Toddler Sleep Regressions

The term every parent doesn’t want to hear.

You think you finally getting the hang of raising a toddler, your sleep patterns have gotten a little more regular, you no longer act like a zombie during daylight hours. Everything seems to be going pretty smoothly, and then it happens.

Your toddler starts to take a lot longer to go to sleep of a night, your toddler goes through a couple of days without naps, or what starts off as one bad night of sleep turns into multiple nights.

sleep regression

You start to wonder if you have done anything different? or if your child might be sick, and then it clicks. That dreaded term you had only heard rumors of or read about online comes back to haunt you. That’s right

Toddler Sleep Regressions

Yes they are a real thing that the majority of us will experience. They are not just a legend told to scare parents.

Thankfully there is plenty of information available online from experts about what exactly a sleep regression is: sleep regression refers to a period of time when a baby or toddler who’s been sleeping well suddenly begins waking at night and during naptime, or even refusing to go to sleep at all (Baby Sleep Site).

So at least you will know if you are going through an actual regression, or you know, your child is just being painful.

If you have been following for awhile I have actually written about this before in A Good Nights Sleep Is this a reoccurring theme? maybe, all well, this is a Dad Blog after all.

Our Current Situation

Last night our toddler decided to wake up at around midnight, to a non parent this might seem funny, to another parent this may seem like a common occurrence and something we should be used to. Either one would be fine, if he had decided to go back to sleep before 5am.

note, I need to be honest here, it wasn’t actually last night this happened, it was earlier in the week, but yesterday I was too tired to write something that at least made sense.

sleep regression effects

If this was the only ‘refusing to sleep’ event that had occurred recently I would put it down to a bad night, unfortunately its not.

As a shift worker I am not home most evenings when its time for our little guy to go to sleep, so the ‘falling asleep’ routine has fallen upon my wife. She is fine with this (as far as I know), what does get to her is when a routine that used to take all of about 10-15 minutes to complete, lately has been taking up to 2 hours. Yes, that’s 2 hours of comforting, watching, settling, before he falls asleep.

As you can imagine this tends to have an impact on our sanity. It does help to know we are not alone though. Baby Sleep Site has written a good article on the topic here. However as parents know, every child is different and it doesn’t matter how many articles you read or strategies you research, sometimes you just have to wait it out.

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25 Replies to “Toddler Sleep Regressions”

  1. 4 and a half years old is how old my second was before she slept through the entire night in her own bed.

    My first manged this at 12 months (mostly).

    There is a lot of advice out there, and you will find the one that will work best for you and your family! Good luck!

  2. Sleep deprivation and broken sleep are so tough. It used to take me well over an hour to get my daughter to sleep during her 2’s. It was not a time I would ever want to return to. 🙃

  3. WOW I do not have children but I bet this is such a useful and helpful post to parents out there on what to expect and to know they are not alone – thanks for sharing!

  4. Sleep patterns are one of the things we’ve always had problems with. With our first we went through it a little but she settled down into a good routine.

    Unfortunately for us our youngest hasn’t. There is help out there though if you look, we’re going through a process with a sleep clinic.

    I hope you get back to a good routine soon and thanks for sharing #DreamTeam

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience! I think the trouble we have is we dont know whether its just ‘a bad night’ and thats normal or if its something we need to look into further. Something to consider though

  5. I’m so glad we seem to be past those days. It’s been at least half a year since we had to deal with that whole “hanging around for a couple hours waiting for sleep” thing.

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