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Three Tips to Tackle the 10 Month Sleep Regression

Is your baby showing signs of a 10 month sleep regression? Let’s talk about why your baby might experience a sleep setback at this age, and how you guys can work through it!

Mother holding her fussy baby at nap time image

Do you ever wonder why some babies seem to hit sleep regressions at different times?

You’ve probably heard this before, but when it comes to sleep and your baby’s development, it’s so important to keep in mind: every baby is different.

If you keep that in mind, I promise it will be easier to give your baby (and yourself!) some grace as you work through sleep regressions.

Did you make it through your baby’s 9th month with a sigh of relief at avoiding a major sleep regression, only to have one rear its ugly head as your baby reaches 10 months old?

Yes, that’s a bummer! But no, you’re not the only one. And just like with other sleep setbacks, I’m here to help you work through it.

Happy 10 month old laying on their tummy

Can a Sleep Regression Happen at 10 Months?

The short answer is yes, your baby can go through a 10 month sleep regression.

Common sleep regressions are named after the age they most commonly occur (like the infamous 4 month sleep regression or the 6 month sleep regression). However, your baby might hit sleep regressions a little early or a little late, depending on when they are hitting other important milestones.

By 10 months old, you’ve probably got a pretty good idea of whether your baby is hitting milestones spot-on, or if they’re hitting them late or even early.

If your baby is hitting physical milestones (like rolling or sitting up) a little later, the 9 month sleep regression might be more of a 10 month sleep regression.

But even if you already went through a sleep regression at 9 months old, there could be things at play that are making sleep more difficult for your 10 month old.

Concerned mother holding fussy baby

Why is My 10 Month Old Suddenly Not Sleeping?

Sleep disruptions often occur when there is a physical or cognitive change in your baby’s development. This can happen seemingly out of nowhere, and all of the sudden your baby’s naps and/or nighttime sleep is in shambles.

So many parents want to know why sleep disruptions occur so that they can try to avoid them again in the future. The reality is that all babies will regress with their sleep at some point.

Disruptions to your baby’s sleep schedule are commonplace and temporary. While they aren’t entirely unavoidable, it may give you peace of mind to know why the disruption could be happening.

Get Better Sleep with The Baby D.R.E.A.M. System

Let me walk you through the process. The Baby D.R.E.A.M. System is for babies 4 months through 2.5 years old. I’ll walk you through how to establish daily routines and sleep training techniques to help you break the sleep associations you no longer find beneficial! Check it out here.

The Most Common Reasons for a 10 Month Sleep Regression

Baby’s Wake Windows Need Adjusting

Before you automatically assume that your baby’s sleep woes are due to a commonplace sleep regression, you’ll want to check in on their wake windows.

Make sure that you’re following age-appropriate wake windows for your 10 month old. If you haven’t adjusted their wake times in a month or two, it’s time to consider making slight adjustments to see if it helps.

It might be the case that your baby isn’t going through a full-blown sleep regression. They might just need a little more awake time during the day to build up enough sleep pressure to fall asleep more easily.

10 month old baby crawling on the floor

Natural Growth & Development

This is a time in your baby’s life when there’s incredible growth in their brains and, maybe most impressively, their mobility.

At this age, exploration is your baby’s main goal. The desire to explore their surroundings is a great motivator for your baby to crawl, pull up, cruise, and maybe even start taking some steps.

Transitions between activities (or to sleep) can be more difficult because your 10 month old just wants to continue practicing their new skills.

Along with these physical developments comes a newfound independence for your baby. You might notice they start to voice their displeasure when it’s time to pause the action of the day and get some rest at nap time.

All of this new stimulation and action during the day means your 10 month old is also more prone to overstimulation. An overstimulated baby might have a harder time settling into sleep when it’s time to fall asleep independently.

The best thing you can do during a sleep regression is to keep your baby’s bedtime routine consistent, continue fostering independent sleep habits, and keep your baby’s sleep environment calm and dark.

Baby sitting up with her arms out and crying

Separation Anxiety

Having 10 months to grow and develop means your baby is physically capable of sleeping through the night. But it also means that they’ve had 10 months to bond with you, and they’re learning how to miss you.

People and things used to be “out of sight, out of mind,” but now your baby may start to develop some separation anxiety around this age.

In other words, your baby begins to realize that when they don’t see you, it means you are somewhere else. Without them! Rude!

I know it can be so hard to realize that your baby is fighting sleep because they don’t want to be without you. Talk about tugging on the heartstrings.

If your baby is experiencing separation anxiety, it’s helpful to keep a few things in mind.

  • First, crying is still your baby’s main mode of communication and it’s perfectly normal as long as they aren’t working themselves into a frenzy.
  • Second, separation anxiety happens because your baby is bonded to you. That’s something to celebrate, even if it makes sleep a little tricky for a period of time.
  • Lastly, separation anxiety is a temporary development. Do your best to stick to a consistent bedtime and nap routine, offer vocal comfort and maybe some shushing and patting to reassure baby of your presence, and revisit your preferred sleep training method if night wakings are frequent.
10 month old playing on the ground with toys

How Long Does the 10 Month Sleep Regression Last?

A sleep regression around this age can last anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. Just how long it lasts will depend on your baby’s existing sleep skills and whether you’ve already established a sleep training method to help your baby during sleep setbacks.

If your baby has already exhibited the ability to fall asleep independently (without having to be rocked or nursed to sleep), sleep regressions probably won’t be a long and drawn out affair.

Similarly, if you’ve fostered strong sleep associations for your baby that aren’t dependent on you being there with them to fall asleep, this sleep regression might not hit you as hard.

To help your 10 month old through a sleep regression, consistency is key.

I know when everyone is sleep deprived and grumpy it can be so tempting to adopt a “sleep by whatever means possible” mentality.

The thing is, during a sleep regression, you don’t want to start any sleep habits that you’re not interested in continuing in the longterm. That’s how poor sleep habits start.

And while it’s not impossible to overcome unhelpful or dependent sleep habits, it’s best to avoid starting them in the first place if possible.

If you want more help on how to get your 10-month old on a reliable sleep schedule and sleeping on their own, check out The Baby D.R.E.A.M. System.

Amy Motroni

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Saturday 28th of January 2023

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Saturday 28th of January 2023

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