day, and you’re coming into more of a schedule of a to nap a day situation, maybe you’ve dropped that last power nap, you’re trying to work and align things. That can also be something around the timing that’s causing a bit of the challenge, right? Somewhere around seven months through the age of 12 months, children should be on two naps a day to really align best with their body clock. Typically, it’s a morning nap for roughly about 90 minutes. It’s an afternoon nap for roughly about 90 minutes, and they’re getting the amount of sleep they need at the right intervals. So I’ll give you an example. So an eight month old child is able to stay awake for about three hours, right? So their sleep pressure kind of builds up at about three hours where their body says okay, it’s time to rest. So if you’re not following their body’s awake window, right, you could be setting them up for failure. And what I mean by that is sometimes a parent will go for a walk at two hours with an eight month old, the child falls asleep in the stroller. Well, it’s supported sleep, right, like so a stroller is causing motion, motion causes sleep, right? So your child’s essentially falling asleep, because you’re essentially enabling that to happen by taking them for a walk at two hours. And that motion sleep is going to cause it whereby you want to really push the walk out an hour, and set their body clock up for success. Because if you put them down for a nap at the wrong time, the nap is not going to generally be as long or restorative. And if you wait too long, they’re going to get overtired, which triggers adrenaline and cortisol, and they they kind of just can’t cope with the fact that their body has too much sleep pressure, right? So your timing is super important. You know, traditionally, a sample for an eight month old would be waking up around seven, taking their first nap at 10. Maybe they sleep till 1130 and then taking a second nap from 230 to four and going to bed at 7pm for the evening. So that’s a sample of a day that balances not only your total sleep needs, which is about three hours for this age, but it also balances the ideal awake window. Now I’ll give you another example. Most babies will have one nap that they kind of favor so if the morning nap tends to be there longer one, they may sleep from 10 till 12. No problem. They go down for their second nap from three to four, you still get the total amount of data Time sleep they need which is about three hours. And you’re still operating on ideal awake windows, which is about three hours, right? So it’s awake at seven nap at 10 and a half pet three, you know, bedtime at seven, and you still work out to be beautiful in that regard. If your timing is off, that’s going to cause part of your challenges, right. So that’s where you have to look at how you’re setting your little one up for success. From a timing and nap consolidation standpoint. The next thing is around sleep needs, right. So I talked about how much daytime sleep they need, which is about three hours at this age. The American Academy of sleep medicine recommends that children from four months through 12 months of age, sleep anywhere from 12 to 16 hours in a total day, meaning for example, in most of my clients, I’ll tell them, you’ll get 11 to 12 hours overnight. And then typically around three hours in the day. Now, some families operate a little differently where they want an extra nap with a later bedtime. Whatever works for your family, as long as you’re falling into the total sleep range that is suitable for their age. And again, at this particular age, it’s somewhere between 12 and 16 hours. If you’re operating at 12 hours and your child is a bit of a bear, they’re probably overtired. So you may need to look at how you’re structuring things to make sure that you’re setting them up for success overall, right. Now, the next thing that causes a sleep regression, it may not be timing. And it may not be developmental, it may be habit, right. So I have some clients that are like, gosh, we’ve been in a sleep regression since for months, and it’s never gotten any better. And what I’ll tell you with that is that typically means that something has creeped in, where the word to sleep is inserted in there somewhere. And I’ll give you an example. So it’s going to be I need to rock my baby to get them to go to sleep, I need to bounce to sleep, feed to sleep, walk to sleep, right? Come in and cuddle with to sleep. So essentially, where the word to sleep is, some sort of habit has come in. And that’s just what a child expects, as far as what they’re going to get to go to sleep, right. So sleep habits that you’re building, kind of need to balance with a sleep skill. Every child has the ability to sleep. It’s how we teach our children to sleep and help them understand that they can sleep, which enables them to become good sleepers, right. So I’ll give you a great example, as an adult, if you were to go to a hotel, and the only thing they offered were feather pillows, and you hated feather pillows. You’ve slept on them before, but you don’t particularly fancy them. You’re a memory foam kind of girl, right? When you go to sleep that night in the hotel, you’re going to be a bit agitated, for example, that you have a feather pillow, right. And then you’re going to lay there and you’re going to get comfortable, and you’re gonna take some deep breaths, and then eventually, guess what happens, you fall asleep, and you sleep on the feather pillow. You don’t love it, you’re not married to it, you’re not going to use it when you go home. But you don’t stay awake all night pissed off that you don’t have a memory foam pillow, right. So it’s the same thing with children and helping them understand that they actually have the ability to sleep. Our children are all for lack of a better analogy, Phillips head screwdrivers and phillips head screws, right. If we empower them to put their own screw into tighten that screw with a Phillips head screwdriver, it’s a lot easier than giving them a flat head screwdriver, which is usually that Prop, right? a flathead screwdriver works in a Phillips head screw, it’s just not the most efficient, right. But the second they realize they have the Phillips head screw and the Phillips head screwdriver. It’s smooth sailing, because they become masters of their own sleep and the ability to settle independently. And it happens from birth, right? how we teach our children to sleep and how they learn to sleep as a skill set. Right. So habitually, if there’s something that’s creeped in there, you really just need to combat the habit, and make sure that you’re consistent in what you’re doing. And we’re going to talk a little bit more about that. So how do you get your child if they’re going through a sleep regression, and it’s eight months, nine months or 10 months to sleep through it to sleep better and to stay that good sleeper that you had for those first couple months. So the first thing I’m going to say that I tell all my clients is the single most important thing that parents can do is consistency, consistency in your response, consistency in your routine, consistency in your timing, you do not want to insert or create new habits during a very short period of kind of developmental adjustments and changes. Okay, so be consistent to keep going those really good habits that you’ve built. The next thing you want to look at is it may be time to adjust your timing. So take a look at what you’re doing. Take a look at your day and really make sure that you’re setting them up for success in what we are asking them to do. Right if the timing is all off, their naps are going to be off their bedtime is going to be exhausting. They’re going to wake up 40 times a night. They’re gonna wake up early. I have a sample schedule generator out on my site at tiny transitions.com forward slash tools that let you build a schedule specific to your little ones age, so you have something to go off of. It’s a blueprint for their success. Not everything as well is teething. Right? So I have a lot of clients that will say, they’re perpetually teething. They’re in this sleep progression and they are teething and teething. While I understand it can certainly be painful. It does not last for, you know, months and months and months, I would even hurt to say it doesn’t last for weeks and weeks. Right? teething is painful, when first the tooth is trying to pop through and break the gum line. And then it may be agitated for a few days after as the gum heals around the tooth, right. So that’s kind of what is happening from an eating standpoint. Now, some hacks with teething, probably my best hack is to take milk, and buy those very tiny silicone molds that you can find on Amazon and fill them with milk, whether it’s formula or breast milk, put it in the freezer, let them freeze, make a million little heart icicles, and then go to Target and grab or off of Amazon, the mesh teethers. Okay, all you do is pop one or two of those little ice cubes into the teether. And then baby chews on it. So one, they’re getting some nutrition to the ice numbs the gums, and three, the pressure of chewing annoying on the ice helps the tooth to break through. So that can be super helpful from a teaming standpoint, as you know, to make sure that your little one is having success in that regard. Okay, the next thing is really going to be boundaries. And sometimes it’s a habit that you need to change, right, like so if you are in a point now where you’re thinking like, Oh, I may be in a situation where I did something to sleep, how do I fix it? Right, because sometimes it’s not a sleep regression. As I mentioned, it’s habit, you know, something has creeped in there that, frankly, none of us want, right? We none of us wake up every day and go, gosh, I hope sleep sucks today. Right? So, you know, it’s really assessing like, hey, did I do something kind of by accident? Maybe my little one was sick. You know, there’s a lot of craziness going on in the world. So, you know, what can I do to fix that challenge. And I would say set them up for success. First of all, with making sure the timing is right, and then be consistent. Or you may need to add in a little bit of sleep training that gets them back on track. Now, you know, there’s other episodes that I talk about sleep training, the different approaches and what you can do. The biggest thing as I mentioned with the approach that’s right for your family is going to be consistency, okay? And sometimes just be patient. If it is truly the eight, nine or 10 monthly progression, it doesn’t last very long. There’s a lot going on in their little world, you can help them to master a skill by practicing during the day, and really just having some patience, and give yourself some grace because I know that it’s hard. And it’s a very stressful time and you want to make sure that both you and them are getting the sleep you need. I’m always here to help clients and families with my private sleep coaching offerings as well as my team of sleep specialists. We want to make sure that you are seeing the maximum amount of sleep in the day because it’s best for their health research shows that and you know what it’s best for yourself care and your health too. So please be sure to connect reach out, send us a message. And we will happily provide any tools knowledge and resources that we can to build your little ones into healthy sleepers for life.
Hold on one more thing before you go. As a valued listener of the kids sleep show. I want to help you build a great sleeper not just in the times you’re listening to the show. But all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber Made Simple. It’s a place to gather with other parents looking for sleep support, laughs and the latest in sleep research to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable content and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community. That’s tiny transition stuff comm forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.

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