You may be unnerved when your toddler refuses naps, delays bedtime or wakes in the middle of the night, or even wakes up for the day at 5 a.m., especially if your child has been an excellent sleeper up until now. In this article, learn more about the symptoms of sleep regression in your kids, including what it is, when it happens, and tips on handling it.
A tremendous deal of change and excitement will take place in your life during this time. You and your partner benefit from getting some shut-eye at this age since it helps you refresh and revitalize.
As a parent, you may be stumped as to why your toddler is suddenly unable to sleep. Sleep regression is most likely what you’re dealing with if your child is between 18 months and 2 years old, barring illness or another medical problem.
We’ll explain what sleep regression is and what it isn’t in this article. In addition, you’ll learn about sleep regression symptoms and when it’s time to call your child’s pediatrician. Learn how to assist your child get back on track with a more regular, restful sleep routine with these helpful hints.
Are you curious to know what sleep regression is?
Your baby’s sleep patterns will alter as they develop, so it’s normal for your toddler to go through periods of sleep regression. When a toddler who usually sleeps well suddenly refuses to nap, starts waking up at night, or wakes up at night and refuses to go back to sleep, this is known as sleep regression. It can involve waking up at night or being unable to sleep at a reasonable time in older children.
This [period] should be referred to as a “sleep progression” rather than a “sleep regression” by caretakers. Sleep is important to your child’s development, growth, and change.
An infant or child’s sleep regression can occur at any time, although it is most common during rapid growth and development. Teething, family strife, relocating, travel, stress, illness, and even a change in habit are all possible causes of sleep regression in toddlers. As long as teething isn’t an issue, these elements can impact older children.
Fortunately, sleep regressions are usually only transient. You must rule out any medical concerns before presuming that your child has gone through a sleep regression. Find out whether there are signs of an ear infection or other disease disrupting your young child’s sleep.
Many of the most prevalent causes of sleep regressions can be traced back to a child’s growth. Moving rooms, acquiring a new sibling, or even a trip to grandma’s house can all have an effect. Babies and children are acutely attuned to the subtle signals that accompany the passage of time.
Consult your child’s pediatrician if you have any reason to believe your infant may be suffering from an illness or other medical condition. They can assist you in determining whether or not your child’s incapacity or unwillingness to sleep is due to sleep regression.
Symptoms of Decreased Quality of Sleep
When you think you’ve got your child’s sleep troubles under control, the worst thing that can happen is for them to reappear. Disrupted sleep can leave you exhausted and frustrated, regardless of whether your child refuses to go to bed or to nap.
As a result, it’s critical to recognize the telltale indicators of sleep regression while also keeping an open mind about possible causes of their insomnia. In the following paragraphs, we’ll go over the most obvious symptoms of sleep regression.
Refusing to Take a Nap
Refusing to take a nap can be a sign of sleep regression. For example, the transition to a big kid bed may be a happy time for your toddler. They may find it difficult to wind down and take a nap due to all of their discoveries and discoveries. Keeping to a consistent nap schedule and even requiring quiet time when your toddler claims they aren’t tired is the most important thing you can do.
Although it is crucial to remember that there may be other reasons for a child’s refusal to sleep, this is the most common. We recommend keeping an eye on how much sleep your child gets in 24 hours.
Sleep regression can occur during a critical developmental stage for your toddler. These children’s sleeping patterns may be evolving. It’s also possible that they’re transitioning to a new nap schedule—any major developmental milestone might induce regressions like this.
If you’re still attempting to encourage your child to take two naps despite their getting the necessary 11 to 14 hours of sleep, she believes they may be ready to go down to one. This could be because they’re getting ready to stop napping completely if they’re an older child. You must have fair expectations of your child, no matter how difficult the transition from naps may be.
Toddlers’ increasing self-awareness is another factor contributing to their aversion to naps. To help your toddler feel more in charge of their situation, she suggests allowing them to choose which book to read before bedtime.
Getting Up Early
An early morning wake-up might indicate sleep deprivation in some cases. Your child may be eager to begin the day because they are learning something new. Alternatively, they may be attempting to assert their independence by hopping out of their toddler bed as soon as they open their eyes.
Wakefulness is another sign that their sleep demands are shifting; it might mean they’re receiving too little sleep and needing a later bedtime, or it could mean they’re getting too much sleep and needing later nighttime. Smith advises parents to watch for patterns in their child’s sleeping habits.
Observe how long they are awake before and after their naps, how long their naps are, and when they go to bed at night. Your toddler’s sleep routine may need to be changed to identify if they are experiencing a sleep regression.
Stopping at the Hour of Bedtime
“I need a drink,” “I have to go potty,” and “Just one more book” are all common excuses. Bedtime is notoriously tricky for toddlers because of their stubbornness. Stall tactics, on the other hand, maybe a warning of an impending regression in sleep.
There is a possibility that your kid is merely pushing the limits. Alternatively, they may be experiencing separation anxiety and require additional reassurance. Whatever the cause, your child’s sleep regression has a root cause, and you can assist him, or her get back to a good night’s sleep once you identify it.
Keeping in mind that sleep regression isn’t a one-time occurrence is essential. When it occurs, it’s always in the context of something else.
As a parent, you must maintain a strict routine and make clear rules for your child when they refuse to go to bed. Despite their natural tendency to test the boundaries, Toddlers are comfortable with them. In addition, by sticking to your guns, you can lay the groundwork for your child’s lifetime of good sleep hygiene.
Having a Hard Time Falling asleep
Almost everyone wakes up at some point throughout the night, but those who have mastered the art of self-soothing can simply turn over and resume their sleep. Your child’s nighttime cries may be due to teething discomfort. Consider consulting your child’s pediatrician to determine the best course of action for those newly erupted 2-year molars.
In addition to achieving developmental milestones and experiencing separation anxiety, toddlers may have sleep regression due to waking up in the middle of the night. It’s critical to be calm and compassionate while reassuring your youngster during these trying moments. You should encourage them to learn how to self-soothe and not bring them into your bed if you want to promote proper sleep hygiene.
When to call your child’s doctor.
If your toddler is experiencing sleep regression, remember that every child is an individual. As a child grows, they may go through several sleep regressions, while others may just have a few days of disturbance.
Sleep regression will likely only last a few days, however. Your kid’s pediatrician may be able to help if the sleep disruptions your child is experiencing last longer than you thought.
As Smith points out, if your child isn’t getting enough shut-eye, it may have anything to do with the setting in which they sleep or how you react to disturbances. Occasionally, however, something else is at work.
Sleep problems, for example, are more likely in children with medical, developmental, or mental health challenges. The same study also indicated that genetics, environmental factors, and parental behavior could contribute to 18-month-olds’ sleep difficulties.
Consider looking at the complete child as a common theme in our discussions. For example, we need to see if the child is still developing or growing normally or if there are indications of a problem elsewhere. In some cases, sleep regression may be a symptom of a more severe problem.
In addition, it’s important to remember that long-term sleep problems can have a wide range of health consequences. According to research, academic, social, developmental, and behavioral impairments and weight anomalies have been linked to a lack of sleep.
From the Mouths of the Wise
If your sleep is disrupted due to a sleep regression, it can be difficult and exhausting. You can count on it being brief, though. Most sleep regressions can be resolved within a few days to weeks if you respond patiently and consistently.
Your kid’s pediatrician is your best bet if your child’s sleep problems continue or if you suspect your child has an ear infection, for example. They can evaluate your child and, if necessary, provide a referral to a pediatric sleep specialist.
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