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New Skills and Sleep Disruptions

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Cara Dumaplin

happy toddler working on learning to walk by holding mom's hands

Aren’t babies incredible? In a short time, they go from tiny sleepy bundles to active little ones. You are so proud when they start rolling over, sitting, walking, talking and so much more. Each of these new skills is a huge accomplishment for your baby! However, science shows us that learning these new skills can cause sleep disruptions. You weren't just imagining it! Let me explain in this video:

Here are a few tips that can help you avoid sleep battles while they master this new skill:

1. Practice during the day.

Help your little one practice new skills on the floor. Did he learn to roll? Do lots of tummy time together. Is she a new crawler? Encourage that crawling by putting toys a bit out of reach. Newly sitting or standing? Practice going from standing to sitting and sitting to laying. All of this practice during the day will help make the new skill less exciting at night. It ALSO provides active and stimulating awake time that helps your baby's body prepare for sleep during naps and at night.

2. Consider a sleep sack.

Sleep sacks are a great cue that it's time for sleep, reminding your little one that playtime is over. They can also limit mobility making that exciting new skill a little less enticing in the night or during nap time.

3. Stay consistent AND give everyone grace.

Don’t throw out all of your healthy sleep habits. There's no need to stop your normal routines and sleep strategies. At the same time, give yourself and your little one some grace. Learning a new skill is hard and exciting. This is temporary, and it will pass!⁣⁣

4. Create a strong sleep foundation BEFORE you hit these bumps. 

Having a solid sleep foundation is a key factor in navigating setbacks caused by developmental strides and regressions too.⁣ (If you need a bit more help in the middle of a regression, check out these blogs: 8-10 Month Regression, 12 Month Sleep Regression, 18 Month Regression, and 24 Month Regression.) If you already have that strong sleep foundation, stick with the strategies that you know work with your baby. 

5. Ask for help.

Learning new skills can interrupt sleep, but if sleep disruptions are becoming the norm, know you’re not alone! My classes are designed to meet your baby where he or she is developmentally while keeping you involved and attached throughout the entire process. Not ready to invest in a class? I have a free resource to get you started. I’ll give you practical ideas to implement today to make your nights better. If you’re already using Taking Cara Babies class strategies, you can also purchase a phone consult and talk with one of my team 1-on-1. One of our certified sleep consultants will dive in with you to hear all the details about YOUR family and help you create a plan to move forward!

I want you to enjoy these beautiful moments with your baby. Sure, new skills CAN disrupt sleep for a bit, but tools are available to help you. Celebrate these big accomplishments. You got this!

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