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.
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.
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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