The 18 Month Sleep Regression


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 Imagine it or not, there’s such a factor because the 18 month sleep regression.

You probably have an 18 month outdated who’s instantly rejecting naps, battling bedtime, waking up all through the night time, or is satisfied that 4:00-6:00 AM is a good time to start out their morning, then you definitely’ve come to the proper place.

Relaxation assured that it’s utterly regular and customary to undergo an 18 month sleep regression. 

Regardless that your baby isn’t a child anymore, they will nonetheless expertise regressions.

On this video and podcast, I’m going to stroll you thru all the pieces it’s essential to know concerning the 18 month sleep regression, together with a easy, but SHOCKING piece of recommendation that can probably result in an enormous, constructive shift in your toddler’s sleeping journey. 

The 18 Month Sleep Regression Defined

On the subject of toddler sleep regressions, it’s vital to know methods to deal with them and methods to keep away from them sooner or later. 

The 18 month regression can present itself within the following methods: 

  1. Early morning wakings (4-6AM)
  2. Protesting or Rejecting the nap
  3. Night time wakings
  4. Problem falling asleep 

Your toddler may very well be battling one or all of those indicators above. 

In the event you haven’t observed already, your 18 months outdated has rather more independence and persona than they did as a child. 

Due to this, it’s vital to know that you’ll method this toddler regression in another way than you’ll a child regression.

It’s straightforward to start out considering that your toddler isn’t sleeping properly as a result of they’ve a loopy quantity of vitality or that they possibly don’t want that a lot sleep anymore. 

The fact is that at 18 months outdated, your toddler nonetheless wants a LOT of sleep each through the day and through the night time. 

In actual fact, your 18 month outdated nonetheless wants 11 to 12 hours of sleep all night time lengthy with one, 2-2.5 hour noon nap. 

If that is your first time visiting our youtube channel and also you don’t know who I’m or a lot about our philosophy right here at Little Z’s, it’s vital to know that I’m a powerful advocate for impartial sleep. 

Because of this your 18 month outdated has the total functionality to sleep on their very own for each naps and nights with out assist from you or sleep props.

After you say “Goodnight” to your toddler, give them a kiss, stroll out of their room, and shut their door, they need to be capable to go to sleep inside 10 to fifteen minutes all on their very own with no intervention wanted. 

They fall asleep, get up, and are able to go for the remainder of the day.

If you’re watching this video and your toddler has a historical past of sleeping independently, then it’s very probably this video will assist! 

Nevertheless, if you’re rubbing your 18 month outdated’s again, giving them a pacifier, holding their hand to sleep, or giving them bottles all through the night time, then I wish to level you to my Toddler Sleep Coaching Course HERE. 

This course will assist your toddler take cost of their very own sleep and be taught to sleep independently.

Within my course you obtain a step-by-step plan that can assist your toddler to take cost of their sleep, making sleep a factor for you and your loved ones.

How one can Deal with the 18 Month Sleep Regression

In case your younger toddler is often an impartial sleeper however they’re using the wrestle bus in the case of sleep, then let’s speak about what you are able to do to assist them by means of the 18 month regression.  

1. Get the Power Out

Within the child world, you merely comply with your baby’s wake home windows or set schedule.

You don’t have to fret about what you’re doing along with your child throughout every wake window, so long as they’re awake!

In contrast to infants, toddlers have an immense have to get all of their bodily vitality out earlier than they’re prepared to fall asleep once more!

Sure, your toddler nonetheless has wake home windows, however now it’s vital to interact your toddler in energetic, energy-exerting methods DURING their wake home windows! 

 In the event you’re confused with toddler wake home windows, take a look at my full schedule information HERE.

In case your toddler has a full wake window (4.5-5.5 hours) however has been sedentary throughout it, it’s probably they won’t really feel prepared for his or her nap. 

So, step one to fixing the 18 month sleep regression is to research how a lot vitality your toddler is burning and exerting throughout their wake home windows earlier than nap and earlier than bedtime. 

It’s vital to make sure that your toddler is getting all of their vitality out earlier than it’s time to sleep once more!

I extremely recommend dedicating a strong hour of out of doors play (climate allowing) within the morning earlier than nap and within the afternoon earlier than bedtime. 

Let your toddler run, play, and discover the outside in order that they will get all of their vitality out resulting in high quality relaxation and sleep. 

Partaking your toddler in outside play and exploration is critical for 2 causes:

  1. It permits them to expel all the mandatory vitality they should to be able to sleep soundly.
  2. It triggers their physique to provide melatonin, the “sleepy” hormone that cues their physique to go to sleep and keep asleep. 

2. Have enjoyable collectively earlier than and through bedtime routine

Together with giving your toddler loads of time to burn some vitality exterior, it’s additionally extraordinarily vital to have enjoyable along with your toddler at bedtime! 

Your toddler’s bedtime routine mustn’t embody dimmed lights and sleepy music with subtle lavender. 

As a substitute, your toddler’s bedtime ought to comprise parts of enjoyment and connection! 

<<< On the lookout for a bedtime routine you and your toddler can get pleasure from and depend on? Try my Splendid Toddler Bedtime Routine HERE and my FREE Toddler Bedtime Playing cards HERE <<<

Your toddler CRAVES connection throughout their bedtime routine.

Due to that, it’s in your finest curiosity to incorporate 5-10 minutes of play of their bedtime routine.

Merely put, your 18 month outdated is perhaps struggling to go to sleep as a result of they haven’t burned sufficient vitality or had sufficient connection time with you.

3. No Bottle or “Sippy” Cup of Milk Earlier than Mattress

Now, let’s check out an 18 month outdated who’s having early morning wakings.  

My primary query for a father or mother who’s experiencing early morning wakings with their toddler is, “Are you giving your baby milk in a bottle or sippy cup earlier than mattress?”

In case your reply to this query is sure, then it’s time to drop the milk, chilly turkey! 

 After 13 months outdated, there ought to positively be no extra bottles.

This isn’t simply one thing that “Becca Campbell at Little Z’s Sleep Consulting” teaches.  

That is one thing that the American Academy of Pediatrics teaches as properly.

That is one thing that registered dietitians and dentists educate. 

Your toddler doesn’t want a bottle anymore. It’s not age acceptable and it’s not developmentally acceptable for them. However greater than that, sending a toddler to mattress after they’ve had an enormous bottle or “sippy” cup of milk just isn’t the proper technique to set them up for an ideal night time of sleep.

 If you’re a nursing mother, you possibly can positively nonetheless nurse your toddler!

I really like that you are able to do this and I’m so glad that you’ve been capable of give that present of nursing and connections to your toddler. 

All I might ask is that you just nurse your toddler after which begin the bedtime routine. 

Toddlers who love milk are additionally liable to turn out to be choosy eaters as a result of they know that they will refill on milk after dinner. 

Choosy consuming and ingesting plenty of milk – there’s definitely a connection there.

In the event you discover that your toddler is consuming much less at supper time after which indulging in an enormous cup or bottle of milk earlier than bedtime, then it’s time to start providing their milk with dinner. 

In the event you’re genuinely anxious concerning the area between dinner and bedtime, and don’t need your toddler to go to mattress hungry, then merely supply them a night snack proper earlier than bedtime routine.

You could possibly give them one thing hearty and easy like a banana, dinner left overs, crackers and cheese, or peanut butter toast. 

The vital factor is to supply your toddler sufficient meals throughout dinner and/or their night snack that can adequately fulfill their starvation all through the night time. 

At 18 months of age, milk simply can’t fulfill them anymore, and so they shouldn’t refill on it earlier than bedtime or very first thing within the morning.

4. Keep away from a Hole Between Lunch and Nap 

Now let’s check out one thing that particularly impacts your toddler’s noon nap. 

It’s nap time and also you simply positioned your toddler into their crib. 

As a substitute of soothing themselves to sleep, they’re enjoying round and doing gymnastics of their crib!

Or possibly, they laid there for some time and are actually fussing, crying, and protesting their nap. 

In case your baby is doing both of this stuff, it doesn’t imply that it’s time to drop the nap.

As a substitute, it may very well be that they’ve “caught a second wind” from their lunch which is inflicting them to have a more durable time winding down and falling asleep for his or her nap. 

To treatment this, as an alternative of giving your baby 20-Half-hour between lunch and nap whilst you clear the kitchen up and so they play, I need you to instantly clear them up, change their diaper, put them of their pajamas and sleep sack and after which put them of their crib for his or her nap. 

Eliminating the hole between lunch and nap time will assist your baby go to sleep extra simply for his or her nap as a result of they’re naturally extra sleepy after they eat and fill their stomach. 

5. Acknowledge the Cuddle Second 

Let’s discuss concerning the final and remaining piece of the puzzle in the case of fixing and dealing with the 18 month sleep regression. 

It’s referred to as the “cuddle second.” 

As a father or mother, it’s good and regular so that you can wish to snuggle your toddler! 

Snuggling is a priceless present that each father or mother ought to cherish.

Your toddler gained’t be a toddler ceaselessly and it’s essential to savor it whereas it lasts! 

Nevertheless, if you’re cuddling your toddler when you are standing at nighttime and they’re laying in your shoulder, feeling cozy and snuggly of their sleep sack, proper earlier than you place them into their crib, it may very well be hindering their sleep!

That’s as a result of in case your toddler is leaning their head in your shoulder and shutting their eyes as you sing their favourite music at nighttime, then they’re probably getting drowsy. 

I’m not a cuddle monster, I promise you, I LOVE cuddles, but it surely’s vital that your toddler doesn’t get drowsy on you earlier than you place them of their crib. 


Drowsiness is the primary stage of sleep. Drowsiness exterior of their crib is an issue as a result of it’s the enemy of sleep. 

Your baby will look so that you can turn out to be drowsy once more, hindering their means to sleep on their very own. 

They’ll protest going to sleep on their very own, or they’ll wake within the night time in search of you. 

So, right here’s what I need you to do. 

Choose up your candy toddler, place them into their crib, after which lean over and provides them a hug and a kiss. 

Say a prayer, sing your music, after which go flip their sound machine on, flip the sunshine off, say, “Night time night time,” and shut the door. 

Get pleasure from snuggles all through the day or within the night earlier than bedtime routine begins and your toddler begins to really feel sleepy! 

Take away the “cuddle second” and expertise the magic of having fun with a connecting bedtime routine and an excellent night time’s relaxation with out the drowsy cuddles and protesting! 


The 18 Month sleep regression is actual and it could possibly present itself within the following methods:

  • Early morning wakings 
  • Rejecting the nap
  • Night time wakings
  • Problem falling asleep 

In case your toddler just isn’t sleeping independently, then take into account investing in my Toddler Sleep Coaching Program HERE. 

In case your toddler is an impartial sleeper,  then implement the next methods beneath to overcome the 18 month sleep regression. 

  • Get your whole toddler’s vitality out by permitting them to interact in energetic, outside play earlier than nap and earlier than bedtime. 
  • Have enjoyable collectively and revel in connecting throughout bedtime routine by participating in 10 minutes of toddler-led play
  • Take away all bottles and/or sippy cups of milk earlier than bedtime
  • Keep away from a niche between lunch and nap and put your toddler down for his or her nap instantly after they end consuming
  • Take away the “cuddle second” out of your toddler’s bedtime routine and revel in snuggling them through the day and night with out the bedtime drowsiness



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