About a month ago I wrote on Instagram and asked you all for advice. I asked you to give me all your tips and tricks when it comes to sleep regression. My purpose with this was not only to take away helpful information for myself, but even more so to bring you all a wide array of advice every month, especially in motherhood. I want to create a space where you can come and find many different voices, ideas, and beliefs. A place where you as a mother can bring forth your tried and tested advice, but also you can find people to connect with and take away new suggestions and ideas.
Odds are that you aren’t going to connect or agree with every story or bit of advice below, but hopefully you will find something to take away from it.
The very first topic is sleep regression. Your child gets up out of bed and plays, comes out of their room, asks for food and water, etc. when they are supposed to be sleeping. You know they still need naps, however they just can’t seem to be able to fall asleep. How do you deal with it?
- “A tactic my sister used/uses is a quiet time for her kiddos. It’s at nap time, but if her kids aren’t wanting to sleep right away, she let’s them read or play quietly in their rooms until nap time is over or they fall asleep. I think for her younger boy, who’s 2, she puts him in his crib whether he is really sleepy or not. She just let’s him entertain himself until he falls asleep or has a complete meltdown.”
- “With my daughter, I do my best to revolve our day around her nap. I have found that she usually goes down easily if I give her little warnings leading up to it (in 5 minutes, it’s time for a nap). If she resists when it’s time, I remind her it’s nap time and put her in her crib. For us, having a consistent routine works really well too.”
- “I used to lay down with my daughter in my bed (this was post move to big girl bed). Sometimes I just cuddled her until she fell asleep and then got up, sometimes I napped too. I know moms usually need nap time to accomplish other things, but I (personally) really enjoyed that sweet time with her everyday, and it forced me to slow down. We didn’t call it a nap, instead it was a snuggle, as in ‘come on Mary, it’s time for a snuggle’.”
- “My now 3-year-old quit napping at 18 months. For about a year and a half, I’ve let him just play in his room which worked sometimes and other times it was a constant battle to keep him in his room, where we ended up just watching a movie together so I could just sit for a moment. Recently I decided to try for naps again since he was acting drowsy by 2pm. I started the process around 1:30 with a book or I’d sit and play with him while my other two were sleeping, then I would say “it’s time to get in your bed, don’t get up until rest time is over or you have to use the bathroom. I’d sit outside his door so he knew I could see if he was getting up. If he got up, I’d just tell him to get back in bed. If he didn’t obey, I’d go in his room and sit him in bed. The first couple of days of this, he miraculously started napping again! Since, it’s about every other day that he actually sleeps, but we always try for sleep. So long story short, keep at it, but know sometimes they have LOOOONG phases where they might fight naps for a while. So maybe be lenient and let them play during some of those phases where they fight sleep then try for naps again when you feel ready. Sometimes it’s more exhausting for both of you to fight so hard and have your expectations let down and then nobody gets rest at all.”
- “Check out ‘Precious Little Sleep‘. It’s a book but they also have a Facebook group and a podcast and it is phenomenal. So practical and helpful.”
- Serene Sleep Solutions
- Ride out the sleep regression period. Odds are they will fall back into a routine soon enough
- “The first time the child gets up, go in, put them back to bed, rub their back, and sing them a song. The second time, go in, put them back to bed and tell them sternly that it is time to go to sleep. Anytime after that, go in, put them back in bed, but do not make eye contact or talk to them. Do this as many times as it takes for them to get the idea. Even negative attention is attention, so don’t give them any at all. They will eventually grow tired of fighting a losing battle.”
- Consistency + schedule. Do nap time at the same time with the same routine every day and their bodies will begin to expect it.
- Blackout curtains
- “I got a sound machine with a timer that is voice activated so if they wakes up upset and it’s off, it will turn on again and soothe her back to sleep. SO handy.”
Photography by Samantha Brooks Photography