During the 10 month sleep regression, babies fight sleep, wake up at night, stand up in their crib and cry, take short naps, and wake up too early in the morning. This can be an exhausting stage but there is light at the end of the tunnel! Learn all about the 10 month sleep regression in this article based on my 15+ years as a sleep consultant.
10 Month Sleep Regression Signs
By this time, you are likely familiar with sleep regressions and that they are usually connected to your baby’s developmental milestones and teething. Sleep regressions start early with the 4 month sleep regression being one of the hardest.
The 10 month sleep regression occurs when a baby is becoming more mobile, usually standing, cruising, and sometimes taking their first independent steps.
What are the signs?
Signs of the 10 month sleep regression include fighting sleep at bedtime and nap time, increased crying and irritability around sleep periods, shorter naps, waking too early in the morning, and waking frequently at night.
How Long Does It Last?
Thankfully, the 10 month sleep regression only lasts 2-3 weeks. However, it might feel much longer because every day of sleep deprivation feels like 30. Am I right? It also occurs right after the 8 month sleep regression. When you have back-to-back sleep regressions, it can feel much longer and more exhausting!
It is important to make sure your baby gets enough sleep during this time!
How Much Sleep Does a 10 Month Old Need?
10 month old babies need 13-14 hours of sleep a day, on average. This sleep typically includes 10-12 hours of sleep at night and 2-3 hours during the day. During a sleep regression, babies sometimes sleep less than ideal but don’t worry, it’s only temporary!
How can we help babies during this phase?
Sleep Regression Tips
Here are a few tips to help you get through the 10 month sleep regression:
- Follow a Proper Schedule – Sometimes fighting sleep is caused by a wake window that isn’t long enough before bedtime. This is sometimes caused by parents still offering three naps to their 10 month old baby, for example. However, most 10 month old babies have already transitioned to two naps. However, is your baby crawling or walking? On the other hand, mobile babies can easily get overtired which can cause increased crying at bedtime. The typical wake window at this age is 3-4 hours. So, in other words, make sure you follow a proper 10 month old schedule.
- Have a Teething Protocol – Although all babies seem to get teeth on a slightly different schedule, 10 month old babies could get their bottom lateral incisors. Teething can cause frequent night-waking during the 10 month sleep regression so plan to follow a specific routine to deal with discomfort. For example, with your doctor’s approval, you can give a dose of ibuprofen 30 minutes before bedtime and then once in the middle of the night. I used to stay with my son for 20-30 minutes until the dose kicked in, too. However, it’s easy to try to always blame teething. In my experience, teething causes night-waking only for a few days to a week.
- Add Another Solids Meal – Once your baby becomes more mobile, they will be burning calories like crazy! If you are still offering just one or two solid meals a day, it might be time to add a third. Hungry babies often wake up at night! If you are already offering three solid meals, some people add a snack around this age, too. Check out our solid foods feeding schedule for more information.
Sleep Training During the 10 Month Sleep Regression – Is it a Good Idea?
If your baby has sleep associations that involve you as their caretaker, they are more likely to wake up very frequently at night and take short naps. Sleep associations need to be recreated to get to the next sleep cycle. When a parent has to do it, they are more disruptive. We often resolve this with sleep training or gentle sleep coaching.
If you have already done sleep training in the past, I encourage you to continue (or redo) sleep training during this sleep regression. Consistency over time will be your best friend to create long-lasting healthy sleep habits. Otherwise, you run the risk of a temporary 2-week sleep regression lasting months! That is a lot of sleep lost.
If you have never had to do sleep training in the past and your baby used to sleep well, it’s possible your baby will naturally go back to sleeping better in 2-3 weeks. If this is the case, you might just wait it out. It can take a lot of effort which would be unnecessary.
On the other hand, if your baby has always been a challenging sleeper, the 10 month sleep regression is a good time to start sleep training! While we don’t expect perfect sleepers during a sleep regression, you can lay a foundation for healthy sleep habits. This will help both of you get more sleep which you both need!