Believe it or not, toddler sleep regression is not a normal thing; people think about it. It may lead to worse sleeping habits even when your toddler gets older. A toddler couldn’t take a worry-free sleep, however, in the early time when your kid is just a few months old, your baby would take good sleep at night. In short, sleeping regression can lead to a major sleepless disorder, and that costs kids a lot in the future in terms of stress, anxiety, and sometimes deadly diseases.
You have blessed with a baby who sleeps through the whole night. However, I’m sure that there may be an occasional rough night where your baby couldn’t take a good sleep and so not yours. But somehow, you have managed the situation and made your night less trouble. Then, the time changes.
Now your baby turns into an 18-month-old toddler and your life has becoming changed. How? Your little boy/girl would not go to sleep peacefully, wake up in the middle of the night, and not taking asleep at bedtime.
This is what we called it a sleeping regression. Let’s discuss today on this sleeping disorder and how can parents and children deal with it and overcome the situation.
The most common stereotype is “toddlers and infants do not sleep”. According to a report published in 2010, kids are sleeping through a night when they are 3 months old. The sleep patterns change as they grow & that’s called sleep regression.
Well in other terms, a sleep regression is when an infant who is a great sleeper – takes asleep on time but he suddenly refuses to take asleep at bedtime, wakes up frequently during the night & then not go back to sleep quickly. It can happen at several points in life, brain development is one of them. The growth can sometimes disrupt the brain hormones that are responsible for calm sleep. Your toddler’s brain is resetting self and so, sleep might be disrupted. Few other external factors for a sleepless night for a baby are teething, stress, travel, change in routine, sickness, and unwanted guests. Such factors cause temporary sleep disorders.
Sleep is an important part of every living thing whether it’s an animal or a human being especially the toddlers. It helps to develop brain growth. The fact is “a toddler’s brain stays active during sleep more than it’s during awake times”. At the age of 18 months to 24 months, a toddler needs 12 -14 hours of sleep in a day.
When preschoolers & toddlers do not get proper sleep at that time, it can lead to major disorder issues and long-term negative consequences. Poor sleep in the early stage of life is directly linked to complications such as cognitive deficits and rude behavior.
In the USA, the majority of toddlers do have at least one teddy bear with them and love their companionship. They talk, play, enjoy friendship with a teddy and they even love to sleep with it hugging tightly. If your toddler is suffering from sleep regression, then you must let them enjoy the companionship with stuffed animals. So, when your baby awakes in the middle of the night; just give a favorite toy. Yes, it seems weird but works fine. After a few nights, your kid will learn to sleep with a teddy himself and stop hassling you during the night.
If you haven’t made your kid habituate to a stuffed animal like a stuffed dog or a teddy bear, this is the time to get a teddy bear online and gift your kid on a nearer occasion.
The very first basic things you should do is stay consistent with a sleeping routine and of course night time behavior. You must understand that it’s a confusing and a busy time for your toddler as he/she learns new things at every minute. So, maintain the bedtime routine like story time, bath, or a cuddle time to a stuffed animal. This will help your baby to get ready for a peaceful sleep. Following the daily routine can become a key to reduce sleep regression.
Along with the consistency, it is vital to stay calm especially when you are dealing with sleep regression. Follow the rule strictly: When it is a time for asleep, it’s time to sleep. Reassure your child that he/she would have to follow it daily.
Well, parents have their comfort level and tricks to deal with the nighttime awakenings. Some parents believe in co-sleeping while other parents prefer to encourage toddlers to get asleep on his / her own. Well, co-sleeping is not an idea you want to do for the long-term, you should opt for the short-term solution for the short-term to help your kid to take a calm sleep.
When your kid is about to 18 months old; your kid would love to watch TV or stay to stick with a mobile screen. Due to this bad habit, the sleep schedule has been ruined. To avoid such consequences, you should screen time before an hour of bedtime and please do not keep a TV in your kid’s bedroom.
When all the above ideas fail, this works. Just incentivize (in other words tempt) your child with the stuff they love. If your son would have some good nights for a few days and then a bad night comes, you should tempt your kid with a little surprise deal. It would be like “If you sleep well and do not wake up mommy and daddy; you will get a special gift in the morning”. You should surprise him/her with a surprise gift in the morning; otherwise, they will not trust you anymore in the future.
Following the above tips would help your lovely toddler to reduce the sleep regression gradually and one day he will not disturb your sleep. Among the above tips, you must follow the first one: Buy a stuffed animal for your toddler and let him/her indulge in the friendship.