I told you yesterday how well Avery is sleeping during her naps. So much so that I’ve run into a little dilemma. Oh how I wish our nights were as restful as our days are.
With the many milestones that Avery has been hitting lately, it’s brought on a major phase of sleep regression at night. Of course it all started when I left for my trip last week. At first I thought that she was only waking up in the middle of the night because I wasn’t home. But now that I’ve been home for nearly a week and she’s still waking up in the middle of the night, I know that wasn’t the case.
The lack of sleep has been taking a toll on both of us. Although I know it’s only temporary, it’s still a tough phase to get through. For the past week, I’ve thought of many ways that I can help both of us get through this transition.
Check out my five suggestions on how Avery and I are getting through this sleep regression after the jump!
Stick to Your Schedule 1 of 5It is always important to stick with your routine throughout the day. Try to put your little one down at their normal nap time. I know it can be hard and you are both exhausted. Believe me, I get it. I've tried to stay on the same routine with Avery so that I don't let her pick up any bad sleep habits. Although she is still waking up in the middle of the night (even sticking to the schedule) I know that once this phase is over, there isn't anything that I have to try to rework in her schedule.
Let Them Get Extra Energy Out During the Day 2 of 5One of the reasons that babies go through a sleep regression is because they are hitting a major milestone in their life. For us, it happens to be that Avery is crawling and learning to pull herself up. Most of the time when she wakes up in the middle of the night she will pull herself up in her crib and realize that she doesn't know how to get down. To help with this, I've let her get some of that stimulation and extra energy out during the day. We will sit down and play in her room and I'll let her try to pull herself up on anything that she wants. She also loves to hold on to my hands and "walk" around. So we do that many times throughout the apartment. Anything I can do to get her worn out and exhausted from a fun day to hopefully help her sleep better, I am willing to do!
Try to Sleep When Baby Sleeps 3 of 5Avery's sleep regression has brought me back to the days of when she was a newborn. The getting up four or five times a night has left me so tired during the day. Thankfully my husband takes both girls in the morning out into the living room with him while he is getting ready for work so that I can sleep in a little bit longer. I also try to get in a quick nap while Avery is sleeping. It's hard taking a nap with Harlan around, but she is at preschool for the afternoon, so I can usually sneak one on during Avery's afternoon nap. Even a quick 15 minute nap can help me get through my day and ready for a sleepless night ahead.
Go In and Calm Them Down 4 of 5Because I know that Avery doesn't usually wake up in the middle of the night, I know that when she does, it's often because something is going on. The sleep regression might be due to a growth spurt and she might actually be hungry. If she does wake up at night I go in to her room, quietly nurse her for about 5 minutes and then put her back down. The quick five minute session is just enough to calm her down and as soon as I put her back in her crib she is asleep within minutes. If she is still actively eating after five minutes, then I will continue to nurse her because she might be hungry. It's always tempting to bring her back in my bed with me, but I want to keep her on the same routine as she is used to and don't want her to think that she's going to come and sleep with me whenever she wakes up and cries.
Always Remember, It’s Only Temporary 5 of 5To be honest, this is what gets me through those long nights. This stage is only temporary. Her being a little one that needs me during the night is only temporary. It won't last forever. In some ways it's a catch 22. I adore my sleep at night and I love that she is sleeping through the night. In other ways, I love that feeling that I get when I go into her room in the middle of the night and she nestles her head up against me to nurse. Yes, a sleep regression can be tough. Especially if you are used to getting a full nights sleep again. But they usually don't last more than a couple of weeks. And before you know if, both you and your baby will be sleeping peacefully again.
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Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year.
Photo via Flickr User Lars Plougmann