As toddlers grow, they start to experience challenges when it comes to sleep, just like infants do. If your child is struggling with not getting enough sleep and is cranky about it, this may be because of a sleep regression. Sleep regression are easy for parents to spot in 4 months to 2 years old babies. You’ll see the following behaviours:
- Increased appetite and frequent feeding
- New frequent waking in the night
- Taking short naps
- Increased fussiness and tears
- Aggression with other kids or adults
- Refusing to sleep during the day altogether
Your baby isn’t getting enough sleep. Not only does this mean your baby won’t get the long uninterrupted sleep necessary for developing a healthy sleep schedule, but you’re missing out on those restful hours too. Sleep interruptions can make it tough to be a parent, especially when your bundle of joy needs comfort, milk or food, or your attention throughout the day.
4 Month Regression
The 4-month sleep regression is the first sleep pattern change that babies experience. However, all babies eventually experience it. Some might experience it a month earlier or later. The signs include –
- changes in nap routines
- experiencing trouble getting to sleep
- trouble falling back asleep
The 4-month sleep regression is typically just a blip in your baby’s sleeping pattern. The regressive phase is usually less suppressed and more like they’re becoming an adult.
6 Month Regression
Most 6 months old babies experience a sleep regression-a time when their sleep patterns change. This is an exciting intermediate phase of development. These age toddlers are learning to sit up on their own and some may even start creeping or crawling around. Their needs are changing as they explore more solid foods, and they begin using their pincer grasp to pick food up and feed themselves.
8 Month Regression
The 8-month sleep regression happens for two reasons: developmental milestones and brain development. At this stage, most kids are making great strides physically – like learning to crawl, pull up, cruise, etc. There’s also a lot of mental growth happening at this stage. Even they are beginning to absorb language and digest it more efficiently.
12 Month Regression
Babies have an array of skills to learn over their first year. For example, they start developing speech, which was once just a concept or random noises. They may start saying “mama” and “dada” (though not always correctly), and they will even say one or two words on top of that. They can soon walk and are practicing by pulling themselves up on everything and taking a few steps as you hold them.
What does all of this have to do with your baby’s sleep? But due to all activities, toddlers may wake early from naps or refuse them indefinitely. And babies that were sleeping through the night might start waking up again frequently.
2 Year Regression
While sleep problems at 2 years old are less straightforward than the others, there are a variety of reasons why it might happen. For example, your 2-year-old’s awake time is growing longer as he transitions into this new phase of life, which can throw your child off when it comes to his sleep schedule.
Your 2-year-old will likely work through some big milestones, for example, they may be potty-trained and ready to explore the world of a big kid bed.
Around the age of 2, lots of toddlers will begin having very real nightmares or night terrors. These potentially stressful events can lead to a very real and exhausting sleep regression at around 2 years old.
Best way to handle sleep regression
There are many methods you can use to manage just about any type of sleep regression. Most notably, you can put your child on a gradually decreasing nap schedule. This will help them get back in touch with nighttime sleep and therefore fall back asleep more easily during the night and have a better morning sleeping habits.
If your toddler is experiencing sleep regression, here’s what you need to know: it might take some trial and error and plenty of patience. But, where should you begin? No worries! Try below-listed points –
- Prepare for bedtime…during the day to improve toddler sleep.
- Use a predictable bedtime routine to stop toddler sleep regressions.
- Solve toddler sleep regressions with Twinkle Interrupts.
- Limit screen time like mobile use or Television.
- Try switching to comfortable baby sleeping mats.
- Add some light in the dark room.
While there are many sleep regressions, no matter what age your baby or toddler is there is a lot of work they need from you to get through it. You’ll have to support their needs while they go through whatever new skill or understanding that is keeping them awake.