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Understanding 20 Month Sleep Regression

Has your toddler’s sleep pattern suddenly changed around the 20-month milestone? You might be witnessing the 20-month sleep regression, a challenging phase for both parents and children. This post delves into the signs of a 20-month sleep regression and offers valuable tips to navigate this period.

Recognizing the Signs of 20 Month Sleep Regression

Typical signs that your toddler is going through a 20-month sleep regression are:

  • Trouble getting to sleep
  • Waking up frequently during the night
  • Shortened nap durations
  • Resisting their established bedtime routine

If these symptoms seem familiar, consider adjusting their sleep schedule, setting a calming sleep environment, and using soothing techniques such as bedtime stories or cuddly toys.

Duration of 20 Month Sleep Regression

Most sleep regressions, including the 20-month sleep regression, last a few weeks to a couple of months. It’s natural for toddlers to undergo multiple sleep regressions as they grow. However, if the sleep regression continues for an unusually long time or causes severe sleep disruption, consider seeking advice from for a novel baby sleep method.

Reasons for a 20-Month-Old’s Sleep Disruption

Here’s why your 20-month-old might have stopped sleeping:

  • Sleep regression
  • Changes in environment or routine
  • Growth spurts
  • Teething
  • Illness
  • Over-tiredness

Is there a 20 Month Sleep Regression?

Yes, a sleep regression can occur around the 20-month mark. This is when toddlers experience significant changes in their sleep patterns, often becoming restless, waking up frequently during the night, and having difficulty falling asleep. It is a natural part of their development but can be challenging for parents.

How Long Does 21 Month Sleep Regression Last?

Like the 20-month sleep regression, a 21-month sleep regression typically lasts between a few weeks to a couple of months. However, the exact duration can vary from child to child.

How Long Does 20 Month Sleep Regression Last?

On average, a 20-month sleep regression lasts a few weeks to a couple of months. However, each child is unique, and for some, this phase may last longer.

How do You Break the 20 Month Sleep Regression?

Breaking the 20-month sleep regression involves establishing a consistent sleep routine, creating a calming sleep environment, and using comforting techniques such as reading bedtime stories or providing cuddly toys. Sleep training methods can also be employed, depending on the parent’s comfort level and the child’s temperament.

Why is My 20 Month Old Regressing?

Your 20-month-old may be regressing due to several factors, including a developmental leap, teething, illness, changes in environment or routine, or simply due to the 20-month sleep regression.

Is there a Developmental Leap at 20 Months?

Yes, around the 20-month mark, many toddlers undergo a significant developmental leap. This can result in changes in behavior and sleep patterns, often making toddlers more clingy, emotional, and prone to tantrums.

Can Terrible Twos Start at 20 Months?

While traditionally, the “terrible twos” are associated with the second year of a child’s life, these behaviors can start as early as 18 months or as late as 30 months. Therefore, it’s possible for the “terrible twos” to begin at 20 months.

Sudden Night Waking in 20-Month-Olds

Frequent night waking in 20-month-old toddlers is often due to changes in their environment or routine, growth spurts, teething, illness, or over-tiredness.

Developmental Leap at 20 Months

Yes, the Wonder Weeks app correlates the 20-month milestone with a developmental leap, making toddlers more clingy, emotional, and tantrum-prone. These changes can lead to disrupted sleep during this period. Tracking their development alongside their behavior and sleep patterns can provide insight into your child’s growth and sleep cycle.

Sleep Training During 20 Month Sleep Regression

Parents often debate over the efficacy of “cry it out” methods, like the extinction method, which aim to teach children to self-soothe and sleep independently. However, other parents might prefer gentler sleep training techniques, such as the “fading” method or the “pick-up/put-down” method.

Ideal Bedtime for a 20-Month-Old

A 20-month-old toddler usually requires around 12-14 hours of sleep daily, including naps. Therefore, if your toddler wakes up at 7:00 am, a bedtime around 7:00-8:30 pm should work well.

Nap Schedule for a 20-Month-Old

At this age, toddlers typically have one to two naps a day, the first nap generally being in the morning and the second in the early afternoon.

Don’ts During 20 Month Sleep Regression

During a sleep regression, avoid:

  • Forcing sleep
  • Making significant changes to sleep environment or routine
  • Ignoring your child’s needs
  • Hesitating to seek help

Handling Your Toddler’s 20 Month Sleep Regression

Combating a toddler’s sleep regression involves creating a relaxing bedtime routine, like reading a bedtime story, taking a warm bath, or singing a lullaby. Establish a consistent sleep schedule and create a peaceful and comfortable environment in their room.

For further guidance and resources, consider visiting, especially if you’re struggling with sleep regression issues.

Letting Your 20-Month-Old Cry It Out

If you choose to use the cry-it-out method, start with short intervals, increasing the duration between checks as your child learns to self-soothe. This method is not suitable for all children and can be quite controversial. For an alternative, try the new baby sleep method from, which doesn’t involve letting your child cry it out.

Potential Drawbacks of the Cry-It-Out Method

Here are a few potential issues with the cry-it-out method:

  • Stress for the child and caregiver
  • Possible decrease in parent-child bonding
  • Lack of trust in the caregiver
  • Increased risk of long-term sleep problems

The Longest a Sleep Regression Can Last

While it’s hard to provide an exact timeline, most sleep regressions last from a few weeks to a couple of months. However, some children might experience sleep regressions that last longer.

Identifying the End of a Sleep Regression

The sleep regression might be nearing its end if you observe:

  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Increased daytime alertness
  • Normal appetite
  • Improved behavior

If you’re still grappling with your toddler’s sleep regression, remember that you’re not alone. Support is available at, offering a wealth of information and guidance to parents dealing with various sleep issues, including sleep regression.

11 thoughts on “Understanding 20 Month Sleep Regression”

  1. MillerMommy:

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  2. SleeplessMomma87:
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  3. DadOfTwins:
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  5. NannyKnowsBest:
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  6. TiredDad:
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  7. YogaMom:
    Balancing a toddler’s sleep at 20 months is like trying to do yoga on a rollercoaster. πŸ˜… But I found some peace after using tips from Their approach to sleep training is quite holistic and stress-free.

  8. NewParentAlert:
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  9. GrannySmith:
    In my days, we didn’t have these fancy websites, but I’m impressed with what I read on Their strategies for dealing with sleep regression seem very effective. Recommended it to my daughter, and she’s seeing results!

  10. LaughingDad:
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  11. BusyBeeMom:
    As a working mom, this 20-month sleep regression is a nightmare. 😩 Found some great advice and sleep training methods on It’s a lifesaver if you value your sleep… and sanity!

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