Sleep regressions are one of those things that, as parents, we dread. Let’s face it – we all crave a good night’s sleep, and for mama’s, that can be especially hard to come by after baby. I don’t remember the last time I had a full night’s sleep, uninterrupted by bathroom trips, the occasional pump session when Richi doesn’t want to nurse and I’m full, nursing the baby or soothing him back to sleep. Not that I’m complaining – on the contrary, I love taking care of him any time of day or night! But, I do miss having a good night’s sleep.
Recently, Richi began the dreaded 10-month sleep regression. He’s been fighting his naps so incredibly bad during the day, that it takes me about 30-50 minutes just to get him to take a nap for 20 minutes or so. It’s exhausting. Seriously. But, his naps are important for his demeanor and his growth, so I know how important they are to enforce them. I haven’t done anything different in terms of trying to get him to sleep, or sleep longer, and I am sticking to the same schedule as usual.
On top of barely sleeping, he has been in the midst of a reverse cycling schedule. That’s where breastfed babies barely nurse during the day, and begin nursing more at night to make up for the periods of not nursing at all or as much during the day. This has also been difficult, but we are working together, he and I. And I don’t mind doing whatever it is that I can to ensure he gets exactly what he needs – even if that means I get little to no sleep in the process.
His night time routine is also still being enforced, but he has not wanted to sleep much, if at all, at night. According to my Wonder Weeks app, the developmental leap he is in says this would happen. He is currently in leap 7, which is the ‘World of Sequences’. This is a mental leap, one where his brain is working overtime to really piece things together and figure out the world around him. He’s too amazed by everything around him to want to sleep much. When I think of it that way, it makes me smile. It’s too cute. But it’s oh-so-tiring! I have been napping during the day when he naps, just like when he was a tiny newborn. It’s like having a fresh, new baby all over again!
An example of our normal schedule goes a little something like this:
- Wake up around 6 AM, nurse and change him and eat breakfast and meds (acid reflux)
- Get the boys off to school
- Have playtime for an hour or so with toys, this is where I let him ‘free play’ in his play yard and explore his toys on his own while I sit next to him on the couch, sipping coffee (my much-needed coffee!)
- After about 45 minutes to an hour is up, I pick him up and we watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – one episode while sitting together
- Nap time at 10 AM, sleeps till 10:20 or if I’m lucky, 10:45
- Wake up, change him, make lunch
- Eat lunch around 11-11:30
- Play time with mama and learning time
- Take a walk for 15-20 minutes or so and spend some time in nature
- Come home, snuggle, play one on one, teach him words that relate to him – toes, nose, mouth, cheeks, hair, etc. and read some stories together
- Nap time around 2 PM, this is his long nap where he sleeps for an hour to an hour and a half
- Wake up, change him, nurse him, and do whatever else we need to or just relax together for the afternoon till the boys are home at almost 5
- Make dinner, nurse him, then feed dinner
- Playtime with daddy
- Bath time, snuggle and nurse time
- Bedtime at 8 PM
- Wakes at 11 PM to nurse and be changed
- Sleeps till about 2 AM, wakes to nurse and be changed
- Sleeps till 5 – wakes to nurse and be changed
- Sleep for an hour, start the day
So, that’s a typical day for us. Sometimes, due to appointments, the schedule may deviate a bit – bu I always try to keep him on schedule. I also let him nurse on demand, by the way – these are just the times where he usually likes to nurse. Sometimes it’s different depending on how he feels that day.
So, while we work through this terrible sleep regression where he only takes one nap a day if I’m lucky, for 10-15 minutes per pop, and has only been sleeping for an hour or two a night (yes, I’m so serious), I am hoping for this phase to pass soon so we can get back to a somewhat normal routine.
How did you handle your baby’s sleep regressions? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.