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18 Month Old Sleep Regression Tips: How to Fix

How long does 18 month sleep regression last?

The 18 month sleep regression is a common phase that many children go through. During this time, children may experience disruptions in their sleep patterns and may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

The duration of the 18 month sleep regression can vary from child to child. Some children may experience this phase for only a few weeks, while others may experience it for several months.

Typically, the sleep regression will last for a few weeks to a couple of months, after which your child’s sleep patterns should return to normal. However, it’s important to note that every child is different, and some children may take longer to adjust to the changes in their sleep patterns.

It’s also important to note that the 18 month sleep regression may be accompanied by other changes in your child’s behavior, such as increased clinginess, irritability, or separation anxiety. These changes are all normal and should subside as your child adjusts to the new phase.

Is there an 18 month sleep regression?

Yes, the 18 month sleep regression is a common phase that many children go through. During this phase, children may experience disruptions in their sleep patterns and may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

What causes 18 month sleep regression?

The 18 month sleep regression is caused by a number of factors, including the child’s physical and cognitive development, changes in their daily routine, and changes in their environment. For example, at 18 months, children are often learning new skills such as walking, climbing, and talking, which can lead to an increase in their overall energy level and make it harder for them to settle down and fall asleep.

Other factors that can contribute to the 18 month sleep regression include teething, separation anxiety, and changes in nap schedules. While this phase can be challenging for parents and children alike, it is usually temporary and will pass in a few weeks to a few months.

Why is my 18 month old suddenly not sleeping?

There could be several reasons why your 18-month-old is suddenly not sleeping well. Here are some possible reasons:

  1. 18 month sleep regression: As mentioned earlier, the 18-month sleep regression is a common phase that many children go through. During this phase, children may experience disruptions in their sleep patterns, including difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  2. Teething: Teething can be uncomfortable and painful, and can disrupt a child’s sleep patterns. If your child is teething, they may wake up more frequently during the night and have trouble settling down.
  3. Illness: If your child is sick or not feeling well, they may have trouble sleeping. Common illnesses such as colds, ear infections, and stomach viruses can all affect sleep.
  4. Separation anxiety: At around 18 months, many children start to experience separation anxiety, which can make it harder for them to fall asleep and stay asleep. They may wake up crying or be hesitant to fall asleep on their own.
  5. Changes in routine: Changes in routine, such as starting daycare or a new caregiver, can disrupt a child’s sleep patterns. If your child has experienced a recent change in routine, it may be affecting their sleep.
  6. Developmental milestones: At 18 months, children are learning new skills such as walking, climbing, and talking, which can make them more active and stimulated. This increased activity and energy can make it harder for them to settle down and fall asleep.
  7. Hunger: If your child is going through a growth spurt, they may be hungry more frequently and wake up during the night seeking food.
  8. Overstimulation: An overstimulating environment, such as a noisy or bright bedroom, can make it harder for your child to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  9. Sleep associations: If your child has become accustomed to falling asleep while being rocked, nursed, or cuddled, they may have trouble falling asleep on their own without these associations.
  10. Lack of exercise: Not getting enough physical activity during the day can make it harder for your child to fall asleep at night. Make sure your child is getting plenty of time for physical play and exercise during the day.

How do I fix my 18 month sleep regression?

There are several strategies that parents can use to help their child navigate the 18 month sleep regression:

  1. Stick to a consistent bedtime routine: Establishing a consistent bedtime routine can help signal to your child that it’s time to wind down and get ready for sleep. This might include activities such as a warm bath, reading a book, or singing a lullaby.
  2. Create a calming sleep environment: Make sure your child’s sleep environment is conducive to sleep. This might include dimming the lights, using a white noise machine to block out distracting sounds, and making sure the room is at a comfortable temperature.
  3. Be flexible with nap times: If your child is experiencing disruptions in their sleep patterns, it may be helpful to be more flexible with their nap times. Experiment with adjusting nap times and durations to see what works best for your child.
  4. Encourage independent sleep: Encouraging your child to fall asleep independently can help them learn to self-soothe and feel more comfortable sleeping on their own. You can gradually work towards this by gradually reducing your presence at bedtime, such as sitting further away from the bed each night until your child can fall asleep without you in the room.
  5. Be patient: The 18 month sleep regression is a normal phase that many children go through, and it may take a few weeks to a few months for your child’s sleep patterns to return to normal. Be patient and consistent with your approach, and remember that this phase will eventually pass.

What does 18 month sleep regression look like?

The 18 month sleep regression can look different for each child, but here are some common signs and symptoms:

  1. Difficulty falling asleep: Your child may have trouble settling down and falling asleep at bedtime, or may take longer than usual to fall asleep.
  2. Night wakings: Your child may wake up more frequently during the night, and may have trouble settling back down to sleep on their own.
  3. Shorter naps: If your child takes naps, they may have shorter naps than usual or resist taking naps altogether.
  4. Increased clinginess: Your child may be more clingy or have separation anxiety, making it harder for them to fall asleep without you nearby.
  5. Changes in appetite: Your child’s appetite may change, and they may be more hungry or less interested in food.
  6. Mood changes: Your child may be more irritable or fussy during the day, or may seem overly tired and lethargic.
  7. Changes in sleep schedule: Your child’s sleep schedule may change, with earlier wake-ups or later bedtimes.

These signs and symptoms may not be present every night, but can occur off and on for a few weeks or months during the 18 month sleep regression. It’s important to remember that this is a normal phase that many children go through, and with patience and consistent sleep practices, your child’s sleep patterns should eventually return to normal.

Should I let my 18 month old cry it out at night?

The decision to let your 18-month-old cry it out at night is a personal one that depends on your parenting style and your child’s needs. Some parents choose to use cry-it-out methods to teach their child to self-soothe and fall asleep independently, while others prefer more gentle sleep training methods that involve gradually reducing parental presence at bedtime.

It’s important to remember that crying is your child’s way of communicating, and that some level of crying is normal during the sleep training process. However, if your child is crying excessively or is showing signs of distress, it may be worth re-evaluating your approach and trying a more gentle method.

If you’re considering a cry-it-out method, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician and ensure that your child is developmentally ready for this approach. It’s also important to be consistent with your approach and to provide comfort and reassurance during the daytime hours to help your child feel secure and supported.

Is there a developmental leap at 18 months?

Yes, there is a developmental leap that occurs around 18 months of age. During this time, children are learning a variety of new skills such as increased language ability, social skills, and physical skills such as walking, running, and climbing.

The 18 month sleep regression can impact this developmental leap in a few ways. First, disrupted sleep can affect a child’s overall mood and behavior, which can make it harder for them to learn and practice new skills during the day. Lack of sleep can also impact a child’s ability to concentrate and process new information, making it harder for them to learn and retain new skills.

Additionally, the 18 month sleep regression can lead to changes in a child’s appetite and overall health, which can also impact their ability to learn and develop new skills.

Should I ignore sleep regression?

It is not recommended to ignore sleep regression in your child. Sleep regression is a normal phase that many children go through, but it can have a significant impact on your child’s mood, behavior, and overall well-being. Ignoring sleep regression can prolong the duration of the regression, as well as make it more challenging for your child to adjust and develop healthy sleep habits.

What not to do during sleep regression?

During sleep regression, there are a few things that parents should avoid doing, as they may prolong or worsen the sleep disturbances:

  1. Inconsistency: Inconsistency in sleep practices and routines can make it harder for your child to adjust to changes in their sleep patterns. Try to be consistent with bedtime routines and sleep practices as much as possible.
  2. Skipping naps: Skipping naps may seem like a good idea to make your child more tired at bedtime, but it can actually make it harder for them to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. Make sure your child is getting adequate daytime sleep.
  3. Introducing new sleep habits: Introducing new sleep habits or associations, such as rocking or feeding your child to sleep, can make it harder for them to fall asleep independently and disrupt healthy sleep patterns.
  4. Using electronics: Using electronics such as TV or tablets before bedtime can stimulate your child’s brain and make it harder for them to fall asleep. Avoid using electronics in the bedroom or before bedtime.
  5. Punishing or scolding your child: Punishing or scolding your child for not sleeping can create negative associations with sleep and increase anxiety and stress, making it even harder for them to fall asleep.

Do you feed during sleep regression?

Feeding during sleep regression may depend on the individual child and their specific sleep needs. If your child is waking up during the night due to hunger or thirst, it may be appropriate to offer a feeding or a drink of water. However, it’s important to avoid using feeding as a sleep association or as the primary method for your child to fall asleep, as this can create dependency on feeding to fall asleep and can contribute to sleep disturbances.

If your child is waking up frequently during the night but is not hungry or thirsty, it may be best to try other sleep training methods to help them learn to self-soothe and fall back asleep on their own, such as a gentle reassurance or a consistent sleep routine.

18 month old sleep schedule

The sleep schedule for an 18-month-old typically includes:

  1. 1-2 naps per day, totaling around 2-3 hours of daytime sleep.
  2. A consistent bedtime routine, including a calming activity such as reading or singing, and a consistent bedtime.
  3. An early bedtime, typically between 7:00-8:00 pm.
  4. A total of 11-14 hours of sleep per day, including naps and nighttime sleep.
  5. Consistent wake-up times in the morning, with a wake-up time no later than 8:00-9:00 am.

It’s important to note that every child is different and may have different sleep needs and preferences. It’s important to be flexible and to adjust your child’s sleep schedule as needed based on their individual needs and development.

1 thought on “18 Month Old Sleep Regression Tips: How to Fix”

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