2 Year Old Sleep Regression

Last Updated on October 10, 2023

chelsey borson baby sleep consultant
Chelsey Borson
Certified Baby Sleep Consultant
a 2 year old laying in bed with text overlay sleep regression

Their unpredictable sleep patterns can cause a lot of stress and trouble for moms trying to understand what's happening. A study done about sleep regression showed that almost half of the mothers have their sleep schedule affected because of their toddler's bedtime routine. However, a baby sleep consultant can help make things easier for you during a 2 year old sleep regression.

For an individualized approach, contact me at Luna Leaps to fix the sleep issues your toddler is going through and help you navigate toddler sleep regressions. Scroll on to find out more.

What to Expect in a 2-Year Sleep Regression?

Sleep regression can be a challenging time for the parent as well as the toddler. Even though they're a normal part of a child's development, toddler sleep regression may cause problems.

During a sleep regression, your toddler primarily functions on less sleep. This means that their usual day and night sleep is incredibly disturbed.

One common sign of sleep regression is increased night waking. They cannot stay asleep and might need reassurance to assist them in falling asleep. They may even resist bedtime and daytime sleep, causing a change in their sleep needs.

Your toddler may also be experiencing a lot of different changes and may be fussier than usual. They might cling to you more or appear to be more active than usual. You might experience them to be much more active whether in nursery school or even at home.

This means that they may have trouble falling asleep and may cause a big fuss when being put down to sleep.

Why do Babies have Sleep Regressions at 2 Years Old?

There are various reasons as to why a 2-year-old sleep regression takes place. Mainly it's because there are a lot of changes in a child that occur when they're between the ages of 2 and 2.5 years old.

At this age, toddler's brains experience significant development. This means that they have busy brains that keep them up due to increased activeness. They start to learn language, improve communication, and have a lot of advancements in their milestones.

Another reason that 2-year-old sleep regression takes place is due to the separation anxiety that a toddler experiences at this age. They tend to become more attached to their caregivers and end up ruining their bedtime routine in that fear.

Other physical developments also tend to impact sleep habits. Things like teething, potty training and such can cause sleep disruptions and night wakings in toddlers.

Length of 2-Year Sleep Regression

The length of the 2-year-old sleep regression can vary from child to child. Each child handles it differently, and there is no specific timeframe for the 2-year-old sleep regression.

Most kids typically suffer from sleep regressions for a brief period of time; around a couple of weeks. It all depends on how their nighttime struggles are handled by the parents, as well as the physical aspects of the issues.

Tips for Surviving 2-Year Sleep Regression

Even though the two-year-old sleep regression time period can be tough, there are a few ways to survive it.

First things first, you need to remember that this is a temporary issue that will be resolved in a fairly short time. The sudden disruption can be overwhelming but it's important to stay calm and focus on getting through the bedtime resistance so that your toddler can get enough sleep.

You need to maintain a consistent nighttime sleep routine so your toddler doesn't randomly fall asleep or mess up the entire schedule. It's vital for children ranging from ages 1-3 to get almost 12-14 hours of sleep.

A toddler's sleep is very important for their development, and the bedtime routine must be predictable and calming. For a great starting point, check out our 2-year-old sleep schedule.

If your toddler is in the habit of early morning waking then it might be a good idea to enforce an earlier or later bedtime that motivates them to fall asleep a bit later at night. This way they might be able to stop night waking and it might fix their sleep habits.

It's also important that you offer them comfort and provide ease to their separation anxiety since it might be a big reason why they're fighting bedtime. You might also want to help them fall asleep independently, even if it's with a night light.

Along with that, setting clear boundaries during sleep time might be a good tip to help sleep regression as well. Many toddlers tend to have bedtime battles if clear and firm boundaries aren't set to help them determine when it's time to sleep.

2 Year-Old Sleep Regression FAQs

In this section, we discuss some frequently asked questions about toddler sleep, how to make good use of their awake time, and many more things that parents are generally curious about.

When to Expect Recovery from 2-Year Sleep Regression?

In most cases, a toddler may get better sleep after a few weeks of sleep regression. However, recovery is different for each kid and the time for getting back to a proper bedtime may be different as well.

Usually, it might take about a week or two for your toddler to fall asleep normally. It all depends on the factors that are affecting their sleeping habits and how you, as a parent, try and overcome them.

These factors include things like separation anxiety, toilet training, their daily nap schedule, and such. It may even include things like what they're wearing to bed. Do they like the yellow pajamas or the blue ones?

Once you address these factors, recovery becomes a much easier process, and your toddler may get back to their normal sleeping routine quicker than anticipated! Additionally, having your little one on an appropriate toddler sleep schedule can also get them back on track.

Can a Parent Prepare for 2-Year Sleep Regression?

Parents can take some precautionary measures to prepare for 2-year-old sleep regression. However it's important to keep in mind that these can sometimes be unpredictable, and the same methods might not work for all kids.

The most basic thing you can do to prepare for it is to educate yourself on what it is and what causes it to happen. Understanding the basics of sleep regression can help you stay calm and truly figure out how to help regulate your child's sleep.

Another valuable thing you can do for your toddler is to incorporate a solid schedule and a steady bedtime routine over time before regression hits. This can involve anything from reading to them, singing a lullaby, or anything that helps them sleep. This way, that specific action will help signal that it's bedtime and they should get themselves ready.

A very important step in a toddler's life is potty training. Steps like these can cause a disturbance in their life which can lead to sleep regression. It's important to go over these steps gradually and with patience.

Lastly, if you feel like it's not getting better, consider reaching out to Luna Leaps to help guide you through this time and make sure that your toddler stops fighting naps and bedtime.

Is the 2 Year Sleep Regression Preventable?

Sleep regressions over the course of a child's life may not be preventable. They're a normal part of their developmental process and tend to appear because of various reasons.

However, even if you can't prevent sleep regression from happening, there are certain steps you can take to prepare for it and make this process easier for you and your toddler.

Can Sleep Training Occur during 2-Year Sleep Regressions?

Sleep training during a sleep regression can be beneficial for a number of reasons. However, it's important to approach it with sensitivity and consideration regarding the needs of your child's sleep so that you can figure out what works best for you.

Sleeping training can teach your toddler the gift of healthy sleeping habits, which is essential for the physical and mental benefits of your child. A consistent bedtime and a naptime routine can help regulate sleep patterns.

Adequate and uninterrupted sleep can also have a lot of benefits for your child and their cognitive abilities. It supports their growth in all aspects and can lead to overall improved well-being.

Sleep training also helps the child learn how to self-soothe so that when they wake up during the night, they can ease themselves back to sleep in a much more independent way rather than having to rely on you to get them back asleep.

Independent sleep is a useful habit that kids need to develop so as to not cause any trouble in the future. It encourages your child to fall asleep without assistance and will help them calm themselves and go back to sleep when they grow older and face trouble sleeping as well.

Will All 2-Year-Old Babies Have a Sleep Regression?

Not all 2-year-old babies experience the 2-year sleep regression. However, it is fairly common and the timing along with the severity can vary from child to child.

Sleep regression is often a product of other factors like teething, cognitive development, toilet training, and such. All these are different for each toddler which means that the timings of your toddler sleeping troubles may also vary.

It's also important to remember that this will not stay forever and may go away in a few weeks' time as they grow and mature.

Why is my 2-Year-Old Baby Not Sleeping?

Your 2-year-old baby might be having trouble sleeping because of sleep regression. It's a time period in a toddler's life where they have trouble adhering to bedtime and might cause a fuss just to not sleep.

It's fairly common in toddlers this age due to the growing cognition along with the physical changes that they experience in this age. All of it combined might cause some distress in kids which may lead to bedtime troubles.

Physical changes that they go through might include teething and potty training which may cause them to be uncomfortable. This might affect their routine and lead to temporary sleep regression.

Many two-year-olds also suffer from separation anxiety at this age. This might make them more clingy and prone to sticking with you, which makes them hesitant to fall asleep.

They might also be more prone to nightmares because they're experiencing different things in their lives at this age. These nightmares may cause them to wake up crying or appear scared.

Another thing that may cause sleep regression in 2-year-old kids might be exposure to screen time. Watching or doing anything screen-related close to bedtime may cause them to lose interest in sleeping and can suppress melatonin in their body as well.

What are Signs of a 2-Year Sleep Regression?

A sleep regression phase of a 2-year-old toddler can manifest in many different ways and signs. It's vital to know what they are so that you can be prepared for the next few weeks. It is, however, crucial to remember that the signs aren't the same for every child and they may differ.

The first sign, which is the most common sign of sleep regression is difficulty falling asleep. If your 2-year-old is having trouble taking naps or sleeping throughout the night, it might be a sign that they're going through a sleep regression.

Another typical sign of sleep regression is shorter naps during the day. The naps may become less frequent and shorter throughout the day and your toddler might not want to take one again.

Restlessness is another sign of sleep regression. If your child appears to be restless throughout the entire sleep time, tossing and turning all night or even during naps, it might be a sign of sleep regression.

Sleep regression can also lead to increased crying and fussiness by your child. If you feel like they're being fussier than usual and not calming down as easily, you might want to consider that a sign.

The fifth sign of sleep regression is a change in appetite, which can mean that your toddler is either eating more than usual or less.

They may also require an increasing need for comfort; more than usual. This is because toddlers like to cling to their parents at this age, and being alone might cause them distress. This is why it might be harder to get them to bed.

Contact me to find out how we can help your little one sleep better today!

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chelsey borson baby sleep consultant

Chelsey Borson

Owner & Certified Baby Sleep Consultant

Hi, I'm the founder of Luna Leaps. As a certified sleep consultant with the Institute of Pediatric Sleep and Parenting, I bring expertise and compassion to helping families establish healthy sleep habits. As a mom of two, including one with special needs, I understand the struggles of sleepless nights and the toll it can take on the whole family. But with a personalized plan tailored to your child's unique needs, we can work together to improve sleep and overall well-being. Let's start this journey towards better sleep together.

luna leaps baby sleep consulting logo in white
At Luna Leaps,  we're committed to helping your family achieve better sleep. Our expert baby sleep consultants provide personalized solutions to help your little one establish healthy sleep habits and wake up feeling refreshed.


Located in Los Angeles, CA and helping families nationwide.

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