Are you having a tough time getting your two-year-old to sleep?
If this is what you have been going through, you are in luck.
This post is all about the dreaded two-year-old sleep regression and how parents are dealing with it successfully.
You see, this is quite a common situation among some kids around this age but there is absolutely something that can be done to get you out of the woods and successfully get your little one to sleep.
Keep reading because this post is full of valuable pieces of information to help you get your child to sleep peacefully through the night.
Reasons Behind the Two Year Old Sleep Regression
But before we go to the tips, let us first to talk about the why’s. Why does sleep regression happen, anyway?
There are several reasons behind that scenario.
1. The discovery of their individuality.
As your child gets older, he starts to learn more about himself.
There are new things discovered about his thoughts and feelings. There is a growing sense of curiosity about the world around him…
And this is why he may have the tendency to test your limits.
Sometimes, no reason at all. He just wants to do it.
But you have to stand your ground and be firm, yet remain calm at the same time. Don’t let him realize that what he’s doing is impacting you heavily.
2. Sleeping in a new bed.
Your baby must really love the crib that moving to a bigger and less confined sleeping area may be intimidating.
In this case, he may have a hard time sleeping.
Even naps can be a major battle at times.
This is why you will have to keep letting your child get used to a bed no matter what the resistance.
Another tip is you can use a tall gate of some sort that will minimize the anxiety, as compared to closing the door and causing your child some unwanted anxieties.
3. There are so many changes in your little one’s life.
As he grows older, changes will start to appear.
These are in the form of physical changes and even situations happening in his life. All of these can get overwhelming for a young child.
He may begin to have multiple playdates, he will start daycare or preschool soon.
Then, there is potty training, or perhaps have a new sibling that will require adjustments to your child.
With a much busier life, it only is understandable why your little one begins to have some fears or lack of desire to sleep through the night.
Perhaps it is time to make his days less packed just to let him decompress. Gradually introduce him to changes but not all at the same time.
Ways to Address Sleep Regression Among Two-Year-Olds
So what can be done to help your child to sleep longer and more peacefully?
Of course you want to make sure your child sleeps better as this impacts his growth, as well as your sanity. Lack of sleep can affect you and your child greatly, and it is something to be addressed sooner than later in a healthier manner.
Here are the things you can do:
1. Set boundaries.
Perhaps your child wants to have his way but you know for sure that limits are important.
Easy wins can further empower your child, which can be beneficial to his ability to make sound decisions in the future.
But at the same time, you should not simply give in if your child says he does not want to sleep.
You can try allowing your child to make decisions, as long as these are within reason. Examples are allowing your child to choose his PJs, or letting him pick a bedtime story.
And if the issue is with napping, you can give the child a choice but without pressure. Tell him that he has a choice to nap or not, as long as he makes sure his body is well-rested for the whole day.
Without any pressure, your child can make a better decision and consider napping since he will realize it is helpful for him.
2. Break it gently.
If the reason for the hesitation to sleep is the fear or discomfort of having a new bed, then you have to address it in a wholesome manner.
You can make it appear as though his room is a big crib - that it is still a safe environment for him and that there is nothing to be afraid of or to worry about.
Perhaps install a tall gate or a barrier of some kind on the doorway that will make him feel he is safe in his own place.
Never close the door if this causes anxieties to him. Just the gate itself will suffice and the constant reminder that there is nothing to fear.
Be the supportive and loving parent that you are and do not put your child down or downplay what he is feeling.
3. Do not over schedule his days.
If your two-year-old has not been sleeping because of a very packed schedule, then you can make each day a bit more relaxed for him.
Give plenty of time for rest and relaxation that will greatly help your child.
Do not stuff his days with so many things to do that he is left struggling and even feeling stressed out.
Your child deserves some downtime, and the lack of it is actually causing the sleep regression, in some cases.
4. Be comforting to your child.
Sometimes, children just have some fears and separation anxiety that cause them to dislike sleeping.
If this is the case with your child, gently bring him back to his bed and let him know you are just around.
Don’t let him jump into bed with you each time he is afraid as this will only make it harder for you to let him be on his own.
Empathize with what he is feeling but remind him that you are nearby when he needs your help. But walk him back to his room and reassure him that everything is perfectly fine.
Two-year-old sleep regression can be challenging for both the child and his parents but that does not mean it can never be resolved.
By understanding the cause of the problem, you can address it appropriately and help your child sleep better - so you can sleep more peacefully at the same time.