Why Does the 18 Month Regression Happen?
Updated: Mar 11
There's another regression??!!
Don't worry, you only have this one to go through and one more at 2 years and you're through the most challenging regressions.
I'm hear to give you some insight as to why the 18 month regression happens...this way you'll be able to know if your toddler's sleep is nonexistent because of it or something else. And you'll be able to take actionable steps that will help your little one through this regression.
The 18 month regression will usually last anywhere between 2-6 weeks. Let's hope you're lucky and your toddler decides to only do a nap and night time strike for 2 weeks!
There are a few things that cause the 18 month regression and here's what they are:
1. Separation Anxiety
2. Your toddler starts to have a growing sense of independence
3. If your toddler hasn't dropped to one nap - they will be ready to do that now
4. Teething - not always the cause but can sometimes play a part
With this sleep regression, normally naps and night time sleep are both affected. If night time sleep is the only thing being thrown off, chances are it's not anything to do with the sleep regression. Naps are harder for your toddler to take when they have a lot going on, so naps are usually the first thing to be affected by this sleep regression.
So to sum it all up, here's some questions to ask yourself to see if your toddler is going through the 18 month regression.
1. Does your toddler cry every time you leave the room, whether that's while they are awake or supposed to be going to sleep?
2. Has your toddler started the 'no' stage and throw a fit when you won't let them have or do something?
3. Is your toddler still taking 2 naps?
4. Does your toddler have their regular teething symptoms? (They have had a few teeth come in by now so you should see a pattern of how it affects them when they get teeth)
5. Is your toddler going through a nap and night time sleep strike?
If you answered Yes to at least two of these questions, then chances are your toddler is going through the 18 month sleep regression.
If you are tired of going through these regressions and you find your toddler's sleep really hard to get back on track afterwards, I have a "Bumps in the Road Package" that walks you through every sleep regression. It will teach you what to expect, how to help them through it so they get more sleep and how to avoid making long term sleep habits to fix a short term problem. It will also help you through any developmental milestone, teething, illness, vacation, separation anxiety and more! If you want some guidance through these tough times, you can grab it here!