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Is There a 2 Year Old Sleep Regression

"Sleep regressions" are periods of time when a child who was previously sleeping well begins to have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. The so called "2-year-old sleep regression" is a common phase that many children go through, and it can be a frustrating time for you as a parent.

If your toddler was sleeping soundly throughout the night but suddenly started to become tricky, you may be able to pinpoint the moment that this sleep regression hit, and you may be able to identify the cause. If your child wasn't consistently sleeping through the night and their sleep has become gradually worse, or more inconsistent, you may be feeling even more exhausted, making it more difficult to identify the cause.


It is important to understand that this change in your child's sleep isn't happening because your child is 2 years old but due to something that is going on in there life at this age, so they need your love and support to get through this phase.


During this regression in your child's sleep, they may:

  • Have difficulty falling asleep at bedtime

  • Wake up frequently during the night

  • Have trouble napping

  • Get out of bed or cry for attention during the night

  • Experience changes in sleep duration and quality

There are several factors that can contribute to the "2-year sleep regression", including:

  • Developmental milestones, such as learning to talk, walk, or potty train, which can disrupt sleep patterns

  • Changes in routine or environment, such as starting preschool, moving house or a new sibling

  • Separation anxiety, as your child becomes more aware of their surroundings and may be afraid to fall asleep without you nearby

How long does the 2 year sleep regression last?

  • If continue to do what you have always done at bedtime and through the night, your toddlers new behaviour around sleep should settle down within a few weeks, as they get used to whatever changes have just happened in their life to cause the regression.

  • Like any sleep regression, it will last as long as you let it, if you get into habits that facilitate poor sleep. However, if you ensure that your little one feels secure, and you encourage positive sleep habits, this regression could pass in a few weeks.

If your child is experiencing these unsettling changes to their sleep, there are several things you can try to help them get back on track:

  • Establish a consistent bedtime routine, including a set bedtime as well as some winding down activities before bed

  • Create a comfortable and relaxing sleep environment, with a comfortable bed that is big enough for them, room temperature, and low lighting

  • Respond to your child's needs when they wake up during the night, but try to minimize interaction and avoid stimulating play or conversation

  • Be patient and consistent, as it may take time for your child to adjust to the changes in their sleep patterns

Try to remember that sleep regressions are a normal part of child development. They often resolve on their own within a few weeks. However you can get into "bad habits" at these times, that make these changes in your child's sleep last longer and more difficult to break. If your child's sleep problems persist or are causing significant stress for your family, we can help you. We work with a lot of children at this age, and will help you to find a gentle way of encouraging your child to sleep happily and independently throughout the night again.


Call us on 07977 462252 for more information or check out our prices and packages.


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