As part of your bedtime routine, you tuck your little one to sleep and make sure to leave once he’s fallen asleep, but he still seems to be quite awake. You tried reading him a bedtime story, singing a lullaby, everything to make him feel drowsy, but nothing works. This went on every night for almost a week, and you find it very unusual given that he usually doesn’t have any trouble falling asleep.
If this scenario sounds familiar, your child might be experiencing what is called an 11-month regression. While this is a normal thing that children experience right before turning 1, it can be a pretty unpleasant encounter. Having trouble managing your kid’s 11-month sleep regression? If you’re looking for answers, then you’re in the right place! Keep on reading to find out more about this experience so you can help your child sleep better at night.
What is a sleep regression?
Sleep regressions happen when your baby’s sleeping patterns suddenly change compared to the usual. They are more likely to stay awake during the night, and often have difficulty falling asleep. When this happens, even parents are forced to stay awake.
11-month regressions are usually good indicators of babies’ growth, and they are commonly caused by the following:
- Physical milestones, which can include learning how to walk and stand on their own sa their bones and muscles get stronger
- Developmental milestones such as learning how to talk and babble and growing fond of socializing with other people
- Teething (The pain from growing teeth might be enough to keep them awake at night.)
- Fear of the dark, which may be caused by their developing imagination
If you observe these changes in your child’s behavior at the same time of their sleep regression, there’s nothing to worry about. Although if you happen to take note of other signs that might be out of the ordinary, it might be best to consult a doctor.
While this experience may sound like a nightmare for parents, your can breathe easy in the fact that this is only temporary. 11-months regression lasts for 2-6 weeks, depending on how you and your child adjusts to this experience. If you’re able to adjust well, then this can be limited to even just a few days.
Signs and symptoms of 11-month sleep regression
If you notice the following signs and symptoms, your child might be dealing with the dreaded 11-month sleep regression:
- Difficulty falling asleep during bedtime and naptime
- Wakes up frequently in the middle of sleeping
- Often throws tantrums due to lack of sleep
- Longer daytime naps
- Indications of sleepiness during the day, such as rubbing the eyes
- Change in appetite
Tips on how to deal with 11 month-regression
Dealing with a wide-awake child in the middle of the night might not be a pleasant experience, but there are ways on how you can make this easier on both you and your little one. Here are a few tips that you can follow.
Keep your child active during daytime.
Oftentimes, children are still active at night because they haven’t spent up all their energy during the day. By keeping them active during their waking hours, it will be easier to lull them to sleep.
Always give them the attention they need.
Sleep regressions lead to lack of sleep which, in turn, can also result in tantrums. These can escalate if you tend to ignore your child’s concerns, so make sure to give them all the attention they need. Make use of positive reinforcement, or devise clever strategies on how you can keep them busy without resulting in a tantrum.
Turn on the lamp or make use of sleep inducing night lights.
If they often wake up from nightmares or have trouble falling asleep because of their fear of the dark, it might be a good idea to leave a little light on during bedtime. Keep in mind that not all lamps are the same, so make sure to use a lamp or night light that will help them get better sleep.
Read more about the sleeping habits of children.
As unpleasant as it may be, sleep regression is actually a developmental process to toddlerhood. As parents, it’s highly important to educate yourself on the growth and development of your child. For that, you’ll need an expert’s opinion so check out Dr. Robert Bucknam’s On Becoming Babywise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep, and he will guide you through the sleeping habits of children and what you can do as a parent to aid their growth.