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Leap 8 & Sleep

leap 8 and sleep
Alex Warrack

Alex Warrack

Can you believe it?!?! Your baby is now 1 year old!

I remember when Addie turned 1, I was a ball of emotions. It seemed like overnight she went from baby to this little toddler.

Your little ones’ first birthday marks a huge milestone for all parents. It also comes with new set of challenges as your baby moves into toddlerhood.

One of those challenges may appear around 55 weeks when your little one nose dives into leap 8 or better known as the 12-month sleep regression.

What’s A Leap?

By now you may be a pro at these mental leaps, but if you are new around here, here’s what’s going on… that your little one goes through.

A leap is a mental advancement that babies and toddlers make where they gain a new perspective ability. This new ability allows your baby to perceive, see, hear, taste, smell, and feel many new things that your little one wasn’t able to perceive before the leap.

What You Need To Know About Leap 8

In the previous leap, your little one learned about sequences and how tasks are performed. In this leap, your little one is now forming the understanding of how to reach an end goal. And that certain tasks will end in different ways. This mental leap is known as The World of Programs.

What this means is that your little one now understands how to get dressed, set the table, and/or tidy up.

You may also notice that your little one is:

  • attempting to put on their clothes themselves
  • wanting to feed themselves more and use utensils
  • playing with toys in the way they are meant to be played with (putting a toy car in the garage, pushing a train on the track, playing with farm animals and the barn toy, etc.)
  • building a tower of blocks

How Will Leap 8 Impact Sleep?

As with every leap, your baby is going through huge developmental progressions. Your little one may want to practice these new skills when they are supposed to be sleeping.

Your once great sleeper may start to:

  • Fight going to sleep
  • Wake early in the morning
  • Boycott naps, leading you to think that they are ready to drop down to one nap (they aren’t – see below)

How To Support Healthy Sleep Through Leap 8?

It is always good to remind yourself that when your little one is going through a developmental leap it may impact sleep.

It is normal for your little one to start to fight sleep at this age. How you handle the sleep regression will determine if your little one will get back on track! Here are some tips to get your happy, healthy sleeper back:

  • EXPECTATIONS: If your little one was well-rested and a healthy sleeper, you don’t want to start any new habits while your child is going through this leap/sleep regression. If your little one normally falls asleep independently, keep this expectation and don’t bring in any new habits while your child is falling asleep at night, is having night wakings or boycotting naps. It is important to give your new toddler the same response while they work through these developmental progressions.
  • KEEP TWO NAPS: Don’t let this leap fool you. Most babies do not transition to one nap until 15-18 months old.  
  • CONSISTENCY: This is so important at this age. If you say no, stick with it. Different responses at different times will confuse your little one and can make sleep challenges persist because your little one doesn’t understand your expectations. The saying “if you give an inch, they take a mile” is so true at this age.
  • ROUTINE: Separation anxiety can peak at this age and the best thing that you can do when your little one is going through a developmental progression and/or separation anxiety is to stick with your routine. Routines help our children to feel safe so when their internal landscape is changing, we want to keep everything else the same!

Takeaway

Not all leaps will impact sleep. However, if your champion sleeper starts to wake more, boycotts naps or cries more at bedtime, it is best to stick to your routine. Be 100% consistent to make sure you return to your little one’s healthy sleep habits. Our toddlers are super smart and will pick up on the slightest inconsistencies. Leaps are temporary so don’t create any new habits that will stick around long after the sleep regression has passed.

If your little one is still experiencing sleep challenges after 2 weeks or if your child has never been a good sleeper, reach out! We can chat and determine how we can support you to get back on track or start to create healthy sleep habits for your toddler.   

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