18 Month Sleep Regression–BEWARE MOMS!

Sleep regression happens with almost every child at some point. The most common phases are 4 months, 9 months, 12 months, and 18 months. 18 Months is the mack daddy of them all. Because you baby is now more cognitive at 18 months, they are aware that they are ALONE & can cry, scream, jump up and down, throw things, and yell MAMA till you come and sooth them back to sleep. Sleep regression is when your baby who was sleeping just fine suddenly doesn’t want to sleep anymore and makes your life miserable.

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For the last month, my daughter, who was a solid sleeper through the night since she was 6 months old (with the exception of the occasional sleep regression milestone that lasted at most 2 weeks), decided she didn’t want to be put down in her crib pretty much ever. She refused to be put down for naps as well as bed time. She only wants me to rock her till the point where my butt is numb and I start hearing voices in the sounds of the rocking chair creaking.  If she was super exhausted and couldn’t fight it anymore, she would be put down, then wake up hours later screaming & throwing a tantrum. I even got the point where I said, “ok, I’m fine with putting her in bed and letting her sleep with us.” Yeah, right. That did not work. When she would get in bed with us, she just wanted to talk & play rather than sleep. If I try to let her cry it out in her crib, she just throws a tantrum for a few minutes, lays down as if to recharge her batteries for a minute, then gets up and screams even louder.

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If your child is going through this right now, RELAX….it’s completely NORMAL!!!! That’s the good news. I feel like my brain is fried right now. When your kid isn’t sleeping, they aren’t just tired….they’re ANGRY. They throw tantrums easily, they don’t want to eat as much, and they are pretty much unpredictable and terrifying. The good news is, it will pass. In the past, if Pearl’s sleep regressed, It would always resolve itself within a couple weeks. The truly shitty part of the 18 month regression is that it usually lasts 2 months. So, yes, you will be completely sleep deprived and feel like you have a newborn for 2 months. I’m at the one month mark, now. It also seems that my friends with babies Pearl’s age are going through the same thing. Bless them!

Pearl and her best friend Olive who is the same age and also struggling with sleep

Pearl and her best friend Olive who is the same age and also struggling with sleep

Feel free to comment in the comments section with advice, support, and help for other moms who are going through this same thing! Share your stories with us, mommas.


Lisa O



69 comments on “18 Month Sleep Regression–BEWARE MOMS!

  1. JEssica gratto

    Yeah sounds fimlier lol I just kept putting her to bed at 630 (her regular bedtime) she’s usually exhausted BT then . hopefully it was just a phase because it seems she’s starting to go back to regular sleeping . but I knoe how you feel . she still does it sometimes. She will GOTO bed so tired and then it will be quiet and I will think she’s sleeping for like half hour then all of a sudden she’s talking to her stuffed animals in her bed. But she only has two small ones in there and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that at all. Kidd’s should be aloud to have some comfort when they go to sleep :)

  2. Michelle

    My 18 month is waking at 11:30 every night screaming it’s been weeks now. Tonight I did leave him to cry for about an hour with his night light and music on. I think he may of tired himself out as all is quite. I did previously stand in his room until he fell back asleep but he started to want this all the time I want him to go back to sleep without any input from me. I’m so pleased I’m not alone x

  3. Erin

    Guys! Does anyone have a solution to this? My son has been going through this and we are at a loss about what to do. We left him to cry and he threw himself out of the crib, which was alarming. He is so stubborn and exhausted. I know every child is different, but does anyone have a solution that helped them through this? Thanks!

    • Meghan

      I was so desperate I called a sleep trainer. She told me that I had to remain consistent. I would start something, it wouldn’t work after a day or 2 and I would give up and start something different. I ended up letting her cry it out. But I had to go into her room in intervals. So when she would start crying I would go in, tell her she was ok and it was time to sleep. I would leave, set the clock and go back after 3 minutes. Each time increasing the time I waited. This was almost 2 years ago so I don’t remember all the details of times and how many nights it took.

  4. My son is doing all of this! He is about 20 months. Combined with extreme clingyness/separation anxiety during the day. He has been so easy going so far. Very much feed and change and back to sleep kind of baby. Stark contrast to his older sister when she was little. I am trying the crying it out while hanging out in his sisters room since my bedroom is downstairs. Wish me luck.

  5. Megan

    Right in the middle of this with our 19 month old, but thankfully its mostly just AWFUL or non existent naps. Can anyone let me know if they’ve been through something similar and how long it lasted. If it’s two months, then we’re halfway there I pray. My Mom watches him during the day while I work and she’s exhausted. Then he comes home very grumpy. Just need some encouragement in knowing it will pass and he will nap normal again soon!?

  6. Liz

    I’ve been through it twice now. With my daughter at first I would put her in bed with me. Big mistake. For me anyway. I eventually just let her tantrum away. Check every 5 minutes or so. Lay her back down, sing a song and leave. She eventually would sleep. After exhausting herself with the tantrum. Sounds cruel and was torturous for me to listen to it. But this too shall pass. I will say this…. My boy was much much worse than my girl. Good luck moms. Keep a good supply of coffee on hand for the morning.

  7. kk

    Its all about being consistent. I will put my boy in crib first and if he fights it we will lay together in my bed. If he thinks its playtime he goes back to the crib and i will let him fuss himself to sleep. It works.

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