How do you deal with the 18 month sleep regression?
Help! My 17.5 month old is going through what I think is the 18 month sleep regression. She has temper tantrums more often and during sleep times. She won’t let me lay her down (even though she has been able to self soothe since she was 5mos old) and she is up for hours at a time. I am pregnant and have a 3 year old as well so this makes for very long days. I would love any tips on how to get through this! We’ve never dealt with it this bad.
There are a lot of different ways to solve this type of problem. If you have a favorite intervention that you have used before, then you can use that again and your daughter should bounce back to normal (your intervention is your way of setting expectations for sleep and if she already understands what your actions mean, then it’s worth repeating a familiar intervention). The 18 month regression is a time when there is usually a bout of separation anxiety and transitions become very difficult for toddlers. You might start with just helping her manage transitions by layering what you do at bedtime. Try turning off the light before you leave and spend some time rubbing her back with the lights out. Then tell her that you’ll check on her as you leave and come back to “check” after just a few minutes. You might rub her back again and then leave and “check” again. When you interact with her go to “night mommy” mode, where you just repeat, “I love you, but it’s time to sleep.” Try not to engage or get angry, just gently tell her what you expect. It may take 3-4 days for her to adapt, but if you are very consistent, then it should work.