Your little one’s sleep will go through many stages of development, especially in the first 12 months of life. Did you know that there are 5 known stages of sleep regression, or really progressions as they advancements in new skill development! This can include physical development, cognitive development and emotional development.
The second sleep regression that your little one will experience is the 9 month sleep regression. Different from the 4 month sleep regression, in that it is short-term and passes in 2-4 weeks. This is compared to the 4 month sleep regression which involves a permanent neurological change in our little one’s sleeping patterns which is why even at 9 months you nay still be feeling some of the aftermath if your little one doesn’t have a strong foundation for sleep.
This can also be referred as the 8-10 month regression or separation anxiety. Don't stress, it doesn't last 2 months, more commonly 2-4 weeks as mentioned above, but it does depend on your babies previous sleeping patterns.
Expert tip: The stronger your sleep foundations, the less likely you will feel these regressions throughout the early years. This may mean only a few days or you may notice some different behaviours by day, but little or no impact at night.
Every baby is different.
They are commonly characterised by:
It is also linked to their first wave of object permanence AKA separation anxiety. This is when your little one learns that you are actually two separate people and that objects/people can still exist when outside of their direct line of sight. This can be really unsettling initially for your little one. Peek a boo games are great to learn the concept of something gone is not gone forever!
Check out my Top 5 Tips for handling this regression like a boss to remain cool, calm and confident in your approach and return to great sleep in the shortest space of time.
Tops 5 tips to handle the 9 month sleep regression
I also recommend continuous white noise to buffer external household noises, especially if you have noisy sibling! This is safe to play around 50-60 decibels long-term and can be weaned off at any stage by simply turning it down and off over a one week period.
You can download my nap routines via link (insert link - Calendar Thanks (babysleepfoundations.com)) for guidance from 6 weeks to 4 years with month my month guidance of sleep requirements, milk/solids intake and so much more.
I want to always encourage you to respond to your little one and provide extra support as you feel they need, just remember to have an exit strategy to leave the room again over this timeframe as children learn through patterns of repetition of events and wont necessarily give you an “out” to leave the room again once the regression has passed.
Remember not to panic about them "refusing" to sit/lay down. They can do it, but it will require you to be patient and not "rescue" them every 2 minutes which can turn it into a game/battlefield and take much longer.
Just like going on a diet for 5 hours and not losing 5 kgs, so you eat a block of chocolate it is ineffective and you wont get the result you are after long-term.
This is same principal when it comes to choosing a settling technique, trying it for 5-10 minutes, thinking “it’s not working” each time and then trying something different the next time. It’s confusing and gives our little one inconsistent reinforcement.
To minimise the tears for everyone, we need to pick a method we are comfortable with and be patient to see it through for this settle and the next and the next to build a sense of normal and safe for our little one.