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Surviving the 21-Month Sleep Regression: A Comprehensive Guide

The 21-month sleep regression can be a challenging phase for both toddlers and parents. In this guide, we aim to help you navigate this period with greater understanding and effective strategies. Additionally, we will introduce, an invaluable resource to help you through this and other baby sleep hurdles.

What is the 21-Month Sleep Regression?

The 21-month sleep regression is a phase when a toddler, who has been sleeping well, suddenly starts experiencing sleep disturbances. This could manifest as trouble falling asleep, frequent night awakenings, or resisting naps. Understanding the causes of this sleep regression can help you manage it better.

Causes of 21-Month Sleep Regression

Developmental Milestones

At 21 months, toddlers are rapidly developing their cognitive and motor skills. This increased brain activity can affect their sleep patterns, leading to sleep regression.

Separation Anxiety

Many toddlers at this age are developing a stronger sense of individuality, which can also increase their awareness of separation. This increased separation anxiety can disrupt their sleep.

Changes in Sleep Needs

As toddlers grow, their sleep needs change. This may result in disrupted sleep schedules, contributing to the 21-month sleep regression.

Tackling the 21-Month Sleep Regression

Despite the challenges presented by this sleep regression, there are effective strategies you can use to ease your toddler through it:

  • Maintain a Consistent Sleep Routine: Consistency can provide your toddler with the comfort and security needed to navigate these changes.
  • Ensure a Comfortable Sleep Environment: Make sure your toddler’s room is dark, quiet, and cool to promote better sleep.
  • Provide Reassurance: If your toddler is experiencing separation anxiety, providing extra reassurance can help them feel more secure.

About the 21-Month Sleep Regression

Is there a 21-month sleep regression?

Yes, a sleep regression can occur around the 21-month mark. This is a period where a toddler, who has been sleeping well, may suddenly start having trouble falling asleep, wake up frequently during the night, or resist naps.

Why is my 21-month-old suddenly waking up screaming at night?

This is often a symptom of the 21-month sleep regression. Reasons could include developmental milestones, increased separation anxiety, or changes in sleep needs. In some cases, your toddler might wake up screaming due to nightmares or night terrors, which can be more common as children’s imaginations develop.

How long does the 21-month sleep regression last?

The 21-month sleep regression typically lasts between 2 to 6 weeks, although this can vary from child to child. It’s important to remember that this is a phase, and with patience and consistency, it will pass.

Napping and Growth Spurts at 21 Months

Is 21 months too early to drop the nap?

Most toddlers continue to need one nap a day until they’re about 3 years old. However, every child is different, and some might show readiness to drop their nap earlier. If your 21-month-old is consistently resisting nap time and seems happy and energetic throughout the day, they may be ready to transition away from daily naps. It’s essential to consult with your pediatrician or a sleep expert if you’re considering this step.

Is there a growth spurt at 21 months?

While growth spurts tend to be more prominent during the first year of life, toddlers do continue to have periods of rapid growth. At 21 months, your child might be going through a developmental leap rather than a physical growth spurt. This can include significant advancements in language, motor skills, and cognitive development, all of which can impact sleep.

How Can Help with the 21-Month Sleep Regression

Managing a sleep regression can be overwhelming, but remember, you’re not alone. is a dedicated resource committed to helping parents navigate the often confusing world of baby sleep.

With a wealth of expert advice, practical solutions, and sleep training methods, can help you handle the 21-month sleep regression and other baby sleep issues. Our aim is to support you in achieving peaceful nights and happier days for your family.


The 21-month sleep regression can be a tough phase, but it’s important to remember that it’s temporary. With understanding, patience, and the right strategies, you’ll make it through. And with resources like at your fingertips, you’re better equipped to journey through the landscape of baby sleep.