18 Month Sleep Regression – It’s No Myth!

by Sarah on November 22, 2013

Seemingly out of nowhere a few weeks ago our “early riser” became an every hour riser, waking almost every hour throughout the night. It was worse than when he was a newborn and seemed as if he’d totally lost the ability to sleep on his own – or even sleep at all! I was completely blindsided by this and took to the internet to try to find out what the hell was going on…

Start typing “18 month sleep” and you’ll discover pages of information on 18 month sleep regression. I always figured these “regressions” were a total myth, but the stories and opinions on this completely echoed the situation we were in. So then I took to social media, in particular Instagram where I have a wonderful network of mum friends (most of whom I’ve never met yet are a huge support!) and discovered we were all in the same boat with our toddlers who are all of similar age.

Some like me found naps weren’t affected too much but bedtimes were fought and night-time was fraught, whilst others were finding there’s wouldn’t nap at all and were spending the day completely overtired and incredibly upset…some were back to co-sleeping, others took to sleeping beside their little ones beds and some found that staying up with their child and letting them pass out wherever they happened to lay their head was the only answer…

But everyone was united in two thoughts – it HAD to be a sleep regression…and it HAD to get better at some point. The general consensus? Do whatever you need to do to ensure everyone in the house gets some sleep!

The hubby and I took to separate beds for the best part of a month with Dylan sleeping in with me – this meant I could soothe him quickly when he woke in hope of the night-wakings gradually decreasing. It was certainly an eventful time…I was punched in the face many times, head-butted and given a split lip one night and Dyls rolled out of bed (luckily onto a bean bag we’d placed at the side) on more than one occasion. Then, this past Monday I woke…and it was 7am…the whole night had passed with no waking!

I figured it was just a fluke. An anomaly. But sure enough Monday night we had the same – a full nights sleep…to 7am again! So Tuesday we decided to go back to our normal beds and explained to Dylan he’d be in his cot and would be staying there all night. He woke once and re-settled really easily then slept through till 6am. And so it has continued this week – full nights sleep with Dylan waking later than he ever has!

Just like some voodoo magic thing, the regression seems to have passed and we’re a well rested family again.

I wanted to share this sleepy tale simply because I don’t think I’d have coped half as well if I hadn’t found the support of other Mums going through similar circumstances. Lack of sleep is one of the most torturous things ever and can make your days a very dark and emotional place, so be sure to do whatever you have to ensure you get some quality sleep…the phase will pass and it will get better. And the best piece of advice I was given? Ask for help and take any help you’re offered. And revert back to the newborn mantra – sleep when they’re sleeping! It will soon pass.

Any of you experienced a similar episode?

Love (a very well rested) Sarah xx

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