15 Month Sleep Regression Tips
The first three months of an infant’s life are typically marked by a lot of nighttime wakefulness, but by the time your baby is three months old, they’re usually able to sleep a full night through. So what are you to think when your 15-month-old baby won’t sleep?
Sleep regression can hit any time during toddlerhood or earlier. This results in plenty of panic on the part of parents who can’t understand why their previously peaceful nighttime baby is suddenly crying out for feeding, having nightmares, or seeking attention several times a night again. It’s like they’ve reverted back to a newborn!
Understanding Why Sleep Regression Happens
As your baby matures, their sleep patterns become affected by several different things. First off, their brain is rapidly developing, often going through many different cycles of development that even scientists can’t always adequately explain. The number of 15-month-old milestones is stunning.
Their little bodies are growing rapidly, too, entering several growth spurts in the first and second year that come and go as they please. Your 15 month old is mastering language, walking, interacting, and a host of new things right now, and their little brains may suddenly become more awake at night, just like yours.
A 15 month sleep regression isn’t as common as other regressions, but just like other periods where sleep is lacking, the 15 month regression can and often does hit. Start by ensuring your 15-month-old’s sleep schedule isn’t outdated.
Your first step will be to identify that a 15 month old regression is going on at all. Many other things can affect nighttime sleep, such as a noisier than usual household or a change in sleeping environment.
Sometimes a sick baby won’t sleep, so it’s not always a 15 month sleep regression that’s causing your little one to keep you up at night. If you’ve evaluated the situation, made sure they’re not sick, and are convinced your child is in a dreaded sleep regression, it’s time to take matters in your own hands with the following strategies.
1. Create a solid bedtime routine
Parents handle the 15 month sleep regression in different ways, but almost all parents agree that consistency is a key ingredient to coping with this situation.
Your 15 month old is probably walking some by now, and they’re more independent. They can say a few words, and they’re always aware that your wonderful presence is out there.
Spending time with them before bedtime is critical. Have a bedtime story lined up, try a soothing bath, and keep everything very consistent. Doing this gives your little one a sense of security and relaxation. Gentle hugs and baby lullabies might help, too.
2. Limit television time
If your 15 month old has taken a liking to television, it may be playing a part in making them overstimulated before bedtime.
Most experts recommend shutting the television down about two hours before bedtime so that their minds will not be overactive when they finally hit the hay. And while it’s okay to let your little one watch age-appropriate shows, there’s nothing smart about letting a 15 month old in the middle of a 15 month sleep regression watch television an hour before they go to sleep.
Instead, make reading a part of your bedtime ritual. A good story might make them look forward to bedtime and comfort them much more since it’s time with you.
A parent missing out on a sleep a lot during a 15 month sleep regression will understandably be less than calm on the inside, but it’s imperative to be very calm and comforting to your baby on the outside.
Don’t raise your voice. Don’t speak harshly. Remaining patient and calm is a challenge for frustrated, tired parents (and sometimes friends and family), but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to help your baby calm down during those long nights.
You may notice that your child needs you now more than ever, and they do. They’re going through something, and they need their parent to be as calm as possible. If you feel yourself becoming too frustrated, get another family member or friend to take over duties whenever possible.
4. Sleep consultants
Baby sleep consultants aren’t entirely out of the question for some households. Who better to go to for advice on this subject than an expert on infant sleep patterns?
If this is out of your price range, there are still plenty of resources for help in this situation, such as the SleepBaby.org Workshop.
However, if it gets overwhelming, consider hiring a sleep consultant for you and your child. They’ll give you terrific advice on how to fight off the sometimes nightmarish scenario of a 15 month sleep regression.
Your baby is quickly entering the world of toddler sleep, and a consultant will know much more about the 15 month sleep regression than you or novices.
Your growing baby needs plenty of daytime exercise and consistent napping periods during the day.
A 15 month sleep regression is a sure sign that it’s time to get those little legs moving more than usual. When your 15 month old is awake and alert, make sure to facilitate a lot of playtime during the day. If they have siblings around their age, this is going to be a lot easier.
Consider a playgroup if they don’t have siblings to play with during the day that share their same boundless energy. As they get more energy out during the day, and get more quality naps during the day, you’ll notice that on some nights this makes a big difference in how long and well they sleep.
And that’s going to make your own sleep even better, too.
Battling 15 Month Sleep Regression
A 15 month sleep regression is no fun for parents or baby. Just when you thought those long, frustrating nights of sleepless crying were over, they return with a vengeance.
The whole family may be suffering from a lack of sleep and frustration. You can get things back under control by applying the few tips above. They’re a simple way to add more structure, exercise, and quality napping periods to the life of your little one, and of course, there’s always a sleep consultant that might help give you still more ideas on how to deal with this unfortunate situation.
Many parents will have already lived through one or more sleep regressions by the time the 15 month sleep regression comes around. If your previous methods aren’t helping, apply every new technique you can think of.
Above all, though, a calm demeanor is going to be your all out best bet no matter what happens during the 15 month sleep regression. Whether your techniques are working on any given night doesn’t matter. Remain calm, hug that little one of yours, and make sure that they feel safe and loved during this very frustrating time. Rest assured, your baby loves you even if he/she isn’t showing it right now.
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You’re not the only one suffering during the 15 month sleep regression. Your little one is going to be frustrated, frustrated, even angry sometimes. Don’t let them deal with this alone. Do everything in your power to help your little one start sleeping soundly again. Use what worked in prior sleep regressions, try new things, and keep calm. Before long, you’ll all be sleeping soundly again.