18 month sleep regression
Some parents consider this regression to be the toughest. Your pre-toddler might go from sleeping just fine to super disturbed sleep with frequent night wakings. Your little one might refuse naps or refuse to sleep at all. And this regression can come on quickly. The 18 month sleep regression can last anywhere from 2 – 6 weeks. The biggest tell-tale sign of this regression: early morning wakings (about 2 hours before normally waking up) that can last over one full hour, where baby seems completely awake, and ready to play. Don’t fall for it! Also with teething chances at an all-time high, baby may wake up super uncomfortable while teething.
What you can do:
Make sure you’ve grabbed an updated sleep schedule (get them for free, here); your baby definitely needs a 1-nap schedule.
Try an earlier bedtime for the first 4 weeks after you drop the morning nap. See my “bridge schedule” example in the Baby Sleep Academy class if you have it.
Practice patience stretching. This means putting away the dishes for example out of baby’s eyesight for even a minute.
Talk with your doctor about OTC teething pain solutions.
If your baby is unable to self-soothe, he/she may need some gentle sleep training. Go ahead and enroll in my Baby Sleep Academy (read more about this here) to begin a hands-on approach at your own pace.
MORE TIPS TO SURVIVE THESE sleep regressions:
Your baby most likely has sleep associations (meaning baby needs certain things to fall back to sleep). Some sleep associations are great and others require a physical touch. The big point here is to slowly break or cut back on those sleep associations that require you to be there such as (rocking or nursing to sleep).
Changes to the nursery or room is a must as well. Black out the nursery, use a sound machine, and adjust the temperature to ensure an optimal sleep environment.
Routines are so important. Sometimes when life happens, we have no choice to flex from the routines, but if you can – try to keep routines as best as possible. This will really help!
Give baby time to practice these changes. Depending on age, your baby will try to master new skills, which takes time. Try as best as you can to have patience during these regressions and don’t do it alone. Grab our sleep guides and book your sleep consultation with me for tons of education and support.