18 Month Old Toddler

How To Deal With 18 Month Sleep Regression In Babies

In this article, we will be giving you some advice on how to deal with 18 month sleep regression in babies. So, your cute and cuddly baby has transitioned into an active and adorable toddler. He started developing his own personality and keeps you on your toes each day. But there is one thing that keeps you up at night … literally. No matter what you do, your eighteen month old simply will not go to sleep.

Why does this happen? He has been sleeping soundly just a few weeks ago. So, what has changed? Keep reading to find out more about sleep regression in babies.

How To Deal With 18 Month Sleep Regression In Babies

What is 18 Month Sleep Regression in Babies?

Eighteen month sleep regression in babies is no joke and considered as one of the toughest challenges of parenthood. This is the time when your little one might go from sleeping soundly during both day and night to waking up frequently or simply struggling to go to sleep. Sometimes he will refuse to nap or sleep, and it can happen out of the blue and seemingly for no reason.

And when this happens, parents are taken back to those bedtime battles and sleepless nights when he was around four to eight months old. Sleep regression at 18 months is more challenging because toddlers can voice their opinions. Plus, with his heightened sense of independence in addition to more enhanced motor skills, it is going to take more out of you this time around. But, don’t worry, this will pass too. It is not unusual at all for toddlers to go through sleep regression at eighteen months. Just hang on to your sense of humor and pour yourself  a strong cup of joe.

How Long Does 18 Month Sleep Regression Last?

It can vary substantially contingent on the child, however it could typically last between two to six weeks. But keep in mind that some kids only have it for a short time, while others might not experience it at all. Similar to other sleep regressions, the 18 month sleep regression in babies can be rather personal in how long it lasts.

What Causes Sleep Regression at Eighteen Months?

Even though it is referred to as sleep regression, it is in fact a sign of your child’s development and growth. Sleep regressions are regularly linked to physical milestones and brain development, and the same is true about the 18 month sleep regression.  You might have noticed that your little one has gained several more teeth or is sprouting up like a sunflower. The growth hormones that are released in the body to promote your child’s growth can disrupt his sleep patterns. And we all know that teething can be rather uncomfortable.

During the social-emotional growing phase at eighteen months, your child might also display separation anxiety. This might cause some concern when they are left to sleep alone. Your child might also seem more willful because they have a more pronounced desire for independence and a more intense sense of self, which can result in them being more resentful of going to bed if they choose to rather do something else.

Toddler Sleeping Peacefully

What Can You as a Parent Do About it?

The first thing you can do is to remember that this is only a phase and it will not last forever. This is only a short-lived challenge.  Bad habits that form during this stage can last a lot longer than the sleep regression does. Therefore, it is essential to stick to his routines and not adopt new ones that you don’t want to continue.

Offer support to your child during the sleep regression, but without steering away from your normal routine and his sense of consistency. If you have previously followed a specific sleep training routine, then you need to revisit that same routine. If your toddler has been following a regular night time routine until now, it is essential to stick to it.

If you have not previously established a bedtime routine, there is no better time than the present. A bedtime routine provides children with a predictable pattern that helps them to get ready for sleep. It can be simple and easy to remember and follow. A basic routine of bathing, putting one PJ’s, reading a book, brushing teeth, and singing a song will work wonderfully.

It is imperative to stay consistent. By staying on the same course even through sleep regression, you are showing your child what behaviours are expected and it gives him a sense of arrangement. Sticking to routines can make it a lot easier for things to go back to normal once the sleep regression passes.

To offer support and give him a sense of independence, you can permit him to make some age-appropriate decisions during his sleep routine. Keep it simple by letting him choose the bedtime story or choosing between two sets of PJ’s.

If your toddler remains fussy and won’t budge, it is important to stay calm even in the face of tantrums. The only way for him to learn appropriate behavior is if you set an example.

How Much Sleep Does Your 18-Month Old Need?

At eighteen months, he needs about 11 to 14 hours of sleep per day. This could involve 1 ½ to 2 hours of naptime in the afternoon and 10 to 12 hours during the night. Even though it is challenging during sleep regression, try to aim for a healthy amount of sleep every day. Insufficient sleep can result in more tantrums and will only make falling asleep harder, which is no fun for both you and him.

18 Month Sleep Regression – Sleep Tips

  • Inhale deeply and make sure you are relaxed and calm. Your toddler will sense these feelings of calmness and will be more likely to drift off to sleep.
  • Restrict screen time at least an hour or two before bedtime.
  • Keep his bedtime routine basic. There is no need for anything elaborate or fancy. The aim is to create as few distractions from sleep as possible. Once you’ve established a night time routine, use it consistently.
  • Try to steer clear from big changes. Toddlers do not fare well with change. Avoid trying out a new bed or doing something like potty training. Keep things simple until his sleep patterns are back to normal.

We hope you have found this post about 18 month sleep regression in babies useful. Remember, this is only temporary, and you will get through it, just like you got through the four and eight month sleep regressions. Just stay consistent with bedtime and sleep routines, and before you know it things will return to normal.

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  1. Definitely an interesting read. My 2 year old did drop one day time sleep at this age but it was okay as he was on 3 sleeps daily. However nighttime is still tiresome as there are so many wake ups.

    • Oh I remember all the nighttime wake ups during the baby and toddler years. It makes me tired just thinking about it. I hope you get some decent sleep soon!

  2. Nishani Laljeeth

    Lovely giveaway! As always… Keep up the great reads … Following following following…

    • I’m glad you are enjoying the giveaways and posts 🙂

      • This is informative and also scary at the same time just knowing kids experience this and so young just wow. As always for the parents dealing with sleep regression they are given the tools to assist them along the journey. Thanks Lynne for this info.

  3. Very informative I have a ten month old and we have those days when he jus refuses to sleep..so definately Wil know what he will be doing at 18mnths?awesome read.awesome competition

  4. Very informative and i didnt know about this and my daughter is turning 18months

  5. Absolutely loved reading this, I can relate so much. Very informative ❤️

  6. Nokuthula Masuku

    This read was definitely informative, my daughter is 18 months and I’ve been cracking my brain trying to figure out why she hasn’t been sleeping as often during the day and staying up longer at night. I now understand and get it. These changes I’m seeing give me so much anxiety. Thank you for this interesting insightful read.

  7. Shupikai Matenhese

    An interesting read, great article thank u so m8ch

  8. Very interesting,I didn’t know about this and I must say I’m learning a lot about parenting and will definitely share with others.

    • That is definitely a good read Lynne
      It’s informative loving it
      Will keep it in mind as we are moving towards the sleep regression

      • Thank you for all the tips and advice. And thank you for always explaining information in detail. I was wo’deing amwhy my baby stopped sleeping during the day and why she gets up often at night but this helps a great deal.

  9. This is a great information, when they grow up a lot of things change.Will really think of think of this when my 9 months turn 18 months, thanks very much..

  10. Thank you for the above information. Now that i am taking care of my grand child it really helps me a lot. I a learn a lot from your information

  11. My sister’s baby is going through this and this article helps her a lot. Thank you for the great information

  12. Very informative, thank you for sharing, I’m dealing with alot of wake ups at night and it’s so tiring

  13. OMG this is sooo helpful! Thank you. Is there a way we can talk about sleep “training” for alder kids. It’s always such a fight before bed. I’m going to try these techniques on them anyway

    • It is a pleasure Robyn. For my older kids I just stick to a good bedtime routine – we do supper then bath, then stories and cuddles in bed, followed by lights out. My kids share a room so I let them talk a bit before telling them its time for eyes and mouths to be closed.

  14. Love this read!! We heading into 18 months in about two months times so this is going to be such a big help

  15. Super informative thanks. I feel like it goes through most of their childhood some days or weeks even he will go to sleep without a hassle and sleep through but then as if I have jinxed it somehow he will then not want to go to sleep or he will wake up at all times during the night.

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