Toddler Sleep Regression – What Is It And How To Deal With It

Toddler Sleep Regression – What Is It And How To Deal With It

21 Jul 2022 | 3 min Read

Sayani Basu

Author | 607 Articles

When your little one has been sleeping well, but suddenly begins to wake up frequently at night, or begins to fight naps or refuses to sleep, chances are that your child has hit a sleep regression. Sleep struggles are most common around 18 months to two years of age because of developmental changes.

The good side? As long as they were sleeping well before the regression, the sleep should usually go back to normal within a few weeks. Here’s everything you need to know about toddler sleep regression and how to deal with it.

Signs Of Toddler Sleep Regression

There are some signs that you can watch for if you suspect a toddler sleep regression. Some of these signs are:

  • Fighting the nap: If a string of “no’s” comes along the nap put-down, or your little one misses an afternoon snooze, it can be a sign of sleep regression.
  • Night waking: If your toddler suddenly wakes up overnight, there might be chances of the little one having a sleep regression.
  • Fussiness: Toddlers usually need between 11 and 14 hours of sleep a night. If your little one is super cranky and is sleep-deprived, it might also be a sign of sleep regression.

How to Deal With Toddler Sleep Regression?

The good news is that there are some tips to deal with your toddler’s sleep regression:

  1. Stay consistent with your routine: It is advisable to stay consistent with your bedtime routine and keep offering naps.

Maintaining your typical bedtime routine, such as winding down with a warm bath, cuddle time, and reading a book to the little one alerts your little one that it’s time to get ready for sleep.

how long does toddler sleep regression last
You can offer extra feeding as the little one might also feel hungry as he/ she is going through a growth spurt. | Image Source: pexels
  1. Offer extra feeding: Growth spurts can be a common cause of your toddler’s sleep regression that affects his/her sleep. The little one might also feel hungry as he/she is going through a growth spurt.

So, don’t worry about offering that extra nighttime or daytime feeding.

  1. Avoid creating new habits: If you notice that your little one has difficulty in sleeping, try to avoid creating new habits for now.

For instance, avoid rocking your baby to sleep regularly. You should also avoid reinstating old bad habits.

If you have weaned your toddler off the pacifier, it is not advisable to revert to offering the pacifier during a sleep regression.

  1. Black out the room: Try to limit light exposure and keep the nursery dark.

You can also opt for some quality drapes or sunshades to prevent sunlight from entering the room in the morning.

Try giving them something to hold on like a soft toy that can help them sleep peacefully. | Image Source: pexels
  1. Let them self-soothe, when possible: If your toddler starts crying, it is recommended to give them a few minutes to fuss before running over to respond.

Sometimes, the little ones might self-soothe themselves back to sleep. If they don’t, you can pat their head, and tummy and reassure them. It is not advisable to pick them up and rock them to sleep as they can become dependent on this habit.

Although sleep regression is common in toddlers, you can consult a doctor to rule out other problems. Parents should stay calm and be patient as the little ones can take time to adjust.



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