Toddler Sleep Regression- Important Tips To Manage!
Toddler sleep regression is widespread and standard among infants. Sleep is a vital part of a toddler’s health. You might not have expected you are newborn, to sleep peacefully at night without waking up again and again. There are high chances you have settled into a reliable bedtime and sleep routine because of your toddler.
Whether it is a story, bath, or a song that prompts your little one to calm down and fall asleep, you have probably mastered the night routine that works well for your child by the time they turn two years.
All the time and hard work you have put into this task seem to go in vain when you notice your toddler struggle with sleep and go through sleep regressions at night. After months of routine and reliable bedtime, toddler sleep regressions hit like a rock on the face.
If you notice toddler sleep regression in your 2-year-old, know that it is normal. If your child is suddenly not following the routine and sleeping like they did, waking up many times, or getting up too early, there are high chances they are dealing with toddler sleep regression.
This article will enhance your information on toddler sleep regression, what causes it, how long it lasts, and how to pass this phase on as a caring parent quickly. Keep reading to know more.
Toddler Sleep Regression
Toddler sleep regression is ordinary at several ages in your child. These ages include the ages of 4 months, eight months, 18 months, and two years. When you notice your toddler go through sleep disturbances, it may be due to several reasons. You can distinguish toddler sleep regression based on when it takes place, how long it generally lasts, and if other problems might be leading to sleep problems in your child.
Toddler sleep regression is a limited period when your child, who was usually sleeping soundly, begins to resist sleep during bedtime, keep waking up throughout the night, or wake up too early in the morning.
While toddler sleep regression is typically frustrating for a parent, it is crucial to remember that it is temporary and regular. A short study from 2015 revealed that 19% of children of 2 years age have issues with their sleep, but these issues diminished over time.
How long does toddler sleep regression last?
While even a single night of inadequate or poor sleep will leave you feeling drained the following day, it is crucial to note that sleep regression at any age would not last eternally like all sleep regressions.
If you acknowledge your kid’s nighttime antics consistently and hold your patience, sleep regression is most likely to pass within 1-3 weeks.
It is essential to know what causes sleep regression in your child to avoid the causes. Here’s what leads to toddler sleep regression.
What causes toddler sleep regression
When a sleep regression hits, it is natural to find out what is causing the unexpected interruption to the routine. While every toddler is different, there are a few common causes why they may be going through this sleep regression.
1. Developmental advances
As your child moves through life, they are discovering new stuff and growing new skills each day. Sometimes, all the growing and learning things might make it complicated for them to sleep soundly at night.
By the time your child turns 2, they feel a leap in their physical capabilities, social abilities, and language skills, which might lead to a more difficult bedtimes routine and more wakings at night.
2. Separation anxiety
While it might not last for long, separation anxiety can still be challenging for your toddler. Your child might be clingy, want parents to be around, or have a hard time being separated from a parent until they go to sleep.
3. Being overtired
While adults generally manage to collapse into mattresses delightedly when extremely tired, kids usually do precisely the reverse.
When your little child begins pushing their sleeping time later and later, they usually stress themselves up due to being extremely tired. When this occurs, it can be challenging for the child to soothe themselves down adequately to get to sleep comfortably.
4. Newfound Independence
Just as your child’s social, language and physical skills grow, so is your child’s urge for independence. Be it a powerful desire to get themselves into their nighties individually or dragging themselves out of the crib, again and again, your child’s search for independence may lead to significant sleeping issues at bedtime.
5. Changes in family
It is not unusual or surprising for a child going through a significant change to the family variations right around your child’s second birthday. This change may be the introduction of their new sibling into the family.
While bringing your new child home is a happy event, it may lead to behavior differences and sleep regressions for older kids in your home- as other significant events in your life can.
6. Changes to a nap schedule
Around the time your kid is 1 to 2 years, a few toddlers start to skip their frequent naps as their social schedule begins to. With whole-day family vacations and playdates occurring, it may be pretty tough to get in a midday nap each day. When modifications to a nap calendar occur, though, they nearly impact your toddler’s nighttime routine, leading to toddler sleep regression.
If your kid has skipped a nap, began sleeping for smaller periods during the whole day, or opposed daytime sleep, it might also affect their nighttime sleep routine.
By the time your toddler turns 2, the little ones start to see the atmosphere around them in new yet more complicated ways. With this unique complexity usually arises new fears. When the child is suddenly not having a good sleep time routine well, the reason may be an age-appropriate dread of the dark or other things they find scary.
Many kids are simply getting their molars, which may be annoying or painful for the child. If your toddler has pain or distress from teething, it is not unusual for it to affect their ability to get a peaceful sleep throughout the night.
What can you do about toddler sleep regression?
When it comes to following measures to solve sleep regression in your child, there are a few straightforward steps you must follow to get started:
Ensure safety and health
First things first, you must ensure that the child has all the basic requirements met and that the child is not uncomfortable or in distress due to sickness or everyday problems like teething.
After ensuring that your toddler is in good condition and not in discomfort, you must look to resolve any environmental problems leading to difficulties at bedtime.
If your child is escalating out of their crib, make the crib bedding at the lowest setting. (Ideally, you might have already executed this move by the time the child can stand). When the crib’s railing is at the lowest position or below the toddler’s nipple line, it is time to move your child to a comfortable toddler bed.
If the child is already in their new toddler bed, ensure that the room is safe and childproof by securing all furniture, transferring breakable or hazardous items, and obeying other child-safety practices. Performing this means the toddler can move around safely in the room during the night.
If the child fears the dark, you should invest in a small lamp or a nightlight to make the surroundings feel more protected and more welcoming for them.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests moving your toddler to their bed when the child is 35 inches or 89 centimeters tall.
Maintain proper routine
Additionally, it would be best to look at the child’s routine to determine any daytime or night issues that may lead to regression.
Strive to sustain a regular and consistent nap plan throughout the day, make efforts to put your toddler to bed at approximately the same time, and follow a similar routine every evening.
Keep calm and remain consistent.
After marking your kid’s health and security, conditions, and routine, it is now time to look within for the patience you will require to respond to your child’s nighttime antics consistently until the toddler sleep regression phase passes.
Suppose your toddler is regularly leaving the room. In that case, experts suggest comfortably picking the child up or walking the child back and putting them back to their bed comfortably each time they seem without displaying much emotion.
Alternatively, you may try sitting outside your child’s door simply with a magazine or a book and telling them to get back to the bed each time they try to exit the room.
Although it may seem fascinating to tangle your child into the bed allowing your child to play quietly in the room until they get tired and go to bed is often a more simplistic and more gentle way to respond to their bedtime issues.
Sleep needs of a toddler
Kids usually require more sleep than adults. If your child is 1 to 3 years old, they need 11 to 14 hours of sleep every 24 hours or day. You can split their sleeping hours into small naps during the day and nighttime.
If your toddler is not getting the suggested amount of rest, you will likely see behavior issues during the daytime and struggle with naps and bedtimes due to being overtired.
Additional Tips On Toddler Sleep Regression
- Keep the bedtime habit manageable.
- Concentrate on incorporating activities that soothe your child.
- Evade from screens of all kinds (TV, Mobile Phones, Etc) for at least one hour before your child sleeps. Exposure to TV screens is connected to delay in the child’s bedtime along with lessened sleep.
- Ask your partner to take turns watching bedtime duties.
- Also, remember that this is short-lived, and you will pass through the phase.
A small bedtime routine for your toddler may look like this:
- A warm shower or bath
- A wholesome snack and a healthy drink
- A short quiet moment with zero screens around.
- Brushing the teeth and going to the toilet
- Lights out and good nights.
The Bottom Line
Although toddler sleep regression is frustrating for parents as well as the child, this shall pass. It is developmentally healthy and normal for toddlers to undergo.
Suppose your little child is fighting bedtime all of a sudden, waking up more often in the night, or waking up far too quickly. In that case, it is crucial to discuss any underlying issues with your partner and then remains patient till the regression phase passes. Fortunately, this toddler sleep regression is likely to vanish with persistence and patience within 2 to 3 weeks.