Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.

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  1. Susannah says

    My daughters sleep regression has been going on for what seems like months now. She will “fall asleep” while we sing and rock her and then the minute I leave she loses her mind. My method has always been the same with her and so has my husband’s. She only loses her mind when leave. This stresses me out and is making things tense between my husband and myself.

    • Janelle Reid says

      @Susannah, Thank you for writing to us and I am so sorry to hear your family is struggling with sleep. We would love to help! It is possible your daughter is experiencing some separation anxiety as this does pop up several different times throughout the first few years of life. This article helps provide some tips on how to work through those more trying times:
      It is also possible since you have been dealing with this for months now that what may have started out as a regression has turned into a habit, and now your daughter is needing you or your husband to create a specific environment for her to be able to sleep so when she wakes up and it’s different, she gets upset. This article explains this further:
      Should you need more help with this, our amazing team of consultants are here for you! It can be challenging to go through this when you are so burnt out and exhausted, so it can be so worth it to have someone outside offer their perspective and help carry this with you. You can view all of our packages on our site here: and if you need help selecting the right package for your situation, please email our Client Relations Team at [email protected]. Thank you for using the Baby Sleep Site as a resource!

  2. Christina says

    How long do these MISERABLE sleep regressions last? We experienced a shorter (10 day) one at 17 months. Then ANOTHER ONE started around 20 months — which lasted a good 2-3 weeks at least. Then he did better for about 3 weeks, and then YET ANOTHER sleep regression came up again (due to a cold). Now it seems like he’s gotten back into 1 hour crap naps and early morning wakings/staying up past bedtime all over again. He’s sleeping 10.5 hours a night (typically should be sleeping 8-7:30) and a 1 hour nap (should be 1.5-2 hours). My daughter had less sleep needs than he does and yet slept much longer than he does for both naps AND night sleep. I don’t know what is going on and am very frustrated. He is not:

    * sick
    * teething
    * learning new skills
    * dealing with separation anxiety — at the moment
    * going through major changes

    and I’ve been nothing but consistent to the MINUTE with him because even being off by 15 minutes seems to throw him. 🙁

    I’ve tried earlier naps, later naps, earlier bedtimes, later bedtimes, etc. He just does not seem to sleep the way he used to. This has NOT been a temporary sleep regression — this one seems to be PERMANENT. I’d be less worried if he wasn’t so cranky, irritable, and overtired. What’s a mom to do? 🙁

    • Janelle Reid says

      @Christina, Thank you for your comment. I am so sorry to hear you are struggling with your son’s sleep. At this point it sounds like it may be beyond a regression and that there are some bad habits and perhaps some sleep associations formed that are keeping him from sleeping longer stretches. Here is a link to an article that will help you identify if you have any sleep associations going on:
      You didn’t mention his age, but be sure to check out the sample schedule for his age to make sure the timing of his naps and bedtime is age-appropriate as an overtired baby leads to less sleep (oddly enough). Here is the link to select the schedule appropriate for your son:
      I hope you get some better sleep from him soon! Let us know if you need anything else!

  3. Collette Huskisson says


    I have a 21 year old toddler who is usually very chilled but recently he is very laid back however now he hits, kicks (hots because angry and kicks when I get him dressed and waits for me to say no thank you) and is happy one minute then can see he is curious to see what would happen if he did something.
    He has a 1.5-2 hour nap in the day and used to sleep 7pm till 6.30am, now he goes down at 7pm but back up religiously every night for about a week at 2am till 3am.. tonight was 3am till 5am. I just go in and tuck him back in as he isn’t crying he is just talking to himself. I have 2 other children and if I am honest I am shattered and feeling low.
    What am I doing wrong? Why is he testing me so much? I really do try my absolute best by my kids but I am finding it so hard with his behaviour.
    Please help.
    Thank you

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Hi @ Collette – Thanks for writing, and I am sorry to hear that your toddler’s sleep and behavior has been so trying lately! Please know that you are NOT alone! Now is the age that toddlers are realizing that they ARE independent little beings, and it is very common to really test boundaries and then test them some more! With toddlers, it’s all about setting limits and being consistent. Here is a link that I hope will help:
      For additional help, I would recommend that you consider our e-Book, The 5 Step System to Better Toddler Sleep. It is written specifically to help parents of toddlers with sleep issues, and with common troubled times.
      You can find and order our Toddler book directly online here:
      Hang in there!

  4. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Lauren — so sorry you’re struggling through this right now 🙁 No fun at all!

    I think you’re probably right in your guess that staying in the room with him is exacerbating the problem. And it may be setting him up to expect that long-term (something that you’re probably not interested in doing!)

    Maybe you could do a check-and-console kind of thing? Go in every so often, pat him and comfort him for a minute or two, and then leave? That might be a way to offer comfort, and to let him know that you’re present and available, without creating any long-term habits. Just a thought. 🙂

    Keep us posted on how this goes, Lauren! Good luck to you — and thanks for commenting!

  5. Lauren says

    I’m in the same boat as a lot of the other comments. Used to have a good sleeper – now we are down to 10 hrs total in 24 hrs almost out of the blue. Last night he had 7 hours night sleep and only 1.5 hour nap today. I am now sitting in his room until he falls asleep, but like other posters, this is not sustainable. I have no time to myself as he has been waking early, shortened naps, and spending a long time sitting in his room. I also have a five year old who needs my attention too! I think my sitting in the room has exacerbated the problem b.c I am not there when he wakes up. He has woken every night the past 3 weeks. We are all worn out! But I feel guilty when he cries. I don’t know if something is scary to him b.c he isn’t super verbal yet and I don’t know if its seperation anxiety. I don’t want to ignore those things if that is what is going on.

  6. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Maureen — this sounds like a classic 2 year sleep regression. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to do except get through it! 🙁 To determine if it’s true separation anxiety, think about this — are there other times when you leave him during the day (i.e. at a babysitter, at daycare, etc.)? If so, how does he handle those transitions?

    If it is separation anxiety, then the best thing you can do, in my experience, is to treat it lightly. If you seem worried or concerned, then it reinforces to your son that he has reason to be fearful and upset. There’s nothing wrong with checking in on him when he cries, of course, but try keeping your interactions short: give him a quick hug, and remind him that you’re right around the corner and will see him first thing in the morning. I’d suggest trying to break the sitting-outside-his-door pattern, since (as you point out) it’s likely become a habit.

    Thanks for reaching out, Maureen! And keep us posted on how your little guy does.

  7. Maureen says

    My 24 month old son out of the blue started to scream and cry when I put him down for naps and bedtime. He has always been a great sleeper and self soother. He would always just lay in his crib and eventually fall asleep. I followed the Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child book. My son took to the schedule and routines the book suggested beautifully. Then one night he just screamed and cried when I walked out of the room and I would go back in and comfort him but it would start all over again as soon as I would try and leave. It went on for more then an hour so I gave in and sat in his room till he fell asleep. He’s now 26 months old and now I sit in the hallway in front of his room with his door open but I am afraid that I created a habit now. I don’t know if it is separation anxiety or if he’s testing me. I do not want to sit in the hallway anymore but I’m afraid that if I try and leave him to cry I will make matters worse especially if it is separation anxiety. Please help!

  8. Emily DeJeu says

    @ chantel — I’m so sorry you’re struggling through this! But take heart — this is very, very normal behavior for a young toddler. In terms of what to do — our general recommendation to parents is to keep doing what you normally do. Bringing him into bed with you once or twice probably wouldn’t cause big problems, but you’re right in thinking that if you did it often enough, it’s probably become a habit (and it sound like that’s a habit you don’t want him to develop!)

    Instead, look for other ways to comfort him while leaving him in his crib. You can go in and pat him/shush him when he cries, for example. In general, you just have to survive and get through these regression phases. They’re no fun at all when they’re happening, but they’re usually over in a few weeks.

    Hang in there, Chantel! And let us know how he’s progressing.

  9. chantel says

    Please help my baby is 20 months and his normal bed time was 7.30 and he used to sleep through since the weekend he is waking up twice and crying to leave his cot – I sooth him and he goes back to sleep – last night was a bit worst he refused bed time went to sleep after 9 then wake between 12 and 1 🙁 and I don’t want to give in and take him to sleep with me as i am scared he might get into that routine of my bed – what do i do?

  10. Emily DeJeu says

    @ D. McCarthy — good questions! Here’s something I’m wondering…is she learning anything new lately? Has she started making gains in her speech, or in her mobility? That may help clue us in to exactly what’s going on.