While it may not last much longer, separation anxiety can still be a challenge for this age group. Your toddler may be clingier, have difficulty separating from their parents, or want a parent to be present until they fall asleep. When your little one starts to force his bedtime later and later, he often ends up being too tired. When this happens, it may be difficult for them to calm down enough to be able to sleep easily.
Second molars can also cause waking up at night or waking up early in the morning. If a child comes out of a SLEEP cycle and becomes distracted by the discomfort of his swollen gums, he may have trouble falling asleep again. If your child is still in a crib, nap resistance is more manageable, since you have physical limits to keep him or her in the crib. Sleeping bags help prevent older children from getting out of the crib, as they cannot throw a leg over it, but once they have discovered it, they have to be put in a bed.
At 18 months, my third son started skipping naps. He would put it in his room at the same time every afternoon, but instead of sleeping, he kept taking all the books out of his bookshelf, spreading stuffed animals around the room and yelling at me to let him out. His answer? 18-month sleep regression. But my son was a toddler, not a baby, and had been sleeping happily for months.
Did all 18-month-old kids really go through this? And don't be surprised if your 18-month-old wakes up in the middle of the night. Children (and adults) wake up two to six times a night. But problems arise if your child doesn't know how to return to sleep independently and needs parental help, says sleep psychologist Lynelle Schneeberg, director of the behavioral sleep medicine program at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. While a 2-year-old's sleep regression is certainly frustrating for parents, it is developmentally normal and common for young children to experience.
In the meantime, following a sleep routine and sleep schedule can help reduce the likelihood of sleep problems. So even if your two-year-old child seems fine without getting a little sleep during the day, it won't be as easy at bedtime. While even a poor night's sleep can leave you feeling exhausted the next day, it's important to remember that a 2-year-old's sleep regression, like all other sleep regressions, won't last forever. If your 2-year-old child is having a sleep regression and doesn't take a nap regularly, he or she may be too tired.
If your 18-month-old child suddenly has trouble falling asleep, begins to resist naps or sleep, or has frequent nighttime awakenings, he or she may be experiencing sleep regression. Therefore, if co-sleeping is not something you want to do in the long term, avoid using it as a short-term solution to help your child sleep. If your child is in a large bed, you have to decide if you want to let your child sleep in your room. Sure, there may be a difficult night of teething or waking up without explanation, but overall, you've escaped that extreme sleep deprivation that seems to haunt so many parents.
Environmental factors and family relationships are particularly important in this age group to help young children sleep and prevent sleep problems from arising. Your child's brain needs to relearn how to fall asleep, how to stay asleep, and how to go back to sleep during periods of nocturnal awakening. It's common for your toddler to experience sleep regression, but there are methods you can use to manage it. The goal is to create an independent sleeper, not one that depends on you or your bed to help them fall asleep.
For naps, the routine should be basically the same, minus the bathroom and pajamas, and possibly add some measures of room darkening and white noise to get your child to sleep. When a regression occurs, it's normal to want to know what is causing the sudden disruption of your routine. .