Sleep regression? — The Bump
September 2015 Moms

Sleep regression?

Lately neither DH or I can get LO down to bed at his regular time. His naps are all over the place if he naps at all. He's then up for two to three hours each night. When we put him to bed he starts screaming. It's like he terrified to go to bed. Ive cried every night in bed at 3:30 am because I'm not getting any sleep. I feel like I'm not a good mom because I can't function properly.

Is is this the 18 month sleep regression? He's not even 17 months yet (will be in a couple weeks) but he is cutting canines and molars. I've heard the sleep regression around this age is terrible. 

How did you deal with sleep regression? What can I do to ease the stress for all of us?

I'm lost and exhausted :(

Re: Sleep regression?

  • It seems like every few weeks we suffer a huge lapse in sleep progress. My best guess is the canines and molars are the issue. Many toddlers become much needier and have major sleep problems when cutting teeth. Have you tried Motrin about 30 min before bedtime? I'm curious if that would cut down the pain enough to help your LO sleep easier - it's the only way we can get my LO to sleep during teeth cutting through. My LO goes down at 6pm every night and typically wakes around 6am-7am - when she is teething bad we do Motrin right before bedtime and again in the middle of the night - once the Motrin wears off she is always up crying. This only happens during major teething/sickness though. Sorry - wish I could be more helpful other than "try Motrin" but it's seriously the only thing I have found that made a significant enough impact to help my LO (and me!) sleep. Just a side note: I completely sympathize with you on the lack of sleep and how exhausted and awful it is. My LO was one of those who NEVER slept when younger and I nearly had a mental breakdown over it. It can make your brain and body go haywire and then add the stress of seeing your LO stressed out and crying - miserable!!!! One thing I've learned is that nothing lasts forever... just when I think LO will never sleep again she goes right back to sleeping good for a few weeks. Teething will end at some point. Sleep will fall into place. Time time time - the good news is it will happen the bad news is that it sucks during these bad times. 
    BabyBugutsky
  • We are dealing with this regression as well though it looks a little different than yours.  Naps are shorter and mornings are earlier.  We have also had a few wakings overnight but they are fairly short 5 min-30 minutes.  The only thing that helps is to stay consistent (to be honest it doesn't help the situation just helps us manage it).  Bedtime is locked in (he doesn't fight it but with the shorter naps it is tempting to switch it up).  Overnight he doesn't come out of the crib...period and mornings are no earlier than 6 am (bedtime is 8 pm so that is an acceptable night if a bit shorter than I would like. 

    If it helps I do remember something like this with my first.  I know because I remember climbing into his crib so that he would sleep until a decent hour in the morning. I also remember nap disruptions because he would constantly throw his blankie from his crib. My advice to you would be to troubleshoot his schedule, sleep needs are changing as they get older so its possible it may need tweaking.  Enough wake time between nap and bed (5-6 hours?) Is he on 1 nap or 2? If he isn't napping at all that could contribute, when is he napping and where? How does he fall asleep at naptime? Bedtime? Is he going into the crib fully awake with no paci with his last feed ending 20-30 minutes before? If your sleep hygiene is on point then it is just a waiting game.  Try to re-frame the crying.  He isn't scared at bedtime he just doesn't want to miss anything.  My 18 month old lost his mind the other day because I wouldn't give him the frozen ground beef I was defrosting for dinner. Boundary testing big right now, consistent routine in how you respond and throughout his day will help. 
    BabyBugutsky
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  • ABombard12ABombard12 member
    edited February 2017

    Omg...I love how I can come on here when I am wondering about something and there is already a post! We have been off for about two weeks now (he just hit 17 months). We went to the doctor last Monday and had an ear infection so I chalked it up to that (since we have a full mouth of teeth)...however that is when the doctor let me know there was an 18 month sleep regression! I had NO IDEA and have not heard that term since he was littler ugh. I think we may be in it with an ear infection on top of it :(  He is napping during the day for quick maybe an hour tops (short for him) and he normally has like 2... he will pass out on the way home from daycare for about another hour... but lately.. its like 20 mins afternoon then half hour later on way home? Last night was AWFUL! He went to bed after only having one hour nap yesterday (if that) and woke up at 1 am WAILING... full out tears. I honestly almost thought it was a night terror because nothing I was doing was working, rocking, nursing, back in crib (if night terror didn't want to be making it worse - but he would get back in and arms up and scream mama until i got him), etc. Finally after about 20 mins he calmed down and I ended up bringing him in with me to sleep. 

    During the day even without the nap he is fine... still happy, playful. Isn't eating as well (thinking ear infection) but EXHAUSTED...ugh these regressions should NOT be so spaced out... its kind of mean to get this far along without one then bam "oh hey you forgot what this was like...let me throw you back into it!" Talk about one exhausted mama at work today......(dada is fine...someone apparently didn't hear him at all through the monitor...which is CRAZY).

    BabyBugutsky
  • Thanks ladies! The past two nights (basically since I posted this!) he's slept like a champ. So we will see how it goes.
  • Omg...I love how I can come on here when I am wondering about something and there is already a post! We have been off for about two weeks now (he just hit 17 months). We went to the doctor last Monday and had an ear infection so I chalked it up to that (since we have a full mouth of teeth)...however that is when the doctor let me know there was an 18 month sleep regression! I had NO IDEA and have not heard that term since he was littler ugh. I think we may be in it with an ear infection on top of it :(  He is napping during the day for quick maybe an hour tops (short for him) and he normally has like 2... he will pass out on the way home from daycare for about another hour... but lately.. its like 20 mins afternoon then half hour later on way home? Last night was AWFUL! He went to bed after only having one hour nap yesterday (if that) and woke up at 1 am WAILING... full out tears. I honestly almost thought it was a night terror because nothing I was doing was working, rocking, nursing, back in crib (if night terror didn't want to be making it worse - but he would get back in and arms up and scream mama until i got him), etc. Finally after about 20 mins he calmed down and I ended up bringing him in with me to sleep. 

    During the day even without the nap he is fine... still happy, playful. Isn't eating as well (thinking ear infection) but EXHAUSTED...ugh these regressions should NOT be so spaced out... its kind of mean to get this far along without one then bam "oh hey you forgot what this was like...let me throw you back into it!" Talk about one exhausted mama at work today......(dada is fine...someone apparently didn't hear him at all through the monitor...which is CRAZY).

    Sounds like my DH! He could sleep through a hurricane. Drives me crazy! 
  • Same issues here. I was about to go crazy. 3 weeks ago he cut 4 molars and it was a nightmare, high fever, whiny etc for several days. Even after they came through all the way, sleep was a nightmare, putting him to sleep was a struggle and waking up every few hours. I was losing my mind. I felt like a newborn mom again. I tried earlier bed time, later bed time, 2 naps, 1 nap, longer naps, shorter naps....everything. Finally the last 2 nights He has went to bed without a fight and slept all night. Sometimes it's just a phase but makes you crazy
    BabyBugutsky
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