The very mention of "sleep regression" is enough to strike fear in the hearts of new (and even seasoned) parents everywhere. Just when we thought it was safe to embrace sleep again, and function like regular human beings, a dreaded setback rears it’s ugly head and reminds us all who is really the boss. Because going back between sleep and insomnia is the absolute worst, there are definitely some things every mother thinks during sleep regression. I mean, it's intense. You likely feel desperate and frustrated, and also slightly conflicted because your child is so adorable in their pajamas, even in the middle of the night, so how can you be mad, really?
Turns out, there are multiple sleep regression cycles that any parent should at least attempt to be prepared for. While every kid is different, you can at least slightly assume that you'll go back to waking up every two hours (or less) when your kid hits 4 months, 8 months (or 9 months or 10 months) and 12 months. That's not, of course, including growth spurts, which is an entirely different monster that, when dealing with sleep regressions, you don't even want to think about. Trust me.
If nothing else (because there's really not much else you can do) know that you’re not alone when it comes to dealing with sleep regressions. It may feel like you are, especially when you’re watching the sun come up with your kid for the third day in a row, but you are now part of an elite circle of parents who’ve been there and done that and survived (yes, you will survive). If you're thinking the following, I can almost guarantee you that there's another parent, dealing with their kid's sleep regression, thinking it, too.
"I Thought We Were Past This..."
I'm looking at the 10-month sleep regression in particular. It reared its ugly head and had me feeling like I'd time-traveled back to my baby's earliest days at home. Only this time, no one was bringing us food or offering to hold our newborn so we could nap, so it was arguably much, must worse.
"Life Isn’t Fair. Nothing Is Fair. What Is Life, Again?"
If only sleep regressions happened after the kids left home for college or their careers or whatever it is they decide to do when they've left our households and finally let us sleep.
"Everything Is Terrible"
There's really no other way to say it. Everything is the worst it's ever been. There is no sleep for you.
"Is This A Reflection Of My Mothering?"
I mean, unless you're running through the house with a tambourine every two hours, night and day, it's probably not. Definitely not. No, not at all. This is just part of your child learning and developing and, once upon a time, you did it, too. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with science. Damn you, science. Damn you.
"Whatever Sleep Training Method I Said I'd Never Do Is Now Looking Pretty Good Right About Now..."
The experimental one with garlic and fermented beets? They were on to something, I'm sure of it.
"I Don’t Care Anymore. Wolves Can Train This Kid For All I Care."
You never hear about wild animals having sleep regressions, do you? I'm sure there's a good reason for that. Maybe that mom wolf knows something I don't. Maybe she can stay up all night and all day with my kid, and he'll turn out just fine. OK, maybe I need some sleep.
"My Kid Will Have To Sleep Some Day, Right?"
The entire thought process that usually starts with, "Maybe I can sleep in nine days when Grandma visits..." used to be ridiculous and almost made me feel guilty, but it's now an actual light at the end of my proverbial tunnel and I just don't care.
"Someone Else Needs To Go Get My Kid Back To Sleep. I’m Done."
I mean, my partner was the most realistic choice in this situation, but on occasion I did find myself staring pretty hard at our dog, too. And my neighbors. And my friends. And sometimes a stranger walking on the sidewalk, all happy and clearly well-rested.
"No One Better Ask me If My Kid Is Sleeping Through The Night Or Else..."
You're so tired when you're a new mom, you don't even realize that your threat is pretty empty, because you're incapable of keeping your eyes open long enough to evoke even an ounce of fear.
"What Time Is It? What Day Is It? What Is Time? What Are Days?"
I used to be able to read a clock, and a calendar, and letters and words in general. Now? Everything is a blurry blur.
"I Would Vote For He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named If He Could Get My Baby To Sleep"
Just kidding! We all have our limits.