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sleep regression

It finally happened: Your baby is sleeping through the night, taking naps and exhaustion is no longer your reality. No doubt there were moments when you thought you might never sleep again. Yet, here you are—on the other, much more rested side. How glorious it feels to be able to form full sentences again and get through the day without stress-crying.

As a certified infant and toddler sleep specialist, I'll be the first to admit a good night of zzzs is a wonderful thing. So I totally don't blame you if the very thought of having another wakeful night is enough to bring on some major angst. But it's hard to avoid this nagging term that seems to float around in the sleep world. It describes a period of time where—out of nowhere—midnight wakeup calls from baby seem to pop-up again: sleep regression.

To be honest, sleep regressions are probably the reasons I have as many clients as I do. Parents in the middle of it and those trying to prevent it—they all come to me with the same concerns and just can't fathom not sleeping again. As a parent myself, let me just say I get it.

But, unlike the many methods, steps and practices that accompany sleep challenges, there is only ONE thing I want you to know about sleep regressions: They aren't real.


Let me clarify. Your baby suddenly not sleeping through the night or the abrupt change in her positive sleep habits? That's real. Your baby who decides to start protesting naps? That's also real.

But, let's for a moment break down the very definition of this term: regression is “the act of going back to a previous place or state, return or reversion." While it might seem that your baby is returning to previous sleep habits that were less than stellar, it is important to know that she is also going through huge developmental milestones for the first few years of life—all of which can and most likely will affect sleep.

Wait, you think. I've heard this word over and over, read about it in books and even talked with professionals. So surely sleep regression must be a thing, right?

If you haven't already, go ahead and Google it. I remember doing this for the first time and wanting to cry. On second thought, maybe don't do this and just let me summarize. Basically, you will find a list of sleep regressions that could occur every four months for the first year of your child's life.

What I realized after years of studying this term is that there are many stages in your child's life when sleep patterns may shift. Somewhere along the way, these changes were coined as “regressions."

Here's what is really happening...

Your baby is growing and developing quickly and experiencing many exciting firsts. In just one year she will likely go from crawling to walking, rolling over, developing her own sleep cycle, laughing, responding to words and sounds, sitting without support, eating more foods and the list goes on and on.

That is a lot of action for a little human and certainly enough for her sleep habits to shift a little (or a lot). And guess what? That is totally OK!

Even though these phases sometimes come with less sleep, they are important to your baby's emotional and physical development. In other words, they need to happen.

And while you may be happy to welcome these transitions, you are probably still wondering how to handle them. I got you, mama.

Here's what you can do...

First, ditch the term regression. Doesn't it just sound yucky? Instead of regression, I like to call these transitions.

Transitions can bring challenges at any point in your life and, trust me, they will never stop happening. But rather than resist them, you can embrace them. #perspective

If your 4-month-old suddenly goes from sleeping six straight hours per night to waking up every hour—congratulations! She is moving out of the newborn sleep cycle and starting to develop her own unique cycle.

Maybe your 8-month-old is suddenly refusing naps, meaning she could be in the middle of transitioning to a two-nap schedule. Or her nighttime sleep could be causing earlier wake-ups than normal. You can help her by trying to provide as much consistency as possible. (This isn't a great time to move or adopt a puppy.)

Providing extra comfort and soothing through this transition is perfectly OK. Just keep it simple and try not to introduce any major changes in sleep habits, such as starting to co-sleep.

Part of the beauty of parenting is watching your baby experience the world, one stage at a time. And I know first-hand it is a lot more fun with a full night's rest. But try not to worry. Before you know it, you will be exiting one phase and entering another.

Along the way, sleep WILL fall into place for you and your little one—promise.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.

$70

Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.

$65

Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.

$45

Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!

$23

Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.

$30

Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.

$39

'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."

$35

Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.

$24

Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.

$22

Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!

$25

Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.

$32

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.

$105

Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.

$17

Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.

$68

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