The 20 Month Sleep Regression


Oh my goodness. This week has been HARD and it's only Thursday! Theodore has officially hit the dreaded 18-20month sleep regression and it has been a beast so far. Not wanting naps, napping too long, fighting bedtime, only sleeping when he's in the car. We've been at this about 9 days and I feel like we've seen it all! Plus the attitude that comes with an overtired toddler isn't something to joke about (but I sort of am). Lots of coffee and sheer determination have been getting us through.

I want to let you guys know what we've been doing that has worked, what definitely hasn't worked and the things we're planning on testing out tonight/this weekend. 

What has worked:

  1. Staying on a really strict schedule for naps including when the nap happens and how long the nap goes.

  2. A bedtime routine that involves turning down the lights, turning off the TV and talking in softer voices (in addition to our regular bedtime routine)

  3. Making sure the house is cooler than 70 degrees F.

What has NOT worked:

  1. Letting Theodore nap however long he wants to. I let him nap for three and a half hours yesterday and bedtime was a NIGHTMARE. Turns out too long of naps are common during this regression and can cause you to stay up till midnight until you finally give in and put him in the car seat (which we swore we wouldn't do).

  2. Having him nap an hour. 2 hours seems to be the sweet spot for this kid.

  3. Changing up the time he goes to bed. He's used to going to be right at 8:30pm. Putting him to bed earlier or later, even by a small amount, has been a MAJOR backfire.

  4. Having the house too warm or too cold has made a huge difference in his sleep ability.

What we're going to try:

  1. A small snack before bedtime (before brushing his teeth). Theodore is absolutely going through a crazy growth spurt right now and has been wanting to nurse ALL NIGHT LONG. I'm exhausted because of it and cannot keep going with this little sleep. His Ped recommended we give him a small, high protein snack like a hardboiled egg or a couple cubes of cheese to see if that helps him sleep better/longer.

  2. Swapping our regular baby lotion for lavender baby lotion.

  3. Trying white noise exclusively instead of a combination of songs/music/white noise.

And that's the majority of it for now. Hopefully we'll all get a good night's sleep tonight because this family is tired and cranky! What are your best tips for surviving a sleep regression?