How To Navigate Leap 2 & Your Baby’s Sleep
Way to go! You’re two months into this journey of parenthood.
You made it through Leap 1 and now your baby may be:
Figuring out their days from their nights, meaning your little one is…
- Starting to sleep longer stretches at night
- Smiling at you, like really smiling at you!
Finally, some feedback!
Things may be feeling good and then all of a sudden, you start having flashbacks to a few weeks ago…
Baby is crying more, crankier, and clingier.
Then the panic starts to sink in. “What’s wrong with my baby? What am I doing wrong?” Before you freak out, I want you to check your calendar!
Is your baby between the age of 7-9 weeks old?
Welcome to the second leap!!!
What Is A Leap?
Babies will experience difficult periods during their first 20 months of life while they are going through these dramatic developmental progressions. As a result, babies can experience mood, disturbances, more tears, clinginess and a crankiness. Sometimes babies will eat less during these periods. Also, sleep can be disrupted.
Knowing about these leaps helped explain what may be happening with my baby at different ages and stages. Undoubtedly, it provided insight into how I could support her through the developmental leaps.
When Do Leaps Happen?
One thing to note is that leaps are based on your baby’s adjusted age. This means that leaps should be calculated based on your due date, not the day your little one was born.
Leap 1 = around 5 weeks
Leap 2 = around 8 weeks
Leap 3 = around 12 weeks
Leap 4 = around 19 weeks
Leap 5 = around 26 weeks
Leap 6 = around 37 weeks
Leap 7 = around 46 weeks
Leap 8 = around 55 weeks
Leap 9 = around 64 weeks
Leap 10 = 75 weeks
What You Need To Know About Leap 2
Leap 2 is referred to as “The World of Patterns” and baby is gaining the ability to recognize simple patterns in their environment and within their bodies.
Baby may have discovered their feet and hands and pay more attention to them now.
When you are strolling the grocery store aisles baby may be making more sounds of excitement as they see all the items on the shelves.
Signs Your Baby Has Entered Leap 2
As your baby enters into this leap, your little one may cry more, be crankier and clingier.
Other signs baby is entering this leap are:
- Does baby demand more of your attention?
- Is baby playing shy with strangers or other people?
- Has baby’s appetite decreased?
- Does baby hold on tighter to you?
- Does baby’s sleep seem to be going whacky again?
So How Long Will The Leap Last?
A developmental leap will happen for a day or may last up to a week and then your baby should calm down again.
That’s encouraging, right?
Leap 2 & Sleep
To help you to get through Leap 2 and help your little one to stay rested, here are some things to keep our your radar:
Keep Awake Windows Short
Baby’s sleep patterns may start to shift slightly as baby is not sleeping all day long now. So even though baby appears to be able to be awake more, make sure that baby isn’t awake for more than 45-90 minutes at a time.
Look Out For Sleepy Cues
Because you want to avoid your baby getting overtired, this is a good time to watch your baby for their sleepy cues. Then put your little one down before they become overtired.
Have Realistic Expectations
Your baby isn’t going to have a consistent schedule until much closer to 4-5 months old. Your baby’s nap duration and the number of naps in a day likely won’t be on a set schedule. Most importantly, keep awake windows short so your little one doesn’t get overtired.
Bring Out The Big Guns
During this leap, you may have to babywear or use motion (stroller, swing, car) more than usual to help your baby get rest. If all else fails, try an earlier bedtime to start to create healthy sleep habits.
Baby is becoming more alert and curious, which leads to FOMO!
Now is when you want to:
- Start offering a consistent sleep space for nights (bassinet) and naps (ideally crib) – this is a powerful cue that it is sleepytime
- Have baby nap at least 2x per day in their crib in their nursery – the first two naps of the day are easiest
- Ensure the sleep environment is optimized for sleep – cool, dark, consistent white noise
Create A Sleepytime Routine
Once your baby smiles at you, they are able to make connections and follow cues. This means that it is a great time to begin a soothing bedtime routine for naps and for bedtime to help cue to baby it is time to sleep.
Expect The Witching Hours
If your baby has been having the witching hours, you may find that it peaks right around 8 weeks so your little one may be *really* upset. Read here on how to survive this phase.
One of my favorite ways to soothe a baby when fussy or if they are tired is to use the 5 S’s created by Dr. Harvey Karp.
- Side or stomach position – while awake – back for sleep!
- Shush / Sound machine
- Swing – gentle bobble head motion back and forth
- Suck – pacifier, clean finger or breast
Leap 2 & Sleep Takeaway
You made it through Leap 1 already and you’ll make it through this one too!
Remember, keep awake windows short, stay paying attention to sleepy cues and provide your little one with extra love and comfort as needed to help through this developmental milestone!
You’ve got this!
Want to dive deeper into newborn sleep? Our Newborn Sleep Consultation is for you! You can learn more and sign up here.
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