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2 Year Old Sleep Regression

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Cara Dumaplin

Mom kisses 24 month toddler

Your little one is officially two! Two year olds are so fun with their busy brains and busy bodies. Unfortunately, all of this busy energy can sometimes lead to a struggle with sleep that is often referred to as the 24 month sleep regression. I’d love to talk about it. 

What is a sleep regression?

When a little brain is going through huge developmental changes, sleep can be impacted. Here's what I want you to know: Sleep regressions, like the 24 month sleep regression, are a sign of developmental progressions.⁣ Your toddler’s brain is working hard! 

Can I talk you through my approach to sleep regressions?

What is your toddler learning at 24 months?

At 24 months, she is learning new physical skills like jumping, climbing, and throwing or kicking balls. She is also engaging in more focused play like puzzles, towers, taking turns, etc. You might have noticed that she is really starting to “pretend” and acting out the things that she sees people doing throughout the day! 

He is also going through huge cognitive changes that lead to following two-step commands, increasing memory, imagination blossoming, growing independence and sometimes testing limits. Between 18-26 months, little ones are learning that their voice matters. He is learning “I can use my voice to impact change!” 

What can you do?⁣

Toddlers still need sleep, but those sleep needs may be changing. 

Remember your little one still needs great sleep! Even if he can "choose" not to sleep, we want to maintain a nap AND a consistent bedtime (ideally 7:00-8:00 pm).⁣ Pay attention to how long it takes your little one to fall asleep. If falling asleep begins to take more than 30 minutes for naps or bedtime, it might be time to take another look at your daytime routine.

Plan for lots of active play.

Provide stimulating awake time with new activities. This doesn’t mean that you have to come up with creative new ideas every day. Try things like going for a walk and looking for new flowers, making an obstacle course, reading books, visiting the library, cooking together, playing in the sink, or building a tower out of blocks. Keeping that body and brain active truly does help with consolidated sleep. 

Need a place to start? I’ve created a free resource with strategies to implement today that includes 5 Daytime Tips for Better Nights (and Naps!)

Be mindful of big transitions.

Avoid too many new challenges at once. I know that the milestone of turning two makes it feel like your toddler is suddenly “big.” This can often lead to big transitions. Go slowly as you navigate potty training, eliminating the pacifier, moving out of the crib, etc.. It doesn't have to be done NOW. Take your time and, if possible, try to follow your toddler’s lead.

Note: Now isn’t the best time to move out of the crib for most.

Stay Consistent. 

Don’t start habits you don’t want to maintain. Inconsistency combined with limit testing and the desire for control can create long-term struggles. Hold firm now to your boundaries: it will pay off for months to come!⁣

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