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Toddler Sleep Regression? Here’s What to Do

toddler sleep regression

One of the things I love best about the baby sleep training program I have developed is that the results can be fast. In fact, many little ones can be taught to sleep on their own in just a week. And I have loved hearing from clients that their little ones are sleeping beautifully!

So the first time a former client called me to say, “my toddler was sleeping great — now he’s getting up in the middle of the night again,” I knew something bigger was going on.

I also knew from my experience as a registered nurse and certified baby sleep consultant that where there is a problem, there is a solution.

So I began digging into the science, interviewing clients, and adding courses for my students. Here’s what I found out about toddler sleep regression, and what to do if it’s happening with your child.

What is Toddler Sleep Regression?

It’s important to know that night wakings don’t always mean a regression. Toddler sleep regression happens when a child who was previously sleeping well, suddenly has issues with sleeping.

Unfortunately, that’s what makes it so confusing for parents. Your child was sleeping beautifully. Now, suddenly, they’re up at 2AM, ready to play, eat or just cry. Or they may have other sleep disturbances that seem to come out of the blue.

Here are different types of sleep regression your toddler or preschooler may be experiencing.

Types of Toddler Sleep Regression

(And What to Do)

Type #1: Your Child Awakens During the Night

With this type of regression, a toddler who previously slept through the night without needing a parent or caregiver, begins crying for you at night.

This does not necessarily mean your toddler never wakes during the night. If they are able to self-soothe back to sleep (see my training course for details), this is not an actual sleep regression.

What to Do:

Type #2: Your Child Won’t Fall Asleep on Their Own

Some babies seem to learn to fall asleep on their own. Others need a little help.

Either way, if your child has been falling asleep on their own, but now they are suddenly fussy or wide-awake when you put them down, it could be a sign of a toddler sleep regression.

What to Do:

Type #3: Your Child Sleeps More During the Day, Less at Night

This type of regression is roughly similar to the normal sleep habits of a newborn. Though the total hours are about equal, babies tend to nap several times a day and get up a couple of times at night.

Toddlers drop one or two naps and sleep longer at night.

If your child was in the stage of less napping, but now the daytime sleep is back and nighttime rest is out the window, this could be a regression.

What to Do:

Type #4: Your Child Wants Their “Lovey” Back

I’m not against sleep associations. A favorite toy or blanket can be a huge help with infant sleep training.

Some children hold onto their “lovey” into toddlerhood or slightly later. That’s okay, too. But if they didn’t need their lovey, and are suddenly asking for it, your toddler may be going through a sleep regression.

What to Do:

Other Things to Consider

Little one not sleeping?

There IS a solution.

Contact me today!

Whatever the reason for toddler sleep regression, I’m here to help. Reach out TODAY to find out how to get started on your toddler’s best sleep ever! (Psst. Want to see what other parents are saying? Check here!)

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