How to deal with toddler sleep regression

If you have got a toddler who is suddenly refusing to nap or go to bed at night, or it's taking forever to get them down to sleep. Then you are in the right place as I will explain sleep regression among toddlers, its causes, and how to manage it.


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Imagine that you are blessed with a baby, who has been sleeping quite well for the first few months, and you feel satisfied. You might be thinking that you have done an excellent job and it's been a lucky start as there have been no sleepless nights like the other parents complain about. and you wonder what all of the fuss from other parents is all about?

Now the fate took its course, and as your baby turns into a toddler. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, it seems that sleep is disturbed.

What exactly is sleep regression?

We usually hear that infant don't sleep well at night. According to a study conducted in Pediatrics in 2010, Most infants sleep well during the night till three months. But as the kid grows, sleep patterns may change, and sometimes it is due to sleep regression.

Asleep regression occurs when a previously good sleeper child suddenly refuses to go to sleep, has numerous overnight awakenings, or wakes up during the night and refuses to return to sleep.

What does sleep regression tend to look like in toddlers?

They tend to look like refusing to nap or taking a long time to fall asleep. Sometimes there is night awakening, but usually, the regression is related to development or refusing to nap.

As we know that sleep regression among toddlers is due to something distracting, so it could occur at any age during the growing phase. The timings can vary, so it's hard to know when they will happen.

What are the causes of sleep regression?

The leading cause of sleep regression is distraction among toddlers.

According to Erik Erickson theory of psychological developments

At different ages, we have to go through various conflicts to get to the next stage, so the conflict at this stage is some of them exerting a child's opinion on the world and seeing how that stands, which is related to testing boundaries.

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A study revealed that A toddler's brain is much busier while sleeping than it is when waking. A youngster requires 12 to 14 hours of sleep each day by the age of two.

How to manage sleep regression among toddlers?

If you are having difficulty dealing with the sleep regression of your toddlers, then here are a few simple strategies that could help you tackle sleep regression in your toddler.

Maintaining a Consistent Sleeping Pattern for Toddler Sleep Regression

Being calm and consistent is the most effective strategy to deal with toddler sleep regression. It is necessary to teach your child how to self-soothe and go asleep on their own.

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Your youngster is most likely unable to tell time. A comfortable routine will be created by repeating the same bedtime and naptime routines. It's a great way to keep the activity brief and clear.

Here is a simple nighttime routine for your little one

  • Start with a shower or a warm bath.
  • Then it's time to feed the baby with a drink or maybe snacks.
  • Now a brief period of silence without any lights
  • Brush your toddler's teeth.
  • Now finally, lights out and goodnight, kiddo.

By repeating the same routine will help in overcoming sleep regression.

Limit the screentime before going to bed.

 You need to know that your toddler's brain is already at high speed. So, you don't need to boost it anymore. Avoid using any screen for at least 1 hour before going to bed.

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Aside from the colors, cartoon characters, and everything else on the display that activates your baby's mind, the intense light generated by screens suppresses the synthesis of melatonin, a naturally existing chemical that assists our bodies to fall asleep at proper age and time. So, it's time to eliminate the screen time.

Maintain a comfortable room environment 

Distraction is the number one cause of sleep regression among toddlers. So, it would help if you tended to remove all those elements that distract your toddler.

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This distraction can be through the room's environment, so try to maintain a comfortable environment in your toddler's room. To keep distractions at bay, avoid piling up a lot of toys in your child's room.

If you notice that your child is scared of the dark, then install a small light in their room to comfort them. Also, make sure that light has low intensity and is dim so it cannot cause distraction.

Always be Calm 

It would help if you always were calm while dealing with sleep regression.

When a toddler wakes up during the night different parent has a different strategy to deal with it. Some parents sleep alongside their toddlers while others calm their kids and encourage them to sleep independently.

No matter what strategy you choose to handle the sleep regression. It is necessary to continue with that strategy. It Is recommended that you teach your toddler to sleep on their own as it is a long-term solution.

When to see a doctor?

Although sleep regression is ordinary among toddlers and they go away on their own after few weeks. But sit is also thought that sleep disorders are primarily common in children who have particular needs or suffer from mental or medical illnesses.

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So, it is pretty challenging to differentiate between an ordinary, temporary sleep regression from sleep problems that are more common in children with disorders such as autism.

According to a 2011 survey, most sleeping problems in 18-month-olds were caused by environmental influences and parental behaviors. However, around 25 to 30 percent of children and adolescents suffer from sleep problems.

Final verdict

Sleep regression among toddlers is relatively standard. If your toddler is having trouble falling asleep or wakes up during the night, they are experiencing sleep regressions.

To deal with this issue, try to maintain a regular nighttime routine. In many situations, a sleep regression is very brief and lasts only a few weeks. Some youngsters, however, may require the services of a doctor or a sleep specialist.

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