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