Your child is now an active toddler who is full of fun and has developed their own personality. Even when he or she turns 18 months now, the trouble still seems endless as this cute little angel just won’t sleep. They were once an adorable snoozing toddler, but now they stopped sleeping all of a sudden. Here’s what a parent can do.
First, what is 18-month sleep regression?
In case you don’t know, it is a period when your toddler stops sleeping or waking up more often at night suddenly. Sometimes, she may avoid sleeping or taking a nap either. It may happen more for no reason. A toddler now wants to learn and express her wishes. With their advancing motor skills and an improved sense of independence, you need a little more creativity and diplomacy to deal with this 18-month sleep regression.
How long do I need to deal with it?
There is no right or wrong answer as actual time may vary as per the child. Usually, it shouldn’t last longer than six weeks. Keep in mind that some kids feel it for just a short while. How long this regression stays around is absolutely personal.
Why does it happen?
It is a slight change in sleep habits, and it is basically a sign that your child is growing. It is usually associated with physical milestones and brain development. The body releases growth hormones to help them to rise higher. This process usually disrupts their sleep patterns. Teething is another primary culprit.
Your child may feel some anxiety of separation, which is a sign of social and emotional growth. When their caregivers or parents leave them to sleep alone, they may be worried. With a better sense of self and an intense urge for freedom, they may look more stubborn, especially when they are forced to sleep rather than doing something else.
What can a parent do?
Now comes the main part. Keep in mind that this phase will go away on its own. If your child develops bad habits at this stage, they may last even longer than 18 months. Don’t throw out any sleep discipline and help your child to sleep.
You may want to retry sleep training methods like pick-up, cry it out, and put-down. If she has a bedtime routine, keep it up. If not, then it’s time to have this routine as it will give your child a predictable pattern to prepare for sleep. Even a simple habit like brushing teeth, bathing, putting on pajamas, singing a rhyme, and reading stories can help.
You may want to shift around the bedtime or nap ritual to avoid the stress. The key here is to be consistent, even in sleep regression. You need to teach what is right to the toddler. Stick to your schedules to get back to normal after this period.