2020 was off to a great start. Your baby was a napping and sleeping rockstar, and all was well. And then a global pandemic forced people indoors, shuttered from the outside world, many furloughed or even fired from their jobs. If your baby’s suffered from a sleep regression, you’re not alone. While a milestone may not be to blame, a dramatic shift in your family’s routine or heightened stress and anxiety can be the culprit.
What you need to know about sleep regression
Before you panic, sleep regressions are typically temporary. On average, these backward slides last one to two weeks before your baby slips back into their regular sleep routine. Whether developmental or caused by outside factors, your baby’s disrupted sleep during quarantine will not last forever.
Sleep during quarantine
So, how are you sleeping these days? Are you staying up late and sleeping in, or are you still on your regular schedule? You may have seen the many headlines about “quarantine dreams,” the phenomenon of vivid, unusual dreams that are afflicting a portion of people across the globe. These dreams are our brain’s way of dealing with having our daily lives turned upside down as a result of COVID-19. And if your sleep is affected by the pandemic, it’s understandable that your little one’s sleep during quarantine is also affected.
This is especially true if your family’s daily routine is markedly different from before. If your baby was used to being in daycare on weekdays, and they’re suddenly at home all of the time, this can affect their sleep patterns, as can their parents heightened levels of stress and anxiety. So, what can you do to help get your little one back into their sleep routine?
Keep your routine…routine
Setting a daily schedule—and sticking to it—can help create a sense of normalcy and stability in your home. Even if you’re not working, set your alarm and prepare for your day. Instead of staying up later and later each night, keep your bedtime consistent. More importantly, resist the urge to fall out of routine with your baby’s sleep schedule. Keep naptimes steady, and continue with your little one’s regular bedtime routine to keep them on schedule. The predictability of consistent routines can significantly help your entire family get the healthy and restorative sleep they need.
If you’ve been struggling with a disrupted sleep routine for weeks and weeks, it may be time to consider a sleep coach for baby. I’ve been helping Philadelphia area families create sleep routines that work for them and support their babies getting the rest they require. Schedule a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation today to see if I can help with your baby’s sleep routine.