Tag Archives: 18 months

Toddler Sleep Regression – Why Your Toddler Wakes at Night

Toddlers like babies can have spurts of time when they wake up several times a night. Not knowing what to do, can be frustrating

When you’re pregnant, everyone reminds you to sleep now, because once the baby arrives you won’t be able to do so. Then, once the baby is here, people check-in or offer to watch the little one so that you can catch some zzzz’s. If you’re like me, when your baby was an infant, you were able to exist on very few hours of sleep and not feel like a zombie. You were just used to it, though when it was offered, I took the help!

Toddler Sleep Regression - Why Your Child Wakes at Night

However, what you may not be prepared for, is that around 18 months your child can revert back to their non-sleeping ways, to what is called toddler sleep regression, leaving you feeling like you’ll never sleep a full night again. It can be frustrating, but there is an end in sight and remind yourself, this, like every other stage it is ONLY temporary.

Why Your Toddler is Waking Again

Around 18 months toddlers can begin going through another round of sleep regression. Some infants and older babies experience sleep regressions at other stages, but when you hit those toddler years, you’re not through yet. It really is too bad that more pediatricians don’t warn parents that this occurs. I had NO idea until it happened to us and I started googling.

There are so many things that could be causing the sleep regression, here’s what to look for so that you can love and support your little one

  1. Out of the blue your sweet sleeping child, will no longer sleep through the night and it is a struggle to get them to nap. Sound familiar? If not, you’re a lucky one! Many parents report that their child was sleeping through the night at 11+ months and then BOOM all of a sudden you’re up multiple times a night with your little one.
  2. Could your child be physically uncomfortable? Such as an ear infection or perhaps their 2 year molars growing in. If so, this could be the culprit for the lack of sleep.
  3. Another sleep disruption could be night terrors.Your child’s brain is growing and developing at a rapid rate, which means their imagination can begin to run wild. If they see a scary image on TV, that could then live on in their dreams and wake them from a deep sleep.
  4. What about at home, are there any major adjustments happening? Did you just move, or did you change day cares? Anything that disrupts a toddler’s normal day to day can really throw them off their schedule, which can lead to lots of unhappy nighttime wake ups.
  5. Separation anxiety has resurfaced. Believe it or not, separation anxiety can hang around until a child is 5+ years old. The fear obviously changes, but it still exists. Around 18 months to 2 years, toddlers can start to worry about being left alone or with a stranger. Again, this can lead to those middle of the night call-outs.
  6. Finally, there may just not be a simple explanation. There are just periods of time that a toddler wakes up and doesn’t want to sleep, you’ve gone through your list (and checked it twice) and nothing fits. This just means that you need be there to love and support your toddler, and hopefully catch some zzz’s on the side.

Losing sleep day in and day out can be really difficult on moods and outlooks on life. Just take a moment and remind yourself that this is temporary and it will pass. Be patient, surround yourself with loving and supportive people, and remember you are not alone.

Stay tuned for future posts in regards to toddle sleep regression regression – How You Can Sneak Quick Naps In and How to Survive Toddler Sleep Regression.

Looking for more information on this subject? Check out this post from What to Expect: Toddler Sleep Regression or Progression?

Your turn!

What other reasons do you have for toddler sleep regression? Please share in the comments below!



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Dear Emmett – {16, 17 and 18 Months}

My sweet sweet Emmett, it’s been three months since I sat down and wrote to you.

You’ve grown and changed SO much in the past three months and I cannot wait to share it all with you.

Dear Emmett

The last time we met up was when you had just turned 15 months, and now you just turned 18 month, a whole year and a half old. It’s amazing how that happens! 😉 Three months ago, you were only say “Hi” and “banana,” now you say all sorts of things like milk, you pump your fist in sign language version of milk, and say “no no no.” You use the “no” sound for milk, snow and to say no, it’s tough to decipher which you want to use, but your dad and I have become pros.


Other favorite words of yours include, sock, cheese, fish, hello, crackers, shoes, momma, dada, up, down, uh oh, oh no, car, truck, night night, blocks, thank you, and mine. I’m probably forgetting some but you do a really good job of communicating, even if you don’t know the word. You’ll point, or nudge and most of the time your dad or I can figure it out.


You still have this obsession with shoes and slippers. Sometimes its your own shoes, but mostly it’s my shoes or slippers. Before you just liked placing them on your hands, but now you try and put them on and walk in them. The other day you sat down, put them on, and trudged across the house and the slipper stayed on. It really made me laugh!


You’re really good at mimicking. This started probably around your 16th month, now you’re a pro. You seem to mimic your daddy the most, which is just about the cutest thing in the world to see. If your dad picks up his yogurt to read the label, so do you. Or if your daddy’s making dinner and drops something and says sh*t, you say “shhhh.” We’ve realized how much more careful we need to be with what we say and do around you. It is pretty darn amazing see how much you grow month to month.


Want to know what else you’re really good at? Following directions! If we ask you to pick something up, or to help clean-up your toys, with a little prompting you jump right in and help. The only time we really struggle, is when we tell you no or ask you not to do something. You have a mind of your own and want to do whatever you want, we manage to figure it out, though. One of the new, most adorable things you do is putting your clothes in the hamper on your own. Your daddy will get you undressed, and then put your clothes in front of you. He tells you it’s time to pick them up and put them in the hamper and you listen, you pick them all up and bundle them in your arms and then walk off to put them where they belong. After you throw everything in, you turn around and start to clap, looking for us to do the same. It’s so so adorable!


Bath time is a blast with you now. You’ve always been one to enjoy the end of the day bath, but now you love to get in and play. You’ll flop on your belly or splash me, but either way, you never ever want to get out. You are also very good at brushing your teeth. You’ll take the toothbrush and move it around (mimicking what you saw your daddy and I do), then after you’re done, you’ll give it to me to go around and do another good scrub. I’m impressed with how well you do with it.


You no longer sit in an infant carseat, and you weigh enough to have it face forward. We switched to a big boy carseat, but it was facing backward. I just wasn’t confident enough that you would be safe forward since you were only 15 months. However, we went to the doctor’s at the end of your 15th month and found out you weigh nearly 30 pounds and the safe zone is like 25 or 26 lbs. We went ahead and made the flip, and you have never been as happy riding in the car. You love, in the mornings, to tell me all about the cars zooming past us.


You had your second Christmas and it was a blast! We spent Christmas Eve at our house, and then woke up Christmas morning and opened gifts together. It was so much fun! You are starting to get the hang of opening gifts, but still need someone to get it going for you. I bet, by the time your second birthday rolls around in July, you will be a pro.

Merry Christmas 4

You were enamored with the Christmas tree. We decided to get a real one this year and you just loved that. You loved touching the needles and then pulling your hand away quickly, when they would tickle you. You also loved the beautiful lights, and the pretty ornaments that I hung. It was tough to keep you from pulling the tree, but we managed. 🙂


In the beginning of January, your day care decided that you were ready to be moved up to the next classroom. I’ll be honest, I was really nervous. I didn’t think you were ready, but I was wrong! You have thrived in the new room. You love your teacher and are learning all sorts of new things. It’s obvious that it’s done you well because of how much you’ve changed in the last month, becoming more of a little boy than a baby (but you will still ALWAYS be momma’s baby).


Going along with day care, we had our first parent/teacher conference, with your teacher. I was really excited to meet her one on one, plus I wanted to see all of your art work and hear how you are doing in the classroom. She had only wonderful things to say about you, Emmett! You have met so many of the milestones set for your age, and you continue to soar.


You still love books. You love looking at them on your own, and you love handing them to us to read. You don’t always make it through an entire book before you are off and playing with something else. But the fact that you love the books, even if it only lasts a second, makes me happy.


Oh my goodness! I almost forgot, you got your first haircut. It was a scary experience for you, but you looked really really cute. And overall, you did a great job of sitting still and letting the lady cut your hair.


There are probably many more things that I’m forgetting but this does a pretty good job of rounding up everything that we’ve experienced with you, over the past 3 months, Emmmett. I truly cannot wait to see what else your beautiful life has in store for us!


I love you more than I will ever be able to express.


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