Surviving the 18 Month Sleep Regression: Tips for You

As your little one gets close to 18 months, something big might change. Their regular sleep plan could suddenly be all over the place. This is called the 18-month sleep regression. It’s a common time when toddlers’ night and nap routines can go haywire. This is often due to their big physical, learning, and emotional changes. You might see bedtime battles, nap fights, night waking ups, and more fussiness than usual.

This sleep struggle at 18 months is quite normal and won’t stick around forever. Experts see it as a hint that your toddler is growing and learning a lot. They are trying to do new things like talk more, show their independence, and fight off separation worries. Knowing what’s behind this sleep upset can help you deal with it better. You can help your child build better sleep routines during this time.

Key Takeaways

  • The 18-month sleep regression is a common and temporary disruption in a toddler’s sleep routine, often caused by major physical, cognitive, and emotional developments.
  • Toddlers may experience issues such as fighting bedtime, resisting naps, waking up during the night, and increased fussiness during this regression.
  • The 18-month sleep regression is a normal part of a toddler’s development, signaling progress in areas like language, independence, and separation anxiety.
  • Understanding the causes and signs of the 18-month sleep regression can help parents navigate this phase and establish healthy sleep habits for their toddler.
  • Consistent and age-appropriate sleep habits can minimize the impact of the 18-month sleep regression on your toddler’s overall sleep patterns.

What is the 18 Month Sleep Regression?

The 18 month sleep regression means your toddler’s sleep changes for a while. They might find bedtime and naps hard. Also, they could wake up a lot during the night. This happens because they are learning lots like new words, moving more, and feeling a little anxious when not near you.

Signs of the 18 Month Sleep Regression

If your toddler is in the 18 month sleep regression, you might see them not wanting to sleep. They could have trouble napping and wake up more at night. You might find them more upset and crying too. It can be tough to calm them down to sleep again.

Causes of the 18 Month Sleep Regression

There are many reasons for the 18 month sleep regression. Your toddler might feel more independent, move a lot, or be anxious without you nearby. Teething can also make them uncomfortable. Plus, they’re learning to talk and dealing with big emotions, which makes it hard for them to sleep.

Toddler Sleep NeedsRecommended Sleep Duration
Total Daily Sleep12-14 hours
Nighttime Sleep10-12 hours
Daytime Naps2-3 hours

The 18 month sleep regression is a common phase in your toddler’s life. You can help them through it. This is a good time to shape their sleep habits.

How Long Does the 18 Month Sleep Regression Last?

The 18 month sleep regression is a phase that might last a few weeks or more. Some toddlers might not go through this at all. But for those who do, it’s a tough time that can be overcome.

If your child slept well before this phase, and you keep their sleep routine the same, they should go back to normal soon. But if your child always needed help to fall asleep, it might take longer. You might need to teach them some sleep training tricks for better habits.

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It’s very important to stick to your normal sleeping schedule now. Keeping the same bedtime, naps, and calming sleep routines helps a lot. It can make the hard time shorter and easier for your toddler.

Regression DurationSleep Training Needs
2-6 weeksMay require sleep training if toddler lacks independent sleep skills
Some toddlers may not experience regression at allEasier to navigate if healthy sleep habits were established prior to regression

Every child is different, so this phase will also be different for each. Knowing what to expect and working on sleep issues can make this time easier. You can help your child get back to a good sleep routine with patience and the right steps.

18 Month Sleep Regression and Separation Anxiety

The 18 month sleep regression often happens at the same time as a rise in toddler separation anxiety. Your child starts to want to do things by themselves. But they still need to feel safe with you nearby. This can make it hard for them to sleep well. You might notice they have trouble going to bed, wake up a lot at night, or find it hard to nap.

Managing Separation Anxiety During Sleep Regression

There are ways to help your toddler get through this rough patch. You can teach them to comfort themselves when they wake up at night. It’s also good to not let them sleep in your bed. And you can slowly get them used to falling asleep on their own.

It helps to give them something they love, like a stuffed animal, to sleep with. And keep their bedtime routine the same every night. This will help them learn to sleep better on their own.

Remember, this tough time won’t last forever. Be patient and use the tips that work for you and your child. Keep things steady, comfort your child, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if things don’t get better after a few weeks.

Sleep Needs of an 18 Month Old

Your little one is now 18 months old. They will need 12-14 hours of sleep a day. About 10-12 hours are at night, and the rest is during the day.

Recognizing Signs of Overtiredness

If they don’t sleep enough, you’ll notice some signs. These include trouble napping and waking up at night. They might also be more grumpy. Knowing these signs can help you fix their sleep routine.

Establishing Healthy Sleep Habits

It’s good to keep a regular bedtime and nap time. Many 18-month-olds need 5-6 hours of playtime before napping, and 4-5 hours before sleeping at night. Try waking them up by 3:00 pm. This helps them sleep by 7:00-8:00 pm. Less TV before bed and lots of playing during the day will improve their sleep too.

Sleep MetricRecommended Range
Total Daily Sleep12-14 hours
Nighttime Sleep10-12 hours
Daytime Naps2-3 hours
Awake Time Before Nap5-6 hours
Awake Time Before Bedtime4-5 hours

18 month sleep regression

The 18 month sleep regression is something many parents face with their toddlers. It’s a short phase where your child’s sleep pattern gets upset. This can happen due to big changes toddlers are going through. These include learning to talk, wanting to do more things on their own, and switching from two naps to one.

This sleep issue often happens between 16 to 20 months of age, lasting for 1-2 weeks. At this time, kids should sleep for 12-14 hours each day. This includes sleeping 10-12 hours at night and taking 2-3 hour-long naps. A wake-up time around 3:00 pm helps keep bedtime at 7:00-8:00 pm.

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To help out, offer your child some choices. This builds their confidence. If they miss their afternoon nap, try to get them to bed earlier. Also, keeping to a regular bedtime and nap schedule is key.

Sleep Training During the Regression

Is your toddler going through the 18-month sleep regression? Sleep training might help. It’s a good way to cope with the changes in their sleep. However, the 18-month sleep regression is a common part of growing up. It’s good to make sure your child gets back to better sleep habits.

Gentle Sleep Training Methods

Gentle training works best during this time. You can use methods like letting them see you in the chair, or slowly making bedtime later. The Ferber method is another to try. These techniques help your toddler calm down and sleep on their own without getting too upset.

Remember to stay steady and patient when training your child to sleep. Start a relaxing bedtime routine. Turn off screens before sleep. And make sure to comfort them when they get anxious.

For some kids, they might start sleeping through the night in one week. But, for others, it could take a few weeks.

If your child keeps having trouble sleeping after a few weeks, try the methods that worked before. It’s all about staying gentle and sticking with what you’re doing. This will help your child build good sleep habits for the long run.

Surviving the 18 Month Sleep Regression

Your little one is soon hitting 18 months. You might notice a change in their sleeping patterns. This pattern change is what we call the 18 month sleep regression. It can be tough but there are ways to get through it.

Prioritizing Active Play

Focus on active play during the 18 month sleep regression. Things like running and jumping can tire out your toddler. This tiredness can lead to better sleep. Make sure they get lots of playtime during the day, especially before sleeping time.

Adjusting Wake Windows

Watch your toddler’s wake windows closely now. The time they spend awake before napping or sleeping helps a lot. Try tweaking these wake windows to see what helps your child sleep better.

Encouraging Independence

Let your child explore and play on their own. This can reduce their need to always be with you. It also helps them learn to soothe themselves. Both these things are great for tackling sleep troubles.

Maintaining Consistency

Keep their bedtime routines consistent. Don’t change too much in their sleep schedule. This keeps things stable for your child. Stability helps them deal with any changes or disruptions better.

Remember, the 18 month sleep regression is just a phase. A little patience, understanding, and the right moves will see you through. You’ll all get to better sleep at the end of this.

When to Seek Professional Help

If your toddler’s 18 month sleep regression stays for more than a few weeks, get help. Maybe you’ve tried lots of things that didn’t work. It’s okay to ask an expert for advice. This tough time can get easier with help.

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Many parents get help from sleep consultants like those at Huckleberry Premium. They give special advice for your child’s sleep. These experts can help with the 18 month sleep problem and other issues.

Getting help is good if your toddler can’t sleep well alone or wakes up lots at night. Sleep problems affecting your family need attention. A consultant will make a plan just for you, depending on what’s causing the sleep issues.

The 18 month sleep phase is common. With good tips and help, your child can get through this time. This helps them build good sleep habits for the future. Getting expert help is a smart move. It’s an important step for your family’s happiness.


Many parents face the 18-month sleep regression with their toddlers. This phase is marked by bedtime fights, refusing naps, and waking up often at night. It’s caused by things like teething, learning to talk, wanting to do more alone, and moving from two naps to one.

To help your child through this, keep a steady bedtime routine. Make sure they play a lot during the day. And try not to change things up too much during this time.

If the sleep troubles last over a month, talking to a doctor is a good step. They can give you advice and check for any health issues. Remember, this tough phase is common and temporary.

With patience and using the right methods, you can help your child learn good sleep habits. This sets them up for better sleep in the future.


What is the 18 month sleep regression?

The 18 month sleep regression is a time when babies near 18 months and have trouble sleeping. Their sleeping at night and during naps seems to go off track. This happens because they are going through big changes in body, mind, and feelings.

What are the signs of the 18 month sleep regression?

Signs of the 18 month sleep regression include not wanting to sleep at bedtime. Or finding it hard to nap. Some may wake a lot at night and be more fussy.

What causes the 18 month sleep regression?

The 18 month sleep regression is normal and doesn’t last forever. It often happens when toddlers are hitting big milestones. This could be learning to talk more, wanting to do things by themselves, and being worried when not near parents.

How long does the 18 month sleep regression last?

The 18 month sleep regression can last a few weeks to several weeks. Its length varies. It depends on how well the toddler slept before and if they need to learn new ways to sleep well.

How does separation anxiety affect sleep during the 18 month regression?

At 18 months, toddlers may get very attached to parents but still want to be independent. This mixed feeling makes them want their parents close, which can make sleeping harder.

What are the sleep needs of an 18 month old?

An 18 month old needs around 12-14 hours of sleep every day. This includes 10-12 hours of sleep at night and some napping in the day. Not enough sleep can make them cranky.

When should parents seek professional help for the 18 month sleep regression?

If the sleep troubles last longer than a few weeks even after trying different methods, it might be good to get professional help.