Can you remember the age you were when you changed from the childlike not wanting to go to bed, to the adulthood not waiting until you could get back to bed again?
I, like my own 3-year-old son, would sip my bedtime drink as if imbibing from a bottomless vessel.
Like a child mastermind, I knew my parents were convinced there was always so much milk left in my cup.
Except they weren’t. Because my parents also did it when they were my age.
“You’re not the first person to try that trick, you know?”My Dad
I suspect that if ever I went on Who Do You Think You Are? generations of my family would be found to have tried the Bottomless Sipping Technique.
The reason I ask if you can remember when you transitioned from stayer-upper to bed-lover, is because sleep is very much on my mind at the moment.
Or, rather, the lack of it. (Which may explain the thinking out loud opening to this blog.)
Our 8-month-old has started crying out in the night. Every. Single. Hour.
She doesn’t neccessarrily wake; she just cries out.
And it’s enough to wake us. So either my partner or I will go and put the dummy in, or add a blanket, or sometimes just move her head away from the bars of the cot. Caring.
Then at about 3am… she wakes. That’s it. Awake. So we’ll do a little feed.
Slowly, cutely, her eyes will droop and before we’ve woken up properly, Sienna has gone to sleep.
Until about half 4. Then that’s it, the day has begun in SiennaLand.
The thing is, and she has never been a great sleeper, but it seems to have become far worse in the past two or three weeks.
So, like our new doctor at the local surgery, I Googled suggestions. (He really does. I mean, you’d wait until the patient had left the room, wouldn’t you?)
It turns out that Sienna is perfectly fitting into the catagory of 8 Month Sleep Regression.
Now as a parent, I always want my children to follow their own path. To do what they feel is best for them so that they can be their best for others.
Clearly Sienna is ignoring my wishes for her to be a carefree maverick, and is adhering very much to the rules.
What is 8 Month Sleep Regression?
It would seem it comes about because the 8-10 month mark is when babies start suddenly developing a lot of skills, all bundled up in a month’s worth of learning.
Like cramming for exams but more rolling/crawling/making word sounds.
The change in their bodies and brains affects how they sleep at night. It would seem, according to experts, that the sensory overload is enough to disturb their sleep; if not enough to wake them, enough to wake us.
Now I am not a parent who has a checklist of what their child should be doing at each stage. If they’re healthy, and they’re showing signs of developing in ways that aren’t need for concern, I am happy to enjoy the journey without having a timeline to adhere to.
The reason I say that is because the 8 Month Sleep Regression comes with a list of whys. And if your baby isn’t doing these, then it’s worth noting I read that the 8 Month Sleep Regression is also called the 9 Month Sleep Regression. Or the 10 Month Sleep Regression.
In short, none of us are getting any sleep anytime soon.
According to research carried out by Sleepfoundation.org, the things that contribute to 10/9/8 Month Sleep Regression are…
- Teething that may lead to fussiness or awakenings
- Emotional development that can increase separation anxiety
- Greater environmental awareness that spurs overstimulation
- Increased physical abilities that may cause restlessness in bed
“Oh my. She’s growing so fast”?
Yes, she actually is growing so fast, because she is: teething, learning how to sit, discovering that she can eat things by herself, hearing herself say things that probably aren’t actual words but sound like new words, learning new words, attempting to crawl, or just playing with her brother and learning his ways.
I need a nap after just typing that!
So, what IS 8 Month Sleep Regression?
It’s knackering, is what it is!
But it’s also a sign that my daughter is well, she is learning and growing, and she is healthy.
Which are all things that help me rest easier at night.
Well, probably next month anyway.