Q&A: early walking affecting sleep regressions?

Elizabeth writes:

“My almost 8 month old started to crawl on mothers day, a nice day for
your first born to do something truly amazing!  He then started to
pull himself up like 5 hours later, truly!  I turned around and he was
in the middle of the floor hands and feet on the floor butt in the
air.  I think we’ll have an early walker… anyway he has been
teething for over 3 months, so we have been cosleeping since he was
4.5 months old and I feel like its time he learns to fall asleep on
his own.  He wakes up at the 45 minute mark for almost every nap, I go
in and nurse then back down for another 45- usually if I miss the
window and he wakes completely then he is up after only 45 minutes.
This is the main reason I want to do some sleep training, I plan on
doing [author’s name removed because all the sleep training methods are so similar anyway]’s technique.
Of late we have had more night wakings, practicing his crawling, teeth
pain ect…

Okay here is my question for real, if they have met some of the
developmental milestones early do we then have the sleep regression
early?  Or am I in for another sleep regression in a month?”

In general, if your child shows symptoms of sleep regressions (not all kids do) they are independent of everything else because they’re symptoms of developmental leaps. The developmental leaps are followed in the book The Wonder Weeks and seem to happen at the same time according to gestatiponal age, so kids who were born early go through them later, and kids who are born late go through them earlier.

So your son will go through his sleep regressions based on developmental stages. All the other stuff (teething, early movement, etc.) disrupts sleep, but isn’t technically a “regression” because it’s all about the teething or movement or whatever.

Good luck with the training–if your child is in the middle of all this movement or teething or regressions it may not be as successful as you want it to be. As long as you’re prepared for the fact that it’s not a guaranteed success, you should be able to make it through sensibly without traumatizing either one of you.

Did any parents of early movers feel like it affected regressions? Or just made for longer sleep disruptions?

0 thoughts on “Q&A: early walking affecting sleep regressions?”

  1. I felt like, with La (now age 6 1/2), she would have trouble falling (or staying) asleep more when she was “working on a project” (rolling over, crawling, etc.) You could sort of tell that she was trying to work things out. She tended to be on the early side of average for these milestones (rolling at 4 months, crawling at 5, …., walking at 11 months).We have not seen this trend as much with El (now approaching 18 mos.) A)She is a better sleeper (and has a much more easygoing personality in general) and B)she’s hit the movement milestones a full month earlier than her older sister.

  2. I felt like, with La (now age 6 1/2), she would have trouble falling (or staying) asleep more when she was “working on a project” (rolling over, crawling, etc.) You could sort of tell that she was trying to work things out. She tended to be on the early side of average for these milestones (rolling at 4 months, crawling at 5, …., walking at 11 months).We have not seen this trend as much with El (now approaching 18 mos.) A)She is a better sleeper (and has a much more easygoing personality in general) and B)she’s hit the movement milestones a full month earlier than her older sister.

  3. Speaking of sleep, my #2 is a happy sleeper monkey (compared to #1 who was more of a happy, alert coffee monkey).#1 was never swaddled (was this my mistake?). #2 sleeps (and sleeps and sleeps and sleeps) swaddled and is 6 months now. How do you get them out of the swaddle? One day, do they just wake up and not need it or do I need to do something? If I lay him down without it now, he wakes right up like the opposite of a little doll whose eyes shut when when you lay it down.
    So, swaddle? To intervene or not?
    (By the way, even at 20+ pounds and 29″ long, I am not having any trouble getting blankets large enough for swaddling, but another 3″ of length and I will).

  4. Speaking of sleep, my #2 is a happy sleeper monkey (compared to #1 who was more of a happy, alert coffee monkey).#1 was never swaddled (was this my mistake?). #2 sleeps (and sleeps and sleeps and sleeps) swaddled and is 6 months now. How do you get them out of the swaddle? One day, do they just wake up and not need it or do I need to do something? If I lay him down without it now, he wakes right up like the opposite of a little doll whose eyes shut when when you lay it down.
    So, swaddle? To intervene or not?
    (By the way, even at 20+ pounds and 29″ long, I am not having any trouble getting blankets large enough for swaddling, but another 3″ of length and I will).

  5. My daughter started walking at 13 months and it really drew out the 12/13 month sleep regression to the point that we had 3 months of 40 minute naps and wonky sleep, not to mention crabby behaviour. Apparently the 13 month regression is a ‘mini’ set back. Not in our case though.Just a reminder there is wicked seperation anxiety at 8.5 months that f…s with sleep too.

  6. My daughter started walking at 13 months and it really drew out the 12/13 month sleep regression to the point that we had 3 months of 40 minute naps and wonky sleep, not to mention crabby behaviour. Apparently the 13 month regression is a ‘mini’ set back. Not in our case though.Just a reminder there is wicked seperation anxiety at 8.5 months that f…s with sleep too.

  7. You might not have an early walker. Our bunny started crawling about 7 months and began pulling up the same day – but she didn’t start walking until 12.5 months. So the walking milestone may have very little to do with current sleep issues.We did sleep train at about 8 months because she simply hadn’t figured out how to go back to sleep on her own (because mama was always there up until then) so she needed some time to figure that out. Took a week maybe? But we saw improvement from the very first day – remember just because you try something, you don’t have to stick with it if it isn’t working for you.

  8. You might not have an early walker. Our bunny started crawling about 7 months and began pulling up the same day – but she didn’t start walking until 12.5 months. So the walking milestone may have very little to do with current sleep issues.We did sleep train at about 8 months because she simply hadn’t figured out how to go back to sleep on her own (because mama was always there up until then) so she needed some time to figure that out. Took a week maybe? But we saw improvement from the very first day – remember just because you try something, you don’t have to stick with it if it isn’t working for you.

  9. Neither of mine had sleep regressions; one slept well from day one and the other slept poorly from day 2 (she had a nice long sleep day one, though. fooled me!)Poor sleeper walked very early; champion sleeper walked about average age. Neither seemed to have sleep issues revolving around walking.
    However, the early walker did have major changes in… contentedness…. based on hitting milestones. She was a miserable, howling infant struggling mightily to turn over, from the second day after she was born. She was too young to turn over, of course, but she would go from one end of the crib to the other by sheer aggitation, and howl once she hit the far wall each time. Once sh turned over – she was pleased as punch. She became very happy and sunny and practiced – even flaunted – her newfound skills with glee, all day. But then clouds rolled in as she realized she could flip, but not crawl. Misery ensued until she started crawling – and cruising. At which point she was once again proud and happy. There was only minor misery before walking – I think cruising was “good enough” for her, but one day she let go of the furniture – and ran several steps before she fell. And again and again. She could not yet stand on 2 feet, and wouldn’t for a while, nor could she walk, but she could run. The developmental milestone misery periods ended at that point and she was a wild thing – but a reasonably happy wild thing, from then until age 4.
    But none of this seemed to influence sleep any.

  10. Neither of mine had sleep regressions; one slept well from day one and the other slept poorly from day 2 (she had a nice long sleep day one, though. fooled me!)Poor sleeper walked very early; champion sleeper walked about average age. Neither seemed to have sleep issues revolving around walking.
    However, the early walker did have major changes in… contentedness…. based on hitting milestones. She was a miserable, howling infant struggling mightily to turn over, from the second day after she was born. She was too young to turn over, of course, but she would go from one end of the crib to the other by sheer aggitation, and howl once she hit the far wall each time. Once sh turned over – she was pleased as punch. She became very happy and sunny and practiced – even flaunted – her newfound skills with glee, all day. But then clouds rolled in as she realized she could flip, but not crawl. Misery ensued until she started crawling – and cruising. At which point she was once again proud and happy. There was only minor misery before walking – I think cruising was “good enough” for her, but one day she let go of the furniture – and ran several steps before she fell. And again and again. She could not yet stand on 2 feet, and wouldn’t for a while, nor could she walk, but she could run. The developmental milestone misery periods ended at that point and she was a wild thing – but a reasonably happy wild thing, from then until age 4.
    But none of this seemed to influence sleep any.

  11. I don’t know about the early walker/sleep regression thing, because Pumpkin wasn’t an early walker. She started walking at about 11 months. My take on the first year was that there was always something screwing with the baby’s sleep. There is just so much going on during that year.However, I will say that ~9 months was my lowest point from a sleep standpoint, and when we started trying some gentle training techniques. They may or may not have helped- things got a little better, but that might have just been the passage of time. “A little better” didn’t mean sleeping through the night, though- I eventually had to accept she just wasn’t going to do that at that age. Now Pumpkin is a little over 2, and she sleeps pretty well- even all the way through the night in her own bed some nights.
    It is a tough time. Hang in there. As Colsdoll says- you don’t have to keep using a technique if it isn’t working for you (even if not working means that it is driving you insane). Also, remember to discuss the plan with your partner during the day, not at 2 a.m. when things are going all cockeyed.
    Finally, there is nothing wrong with you or your baby if the sleep training techniques don’t work. Some babies just don’t sleep through the night as early other babies do, no matter what you do as a parent. They all figure it out eventually. If you happen to have a baby who just isn’t going to sleep as well as you’d like, don’t waste your energy blaming yourself for that. Spend that energy figuring out how to get yourself enough sleep to survive. I wish I had figured that out earlier. I wasted a lot of time and energy feeling like a terrible mother because I couldn’t get my baby to sleep.

  12. I don’t know about the early walker/sleep regression thing, because Pumpkin wasn’t an early walker. She started walking at about 11 months. My take on the first year was that there was always something screwing with the baby’s sleep. There is just so much going on during that year.However, I will say that ~9 months was my lowest point from a sleep standpoint, and when we started trying some gentle training techniques. They may or may not have helped- things got a little better, but that might have just been the passage of time. “A little better” didn’t mean sleeping through the night, though- I eventually had to accept she just wasn’t going to do that at that age. Now Pumpkin is a little over 2, and she sleeps pretty well- even all the way through the night in her own bed some nights.
    It is a tough time. Hang in there. As Colsdoll says- you don’t have to keep using a technique if it isn’t working for you (even if not working means that it is driving you insane). Also, remember to discuss the plan with your partner during the day, not at 2 a.m. when things are going all cockeyed.
    Finally, there is nothing wrong with you or your baby if the sleep training techniques don’t work. Some babies just don’t sleep through the night as early other babies do, no matter what you do as a parent. They all figure it out eventually. If you happen to have a baby who just isn’t going to sleep as well as you’d like, don’t waste your energy blaming yourself for that. Spend that energy figuring out how to get yourself enough sleep to survive. I wish I had figured that out earlier. I wasted a lot of time and energy feeling like a terrible mother because I couldn’t get my baby to sleep.

  13. @sarcasticarrie – Soon #2 will be motivated by wanting his hands free and strong enough to break the swaddle. I wouldn’t change it until then. Falls under don’t wake a sleeping baby in my book.We swaddled until we couldn’t swaddle anymore. He just got too big and too strong eventually and we moved to hands free swaddling but that didn’t really have the same effect.

  14. @sarcasticarrie – Soon #2 will be motivated by wanting his hands free and strong enough to break the swaddle. I wouldn’t change it until then. Falls under don’t wake a sleeping baby in my book.We swaddled until we couldn’t swaddle anymore. He just got too big and too strong eventually and we moved to hands free swaddling but that didn’t really have the same effect.

  15. No early mover here, but do want to point out that some babies (mine for example) stop sleeping at 45 minutes (or less) because they only need 45 minutes. None of the books will mention this option, and it’s not necessarily true of your kid. Just keep it in the back of your mind in case–because spending months trying to get a happy, alert, active baby to nap longer than they need to is a) futile and b) time much better spent on something more fun. (Helping the baby get sleep they do need is a whole different matter of course.)

  16. No early mover here, but do want to point out that some babies (mine for example) stop sleeping at 45 minutes (or less) because they only need 45 minutes. None of the books will mention this option, and it’s not necessarily true of your kid. Just keep it in the back of your mind in case–because spending months trying to get a happy, alert, active baby to nap longer than they need to is a) futile and b) time much better spent on something more fun. (Helping the baby get sleep they do need is a whole different matter of course.)

  17. I don’t know about milestones and sleeping, but I will add a data point that says that my rather alert (feisty! independent! challenging!) daughter was a bit early with movement milestones, and was also a terrible sleeper. I don’t think she was an early mover because she’s particularly coordinated, I think it was more part of her overall personality of wanting to DO MORE and BY HERSELF from a very young age. I think the sleep stuff was part of that too- she’s just not very mellow. GL, and remember the mantra… this too shall pass…

  18. I don’t know about milestones and sleeping, but I will add a data point that says that my rather alert (feisty! independent! challenging!) daughter was a bit early with movement milestones, and was also a terrible sleeper. I don’t think she was an early mover because she’s particularly coordinated, I think it was more part of her overall personality of wanting to DO MORE and BY HERSELF from a very young age. I think the sleep stuff was part of that too- she’s just not very mellow. GL, and remember the mantra… this too shall pass…

  19. My son was an early walker (first steps at 9 1/2 months, full on walking at 10 months). He also had some serious sleep problems in his eighth month (he was crawling rapidly then and pulling himself up, like the OP’s little one). I don’t think there was a connection, since DS had always been a bad sleeper (didn’t nap well, had been basically in his 3.5 mo sleep regression the whole time). I do attribute his bad sleeping throughout his life to his abnormally active and alert nature – it was like he couldn’t bear to close his eyes, even as a newborn. On the other hand, he never really liked sleeping with us. once he discovered he could sleep on his tummy (at eight plus months) he was actually happier on his own at the crib. At this age, we started gentle “training” and it went really well – he suddenly started sleeping all night in his crib, with very little crying (which didn’t last long, either). THEN he started napping and became a much happier baby.@ Charisse – I agree. My DS often only gets 45 minutes per nap, and that’s all he needs, as long as he gets 2 naps a day.

  20. My son was an early walker (first steps at 9 1/2 months, full on walking at 10 months). He also had some serious sleep problems in his eighth month (he was crawling rapidly then and pulling himself up, like the OP’s little one). I don’t think there was a connection, since DS had always been a bad sleeper (didn’t nap well, had been basically in his 3.5 mo sleep regression the whole time). I do attribute his bad sleeping throughout his life to his abnormally active and alert nature – it was like he couldn’t bear to close his eyes, even as a newborn. On the other hand, he never really liked sleeping with us. once he discovered he could sleep on his tummy (at eight plus months) he was actually happier on his own at the crib. At this age, we started gentle “training” and it went really well – he suddenly started sleeping all night in his crib, with very little crying (which didn’t last long, either). THEN he started napping and became a much happier baby.@ Charisse – I agree. My DS often only gets 45 minutes per nap, and that’s all he needs, as long as he gets 2 naps a day.

  21. My early mover (I like that term, MamaBirdNYC!) learned the army crawl through walking between 4 and 10 months. Her sleep regression lasted from 3.5 months to 9 months, most of it was miserable. I have no idea if the correlation means anything to anyone else, but that’s my data point.@sarcasticarrie – If I could keep swaddling my 2 year old, I totally would. We actually stopped swaddling sometime around 5 or 6 months because she kept breaking out of it in the night and we were getting very little sleep during that time period (see above) anyway, so we just stopped. I still miss how better she did swaddled, but she is a super fidgety girl and just would. not. stay. swaddled. I suggest swaddle until the kiddo breaks out more than it’s worth it to wake and re-swaddle.

  22. My early mover (I like that term, MamaBirdNYC!) learned the army crawl through walking between 4 and 10 months. Her sleep regression lasted from 3.5 months to 9 months, most of it was miserable. I have no idea if the correlation means anything to anyone else, but that’s my data point.@sarcasticarrie – If I could keep swaddling my 2 year old, I totally would. We actually stopped swaddling sometime around 5 or 6 months because she kept breaking out of it in the night and we were getting very little sleep during that time period (see above) anyway, so we just stopped. I still miss how better she did swaddled, but she is a super fidgety girl and just would. not. stay. swaddled. I suggest swaddle until the kiddo breaks out more than it’s worth it to wake and re-swaddle.

  23. Thank you for this post. My almost 9-mo old is in the middle of a giant sleep regression (similar to the 4-mo regression that actually started at 3 mo and ended at 6). For what it’s worth, she can only move herself backwards across the floor, so I don’t think it’s movement related–I think it’s just she’s more aware of everything so even lullabyes are super super interesting and worth staying awake for. It’s also really fun to say papapapapapa over and over and over again. So who can blame her for wanting to stay up? :-)We actually didn’t set out to do sleep training, but accidentally did two nights ago, when we were so exhausted that we fell asleep with her babbling to herself wide awake in her crib. I woke up two hours later (wracked with guilt, of course) and she was asleep.
    She doesn’t seem too traumatized from it (and i assume/hope if she were screaming and crying I would have woken up). BUT she is also not sleeping any better just because she managed to put herself to sleep. Maybe this is just what Moxie predicted–that sleep training might not work at this stage in her development. Though we’re also considering doing some kind of sleep training more consistently, because it’s so hard to accept that it will just pass when it feels like it can’t pass soon enough.
    Also, she is huge and 9 months and we are still swaddling. I’ve been trying to gently ease her out of it, but it is really hard to put her down in the crib without the swaddle. If it helps, why not? Though it does feel kind of weird to be restraining the arms of such a big active kid all the time . . .
    Anyway, to the OP, my sister in 9-mo exhaustion, good luck with whatever you decide to try.

  24. Thank you for this post. My almost 9-mo old is in the middle of a giant sleep regression (similar to the 4-mo regression that actually started at 3 mo and ended at 6). For what it’s worth, she can only move herself backwards across the floor, so I don’t think it’s movement related–I think it’s just she’s more aware of everything so even lullabyes are super super interesting and worth staying awake for. It’s also really fun to say papapapapapa over and over and over again. So who can blame her for wanting to stay up? :-)We actually didn’t set out to do sleep training, but accidentally did two nights ago, when we were so exhausted that we fell asleep with her babbling to herself wide awake in her crib. I woke up two hours later (wracked with guilt, of course) and she was asleep.
    She doesn’t seem too traumatized from it (and i assume/hope if she were screaming and crying I would have woken up). BUT she is also not sleeping any better just because she managed to put herself to sleep. Maybe this is just what Moxie predicted–that sleep training might not work at this stage in her development. Though we’re also considering doing some kind of sleep training more consistently, because it’s so hard to accept that it will just pass when it feels like it can’t pass soon enough.
    Also, she is huge and 9 months and we are still swaddling. I’ve been trying to gently ease her out of it, but it is really hard to put her down in the crib without the swaddle. If it helps, why not? Though it does feel kind of weird to be restraining the arms of such a big active kid all the time . . .
    Anyway, to the OP, my sister in 9-mo exhaustion, good luck with whatever you decide to try.

  25. My daughter crawled at 7 months, walked at 10 months. Sleep regression lasted from 7 months to 11 months, which was right about the time she was solidly walking. Connection? I don’t know. I only know it was hell. :-)Re: 45 minute naps, she never took a nap longer than 45 minutes until she went down to 1 nap a day. She was taking 3 30-minute naps for a long time, then 2 45-minute naps, and now at age 2 she will occasionally deign to take a 1-2 hour nap in her stroller.

  26. My daughter crawled at 7 months, walked at 10 months. Sleep regression lasted from 7 months to 11 months, which was right about the time she was solidly walking. Connection? I don’t know. I only know it was hell. :-)Re: 45 minute naps, she never took a nap longer than 45 minutes until she went down to 1 nap a day. She was taking 3 30-minute naps for a long time, then 2 45-minute naps, and now at age 2 she will occasionally deign to take a 1-2 hour nap in her stroller.

  27. I feel as though I should give a shout out to my name-brand swaddling blanket of choice (your mileage may vary, of course), but I know every kid is different, so even though I think this really super-duper not expensive blanket is the bomb, it might be twelve bucks wasted for you. And yesterday, in a pinch, I used a twin sheet (and I contemplated using duct tape to keep it together, but resisted).

  28. I feel as though I should give a shout out to my name-brand swaddling blanket of choice (your mileage may vary, of course), but I know every kid is different, so even though I think this really super-duper not expensive blanket is the bomb, it might be twelve bucks wasted for you. And yesterday, in a pinch, I used a twin sheet (and I contemplated using duct tape to keep it together, but resisted).

  29. @OP- I can’t be of help on the early walker connection as my two didn’t crawl until 10 and 11 months or walk until 13 and 14 months- but I did (in abject desperation) sleep train my son at just before 8 months (fussy, uber challenging, would NOT nap longer than 40 minutes). I know all(most?)sleep training stories don’t turn out this way but my son cried for 22 heart wrenching minutes the first night and that was it. Every nap and night we went through a short bedtime routine, laid him in and he went from sleeping maybe 9 hours a night to 11-12 hours and got 3 hours between his two naps. It was like friggin Christmas every day for me. With my son’s demeanor, I didn’t think it would EVER work, so there is hope for more sleep in his (and your) future. Hopefully you will find something that will work for you and him.@sarcasticarrie. When it came to swaddling we were definitely in the If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It category. We swaddled our son until he was well over a year (not his arms) and out of habit we still lay the Aden+Anais blanket down and “swaddle” his middle and he’s nearly 18 months. I know. Lame. But he’s still my baby!

  30. @OP- I can’t be of help on the early walker connection as my two didn’t crawl until 10 and 11 months or walk until 13 and 14 months- but I did (in abject desperation) sleep train my son at just before 8 months (fussy, uber challenging, would NOT nap longer than 40 minutes). I know all(most?)sleep training stories don’t turn out this way but my son cried for 22 heart wrenching minutes the first night and that was it. Every nap and night we went through a short bedtime routine, laid him in and he went from sleeping maybe 9 hours a night to 11-12 hours and got 3 hours between his two naps. It was like friggin Christmas every day for me. With my son’s demeanor, I didn’t think it would EVER work, so there is hope for more sleep in his (and your) future. Hopefully you will find something that will work for you and him.@sarcasticarrie. When it came to swaddling we were definitely in the If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It category. We swaddled our son until he was well over a year (not his arms) and out of habit we still lay the Aden+Anais blanket down and “swaddle” his middle and he’s nearly 18 months. I know. Lame. But he’s still my baby!

  31. Another parent of an “early mover” here – DS crawled at 7 mos, pulled himself up a week later, was climbing into the open dishwasher by 7.5 months, walking by 9 mos., running by 9.5 mos, and by 10 mos was 100% full-on, confidently mobile and into absolutely everything. I was proud for like 5 minutes, then reality set in and it was a nightmare to make sure DS didn’t hurt himself terribly. I was so very jealous of my BF’s son who didn’t walk until 15 mos and also had slept like a log since 12 weeks. His first year of life, my DS never slept for ages. Then it was finally his time, I guess, and he finally became a solid sleeper at 15.5 mos… not that there was any rhyme or reason to it, and we definitely didn’t do any sleep training or change anything that we had been doing. It was just his time.The 45 minute nap pattern the OP describes sounds EXACTLY like my DS as an infant. This 45 min max “cat-napping” went on for the first 15 months of his life. Though my memory is iffy, I do know that from months 4-9 this was his exact daytime sleep pattern because the daycare he used to attend kept daily records, and they noted that his pattern was not at all like that of the other babies. This perplexed the heck out of his daycare teachers, but they said not to worry because they had rarely seen such a smiley happy kid who hardly ever slept! So clearly he was getting all the sleep he needed in these odd 45 min increments 2x/day.
    Thinking “crap, is there something wrong with my kid?” as first-time parents are wont to do, I studied up on most of the popular sleep training ideas, but never felt I had to pull the trigger with implementing any of them due to the fact that my son seem so well rested and ahead of every developmental milestone despite not sleeping as much as he was allegedly “supposed to” according to many of the self-styled sleep experts. Our co-sleeping made the not-sleeping-through-the-night stuff liveable for us, so things never got so out of control that I felt desperate to try a radically different tactic. I know this is definitely not the case for everyone though, and respect my peeps who needed to CIO.
    Suddenly, one magical day, he started sleeping through the night around 15.5 months, and became this awesome afternoon napper (sleeps 2+ hours every day!!). It was just his time. Trust me, it had nothing to do with anything we did – we co-slept since birth, and tried to let him nap wherever and whenever he seemed to want to – there was no real “process” behind this. Now here we are at 19 mos with a good little sleeper at long last. We seem to have missed the 18 mos sleep regression entirely, which is an unexpected treat given that all of the early regressions seemed to be happening all at once in a great big blur for his entire frickin’ first year.
    I also want to wholeheartedly agree with Cloud’s last paragraph (@1:02pm), and with what Charisse said (@1:23pm).

  32. Another parent of an “early mover” here – DS crawled at 7 mos, pulled himself up a week later, was climbing into the open dishwasher by 7.5 months, walking by 9 mos., running by 9.5 mos, and by 10 mos was 100% full-on, confidently mobile and into absolutely everything. I was proud for like 5 minutes, then reality set in and it was a nightmare to make sure DS didn’t hurt himself terribly. I was so very jealous of my BF’s son who didn’t walk until 15 mos and also had slept like a log since 12 weeks. His first year of life, my DS never slept for ages. Then it was finally his time, I guess, and he finally became a solid sleeper at 15.5 mos… not that there was any rhyme or reason to it, and we definitely didn’t do any sleep training or change anything that we had been doing. It was just his time.The 45 minute nap pattern the OP describes sounds EXACTLY like my DS as an infant. This 45 min max “cat-napping” went on for the first 15 months of his life. Though my memory is iffy, I do know that from months 4-9 this was his exact daytime sleep pattern because the daycare he used to attend kept daily records, and they noted that his pattern was not at all like that of the other babies. This perplexed the heck out of his daycare teachers, but they said not to worry because they had rarely seen such a smiley happy kid who hardly ever slept! So clearly he was getting all the sleep he needed in these odd 45 min increments 2x/day.
    Thinking “crap, is there something wrong with my kid?” as first-time parents are wont to do, I studied up on most of the popular sleep training ideas, but never felt I had to pull the trigger with implementing any of them due to the fact that my son seem so well rested and ahead of every developmental milestone despite not sleeping as much as he was allegedly “supposed to” according to many of the self-styled sleep experts. Our co-sleeping made the not-sleeping-through-the-night stuff liveable for us, so things never got so out of control that I felt desperate to try a radically different tactic. I know this is definitely not the case for everyone though, and respect my peeps who needed to CIO.
    Suddenly, one magical day, he started sleeping through the night around 15.5 months, and became this awesome afternoon napper (sleeps 2+ hours every day!!). It was just his time. Trust me, it had nothing to do with anything we did – we co-slept since birth, and tried to let him nap wherever and whenever he seemed to want to – there was no real “process” behind this. Now here we are at 19 mos with a good little sleeper at long last. We seem to have missed the 18 mos sleep regression entirely, which is an unexpected treat given that all of the early regressions seemed to be happening all at once in a great big blur for his entire frickin’ first year.
    I also want to wholeheartedly agree with Cloud’s last paragraph (@1:02pm), and with what Charisse said (@1:23pm).

  33. Twins. It’s like having a tiny baby laboratory in your house. a tiny baby laboratory that won’t sleep. Whatever.One baby was an early walker, one was kind of average-ish. Sleep regressions sometimes hit one harder than the other, but happened at the same time.
    That being said, they EXPRESSED themselves differently. Early walker would stand up in her crib and then scream because she couldn’t figure out WTF had just happened and what she was doing all the way up there. Average walker would just not sleep. Like, ever.

  34. Twins. It’s like having a tiny baby laboratory in your house. a tiny baby laboratory that won’t sleep. Whatever.One baby was an early walker, one was kind of average-ish. Sleep regressions sometimes hit one harder than the other, but happened at the same time.
    That being said, they EXPRESSED themselves differently. Early walker would stand up in her crib and then scream because she couldn’t figure out WTF had just happened and what she was doing all the way up there. Average walker would just not sleep. Like, ever.

  35. @sarcasticarrie: we swaddled as long as we could – but it only lasted ~4 months for us. DS was freakishly strong and could break himself out of anything, Houdini-like. It also seemed dangerous at that point, because he could pull one arm out and the flap of cloth would go over his face. . . We used “the miracle blanket” & loved it – I can’t swaddle with a normal blanket, for some reason. It was also thin enough for summer, which we liked.. . We were terrified of weaning him off it, but FWIW it was super easy.

  36. @sarcasticarrie: we swaddled as long as we could – but it only lasted ~4 months for us. DS was freakishly strong and could break himself out of anything, Houdini-like. It also seemed dangerous at that point, because he could pull one arm out and the flap of cloth would go over his face. . . We used “the miracle blanket” & loved it – I can’t swaddle with a normal blanket, for some reason. It was also thin enough for summer, which we liked.. . We were terrified of weaning him off it, but FWIW it was super easy.

  37. Thanks all!! I was truly excited to see my question today, there was a moment there when I thought OMG another mom had her baby crawl on Mother’s day too!!!On the good days I feel like I can do this forever and the bad ones… well my parenting skills are seriously lacking. Sleep is a big one in our house and he’s been in a funky place since the 4 month S.R. I feel like I could handle it if he slept well either at night or for naps but it kills me that most days I don’t get either. I have found that if he rolls over onto his belly and doesn’t wake himself up that he’ll sleep for 90 min. and he is so much better for it, so I think the 45 min. naps are just too short for him.
    I intended to sleep train this past weekend and I think stressed myself into a cold so we didn’t start any changes. He is also showing signs of separation anxiety so we may just wait and see what the next month brings. I’ve been doing this since he was 18 weeks what’s another month, right?
    I do keep thinking about a Moxie archive poster on S.R. that we won’t know unless we try and it might not be all that BAD. We’re planning on the plan with the first 3 nights next to crib, then move slowly out of the room. I feel like its a gentle approach and hopefully not to traumatizing for anyone!
    Thanks for sharing your stories…

  38. Thanks all!! I was truly excited to see my question today, there was a moment there when I thought OMG another mom had her baby crawl on Mother’s day too!!!On the good days I feel like I can do this forever and the bad ones… well my parenting skills are seriously lacking. Sleep is a big one in our house and he’s been in a funky place since the 4 month S.R. I feel like I could handle it if he slept well either at night or for naps but it kills me that most days I don’t get either. I have found that if he rolls over onto his belly and doesn’t wake himself up that he’ll sleep for 90 min. and he is so much better for it, so I think the 45 min. naps are just too short for him.
    I intended to sleep train this past weekend and I think stressed myself into a cold so we didn’t start any changes. He is also showing signs of separation anxiety so we may just wait and see what the next month brings. I’ve been doing this since he was 18 weeks what’s another month, right?
    I do keep thinking about a Moxie archive poster on S.R. that we won’t know unless we try and it might not be all that BAD. We’re planning on the plan with the first 3 nights next to crib, then move slowly out of the room. I feel like its a gentle approach and hopefully not to traumatizing for anyone!
    Thanks for sharing your stories…

  39. I’ve already blocked out all of little S’s sleep issues, and he’s only 18 months. I wouldn’t necessarily call him a particularly early walker at 11 months, but I will offer up this–he was a CRANKY CRANKY creature before he could crawl–after he could crawl and get around on his own, he was much happier. And after he started walking (and running) I feel like he’s getting a lot more sleep–really good naps and 10-11 hours at night. So if you’re going through a sleep disturbance as your little one is learning to walk, hold out hope that all that activity will make for a sleepy baby!

  40. I’ve already blocked out all of little S’s sleep issues, and he’s only 18 months. I wouldn’t necessarily call him a particularly early walker at 11 months, but I will offer up this–he was a CRANKY CRANKY creature before he could crawl–after he could crawl and get around on his own, he was much happier. And after he started walking (and running) I feel like he’s getting a lot more sleep–really good naps and 10-11 hours at night. So if you’re going through a sleep disturbance as your little one is learning to walk, hold out hope that all that activity will make for a sleepy baby!

  41. Like Moxie says I think the regressions are cognitive rather than physical development. I had an early-ish walker (6 months crawling, 10 months walking, I read about plenty earlier and plenty later) and it made the 6 to 9 month period hard – but harder? Who knows, nothing exists for a comparison, so it just is what it is. Exhausting. Sleepless.

  42. Like Moxie says I think the regressions are cognitive rather than physical development. I had an early-ish walker (6 months crawling, 10 months walking, I read about plenty earlier and plenty later) and it made the 6 to 9 month period hard – but harder? Who knows, nothing exists for a comparison, so it just is what it is. Exhausting. Sleepless.

  43. It is worth trying, but if it were me, I would try to be on guard against hoping too hard that it will work. I think it is hard for kids to make a leap in independent sleep just as they are making a skill leap. It totally might work, but it might not. I would always rather be pleasantly surprised by an unexpected success, than bitterly disappointed that something didn’t work out as I had hoped. And I think there are definitely odds stacked against learning these two skills simultaneously.Slightly OT- I am a little surprised by the swaddling info I read here. When my kids were little ones, we were told that swaddling was appropriate until 6 weeks or so. Has the advice changed about this? Inquiring minds want to know!

  44. It is worth trying, but if it were me, I would try to be on guard against hoping too hard that it will work. I think it is hard for kids to make a leap in independent sleep just as they are making a skill leap. It totally might work, but it might not. I would always rather be pleasantly surprised by an unexpected success, than bitterly disappointed that something didn’t work out as I had hoped. And I think there are definitely odds stacked against learning these two skills simultaneously.Slightly OT- I am a little surprised by the swaddling info I read here. When my kids were little ones, we were told that swaddling was appropriate until 6 weeks or so. Has the advice changed about this? Inquiring minds want to know!

  45. I think it has, mamie. General wisdom around these parts is that swaddling is safe until they roll (and could get tangled) and certainly I know a lot of people who swaddle beyond that point. It’s a womb simulator at first, of course, which is why it’s so strongly recommended for the fourth tri, but if it becomes a sleep habit that works for all, I guess people just go with it.My little drop isn’t crawling yet, so no data point to add for the OP. It definitely seems like we have a bad week or two just before she learns something new, though. This gets me through the nights, sometimes; okay, I’m awake at 4am but I wonder what she’ll do tomorrow?

  46. I think it has, mamie. General wisdom around these parts is that swaddling is safe until they roll (and could get tangled) and certainly I know a lot of people who swaddle beyond that point. It’s a womb simulator at first, of course, which is why it’s so strongly recommended for the fourth tri, but if it becomes a sleep habit that works for all, I guess people just go with it.My little drop isn’t crawling yet, so no data point to add for the OP. It definitely seems like we have a bad week or two just before she learns something new, though. This gets me through the nights, sometimes; okay, I’m awake at 4am but I wonder what she’ll do tomorrow?

  47. @sarcasticarrie…..with #1 I stopped swaddling him when he started rolling over consistently – it just seemed like a good idea for him to be able to use his arms and hands at that point if he rolled over at night. It was hard, because like you, he didn’t know how to sleep without a swaddle. At that time I had to teach him how to sleep on his stomach (which was his default setting apparently – who knew?) but the minute he rolled onto his tummy he’d brace his arms and lift his head and upper body up because that was all he knew how to do in that position. Being on his tummy signaled “tummy time” which was play time, and I had a very tired, very frustrated little boy. He did not know how to put his head down to sleep. So it took about a week of being next to him during naps and kind of pushing his head down until he finally relaxed and fell asleep.I’m hoping I won’t have to do that with #2 – but mostly because I’ve tried to give him some supervised tummy sleeping time early on. I know, shame shame on me. But hopefully will eliminate the whole “what? I thought it was time to sleep but apparently I have to play some more” frustration #1 went through.
    Good luck.

  48. @sarcasticarrie…..with #1 I stopped swaddling him when he started rolling over consistently – it just seemed like a good idea for him to be able to use his arms and hands at that point if he rolled over at night. It was hard, because like you, he didn’t know how to sleep without a swaddle. At that time I had to teach him how to sleep on his stomach (which was his default setting apparently – who knew?) but the minute he rolled onto his tummy he’d brace his arms and lift his head and upper body up because that was all he knew how to do in that position. Being on his tummy signaled “tummy time” which was play time, and I had a very tired, very frustrated little boy. He did not know how to put his head down to sleep. So it took about a week of being next to him during naps and kind of pushing his head down until he finally relaxed and fell asleep.I’m hoping I won’t have to do that with #2 – but mostly because I’ve tried to give him some supervised tummy sleeping time early on. I know, shame shame on me. But hopefully will eliminate the whole “what? I thought it was time to sleep but apparently I have to play some more” frustration #1 went through.
    Good luck.

  49. On the swaddle issue — I loved, loved, loved the miracle blanket, and we used the top part until sometime around 10 months. (And she is/was a big girl – too long for the bottom right away.) Our daughter was breaking out so consistently at that point, and it seemed like it was more a crutch for us than an aide for her. (If not, we would have found a bigger swaddle.) The minute we stopped the swaddle, she flipped to her belly – just like her parents.

  50. On the swaddle issue — I loved, loved, loved the miracle blanket, and we used the top part until sometime around 10 months. (And she is/was a big girl – too long for the bottom right away.) Our daughter was breaking out so consistently at that point, and it seemed like it was more a crutch for us than an aide for her. (If not, we would have found a bigger swaddle.) The minute we stopped the swaddle, she flipped to her belly – just like her parents.

  51. One more swaddle tip – when ours gave clear signs of wanting to move beyond it at age 4m, we tried ‘cold turkey’ (no intermediate form of swaddle, just gown & sleep sack) one night, which was a disaster. He woke himself up every 30 minutes.So our transition away from the swaddle became a week of one arm loose (alternating arms each night), then a week of both arms loose, and by then, he figured out not to flail his arms about in their newfound freedom, which is what had been waking him up.
    From then on, gown or PJs and a sleep sack (and a lovie) – and he sleeps through the night (at 6m) more often than not, on his stomach.
    Aside from its sleep-inducing benefits, I really miss the swaddle. It felt so motherly and loving to wrap him up neatly and snugly each night. And those Aden & Anais blankets are the BOMB.

  52. One more swaddle tip – when ours gave clear signs of wanting to move beyond it at age 4m, we tried ‘cold turkey’ (no intermediate form of swaddle, just gown & sleep sack) one night, which was a disaster. He woke himself up every 30 minutes.So our transition away from the swaddle became a week of one arm loose (alternating arms each night), then a week of both arms loose, and by then, he figured out not to flail his arms about in their newfound freedom, which is what had been waking him up.
    From then on, gown or PJs and a sleep sack (and a lovie) – and he sleeps through the night (at 6m) more often than not, on his stomach.
    Aside from its sleep-inducing benefits, I really miss the swaddle. It felt so motherly and loving to wrap him up neatly and snugly each night. And those Aden & Anais blankets are the BOMB.

  53. we’ve been experiencing one long “sleep disruption” from about 3.5 months onward, and our daughter is now 9 months and change. she started sitting up around 4-5 months, crawling at 7 months on the dot. i think she pulled up before she could crawl. she’s now crusing along all the furniture, crawling really strong, walking on the back of one of those little pushcarts with some help, or once she pulls herself up to standing on the back of it.she’s got 5 teeth already, and is working on a sixth. i’m fairly positive that’s part of her sleep issues as well.
    she wakes up every hour-to-three hours throughout the night, every single night. wakes up crying, often stands up in her crib when she does this. we do a mix of her in her crib (which is right next to our bed) and in our bed with us…this gets us the most sleep. we also exclusively breastfeed…though she’s starting now, at around 8 months, to finally get into solid food.
    her naps are nearly non-existent, usually far less than 45 minutes these days. more like 20. or she sleeps for 10 and then has to be resettled once or twice. if she doesn’t get naps, she’s ornery. but she doesn’t seem to know how to stay asleep. and we’ve tried everything we can think of. might just be her way. not sure if it’s genetic; was told i wasn’t much of a napper as a babe either. 😛
    i have no idea when she’ll walk, but i am praying that we get some relief on the sleep front once she does. or get some relief someday…i don’t mind waking up a couple times a night to feed her, etc. but 5+ times is really tough on everyone (including and especially her).

  54. we’ve been experiencing one long “sleep disruption” from about 3.5 months onward, and our daughter is now 9 months and change. she started sitting up around 4-5 months, crawling at 7 months on the dot. i think she pulled up before she could crawl. she’s now crusing along all the furniture, crawling really strong, walking on the back of one of those little pushcarts with some help, or once she pulls herself up to standing on the back of it.she’s got 5 teeth already, and is working on a sixth. i’m fairly positive that’s part of her sleep issues as well.
    she wakes up every hour-to-three hours throughout the night, every single night. wakes up crying, often stands up in her crib when she does this. we do a mix of her in her crib (which is right next to our bed) and in our bed with us…this gets us the most sleep. we also exclusively breastfeed…though she’s starting now, at around 8 months, to finally get into solid food.
    her naps are nearly non-existent, usually far less than 45 minutes these days. more like 20. or she sleeps for 10 and then has to be resettled once or twice. if she doesn’t get naps, she’s ornery. but she doesn’t seem to know how to stay asleep. and we’ve tried everything we can think of. might just be her way. not sure if it’s genetic; was told i wasn’t much of a napper as a babe either. 😛
    i have no idea when she’ll walk, but i am praying that we get some relief on the sleep front once she does. or get some relief someday…i don’t mind waking up a couple times a night to feed her, etc. but 5+ times is really tough on everyone (including and especially her).

  55. Our E is going to be ONE in a couple weeks. He was 7 weeks early, so has been on the “slow-and-steady” path when it comes to about every milestone. He just recently started cruising furniture, and will probably skip the crawling all together (he doesn’t much like tummy time and can slowly get around on his butt).He naps for a 3 hour chunk a daycare, BUT at home, he naps “lightly” and if I don’t hold him back to sleep he’ll only do a 45 minute stretch.
    He STTN for a few months around 3 months, and has gotten up about 2x a night to nurse since then. We were in a great routine and could lay him down drowsy and pat his butt until he slept, but something must be going on (the cruising, or teething), because this last week he won’t even let you think about laying him down if he’s somewhat awake. UGH. I realized last night that I really need those couple hours between 7-9PM when he’s asleep. Once he wakes up, we co-sleep the rest of the night, and usually he’ll nurse a couple times and I can handle that.
    I was contemplating “training” with some form CIO since some friends have had “success” with it and since my mother dropped the “SPOILED” bomb…but I don’t think I can do it. Co-sleeping is working, why fix it.
    And just to put it out there, did anyone else not “sleep-train”? How long do folks co-sleep for, and how did they successfully move babe out?

  56. Our E is going to be ONE in a couple weeks. He was 7 weeks early, so has been on the “slow-and-steady” path when it comes to about every milestone. He just recently started cruising furniture, and will probably skip the crawling all together (he doesn’t much like tummy time and can slowly get around on his butt).He naps for a 3 hour chunk a daycare, BUT at home, he naps “lightly” and if I don’t hold him back to sleep he’ll only do a 45 minute stretch.
    He STTN for a few months around 3 months, and has gotten up about 2x a night to nurse since then. We were in a great routine and could lay him down drowsy and pat his butt until he slept, but something must be going on (the cruising, or teething), because this last week he won’t even let you think about laying him down if he’s somewhat awake. UGH. I realized last night that I really need those couple hours between 7-9PM when he’s asleep. Once he wakes up, we co-sleep the rest of the night, and usually he’ll nurse a couple times and I can handle that.
    I was contemplating “training” with some form CIO since some friends have had “success” with it and since my mother dropped the “SPOILED” bomb…but I don’t think I can do it. Co-sleeping is working, why fix it.
    And just to put it out there, did anyone else not “sleep-train”? How long do folks co-sleep for, and how did they successfully move babe out?

  57. For some data points, our DS loved to do downward dog (feet & hands with his butt in the air) for several months from about 8.5 – 10.5 months. So that stage could last a while. Since about 8 mos he’s pulled himself around the floor. Not exactly commando as he doesn’t alternate his arms. Kind of like doing the breast stroke on land. Since 8 mos he’s been able to get up on all fours, but never put it together with the idea of crawling. Until recently (11 mos) that is. He’s taken a few cross crawl steps but mostly he still pulls himself around the floor.Then, about a week or two ago at 11 mos, he figured out how to go into a sitting position from crawling on his belly. And how to pull himself up onto his knees in his crib. And then sit back down (thankfully). We awoke to him babbling cheerfully and letting out little shrieks of joy at his new found skills the other morning. Now he’s obsessed with pulling up and has pulled up onto his feet a few times. Hello baby proofing. We have to move it up a level now (literally). It seems like over the past two weeks that he’s made huge physical skill leaps and could be walking in no time (probably right on the average of 12 or 13 mos). I would agree that the sleep regression stuff is more tied to cognitive rather than physical stuff (though it can disrupt sleep – it never seems to be as bad).
    I’ve actually given up on sleep training for the moment. Mostly because I’m not sure if he’s through the 9 month regression yet. Though possibly we have crossed that threshold. And also, because we’re integrating into daycare right now and I think it’s too much to put on the little guy at once. Once daycare integration is done, we’ll get back to trying to sleep through the night. I’m tired, but it’s been so long since I’ve gotten 4+ hours of sleep in a row that I’ve (mostly) gotten over the ‘oh, I’ll be able to sleep more soon’. It’ll happen when it happens. And if that’s too late for my sanity, we’ll take another approach.

  58. For some data points, our DS loved to do downward dog (feet & hands with his butt in the air) for several months from about 8.5 – 10.5 months. So that stage could last a while. Since about 8 mos he’s pulled himself around the floor. Not exactly commando as he doesn’t alternate his arms. Kind of like doing the breast stroke on land. Since 8 mos he’s been able to get up on all fours, but never put it together with the idea of crawling. Until recently (11 mos) that is. He’s taken a few cross crawl steps but mostly he still pulls himself around the floor.Then, about a week or two ago at 11 mos, he figured out how to go into a sitting position from crawling on his belly. And how to pull himself up onto his knees in his crib. And then sit back down (thankfully). We awoke to him babbling cheerfully and letting out little shrieks of joy at his new found skills the other morning. Now he’s obsessed with pulling up and has pulled up onto his feet a few times. Hello baby proofing. We have to move it up a level now (literally). It seems like over the past two weeks that he’s made huge physical skill leaps and could be walking in no time (probably right on the average of 12 or 13 mos). I would agree that the sleep regression stuff is more tied to cognitive rather than physical stuff (though it can disrupt sleep – it never seems to be as bad).
    I’ve actually given up on sleep training for the moment. Mostly because I’m not sure if he’s through the 9 month regression yet. Though possibly we have crossed that threshold. And also, because we’re integrating into daycare right now and I think it’s too much to put on the little guy at once. Once daycare integration is done, we’ll get back to trying to sleep through the night. I’m tired, but it’s been so long since I’ve gotten 4+ hours of sleep in a row that I’ve (mostly) gotten over the ‘oh, I’ll be able to sleep more soon’. It’ll happen when it happens. And if that’s too late for my sanity, we’ll take another approach.

  59. @Judy B- We didn’t cosleep early on, so I can’t help you there. Our sleep training was so gentle that most people probably wouldn’t call it training. I never tried any of the CIO or CIO-like methods- I didn’t think they’d work for my intense little girl and I didn’t think they’d work for her intense Mommy, either.We did do some nightweaning at about 10-11 months, and got down to one or two night wakings. That was hard, but worth it. Actually, I should say that the bit she was ready to do was really easy. The extra bit we tried to do was hard, and we eventually abandoned it.
    We finally dropped the night nursing altogether at about 21 months, with almost zero fuss. By this time we had started bringing her into bed with us when she woke up in the middle of the night, and that was working really well.
    Now, at 26 months, she sleeps through the night 1 or 2 times a week, wakes up and comes into bed with us sometimes, and wakes up and wants one of us to snuggle her in her bed sometimes.
    But she has always been difficult to get to sleep- just like her mother, really. It takes me ages to unwind and fall asleep if I’m not dead exhausted. So you may have a much earlier end to the night wakings.
    If you go to my blog and click on the “sleep” label, you can read all the ups and downs.
    I’ve never thought I’m spoiling my daughter by doing what seems to work to get everyone in the house the most sleep. In many countries, children cosleep for years, and I don’t think those kids are spoiled. I know our society places a lot of emphasis on “independence”, but my 2 year old is plenty independent now, despite the lack of sleep training. In fact, she wants to do just about everything “by mySELF!”

  60. @Judy B- We didn’t cosleep early on, so I can’t help you there. Our sleep training was so gentle that most people probably wouldn’t call it training. I never tried any of the CIO or CIO-like methods- I didn’t think they’d work for my intense little girl and I didn’t think they’d work for her intense Mommy, either.We did do some nightweaning at about 10-11 months, and got down to one or two night wakings. That was hard, but worth it. Actually, I should say that the bit she was ready to do was really easy. The extra bit we tried to do was hard, and we eventually abandoned it.
    We finally dropped the night nursing altogether at about 21 months, with almost zero fuss. By this time we had started bringing her into bed with us when she woke up in the middle of the night, and that was working really well.
    Now, at 26 months, she sleeps through the night 1 or 2 times a week, wakes up and comes into bed with us sometimes, and wakes up and wants one of us to snuggle her in her bed sometimes.
    But she has always been difficult to get to sleep- just like her mother, really. It takes me ages to unwind and fall asleep if I’m not dead exhausted. So you may have a much earlier end to the night wakings.
    If you go to my blog and click on the “sleep” label, you can read all the ups and downs.
    I’ve never thought I’m spoiling my daughter by doing what seems to work to get everyone in the house the most sleep. In many countries, children cosleep for years, and I don’t think those kids are spoiled. I know our society places a lot of emphasis on “independence”, but my 2 year old is plenty independent now, despite the lack of sleep training. In fact, she wants to do just about everything “by mySELF!”

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