Family Life

Toddler sleep regression: 4 tips to get things back on track

Sleep regression frequents early childhood sleeping patterns in a continuous cycle; four months, eight-10 months, 12 months, 18 months and two years – it can seem like an endless battle to get some shut-eye, for both of you.

Sleep training for the under-three’s varies greatly, and what once seemed to work may seem to have no effect now – but don’t give up, you are doing great.

Changes in their sleep patterns are due to mental growth spurts, which are developmental milestones.

Kids are going through a lot of change at this early point in their lives, and it can be a little overwhelming and even scary.

If you are seeing things like night terrors, frequent waking and crying, stress could be the cause.

There is a lot to take in, and at this minute they are finding their personalities and discovering how they fit into family life.

Thankfully, however, these are all temporary phases that will pass, but how can you cope in the meantime, we hear your ask?! 

Well, with the following four tips, you'll all be getting some much-needed shut-eye:

1. Minimise the stress

Broken sleep, constant waking and being over tired is stressful on you, so you can imagine how stressful this is on your child.

Try to keep the bedtime routine the same every night as this will make them feel “safe and secure”, according to Parenting coach, Kerry Secker.

She also said that by “giving them gentle bedtime boundaries” will make them feel more settled.

A calming bedtime routine will help to prevent night terrors and waking during the night as your child will feel more relaxed.

“If [you] do drop their nap then you may need to bring their bedtime earlier, so that they don’t become overtired.”

2. Limit activities

Taking into account that everything is new and can be overwhelming for the tots, limit their daily activities.

Simply avoid making too many plans, as the constant to-ing and fro-ing will stress your child out no end.

For example if you go to the park in the afternoon and after an hour you can see them getting tired, get them home before a tantrum starts – hanging around any longer, and they will become over tired, which will result in a broken night’s sleep for all.

3. Let them make decisions

Give them clear choices such as picking between two pairs of shoes, or a different jacket while indicating where they will be wearing them to. You’re both winners!

4. Reassurance

Separation anxiety is experienced by many toddlers. Reassure them by letting them know where you are going and when you will be back.

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