As parents, we want our little ones to get the best sleep possible. But when your baby turns seven months old, it may be a time of transition where their sleep patterns start to change. Sleep regression is a normal part of a baby’s development that many parents will experience at some point. It can lead to challenges like waking up multiple times during the night and taking shorter naps. Today, we break down all things “sleep regression” and help you chart a course back to giving your baby the gift of sleep and help you to be confident in parenting.
What is a Sleep Regression?
Sleep regression refers to a period of adjustment in a baby’s sleep routine with changes in their sleep habits. Sleep regression is a normal developmental stage and can be caused by many things, such as teething, changes in routine, or milestones like crawling or walking. Sleep regressions typically begin between the fourth and seventh month of life and can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
Signs of Sleep Regression in 7-Month-Old Babies
Sleep regression can manifest differently in each baby, but some common signs to look out for include waking up more often throughout the night or taking shorter naps during the day. Other symptoms of a sleep regression at seven months can include increased fussiness during the day, difficulty settling down for naps or bedtime, and resistance to falling asleep.
Strategies to Help Your Baby Through Sleep Regression
If you notice any of these signs in your 7-month-old, it is important to take steps to address a sleep regression.
- Avoid overtired, which can lead to an imbalance of hormones, prolonging the duration of a sleep regression. Be sure to follow the right awake window for your little one, which at this age, should be 3 hours between naps.
- Ensure they are dressed for the right season or internal temperature to ensure they are not overheating or cold for the time of year. View our dressing guide here for a layout of how to dress a baby.
- If your baby seems extra fussy or resistant to going to bed, try spending some additional time with them before laying them down in their crib for the night.
Sleep regressions are a normal part of a baby’s development, and understanding what to expect can help parents prepare for the changes ahead. It can be distressing for parents, but understanding what is happening and focusing on healthy sleep habits is vital in helping your little one get the rest they need.
How to Get 7 Month Old Back To Sleeping Through the Night
Sometimes, sleep regressions can lead to longer-term sleep issues. It happens. As parents, we are all doing our best at the moment to ensure we can function. If a sleep regression has been going on longer than a month, here is my advice for getting things back on track.
- Establish a Sleep Routine: As your baby starts to understand the difference between night and day, it’s important that you create an established sleep routine. Start by setting consistent bedtime and wake times every day of the week so that your child knows when it’s time to sleep.
- Sleep Training: Sleep training can be a great way to help your 7-month-old develop healthy sleep habits. Sleep training involves teaching your baby how to fall asleep independently so that they can understand the process of getting ready for bed and falling asleep without relying on you for help if a new habit emerges.
- Create a Sleep Environment: Make sure your baby’s sleep environment is comfortable, dark, and quiet. Use blackout curtains or shades to keep the room dark, play soft, soothing music and limit any distractions that may interfere with their sleep.
- Sleep Aids: Sleep aids such as white noise machines can also be effective in helping your 7-month-old fall asleep and stay asleep by removing outside noises that can be disturbing.
As always, if you’re ever concerned about your baby’s sleep, you can book a free preliminary sleep assessment with a Certified Sleep Consultant on the Tiny Transitions team and discuss your unique struggles and how we might best be able to help. Taking the time to understand and be prepared for the 7-month sleep regression can help make this stage of development much more manageable.
Tiny Transitions Sleep Coaching was founded in 2015 out of exhaustion and a lack of support for new parents. Courtney Zentz, the Founder, is based in Philadelphia, PA but has a team of Sleep Coaches across the United States, serving clients in English and Spanish, both in-home and virtually worldwide. Through their gentle, science-back sleep education programs, Courtney and her team of consultants work with children and adults to reset and restore sleep in the home.