I know what are you wondering now: How sleepless nights can help anyone? Well it is true. That stressful period of my 8,5 month old baby’s sleep regression, after all obstacles we have had, helped us to have better quality of life.
My daughter was a great sleeper since month two. I can thank for that to very resourceful book The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night, which prepared me to set things right from the beginning. Unfortunately, what I did, I just read first part of the book related to newborn babies, being confident that my baby has a good sleeping habits. If I only have read the rest of the book I would have been much more prepared for what was coming.
Cope with sleep regression
It started around 8,5 months when she was transiting from 3 to 2 naps. I know, I was very lucky she had 3 naps for so long. That reflected sleeping quality at night too. Around that time she started to crawl and pull up. It was impossible to keep her laying in the crib, all she wanted was stand up. So it was a new physical milestone she achieved and there was also mental development which affects babies at that age. Babies around 8-9 months have so much going on they mind, it so no wonder they can’t sleep. I’ve started to keep track exactly how much did she sleep in the diary I found in the book. It took only a week to see a pattern and I also followed the instructions:
- – closely watched sleepy signs, like rubbing eyes, pulling ear, and went to bed straight away
- – nursed more often during the day so she would get most of the nutrition during the day, not night
- – put her early in the bed if she slept less during the day, like skipped one nap or had very short naps
- – developed routine prior bedtime (quiet play, bath, nurse, read a book, rock) and short routine prior nap time (changing diaper, nurse, read a book, rock)
The book also provided me support that I needed. Author wrote about her own experience and how she developed technique with her own kids, also quoted other mom’s experiences before and after they tried her no-cry sleeping technique.
Developing routine is the key for happy babies and good sleep, I learned that. Having a diary after a week or so I was able to se pattern when is the easiest for her to fall asleep. I scheduled naps at 10am and 2pm and 6:30pm to start bedtime routine. She would fall asleep around 7pm and woke up at 7am.
For her night awakenings, she would sometimes woke up only once, but sometimes up to five times. I would just gently put her back to bed, or nurse, constantly repeating affirmation I created for that purpose: I HAVE TREMENDOUS PATIENCE FOR MY BABY’S NEEDS. Affirmation kept my mind occupied and positive oriented. That helped her too, because babies resonate with mom’s vibration, even positive or negative. And in the end, I knew it wont last forever, the sleep regression will pass. And it did eventually, after about 6 sleepless weeks.
After all that, it was a huge difference in our lives and the key was establishing routine. We all knew what to expect at what time, and be prepared for what was going to happen. At days when she didn’t cooperate I was able to cope with it and A. over the time learned that is a nap or bedtime time. Amount of time to put her to sleep was shorter and I felt much better and happier.
The sleeping routine diary I had been using is from Elizabeth Pantley’s book and helped me enormously.
I am so glad I reached for it and the most important for me, I found No-cry sleep solution for our daughter. Hope this post can help to other sleep deprived moms to go throughout this rough period of baby’s sleep regression.
So moms, how do you cope with sleep regression? What helped you throughout that period? Please share your tips in comments below to help other moms.