Another hot topic lately has been the 18 month old sleep regression. I can definitely relate to this one, and think it’s a topic worth talking about!
A sleep regression is a time where your baby or toddler goes through tremendous physical or mental development. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, your normally awesome sleeper is fighting going to sleep like never before! Whether it’s at bedtime, throughout the night or naptime.
During the 1st year of life, regressions most commonly present themselves at around 4, 9, and 12 months. This is around the time that your baby is going through some major milestones like rolling, sitting, standing, crawling and walking.
What’s actually happening with your baby is pretty interesting. He is learning new skills and practicing them in his head; over and over until he finally masters the skill. Usually then terminating the sleep regression. Your baby’s brain during this time is in overdrive, often making it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Your baby can’t turn off the brain work. He tries to soothe himself to sleep like he always has and finds it difficult. Then of course, all of this interrupted sleep ends up making him tired and cranky during the day.
All sleep regressions are difficult and exhausting. The 18 month sleep regression however can be one of the hardest for one simple reason! There’s a discipline factor involved in this one, that wasn’t present in the earlier ones. The previous regressions didn’t have anything to do with defiant behavior on your baby’s part, but this one does.
Toddlers are born boundary pushers and master manipulators in its purest form. Now that’s not a bad thing! Learning how to get things from people is yet another learned skill they will need later on in life. Now that, combined with the fact that they have little to no control over their emotions for a few years, makes for an interesting combo…the results- tantrums and bedtime battles if the expectations surrounding bedtime are not clearly set for them.
Keeping a consistent bedtime routine and allowing for your child to keep putting himself to sleep independently; will keep you on the right track and help this phase pass on a lot quicker. The minute you give a toddler an inch..they will try for a mile. Bedtime must remain 100% non negotiable at all times. Having a good routine and a set bedtime for toddlers is very important. Being consistent with all things surrounding sleep, helps them gain confidence and control over the whole situation which they love! Toddlers don’t like surprises! If the same routine of events happens every night, they know what to expect and learn to enjoy going to bed.
?Have a great weekend!?