When we think of a newborn baby, we quickly think of sleepless nights. As a parent you can sometimes be thrilled when your baby (and you too) finally sleeps through the night or even for a few hours. You will slowly discover a pattern in your child's sleep... until a new jump is around the corner. Jumps can have a huge effect on sleeping behavior. Every time you've just found a nice rhythm, it feels like you're back to square one. How do you recognize sleep regression due to a jump and what can you do as a parent? In this article you can read everything about jumps and poor sleep..
First it is important to realize that every child is different. What works for one person may not work for another. So try not to compare your situation with that of others and also realize that your second child may need something completely different than your first. Everything you read about timings and jumps is therefore a general starting point, but not a holy grail. Rely on your child's behavior, but keep the information in mind to help you understand your child better.
Which jumps have an effect on sleeping behavior?
In principle, all jumps can have an effect on your child's sleeping behavior. During a jump, your child learns new things, which means the world keeps changing. These changes ensure that your baby undergoes development and that can always lead to different behavior. However, in general we can say that there are 3 steps that have the most effect on the sleeping behavior of babies, namely:
- the 4 month jump
- the 6 month jump
- the 8-10 month jump
These jumps all ensure major development, with a good chance that your child will behave differently. Read on to discover how every jump brings about something new that affects sleep.
4 month jump
During the 4-month jump, your baby learns to see connections. The sensations, patterns and smooth transitions were already known, but until now your child saw these as separate things. Now that your baby understands that some things belong together and thus form a big event, the world suddenly looks very different!
Around 20 weeks, the fun part of this leap begins: your baby learns all kinds of new skills, such as grasping objects and babbling. Your baby will also discover how to roll over and that mommy will come when he starts to cry. It is important to realize that these two have the most effect on sleep behavior. You can read in the article what you can do as a parent to make the 4-month jump easier 4 months jump & poor sleep.
6 month jump
The 6 month jump takes it even further. Your child has learned a lot over the past six months, but now he is really making big leaps. He learns to recognize and understand relationships between objects and events. All the individual puzzle pieces are now falling together. Your baby has to get used to this big change and may become hangry and crying. This phase lasts an average of 4 weeks, but every child is different, so your baby may take shorter or longer.
NB! This jump also coincides with a moment of rolling over, which means you now have to stop swaddling. The follow up set can help you make this transition smaller, so that your baby can slowly get used to it.
Now that your baby understands that things are related to each other, he wants to experiment with this, for example by placing a block in, behind, on or under another block. Your baby also suddenly understands that if you walk away, the distance between you will increase. That can cause separation anxiety. In the article 6 month jump: my baby won't sleep anymore you can read some useful tips to help your child through this phase of separation anxiety.
8-10 month jump
Between weeks 33 and week 38 your child will take a new step that provides new skills. Your child now learns to recognize categories and realizes that he can divide everything into groups. So he now understands which things look, sound, taste, smell or feel the same. Your child also learns to sit up, crawl, crawl, wave and eat by itself. Language will play a greater role: your baby will really study what you say to him and may even try to say something himself..
Due to the big change, your baby may be hangry and crying again. Awkward timing, because your baby is getting older and can be awake longer and longer. As a result, you often sleep less during the day during this period. Your baby may also still have separation anxiety since the 6-month mark and your baby may be moving more and more, even at night. You can read in the article how you can best deal with this 8-10 month jump: a different sleep rhythm.
It will be all right
Whatever jump your baby is in, always remember: it is only temporary. Your baby is going through a difficult time, but it's all for a good cause. Your child is learning, developing and growing and before you know it he will be a year old! So try not to worry too much, give your child comfort when necessary and, above all, be patient. All unpleasant things pass and you see your child grow very quickly. The first year is a challenging, but also very beautiful and interesting period. It is not without reason that a child's first years are called the 'tropical years'. Goodluck!!
Ik ben Frederieke, getrouwd met Ewoud en mama van 4 kindjes. Na op veel plekken gewoond te hebben, ben ik gesetteld in Nieuwkoop. Ik werkte in de commercie tot mijn vierde kindje geboren werd. Fedde was een huilbaby en vanuit deze wanhoop heb ik de producten van Fedde&Kees bedacht. Ik gooide mijn leven om en begon met ondernemen. Sinds 2018 help ik andere ouders naar een betere slaap!