Sleep Regression is REAL!

OK, so Bodhi is 23 months old now. And for the past year or so his nighttime routine has been super simple. 8pm brush teeth, jammies, bottle, books, asleep in crib around 8:30. All this has recently changed. Two weeks ago he decided that he isn't much interested in a bottle at bedtime (which is perfectly fine with us, actually), and sometimes no story, which actually makes me a bit sad. But he's added a new twist the whole bedtime game: SHRIEKING!!! Bodhi refuses to sleep in his crib, and will scream his bloody head off to the point we are allowing him to fall asleep (on us) on the adult bed in his room.  This sucks! He did start a new day care a month ago, so we figure that's messing with his mind a bit. Also, at 23 months, and being around a lot more kids every day, his mind is growing, and he just isn't ready to go to bed when we need him to. We know that nighttime routine is necessary, but we're curious if any parents of youngsters out there have any thoughts on why else he may be fighting us so hard on bedtime right now?  He will sleep through the night, about 11 hours, which is nice, but we really need to get him to be before 8:30. Lately it's been around 9:30. ugh

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RE: Sleep Regression is REAL! ()

We had a horrible sleep regression around 20 months! Very similar, refusing to lay down, crying hysterically, and waking up multiple times at night. I hate to say it lasted a solid month but slowly slowly got better and now we are back to business as usual. Hang in there!

RE: Sleep Regression is REAL! ()

I know this may not help a ton, but I would just enjoy the snuggles, knowing that it is likely to change again soon. You could try gently moving bedtime up towards the 9:00 hour by a few minutes each night but I would agree that this is a huge transition for him. I'm also wondering about what his nap is like at school, is he sleeping later? Not getting enough rest? My son has gone through phases of no books but always goes back to them. Maybe some new books or some that are interactive? (textures, sliding feeatures, etc). I am also thinking he really may need that closeness to you right now with so many other new things happening and growth. Wishing you all the best. 

RE: Sleep Regression is REAL! ()

I have never heard of sleep regression but I do recall my first child at that age having imaginary friends.  The piggy during the day time was cute.  The brown flamingo in the corner of the bedroom where we were sleeping was not so cool (to me).  She was calm but could not sleep, so we slept together for awhile.  I don't think my daughter was particularly fearful, at least not openly, and I decided not to ask for additional details lest my imagination get the better of me.  Needless to say, aside from the inconvenience and worry, that episode did pass just fine.  In subsequent years, contrary to my pediatrician's advice, I still read the kids to sleep, sometimes falling asleep in their room.  The older one, now 11, has no issues falling asleep on her own in her own room.  My own view is that our kids sleep best when they've had a lot of exercise and less mental stimulation.  They're both positives though, so the only thing I can do is encourage sports on a daily basis.

RE: Sleep Regression is REAL! ()

I have a 4 year old and a 1.5 year old. There have definitely been phases where things just got harder and you think it's forever. And then usually they work themselves out. I've always found it hard to know exactly what's going on. New schools, people, environments, routines, developmental leaps, can all impact these phases. That's all to say, you might find the magic bullet, or you might need to ride it out. The one thought I would offer is about naps. He is a little young to drop naps altogether, although it wouldn't be completely unheard of (if so, I'm very, very sorry!). We knew it was time to drop naps when my older child (around 3 at the time) started to go to bed at 9:30-10:30. He would happily sleep in the afternoon, even for 2-3 hours, but when we lost that time at bedtime, it became a nonstarter. I hope that's not the issue (!!!). You might also ask the new day care what his sleep routine is there, especially since the new behaviors coincided with the beginning of his time there. The other thing is that he is now at an age when he's really aware of you leaving - leaving for bedtime might feel a little like leaving him at daycare? Either way, good luck!

RE: Sleep Regression is REAL! ()

I have a 25 month old. Two thoughts come to mind as maybes:

- any chance his two year molars are coming in? That seemed to really be messing with my son’s sleep around 23.5 months (more night waking than fighting bedtime, but related). They still haven’t popped, but he seems to “teethe” for a while before they appear.

- Have you tried an earlier bedtime for a week or so to see if he’s overtired? My son also started daycare for the first time a month and a half ago and it’s such a big transition. Maybe your son’s naps have changed/gotten shorter or he’s a lot more active and tiring himself out more during the day?

wishing you good luck finding a solution!

RE: Sleep Regression is REAL! ()

I found the techniques in “The Happy Sleeper” to be really effective and gentle enough for this attachment parenting mama. You can just read a few select chapters to get the jist. Basically you let them cry for max 5 minutes and then go in, say the same short phrase over again, and leave.  

RE: Sleep Regression is REAL! ()

I don't have a great solution for you but I have taken a baby sleep class with this lady when our daughter was young and I found her advice to be helpful. She has classes but also does consulting with individuals. 

https://www.sarahhealysleep.com/

RE: Sleep Regression is REAL! ()

Try putting him to bed earlier. Like at 7 or 7:30. The shrieking and not falling asleep sounds overtired to me. 

RE: Sleep Regression is REAL! ()

I wonder if he may be more intrigued by "big kid" things now? Maybe offering a "big boy water bottle" instead of a bottle, or taking him to the book store and letting him pick out a couple new bedtime books? Or maybe some cool new sheets with whatever his favorite thing is at the moment. Our son is super into the routine Daniel Tiger lays down (there's a tv episode and book) which is vey similar to yours. We also do a few song before leaving the room and make sure he has his stuffy/lovey. Maybe you could continue doing stories- parent A reads to parent B and let Bodhi does his own thing. 

Do you have a convertible crib? Maybe take take one of the sides off and put the toddler rail on. We did this when our kiddo was constantly jumping out of the crib and it felt safer not to have him jumping from such a height in the dark. It allowed us to sit in the crib/bed with him until he was relaxed enough to stay put and eased the transition from holding him to being alone in his crib. We do stories and songs in the crib/bed and our son has his spot and we have ours on the bed; we can still cuddle, but he usually likes us all being in our designated spots. To be fair, we did have to go through a new kind of sleep training in order to a have him stay in bed and there were many tears initially (I too was reaching out to friends to ask if their kids had sleep regression). It's still not perfect- he still gets up and opens the door occasionally and we have to put him back into bed a couple times before he'll settle in for the night (these times are no nonsense, "back in bed, it's sleep time, we love you , goodnight"), but it's worlds better than it was when we started. 

I wonder how nap time is going at day care? Maybe there are any things they are finding helpful (a particular book or stuffy/lovey that he likes to cuddle with), or that may be making sleep time scary for him (for example, if they do time outs or check ins on the mat they use for nap time too)? 

Good luck!