The 18 month sleep regression came early…

    I’ve be meaning to write this post for a while!


    18 Month Sleep Regression

    My son started showing signs of the 18 month sleep regression at around 15 months old. We think this is because he missed the 6 and 9 month regressions. He clearly loves his sleep and has always been pretty good at going to sleep.

    That is until this phase started…. it started with him calling out to us soon after we put him to bed, usually an hour to two hours after. We would go back in and settle him, and he would go back to sleep. I think most of the time he was just looking for some reassurance!

    A few weeks after that started he would still call out, but he also started getting out of his bed. He would remove all of his bedding and place it on the floor by his door. He would sometimes fall asleep there and I would have to put him back into his bed. Most of the time he would lay there listening to us for a while, but he soon started shouting and banging on the wall or the door. Again we would go back in and settle him. We would have a chat about the light show he had on, of the moon and stars, usually he would settle back to sleep.

    I say usually because sometimes he would be up and down all night. To combat this we started giving him a teddy at bedtime. Every night for a month or so we told him that he must make sure that ted stays in bed with him. This worked well most nights, although there were nights that he just simply would not go back to sleep when we tried to settle him. When he had one of these nights we just had to leave him to do his thing. After all it was just a developmental stage and it would soon passed (we hoped)!

    More from The Unstoppable Mama  Night Terrors in Toddlers


    What the Experts say…

    Experts say that this sleep regression occurs because at this stage they are learning boundaries, and what they can and cannot get away with. So we decided to let him deal with it as long as he wasn’t banging or shouting as we didn’t want him to wake his younger sister up. Oh no that would have been hell.

    We have had a few rough nights with him over the last month. He has just hit the 18 month mark, and it seems as though this sleep regression phase is coming to an end. The days are still full on and tiring, but at least we are beginning to get our evenings back!

    I will let you know if he continues to sleep through the night or whether the sleep regression returns. For now we are enjoying some peaceful evenings, and making the most of it before number 3 arrives!


    Have you experienced trouble with the 18 month sleep regression and how did you deal with it?



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    14 Responses

    1. Aharri says:

      Wow! You are handling this amazingly. From what I can remember of you and your two sisters: As you all started to speak and learn more words, then you start to understand so much more. Sometimes and from family experiences, the sleep regression happens more in our boys than our girls; it could be that as their intelligence grows and they start to better understand their world, they may get a bit overwhelmed and even feel a little insecure. I remember my aunts and my grandmother sticking to a routine as much as possible, which I am sure you do. I remember the thing that worked most was reading a story in bed. Have a look around I am sure you will find some about bedtime and feeling safe and secure. I know boundaries are being tested, this is something you all did, in slightly different ways. I think reassurance and patience pays off, which you have already achieved. Have you tried leaving the door open slightly? I remember that once you could all speak and understand more, you and your two sisters would always ask that I leave the door open very slightly. Hope this helps xxxxxx

      • admin says:

        Thank you x I’ve noticed that if they learn something new that day their sleep is a little disturbed but they usually go back to sleeping properly the next night! Routine is key with these two, although they are pretty good if we take them anywhere, they don’t mind meal time being disrupted a little but if they don’t get their naps they are grumpy! We are just starting to introduce bed time stories with Sebastian sometimes he will sit there and listen some times he won’t. And I have been wondering whether or not to leave his door open a bit but I don’t want him breaking into Ophelia’s room! Maybe we will try that when we come and stay with you this weekend!! xxx

    2. Emma says:

      Our 18 month mark has pretty much coincided with chicken pox and a sickness bug… not great! My daughter has definitely been more difficult at bed time for the last month or two, it just makes me dread that time of day. Hope your little man is on track now!

      • admin says:

        Thank you for reading I really dreaded the bedtime routine for ages because he just wouldn’t go down very well, luckily now he goes down pretty well and the majority of the time sleeps through. Just trying to get my daughter who is 9 months into a regular pattern but she still tends to wake up in the middle of the night. I have found that this could be due to excess energy so now the weather is nicer we are going out a lot more and this seems to be wearing them both out… I never Imagined that the winter months would be so darn hard with kids!

    3. We never got over the 4 month regression with my 11 month old. She’s not slept ever since!! Oh how I long for sleep again! #itsok

      • admin says:

        My daughter is the same shes now 9 months and sometimes she will sleep but most nights we are up and down like yoyo’s! Hope you get some sleep soon x

    4. My eldest went through a sleep regression, it was tough going and I spend a lot of time making a tea X #readysetlink

    5. Kimberley says:

      My little man is only 5 months (next week) but it seems like he hasn’t even hit his 4 month sleep regression yet. Although he isn’t the greatest sleeper anyway so maybe that is why. I’m definitely not looking forward to the 6, 9 and 18 moth regression after reading this! x #readysetlink

      • admin says:

        Thanks for reading x my little boy missed the 6 and 9 month sleep regressions so it is possible that they don’t go through all of them. My little girl who is nine months was pretty poorly from 2-4 months so we didn’t notice any sleep regression because we were up most nights with her but she seems to be missing the 9 month regression too. I just try to not think about them too much. Apparently there is a 2 year one as well but I just take it as it comes its not forever I hope!

    6. Sarah says:

      You’ve just answered about a million questions for me. My daughter was always an amazing sleeper until around October/November last year (18 month mark). Our sleep regression is still ongoing, though fingers crossed and touch wood that the last two nights have been back to normal. It’s been absolute hell and she’s been doing the same tricks as your little one with bedding on the floor. As long as I put her in her sister’s bed to sleep at the moment she’s okay! Praying it ends soon!!! #itsok

      • admin says:

        Oh gosh I hope she sleeps better for you soon it is really hard and trying to figure out why they put their bedding on the floor! I am glad my post helped answer some of your questions xx

    7. my little one never slept very well from the day he born till he was about 4 years old ! I think some kids just don’t like sleep hahaha. #readysetlink

    8. Aleena Brown says:

      Sounds like you’re doing super well! My two share a room, so I think I’ve held off moving Wills from his cot for fear that he’ll wake his sister up… I really need to get in with it! Thanks so much for linking up to the #itsok linky xx

      • admin says:

        Ah I would love for my two to share a room, and they will have to once number three arrives. But for now I think my son would wake his sister up in her cot so trying to wait until she is in her own bed too! Thanks for reading x

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