7 Month Sleep Regression – Causes, Signs and Tips To Manage
As new parents, getting a good night’s sleep may seem like a distant memory. The euphoria of having a newborn is often tainted with countless sleepless nights and exhaustion. When your baby finally starts to sleep more, it feels like a victory. However, just when you start getting used to this new routine, you encounter the seven month sleep regression. It can leave you feeling bewildered and questioning what you could be doing wrong.
The journey through the sleep regression in a 7 month old can be quite arduous, but with the right understanding and management, it can be navigated smoothly. This article delves into the causes, signs, and management tips of 7 month old sleep regression.
What Is The 7 Month Sleep Regression?
The seven month sleep regression is a phase when your baby, who had previously been sleeping well, suddenly starts waking up frequently during the night and having shorter naps. It’s a period of a few weeks where your baby’s sleep patterns can be disrupted.
These sleep disturbances may be due to several factors such as developmental milestones, changes in their sleep cycles, or even teething. While this phase can be particularly challenging for parents, understanding that this is a common phenomenon can offer some solace.
What Are the Causes of 7 Month Sleep Regression?
The 7 month old sleep regression is influenced by several factors:
1. Developmental Milestones: Around seven months, babies are reaching significant developmental milestones. They are beginning to crawl, sit without support, and develop a stronger sense of object permanence. These new skills can disrupt their sleep as they wake up to practice or because their brain is too busy processing the new information.
2. Changes in Sleep Cycle: A baby’s sleep cycle is maturing around this age, transitioning from more simple baby sleep cycles to adult-like sleep stages. This can lead to more frequent wake-ups.
3. Teething: Many babies experience teething around this age, which can cause discomfort and disrupt their sleep.
4. Separation Anxiety: Around seven months, babies start to understand that they and their primary caregivers are separate entities. This can lead to increased clinginess and disrupted sleep as they wake up and realize their caregiver isn’t present.
5. Changes in Routine: Any changes in a baby’s routine, such as a new caregiver or different feeding times, can impact their sleep.
6. Illness or Discomfort: If a baby isn’t feeling well, perhaps due to a common cold or an ear infection, this can cause disruptions in sleep.
7. Hunger: As babies grow, their nutritional needs increase. They might start waking up more frequently due to hunger, especially if they’re not getting enough calories during the day.
8. Overstimulation or Under-stimulation: Overstimulation before bedtime can cause a baby to struggle to fall asleep, while under-stimulation can lead to early wake-ups.
Signs of 7 Month Sleep Regression
Knowing the signs of the seven month sleep regression can help you identify and address it faster. Here are seven common signs:
1. Increased Night Waking: Your previously sound-sleeping baby starts waking up frequently during the night.
2. Trouble Falling Asleep: Despite being tired, your baby may struggle to fall asleep.
3. Shorter Naps: Your baby’s nap time becomes noticeably shorter, and they may even skip some naps.
4. Increased Fussiness: General irritability, mood swings, and a clingy disposition could indicate a sleep regression.
5. Changes in Appetite: Your baby might show a sudden increase in appetite, especially at night.
7. Changes in Sleep Patterns: Any significant changes in your baby’s sleep patterns could be a sign of sleep regression.
How Long Does 7 Month Sleep Regression Last?
Typically, a sleep regression in a 7 month old lasts two to six weeks. However, the duration can vary from one baby to another. It depends on factors like the baby’s temperament, overall health, and how quickly they’re adapting to new developmental milestones.
How Can You Manage 7 Month Sleep Regression In Your Baby?
Managing the 7 month old sleep regression requires patience and some tried-and-true strategies:
1. Maintain Consistent Bedtime and Nap Routines: A consistent routine can help signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep.
2. Comfort and Reassure Your Baby: Increased cuddles and reassurance can help soothe a baby dealing with separation anxiety.
3. Feed Your Baby Before Bedtime: A full tummy can help your baby sleep longer stretches during the night.
4. Avoid Overstimulation: Ensure the environment is calm and quiet leading up to nap time or bedtime.
5. Encourage Daytime Learning: Allow your baby to practice their new skills during the day to reduce the chances of them waking up to practice at night.
6. Offer a Teething Toy: If your baby is teething, a teething toy can help soothe their discomfort.
8. Be Patient: Remember that this phase is temporary and your baby will eventually return to their previous sleep patterns.
9. Take Care of Yourself: Make sure you’re taking care of your own needs during this challenging time, as a stressed parent can often lead to a stressed baby.
When to Call A Doctor?
While sleep regression is typically a normal part of a baby’s development, it’s essential to know when it’s necessary to seek medical advice. If your baby has a fever, is inconsolable, refuses to eat, or shows signs of dehydration, consult a healthcare professional immediately. It’s also important to call a doctor if the sleep regression lasts longer than six weeks or if you notice any other worrying symptoms.
1. Do All Babies Have Sleep Regression At 7 Month?
No, not all babies will experience a 7 month sleep regression. Some babies might breeze through this age without any notable change in their sleep patterns. Sleep regression is influenced by a multitude of factors, including developmental milestones and changes in routine. It’s not a compulsory stage every child goes through.
2. Does The 7 Month Sleep Regression Affect Naps?
Yes, the 7 month old sleep regression can affect both nighttime sleep and daytime naps. You might notice your baby fighting naps, taking shorter naps, or skipping them altogether.
3. How Do I Know If It’s Teething or 7 Month Old Sleep Regression?
It can be tricky to tell the difference as both can disrupt sleep. However, other signs accompany teething, such as swollen gums, drooling, and a desire to chew on hard objects. On the other hand, sleep regression might also involve changes in appetite, increased clinginess, and new developmental skills. If you’re uncertain, it’s best to seek advice from a healthcare professional.
In conclusion, navigating the seven month sleep regression can be challenging for both the parents and the baby. But, remember, it’s a temporary phase that every child might go through. Stay patient, and know that there is light (and sleep!) at the end of the tunnel.