After months of late night feedings and diaper changes, you finally get your baby sleeping successfully through the night. And once you had a chance to catch up on your own much needed rest, you give yourself a pat on the back and breathe a sigh of relief that some sense of order had been restored in your home. But then something happens — your once perfectly angelic sleeper is now waking up to cry, to talk, or just to crawl into bed with you. Which leaves you once again bleary eyed and asking yourself, is it normal for your toddler to have a sleep regression once they've started sleeping through the night?
The answer is yes. Along with mood swings and temper tantrums, sleep regression may be yet another symptom of the terrible twos. Things like transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed and the elimination of afternoon naps can play a role in why your toddler may have a difficult time getting an uninterrupted night's sleep. But unfortunately, there are just too many things happening to your little one during this time to narrow the cause down to just one factor.
According to child and family therapist Kim West, potty training is one factor that can contribute to your toddler's sleep issues at night. They are exerting a lot of effort to remember the mechanics of going to the toilet, which may unfortunately cause some backsliding in the sleep department.
The Baby Sleep Site also notes that toddlers can experience separation anxiety at bedtime. Your toddler may resist sleep for fear that you may either leave or be having an amazing time in another part of the house without him. This can turn the bedtime routine into a constant negotiation for a few more minutes of play or one more story.
The addition of a new younger sibling can also cause your toddler to wake up during the night. As mentioned in Parents, toddlers can become jealous of the attention their new siblings are receiving, and revert to waking up during the night in hopes that mom and dad might show them a little love.
But how do you get your little night owl back on track and sleeping through the night? According to Parents, you can help your little one get through their sleep issues by doing little things to empower them through the process, like letting them choose their pajamas and continuing to remind them that their room is a safe place with no monsters hiding under the bed.
If you're dealing with a toddler's sleep regression, the bad news is that you may have to get up with your toddler a few times during the night to pat them on the back, get them a drink of water, or change wet sheets until it's over. But the good news is that just like everything else, sleep regression is a phase that kids go through. Remain consistent with your bedtime routine throughout your child's sleep regression period, and eventually everyone in the house will be back to sleeping soundly and you can breathe — until the next thing.