The 10-Month Sleep Regression - Survival Guide

The 10-Month Sleep Regression - Survival Guide

Isn’t it wonderful when you can get your baby into a pretty regular sleep routine? It can take many months to get there, and once you do achieve it, it’s pure bliss. The last thing parents of a baby want to hear about is sleep regression, but unfortunately, that’s exactly what can happen around the 10-month mark. It can be so shocking to the system that it feels like you have a newborn once again, and you’re left wondering how you’ll make it through this stage.

Not to worry as we’ve put together a handy survival guide to refer to during the 10-month sleep regression. So let’s hop right in.

It’s Normal and It Is Temporary

The first thing parents need to understand is that the 10-month sleep regression is normal and it is temporary. It can happen to even the most routine-based baby, it’s just part of the many phases they go through. And that word “phase” is also important to remember, because just like every other phase – this too shall pass.

These two points are easy to say, but it may take constant reminding and even some pep talks to stay cognisant of these facts, especially when it’s late at night and your little one is upset, crying, and nowhere near a state of peace and sleep.

Generally speaking, sleep regression tends to last two to six weeks. It's not a huge period, but when you're in the thick of it - it can feel like a lifetime. Sleep regressions are most common when your baby is going through a developmental milestone, teething, or when they are sick. The developmental milestones and the teething apply to 10-month-olds.

How Much Sleep Should Your 10-Month-Old Be Getting?

It's also worth noting how much sleep a 10-month-old baby should be getting. They don't need as much as a newborn, so you also have to adjust your expectations. Most babies at this age need 13-16 hours of sleep in 24 hours. The overnight period tends to make up 10-12 hours. Ideally, there are also two daytime naps to cover the rest of the needed sleep.

Don't Give Up On Consistency and a Schedule

It can be very tempting during a period of sleep regression to just give up on a schedule, and techniques that have worked in the past. This is a big mistake, as you need to rely on these techniques even more during sleep regression.

Consistency is always important, and at 10 months old it's vital so that your baby doesn't start to form "bad" sleep habits. Consistency doesn't usually pay off immediately, rather it will take a while for the results to take hold - but they will take hold.

Because your baby is growing and changing, it may be necessary to tweak the sleep schedule a bit but don't throw it out the window. It may be that naps are the toughest part for your little one or the overnight hours. Make a promise to yourself that you will stick to the schedule, even if it doesn't get quick results.

A Bedtime Routine Is Essential

Just as it's consistent to put your baby down for naps and bedtime at the same time each day, it's also important to create a bedtime routine. These are the things you do leading up to sleep that can help calm your baby and signal to them that it's time to sleep.

Some things that you can weave into your routine include:

  • Avoiding stimulating activities and loud sounds before a nap or bedtime
  • Playing soft soothing music while getting them ready for sleep
  • Using a sleeping bag or TOG to keep them comfortable and their body temperature regulated
  • Bath them before bedtime in the evening
  • Read a story to them
  • Putting them down when you see they are sleeping
  • Don’t feed them too close to a nap or bedtime
  • Keep the room dimly lit

This is also a great time to encourage self-soothing, meaning you aren’t the one having to take action to soothe them to sleep. Self-soothing happens as early as three months, but by the time they are six months, it should be a priority to teach.

Any Late Night Interactions Need to Be Kept to a Minimum

Should you need to go in and check on your baby during the night, interactions need to be kept to a minimum. This means you say as little as possible, and you don't stay in the room for long. This one is much easier said than done and is probably the hardest tip to follow. Keeping interactions short let your baby know this isn’t wake-up time or play time, that it’s time for sleep.

You Will Get Through It

In the middle of the 10-month sleep regression it can be very hard to believe there is an end and that you will get through it, but thanks to these tips you should be seeing the other side of the tunnel before you know it.

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