Do you know at what age the sleep regression phase generally occurs? Before the age of 1, most babies go through several sleep regression phases. These may occur at 4 months, 6 months, and 10 months.
Many babies go through a 10-month sleep regression where they have trouble sleeping at night and keep waking up. It is usually characterized by sudden changes in the sleep cycle of a baby who was previously sleeping without any interruptions. This disrupted sleep pattern can cause many problems, such as shorter nap times, fussier temperament, and frequent waking up during the night. However, all of this is completely normal and may happen due to several reasons.
Usually, it is nothing concerning, but if you think your baby’s well-being and health are being affected, then you should consult a physician.
What Causes Sleep Regression at 10 Months?
There can be many reasons behind the 10-month sleep regression of your baby. Some of the most common reasons have been listed below:
- Separation anxiety due to sleeping in a new nursery.
- Teething pain
- Brain development
- Some changes in the environment
- New skills learned by the baby
- Sensory development
Whatever the reason is, it is a developing phase for your baby and unavoidable too. As a parent, you would want to accommodate the little one’s whims to an extent, but you should be mindful of your baby’s health. During this time, they may get increasingly irritable and cry all the time. Daytime sleepiness may be at an all-time high, and as a direct consequence, they may significantly lose their appetite.
Both nutrition and adequate rest are important for the health and growth of a baby. If your baby is not eating properly and waking up every 2 hours at night, it can be incredibly frustrating for the parent, not to mention harmful for the baby.
So, you might want to know some useful tips to handle the 10-month sleep regression of your baby.
How to Handle the 10-Month Sleep Regression?
Here are a few things you can do to help your baby through her sleep regression phase:
1. Check if Your Baby is Sick
Sickness can be the most common trigger for sleep regression. So the first thing you need to do is to see if the little one is physically healthy. If your baby is sick, then make sure you give them enough cuddles and kinship, along with plenty of fluids and rest.
If they still seem unwell, then consult a physician for an expert opinion. After this, you can promptly start to figure out a way to deal with your baby’s sleep regression.
2. Introduce Your Baby to New Physical Activities
Babies go through drastic development during their infant year, and these developmental milestones may be the reason why they are going through the 10-month sleep regression. So make your baby exert themselves and practice all their newly learned motor skills during the day. By the time it is night, they will be too tired to wake up and throw a tantrum.
Try to figure out what your baby is doing the most to avoid sleeping. They may try to pull themselves over the cot rails and get out of there, so settle your baby inside the cot during the day. Each time they come out, put them back. They will eventually get bored of this and also be physically exhausted as well as hungry.
3. Sleep Train
Most people sleep train their baby starting at 4 months or so, but you can do the same for a 10-month-old infant. Sleep training is helpful when your baby starts waking up at frequent intervals during the night, and you have to go and calm them down to put them back to sleep.
There are several methods you can adopt, but the most common one is done by waiting for your baby to cry out for a while before you go in to soothe them. This may be emotionally difficult for parents, but only by being consistent can help your baby to have a good night’s sleep.
4. Try to Instill Self-Soothing
Self-soothing is a process where you teach your baby to fall back asleep on their own without needing their caregiver. The best way to do this is to establish a bedtime routine that does not accommodate a lot of sleep during the day.
Also include things that your baby likes, such as a bubble bath, watching something together, reading from a book, or listening to soft music; that will help them fall asleep. Maintaining a fixed bedtime will fix the circadian rhythm, and babies will automatically get sleepy when it’s time to sleep.
5. Address the Separation Anxiety
It is very normal for all babies to suffer from separation anxiety. If they see unfamiliar faces in the absence of familiar ones, they start crying. Familiar faces may include parents, siblings, and even grandparents if they live together. This happens because infants do not have any sense of object permanence- that is, they do know that a thing is still present even if they cannot see it for the time being. That is why it is wise to address this issue from the age of 10 months or so. Between 10 and 12 months, babies start to learn about object permanence.
Play simple games like hide and seek, where you hide and then appear in front of your baby multiple times. After one point, they will not cry even if they cannot see you. This will help them in the 10-month sleep regression phase.
6. Increase Their Food Portion Sizes
At ten months, a baby becomes quite active as they shuffle through the house all they long. This also makes them burn a lot of calories. Therefore, you might want to add some more solids or increase the portion sizes of your baby. It is not wise to overfeed your baby at one go, so give them 3 instead of 2 meals a day. Introduce new snacks in their meal.
A ten-month-old also needs a set amount of milk to grow into a healthy child, so you have to factor that in as well. Hunger in a growing baby can often trigger sleep regression, and you must keep track of their changing appetite and make necessary changes to their diet.
7. Deal with The Teething Pain
Babies can start teething as early as 3 months, and this can continue until they are a year old. Thus teething pain can be a trigger for the sudden sleep regression in your babies. The development of the bottom lateral incisors happens around this time, and this might cause your baby to wake up in pain and discomfort every night. Develop a routine to deal with this.
Massage a clean finger over the baby’s gums each night, or give them a cool teething ring to suck on. On days when the teething pain gets extremely bad, you can consult with a doctor and get a dodge of over-the-counter medicines to help with the pain. But medicating your baby daily is not recommended, so follow the dosage prescribed by the doctor precisely.
All in all, babies are capable of getting a full 12 hours of sleep at night without eating, but we all know that most of them will not do so. For one reason or another, babies may wake up from their sleep. As the infant’s brain develops as they grow, they learn to form associations and learn sleeping habits.
These associations can be developed out of a consistent bedtime routine. If they wake up in the middle of the night and see these things, they will know that it is time to sleep. It may include a switched-on night lamp, a blanket or toy specifically meant for cuddling when asleep, and the like.
Forming associations can greatly help babies self-soothe themselves back into sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Sleep Should a 10-Month-Old Baby Be Getting?
Ideally, a baby of ten months should get 14 hours of sleep in a day. This includes both daytime and nighttime sleep. Do not let your baby nap for more than 3 hours in the day, while night sleep can last for 10-11 hours. Sleep time is very important for babies, and unlike high-functioning grown-ups who can survive on very little sleep, not sleeping enough can put the baby’s health at risk.
Is My Baby Teething or Going Through the 10-Month Sleep Regression?
Teething can cause sleep regressions in babies, but it is usually accompanied by many other symptoms such as excessive drooling, extreme fussiness, chewing on whatever they lay their hands on, swollen gums, rashes, etc. If you notice these symptoms, along with a disturbed sleep pattern in your baby, then it is a teething problem. Consult with a doctor about this. But in the absence of any teething problems, sleep regression is the likely culprit behind the sudden change in your baby’s sleep habits and mood.
Can I Take Steps to Prevent a Sleep Regression Phase?
Unfortunately, there is not much that you can do to prevent sleep regression. The onset of such a phase does not happen at a fixed time in all babies, as some may go through it at 6 months or 8 and 10. And to be fair, there is no need to stop this thing from happening as it is a normal part of infant development.
The only thing that you can do is follow a consistent routine for your baby and give them food, bath, playtime, cuddles and sleep at a set time every day. This will help them to develop sleeping habits, and it will be easier to put them to sleep.
How to Put My Baby to Sleep?
There are several ways in which you can help your baby fall asleep but no ideal method because the temperaments of each baby vary. What you can do is create a relaxing environment that makes them comfortable enough to fall asleep. This may include a warm bath, caresses on the head, light music, the voice of their parents singing, and gently rocking them until they look drowsy. Remember to gently lower them into the cradle as they are still in the process of falling but slightly awake.