Every parent knows the struggle of finally getting a child on a solid sleep schedule. The moment you celebrate, the dreaded regression hits at multiple ages. This phase — that comes seemingly out-of-the-blue — can disrupt an entire family's normal sleeping habits and routines. What once appeared to be a break in parental exhaustion, is really only a short-lived reprieve. So, how long does the 10-month sleep regression last? Tired, frustrated, and all-around emotional parents the world over want to know.
While the answer depends greatly on your baby's developmental progress, a lot of it has to do with their little, growing brains. According to the Baby Sleep Site, how much and how quickly they're taking in determines the length of a sleep regression. Through the first year, babies hit a lot of milestones. They're busy learning cool new skills like crawling, adjusting to a different (or less than usual) nap schedules, and may also start to cut teeth. With all this excitement, who has time for sleep? Certainly not your baby or, you know, you. It takes a lot of time and practice for your baby to conquer those newly developed skills to match their equally expanded brains, which means they'll have a hard time shutting off when it's time.
An Oct 2011 a study published in Pediatrics titled “Sleeping Through the Night: The Consolidation of Self-Regulated Sleep Across the First Year of Life," discusses how some infants begin sleeping through the night as early as 2 months of age, but others can take as long as 12 months to achieve the same steady rhythm. Assuming your baby's self-regulated, and has begun sleeping through the night by 10 months, a regression may feel like all the progress made, has been lost. Rest assured, though, that's not the case.
According to The Baby Center, babies 9-12 months need about 14 hours of sleep each day, and this includes one or two naps during the daytime. Of course, it varies baby-to-baby, but if your 10 month old hits a regression, a variety of reasons could be the culprit. An inability to self-soothe may mean he, or she, needs help mastering this skill. Likewise, separation anxiety or general excitement from the day also contribute to those midnight crying spells.
Similar to the 4-month sleep regression, the 10-month regression comes with its own challenges, but also similar habits and tricks may encourage baby back to a healthy sleeping pattern. Fortunately, this disruptive phase doesn't have to last too long if you practice a little patience. After eliminating possible medical causes for concern, or teething discomfort, experts advise to stick to a regular, consistent routine (or developing a new one you'll stick to) — even through the regression — to provide the stability, and comfort, they need to get through this short-term, albeit frustrating, stage.