BehaviourParentingSleepBabyToddlerPostnatalPre-schoolParenthood

Every new skill your baby learns, whether it be rolling, crawling, walking or language development can have a huge impact on their sleep. When they've just developed the ability to do something new they often struggle to stop doing it – even when they're asleep!

How do developmental milestones impact my child's sleep?

Developmental milestones will usually impact sleep in two ways.

1. Your baby/child will struggle to fall asleep Imagine you've got a stressful day tomorrow. Whether it be work, family, a flight to catch or a deadline. We've all been there. You lie down in bed, knowing you really need a good sleep, and your brain is buzzing! This feeling of being unable to switch off is what your baby or child feels around these times of big developmental leaps. Their brains are busy creating new neural pathways – the connections between the cells of their brain which occur when we learn a new skill. All of this makes it much harder for them to shut off and sleep.2. Your baby/child will struggle to go back to sleep after a night waking When your baby or child learns a new skill, all their body desperately wants to do is practise it – even in the middle of the night! Particularly with physical milestones like crawling or walking, it's not uncommon to find your child wakes in the night and then spends an hour or two wide awake wanting to play and practise this new skill.

How long does it last?

Thankfully, these changes to sleep often only last a week or so. They usually occur in the lead up to your child learning a new skill, and just after they have mastered it. It can, however, derail a previously good sleep routine if you don't address it early.
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