24 Month Old Sleep Regression- Imagine your little one has been sleeping the night for months and suddenly, your two year old is experiencing sleep regression! Your once sleeping tot is waking up at night, struggling to fall asleep and taking shorter naps. This is difficult for your child, yourself and your entire family! Luckily, there are solutions that will help.
Table of Contents
In This Article You Will Learn:
- What sleep aggression is
- Symptoms of sleep aggression
- Why it happens
- How to help your child through sleep aggression
- How parents can survive sleep aggression.
Is there sleep regression at 24 months
Sleep regression is a term used to describe a period of disrupted sleep patterns in infants and toddlers. It is characterized by a sudden change in a child’s sleep habits, often resulting in more frequent night waking, difficulty falling asleep, and shorter naps. Sleep regressions can occur at various ages during the first few years of a child’s life, and there is often one around the age of 18 to 24 months, commonly referred to as the “2-year sleep regression” or “24-month sleep regression.”
During this period, children may experience disruptions in their sleep for various reasons, including:
- Developmental milestones: At 24 months, toddlers are going through significant developmental changes, such as language development and increased mobility. These changes can sometimes affect their sleep patterns as they become more aware of their surroundings and may have new worries or fears.
- Separation anxiety: Many children experience separation anxiety around this age, which can lead to increased nighttime awakenings and difficulty settling back to sleep without the presence of a parent or caregiver.
- Changes in routine: Any changes in the child’s daily routine, such as transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed or starting potty training, can disrupt their sleep patterns.
- Teething: Teething can cause discomfort and pain, making it harder for a child to sleep soundly.
Why does toddler sleep regression happen
Toddler sleep regression happens due to various developmental, physiological, and behavioral factors. It’s important to note that sleep regressions are temporary phases and part of a child’s normal development.
Here are some common reasons why toddler sleep regression occurs:
- Developmental Milestones: Toddlers go through numerous developmental milestones, such as learning to walk, talk, or potty train. These milestones can lead to increased excitement, anxiety, and cognitive changes, all of which can disrupt sleep.
- Cognitive and Emotional Development: As toddlers’ cognitive and emotional abilities continue to develop, they may become more aware of their surroundings and have new fears or anxieties. These can contribute to nighttime awakenings and sleep disturbances.
- Separation Anxiety: Many toddlers experience separation anxiety around the age of 1 to 2 years old. This anxiety can make it difficult for them to fall asleep on their own and cause nighttime awakenings when they seek comfort from their caregivers.
- Teething and Discomfort: Teething can be uncomfortable and painful for toddlers, leading to disrupted sleep. Other discomforts, such as illness or growth spurts, can also contribute to sleep regression.
- Changes in Routine: Any changes in a toddler’s daily routine, such as transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed or starting daycare, can disrupt their sleep patterns.
- Sleep Associations: Toddlers often develop sleep associations, such as needing a specific item (like a pacifier or a certain toy) or a particular routine to fall asleep. When they wake up during the night and these associations are not present, they may struggle to fall back asleep.
- Transitioning to One Nap: Around the age of 18 months to 2 years, many toddlers transition from two naps a day to one. This transition can lead to increased daytime sleepiness and nighttime restlessness.
- Increased Independence: Toddlers may assert their newfound independence by resisting bedtime or wanting to do things on their own. This can lead to bedtime battles and difficulties settling down.
- Sleep Patterns: Toddler sleep patterns are different from those of adults. They may have shorter sleep cycles, leading to more frequent nighttime awakenings.
It’s important to remember that while sleep regressions can be challenging for both parents and toddlers, they are usually temporary. Most children eventually outgrow these phases and return to more regular sleep patterns. During a sleep regression, maintaining a consistent bedtime routine, providing comfort and reassurance, and ensuring your child gets enough daytime sleep can help manage the disruption. If you have concerns or the sleep regression persists for an extended period, consult with a pediatrician or a sleep specialist for guidance and support.
While sleep regressions can be challenging for both children and parents, they are typically temporary and improve with time. Parents can help manage sleep regressions by maintaining consistent bedtime routines, providing comfort and reassurance to their child during nighttime awakenings, and ensuring their child is getting enough daytime sleep.
It’s essential to remember that every child is unique, and while some may experience sleep regressions at 24 months, others may not go through this phase or may experience it at a different age. If you have concerns about your child’s sleep patterns or if the disruption persists for an extended period, consider consulting with a pediatrician or a sleep specialist for guidance and support.
How long does 24 month sleep regression last
The duration of a sleep regression, including the 24-month sleep regression, can vary from child to child. On average, sleep regressions tend to last anywhere from two to six weeks. However, some children may experience a shorter regression, while others may have a more prolonged period of disrupted sleep.
Several factors can influence the length and severity of a sleep regression, including the child’s temperament, how well they adapt to changes, and the specific reasons behind the regression (e.g., developmental milestones, teething, separation anxiety).
It’s essential to be patient and consistent during a sleep regression. While it can be challenging, maintaining a consistent bedtime routine, providing comfort and reassurance to your child during nighttime awakenings, and ensuring they get enough daytime sleep can help ease the transition back to more regular sleep patterns.
If you find that your child’s sleep regression persists for an extended period, or if you have concerns about their sleep habits or overall well-being, it’s a good idea to consult with a pediatrician or a sleep specialist. They can provide guidance and advice tailored to your child’s specific situation and help identify any underlying issues that may be contributing to the sleep disruption.
What are the symptoms of 24 month sleep regression?
The symptoms of the 24-month sleep regression, like other sleep regressions, can vary from child to child. However, common signs and symptoms of the 24-month sleep regression may include:
- Increased Night Wakings: Your toddler may start waking up more frequently during the night. They might have previously slept through the night or had fewer awakenings but now wake up multiple times.
- Difficulty Falling Asleep: Your child may struggle to fall asleep at bedtime. They may resist going to bed, ask for additional stories or comfort, or become more anxious about being left alone.
- Shorter Naps: Toddlers around 24 months old often transition from two naps a day to one. During the sleep regression, they may resist napping or have shorter nap durations, which can lead to increased daytime crankiness.
- Increased Separation Anxiety: Many children experience separation anxiety around this age, which can make it harder for them to settle down at bedtime and lead to more nighttime awakenings.
- Changes in Bedtime Routine: Your child may become more particular about their bedtime routine or insist on changes to it. This can include wanting different books, songs, or activities before bed.
- Nightmares or Night Terrors: Some children may experience more vivid dreams, nightmares, or night terrors during this phase, leading to nighttime disturbances.
- Teething or Discomfort: If your child is still teething at this age or experiencing discomfort from other sources (e.g., illness or growth spurts), it can disrupt their sleep.
- Increased Fussiness: Sleep regressions can make children more irritable or fussy during the day due to insufficient or disrupted sleep.
- Changes in Appetite: Disrupted sleep patterns may also affect your child’s appetite, potentially leading to changes in eating habits.
It’s important to remember that sleep regressions are typically temporary and are often linked to developmental milestones and changes in your child’s life. While it can be challenging to deal with these sleep disruptions, maintaining a consistent bedtime routine, offering comfort and reassurance, and ensuring your child gets enough daytime sleep can help navigate this phase.
If the sleep regression persists for an extended period or if you have concerns about your child’s sleep or overall well-being, consult with a pediatrician or a sleep specialist for guidance and support tailored to your child’s specific situation.
Advice to help 2 year old with sleep regression
Dealing with a 2-year-old experiencing a sleep regression can be challenging, but there are strategies you can try to help your child through this phase:
- Maintain a Consistent Routine:
- Stick to a regular bedtime routine. Predictability can provide comfort and signal to your child that it’s time for sleep.
- Include calming activities such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or singing lullabies before bedtime.
- Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment:
- Ensure the bedroom is conducive to sleep: a comfortable mattress, appropriate room temperature, and minimal light and noise.
- Consider using a nightlight if your child is afraid of the dark.
- Address Separation Anxiety:
- Offer extra comfort and reassurance during bedtime. Spend some quiet, quality time with your child before bedtime to help them feel secure.
- Consider using a transitional object, like a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, to provide comfort during the night.
- Be Patient and Understanding:
- Understand that sleep regressions are often temporary phases related to development. Try to remain patient and calm when dealing with nighttime awakenings.
- Avoid expressing frustration or anger, as this can make bedtime more stressful for your child.
- Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule:
- Maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends. Consistency helps regulate your child’s internal sleep clock.
- Avoid excessive napping during the day, which can interfere with nighttime sleep.
- Limit Screen Time:
- Reduce screen time, especially close to bedtime. The blue light from screens can interfere with melatonin production, making it harder for your child to fall asleep.
- Address Teething or Discomfort:
- If teething is a contributing factor, offer appropriate pain relief as recommended by your pediatrician.
- Ensure your child is dressed comfortably and not too hot or too cold.
- Stay Calm During Night Wakings:
- When your child wakes up during the night, respond calmly and quietly. Avoid stimulating activities or too much light.
- Try to encourage self-soothing if your child is capable of it.
- Consistency in Sleep Training:
- If you’ve previously sleep-trained your child, stick to the techniques you’ve used to encourage self-soothing and independent sleep.
- If you haven’t sleep-trained, consider consulting with a pediatric sleep specialist for guidance on age-appropriate sleep training methods.
- Consult a Pediatrician:
- If the sleep regression persists for an extended period, or if you have concerns about your child’s sleep or overall health, consult with your child’s pediatrician for guidance and to rule out any underlying medical issues.
Remember that sleep regressions are temporary phases in a child’s development, and they typically improve with time. Be patient, and with consistency and support, your child’s sleep patterns should return to normal.
Tips For Parents How to Help During 2 Year Old Sleep Regression
Sleep regression in a 2-year-old can be challenging for parents, but there are several strategies you can try to help your child during this phase:
- Stick to a Consistent Bedtime Routine:
- Maintain a predictable and calming bedtime routine to signal to your child that it’s time for sleep. Consistency can be reassuring.
- Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment:
- Ensure the bedroom is conducive to sleep with a comfortable mattress, appropriate room temperature, and minimal distractions like noise and light.
- Consider using blackout curtains or a nightlight if needed.
- Address Separation Anxiety:
- Understand that 2-year-olds often experience separation anxiety. Spend some quality time with your child during the day to strengthen your bond.
- Provide extra comfort and reassurance during bedtime. Let your child know you’ll be nearby if they need you.
- Stay Patient and Calm:
- Sleep regressions are temporary and part of normal development. Stay patient and avoid expressing frustration, which can make bedtime more stressful.
- Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule:
- Stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends. Consistency helps regulate your child’s internal sleep clock.
- Ensure naps are age-appropriate and not too close to bedtime, as they can interfere with nighttime sleep.
- Limit Screen Time:
- Reduce screen time, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. The blue light from screens can disrupt sleep.
- Comfort and Security Objects:
- Allow your child to have a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or comfort object in bed. These items can provide a sense of security.
- Deal with Teething or Discomfort:
- If teething is a concern, consult your pediatrician for appropriate pain relief methods.
- Ensure your child is dressed comfortably and that their room is at a suitable temperature.
- Respond to Night Wakings Consistently:
- When your child wakes up at night, respond calmly and quietly. Avoid engaging in stimulating activities or turning on bright lights.
- Encourage self-soothing if your child is capable of it, but also provide comfort as needed.
- Consult a Pediatrician:
- If the sleep regression persists for an extended period or if you have concerns about your child’s sleep or overall health, consult with your pediatrician for guidance.
- Consider Sleep Training Techniques:
- Depending on your parenting philosophy, you might explore sleep training methods designed for toddlers. Consult with a pediatric sleep specialist for guidance on age-appropriate techniques.
- Take Care of Your Own Sleep:
- Ensure you are getting enough rest as well. Caring for a child during a sleep regression can be exhausting, so prioritize self-care when possible.
Remember that sleep regressions are temporary and usually a result of developmental changes. With patience, consistency, and love, you can help your child navigate this phase and establish healthy sleep habits.
Be sure to check out more of our posts from our sleep experts.