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Navigating Sleep Regressions: Tips for Parents


Dad and son asleep

Sleep regressions can be challenging for both parents and little ones, but with the right strategies, you can ease the transition. Here are seven practical tips to help you navigate sleep regressions:

 

1. Establish a Consistent Routine:

Stick to a reliable daily routine to provide comfort and familiarity. A consistent schedule helps regulate your baby's body clock, making it easier for them to settle into sleep.

 

mum and baby on a walk

2. Utilise On-the-Go Naps:

Make the most of on-the-go naps during this tricky phase. Whether in a buggy or the car, these naps can help your baby or toddler settle and find some rest. I always recommend to clients to use a snoozeshade to create a blackout environment and white noise to block out external noises.


3. Create a Bedtime Routine that works for you:

Implement a consistent bedtime routine to signal it's time to wind down. This could include a relaxing bath, gentle baby massage, or even a fun dance-off to release extra energy before bedtime.

 

4. Address Night Waking Thoughtfully:

When faced with night waking, assess your little one's needs. Determine if they require extra feeds, comforting to sleep, or just some time to practice new skills before settling. When your little one wakes in the night, if they aren't too upset, allow them some time before seeing to them to see if they are transitioning between sleep cycles, just practising a new skill or whether they might fall back to sleep by themselves.


mum laying baby in cot

5. Encourage Self-Soothing:

Allow your child the space and time to fall asleep independently when going to sleep and when waking up at night. This helps them develop the skill of self-soothing.

 

6. Avoid Introducing New Sleep Associations:

During sleep regressions, it's tempting to introduce new sleep associations, however, be mindful of this, as you might need to break these habits once the regression passes. An example of this could be your child can self-settle, but during a regression, you helped them back to sleep by rocking them. Now, that the regression has passed you've noticed your little one has become reliant on that rocking to get to sleep.

 

7. Remember It's a Phase of Progression:

Understand that regressions are often signs of progression in development. Stay patient, seek support when needed, and remember that this challenging phase won't last forever.

 

Sleep regressions can be tough, but by implementing these tips and maintaining a supportive mindset, you can help both you and your little one navigate this period of transition. Remember, you're not alone, and with patience and consistency, better sleep days are on the horizon.

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