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17 Month Sleep Regression

The child has good control over his body at the age of 17 months. He walks, runs, climbs obstacles, and performs various manipulations with toys. The kid is active, very inquisitive, and cannot sit still. Its development goes on as usual without strong jumps and stressful adaptations to them.

Now the child is approaching the next leap in growth and development. Soon he will be 1.5 years old and this is the time of a new significant regression in sleep. Possible 17 months of sleep regression is negligible and almost imperceptible.

Symptoms of Sleep Regression

The manifestation of any sleep regression is expressed in the presence of symptoms. They are strong and pronounced or almost imperceptible. Sleep regression rarely occurs at 17 months. Either it appears in a weak form or is completely absent.

  • Refusal of nap
  • Anxiety
  • Fussiness when laying down
  • Restless night sleep
  • The requirement for increased attention
  • Decreased daily sleep

Symptoms of sleep regression are indicators of its intensity. The more symptoms and the stronger their severity, the greater the regression. It is possible not to observe the above symptoms at 17 months. There are only a few signs of sleep disturbances. Sometimes it happens that the regression of 18 months begins in a child a little earlier.

Symptoms are more vivid, tangible, and difficult to eliminate. The child will become moody and protest against sleep. Laying will be heavy and long. Such a change indicates a strong jump in growth and development to which the baby is trying to get used.

Does Every Child Have Regression?

Numerous observations of the sleep of children under 3 years of age prove that every child has a regression in sleep. Regime failures occur at different stages of development and are mainly associated with sharp growth spurts. All children need their time to accept new conditions and adapt to them.

The manifestation of regression will not necessarily be marked by noticeable symptoms. Some children can cope with a new round of development on their own. For some, regression ends after the acute phase, while other children suffer from a protracted regression. This option is possible with a poor adaptation of the baby or severe failures in the mode.

The absence of symptoms of regression does not imply a halt in development. It goes on and on and never stops. It’s just that all children are different and regression is observed in everyone in their way.

Night and Nap Changes During 17 Month Sleep Regression

You may notice at 17 months a sharp deterioration in your baby’s sleep. An agitated, anxious, and fussy baby will resist bedding, act up and cry. This significantly affects the regime of the day and leads to a decrease in daily sleep norms.

The norm of sleep per day at the age of 16 to 18 months is 13.5 hours. Sleep is distributed in this way: daytime sleep takes 1.5–2 hours and night sleep takes 11–12 hours. All these indicators during the regression period are relative. Night sleep may be reduced by staying up late. The daytime sleep of the child is shifted due to a late awakening in the morning.

The duration of sleep during the day may be different. With sleep disturbances, accumulation of fatigue, and severe disruptions in the regimen, daytime sleep becomes short. Its duration may not exceed 40 minutes. This is not enough for the increased activity of the baby. He simply does not have time to rest and gain strength.

Changes in the night and daytime sleep as a result of regression are very significant in the acute phase. The daily routine gradually improves and the regression weakens.

Development Changes That Cause Sleep Regression at 17 Month

Every month the child grows up more and more. He has many skills and abilities. The baby walks well, plays a lot, is constantly active, and is interested in everything around at 17 months. Changes in development are now very noticeable and this can affect the quality and quantity of sleep.

1. Feeling independent

The age of extensive discoveries is coming. The child walks and it becomes easier and more interesting for him to explore the world. The baby is already more coordinated in movements, self-confident and assertive at 17 months. He quickly goes where the goal leads him. Along with physical activity comes a sense of independence of action.

Now the child is more and more aware that he can do a lot on his own and not depend on an adult. Although he still does not completely separate himself from his mother, he already feels his actions freer.

2. Full range of feelings and emotions

Children clearly understand what they want at this age. Anger and bitterness, irritability and cries of discontent appear if they are not given this. A child at 17 months is not always able to express his needs in words. He begins to show negative feelings when his mother does not understand him.

Experiencing a full range of feelings and emotions, it is difficult for a baby to cope with them. He cannot work through and understand them on his own. This often leads to overexcitation and affects sleep.

3. Fundamentals of social communication

A child at such a young age is not yet able to understand all the requirements of society. He has a mother and there is him who constantly needs something. The kid knows that his mother is nearby and will always give him what he wants. It’s time to enter society. There are many other children around who often do not share toys or take away their toys.

The baby is not ready for such life changes. Mom tells him to give what he likes, teaches, and sometimes even scolds.

4. Potential growth spurt

A strong growth spurt is timed for 18 months. Sometimes he overtakes the baby even earlier. Such changes affect the mode of sleep and rest.

It takes a significant period for a child to get used to his body, abilities, and new skills. Sleep regression of 18 months comes earlier and entails the appearance of vivid symptoms. The baby begins to sleep poorly, often wakes up at night, and experiences increased anxiety.

5. Constantly on the move

Regular physical activity for a child of 17 months is the norm. The baby grows and develops in motion. He walks a lot, runs, jumps, climbs, and descends obstacles. The whole world is now in his power and he can stay in physical activity for a long time.

The child spends less and less time in the stroller. He walks down the street by himself or by the hand with his mother. Fatigue comes to him much earlier and daytime sleep often becomes spontaneous. It becomes difficult to control the mode of the day.

6. Development of intelligence

The active work of the brain contributes to the development of intellectual abilities. A child of 17 months can already distinguish and name colors. There is an intensive process of development of speech and fine motor skills. The kid can solve simple logical problems: build a pyramid by colors, recognize the image of an animal from a shadow, and assemble a sorter.

Mental overwork can occur if you do not follow the regime of the day. It will lead to sleep disturbances.

How Long Does Sleep Regression Last?

Sleep regression is a natural physiological response of a child’s body to new leaps in growth and development. The duration of the regression depends on how quickly the baby can adapt to new conditions.

Regression begins with a strong breakthrough in the development and continues until the moment of complete adaptation to this position. This period should take no more than 4 weeks. More often it lasts 2 weeks with an acute phase of several days.

Parents during sleep regression should actively train their child’s new skills and abilities during the day. This will help the baby to adopt a little faster to the new environment for him.

How to Deal with 17 Month Sleep Regression

Children constantly need the help of their parents. Infancy requires a lot of effort and time to care for a child. Particular attention should be paid to the stage of sleep regression. It can be extremely difficult for a child to deal with manifestations of regression on his own.

You can cope with sleep disorders with the help of simple recommendations. They will help to significantly reduce the impact of sleep regression symptoms on the child.

Don’t interfere

Try waiting for sleep regression symptoms at 17 months. This period is not acute and characterized by weakness of symptoms. Regression at this age is rarely protracted.

Giving a child the opportunity to get used to a new stage in development means training his adaptive skills. Perhaps this non-interference path will help the baby better cope with more pronounced sleep regressions in the future.

Let him explore the world

The increased curiosity of the baby should always be satisfied. A child who has not received due experience and pleasure during the day will be restless. Let him touch flowers on the street, look at insects, poke around in a puddle, and run with a dog.

Children have a lot to learn and experience. They should not be allowed to do so for security reasons. Say the word “no” to your child as little as possible. This will give him a sweet feeling of freedom and relaxation.

Control fatigue

Active brain activity, cognitive aspirations, and unstoppable movement cause overwork. Watch the regularity of the intellectual and sports activities of your baby. Everything should be in harmony and balance.

if the child has done a lot of mental work, then it is better to dilute it with physical exercises. Do not insist on activities that he opposes. Notice signs of fatigue and immediately invite the baby to rest.

Stop tantrums

Remember that tantrums are necessary for a child, but it is difficult for him to get out of them. Never leave your baby alone when he is hysterical. This will have a bad effect on his psycho-emotional well-being. A child at 17 months is not able to independently get out of a state of stress.

Use the attention switch method. It works very well for toddlers of this age. You just need to use only positive methods. Distract the child with a view from the window, a beautiful flower, a flying plane, a reflection in a puddle, and other moments.


Children love consistency. They need to know what’s going to happen next. This gives a sense of security and guarantees peace of mind and good sleep.

Use the same rituals for laying down for a night’s sleep. Do not change their places and duration. Act according to the plan familiar to the child without destroying his ideas about the world. The conservatism of children helps to develop a trusting relationship with parents, home, and environment. This eliminates excessive anxiety and promotes good sleep.

Track baby sleep

It is worth considering the return of the second nap if daytime sleep is shortened and is 40 minutes or less. It’s okay if the child sleeps once more during the day during the regression period.

Night sleep at this age should be as continuous as possible. It is worth finding out the reasons for such a violation if it is fragmented. One awakening per night is still acceptable. It is necessary to look for the cause and eliminate it if the child wakes up more often.

Eliminate accompanying symptoms in time

Accompanying symptoms can complicate the course of sleep regression. These include pain from teething, high fever, and problems with the digestive tract. Eliminate these symptoms immediately. This will ease the difficult period in the life of the baby.

Accept and Humble

Accept that sleep regression is normal. This is true for all children. All parents go through regression and its negative should not be exaggerated.

Accept that there will be some difficulties. They are easy to overcome, and the child should feel confident in you. Control emotions if the baby does not want to sleep. Do not let him negatively label the process of going to bed. You are an adult and a child is your area of responsibility. Be strong and consistent in your actions.

FAQ about 17 Month Sleep Regression

Q1: Are there any signs of a sleep regression?

A1: The fact that there may be a sleep regression can be understood by age periods. There are no signs of regression. It comes on abruptly and is associated with a strong spurt in growth and development. It is very difficult to predict whether there will be a regression or not.

Q2: How long will it take for the child to get used to a new stage in development and begin to sleep well again?

A2: Each child experiences this stage in his way and it takes some time for him to adapt. Sleep regression normally takes 2-4 weeks. If it is good to help the child with training new skills, support, and floating mode, then the baby will soon return to the previous track.

Q3: How can I help if the child has a regression of 17 months?

A3: First of all, calmness. Be patient and do not forget that the baby sees everything. Don’t show negative emotions.

Keep track of sleep and wakefulness, do not let the baby overwork, and practice early bedtime for a night’s sleep. Engage in the constant development of new skills throughout the day. This will allow the baby not to practice them at night.

Q4: Can a 17 month sleep regression be very strong?

A4: This does not happen often. It is mainly associated with the individual characteristics of the development of the child. Sometimes this is a sign that regression of 1.5 years has come. The child may be ahead of the development of other children.

Growth spurts can occur at any time and cannot be predicted. There are shifts in the age norms of the onset of regression. Sleep regression at 17 months can be quite noticeable.

Q5: Do all babies experience a sleep regression at 17 months?

A5: The child doesn’t need to have a regression of 17 months. Sleep regressions have been observed to occur predominantly at 4, 8, 12, 18, and 24 months. There may not be a regression for 17 months.

Q6: Is it worth it to continue trying to separate the baby from its bed if asleep regression has occurred?

A6: It is better to postpone this process especially when the regression is strong. It is more difficult for a child to adapt to vivid symptoms. Do not change the previous conditions of sleep.

You can continue trying to put the child in a separate bed when the regression proceeds with minor sleep disturbances.

Q7: We moved to a new apartment and the child’s sleep has deteriorated. Is it a regression?

A7: It depends on what kind of symptoms you observe. The move itself can be very stressful for the baby. A change of scenery always has a bad effect on the behavior of children. It is worthwhile to find out whether it was this sleep disorder that provoked it.

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