The kid shows maximum independence on the eve of 2 years of age. There are no sharp jumps in growth and development at 22 months. The child constantly acquires new knowledge and receives a lot of new skills. They can provoke sleep disturbances and worsen the child’s daily routine.
Sleep regression in its classical manifestation is not observed in children of 22 months. The 2-year regression may come sooner than you expected, or the 22-month interim regression may be a little more pronounced than you might have predicted.
Symptoms of Sleep Regression
To distinguish sleep regression from other disorders, it is worth noting the reactivity of its symptoms. Regression always comes suddenly. The child’s regimen can be well-established, calm, and suddenly go astray. All this is accompanied by numerous negative symptoms.
Consider the main symptoms of sleep regression:
- The child is resists sleep, worries
- Night sleep becomes fragmented
- Tantrums and tears become more frequent during the day
- The child shows a false refusal of daytime sleep
- Increased demands on the mother and dependence on her attention
- The child often eats reluctantly or refuses to eat at all
The suddenness of the symptoms of regression is due to a sharp jump in growth. There should not be such jumps at 22 months, but the appearance of regression is not excluded. Its symptoms may be much milder or not noticeable.
Treat any manifestations of regression calmly and without panic. This is another stage of growing up that is inevitable and will soon pass.
Does Every Child Have Regression?
Sleep regression is an essential part of any child’s development. This is a natural process of adaptation to new conditions, achievements, and skills. Regression occurs in all children at certain periods of their lives. The main and most noticeable regressions are fixed at 4, 8, 12, 18, and 24 months. This does not mean that sleep disturbances and daily routine will be exclusively in these age periods.
There are also intermediate regressions that are less pronounced and prolonged. Regression is a normal stage of growing up. It should not cause negativity on the part of parents. Everyone goes through this stage at their own pace.
Many parents note the lack of sleep regression in their children. This is because their babies quickly adapt during growth spurts.
Night and Nap Changes During 22 Month Sleep Regression
Children should sleep at least 13.5 hours a day between the ages of 1.5 and 2 years. These indicators decrease significantly during the regression period. It takes a lot of effort to bring back the old norms.
Night sleep at 22 months averages at least 11 hours. One or two awakenings at night are quite acceptable. Sleep at night becomes fragmented due to regression. The baby may get up too often and fall asleep badly.
Children of this age sleep at least 1.5 hours during the day. The duration of the daytime rest sometimes reaches 2 hours. Children can split their sleep during the day into 2 parts. Then the duration of one nap will be no more than 30 minutes.
The period of wakefulness of the child increases with each month of his life. Continuous wakefulness at 22 months can reach 6-7 hours. The duration of wakefulness can increase with regression and false refusal of daytime sleep.
Development Changes That Cause Sleep Regression at 22 Month
Mothers notice how much their child has changed. He became more independent, sociable, and active. The acquisition of new skills and abilities puts the child in conditions of adaptation. He is constantly in search and research work. Most developmental changes greatly affect a baby’s sleep.
Consider these changes that can cause sleep regression:
1. Development of motor skills
At 22 months old, a child can walk up and down stairs on his own, catch and throw a ball at a target, put on some clothes, and easily handle cutlery. He acquires many motor skills in the process of learning the world. The kid gets acquainted with new objects and studies them for strength.
A child of this age mostly manages without the help of his mother. He is extremely active during the day and never sits still. Such an abundance of motor skills often leads to rapid fatigue and can ruin a child’s sleep.
2. Achievements in social development
The child seeks to find new contacts for communication. He communicates well with different people and finds a common language with children on the playground. The need for socialization increases every month more and more.
A huge number of people around the baby overloads his psyche. The child may overwork emotionally and sleep poorly at night.
3. Development of speech
The child has learned to express his thoughts and feelings in words. Sometimes these words are not coherent and understandable, but they already help him in communication. The vocabulary of the baby is replenished every day more and more.
The development of speech is directly related to the activity of the brain. The use of speech in communication is quite tiring for the baby and he can be restless when falling asleep.
4. Cognitive activity
The child always seeks to know the world. He is inquisitive and attentive. He is interested in absolutely everything that happens around him. A child learns a lot through play. Gaming activity is now the most effective.
Cognitive activity increases the load on the child’s brain. He is in a constant processing of information and this often prevents the child from sleeping stably.
5. Wide range of emotions
The child is very impressionable, sensitive, and vulnerable at 22 months. He experiences the whole palette of emotions without being able to properly accept them. Children of this age are emotionally unstable. They may cry a lot, then immediately laugh, then cry again. The swing of emotions immerses the child in this sensual amplitude.
Tantrums are becoming common among children of this age. It is difficult for a child to find a way out of this state on his own. Psychological strain can provoke a restless night’s sleep.
6. Possible growth spurt
Many mothers notice that at 22 months the child seems to be losing weight a little. This is visually felt due to a possible growth spurt. The child stretches and seems to have lost weight. The baby will experience some difficulties with adaptation if this growth spurt is sharp. This can provoke sleep disturbances and possible regression.
You can notice how the baby begins to be more active during the day and refuse to sleep. He sleeps restlessly at night, often waking up.
How Long Does Sleep Regression Last?
The starting point for the regression is a sharp jump in growth and development. It is at this moment that the child’s adaptation mechanisms are launched. He must get used to the new conditions and master the skills acquired during this period as soon as possible.
The duration of sleep regression depends on the rate of adaptation. All children are different, as is their adaptation to new environments.
The average sleep regression is believed to last between 2 and 4 weeks. Sometimes this figure increases to 6 weeks. The process in the acute phase takes several days. Constant training of new skills during the day can help the child adapt.
How to Deal with 22 Month Sleep Regression
A child needs the help of an adult at any age. Regression is a difficult stage in the development of the baby. He requires special attention from his mother. The child will be able to cope with sharp jumps in growth and development much faster if he is helped.
Exercise during the day
The child must sufficiently work out the new skill or ability. This is necessary for him to adapt as soon as possible. If the baby does not practice his new skills during the day, then he will do it at night. Often this happens during sleep. This behavior negatively affects the child’s sleep. Practice new skills as often as possible during the day.
The child will not sleep well if he does not eat well. Nutrition should be complete and rich in vitamins and minerals. Good food is the key to health.
Children need plenty of fruits and vegetables. Strength and growth require high-quality proteins and complex carbohydrates. The lack of vitamins is bad for the general well-being, growth, and development of the baby.
A poor diet directly affects a child’s sleep. The feeling of hunger should be minimized especially before a night’s sleep. The baby will wake up at night if he is hungry.
Set a loyal daily routine
Do not try to blindly follow the previously established daily routine. You need to adjust to the new conditions if the sleep regression has significantly shifted the child’s regimen. The loyal mode will help to gradually improve the child’s sleep. Start from the morning awakening and regulate the period of wakefulness. The duration of activity during the day should not exceed 6 hours.
Push back naps earlier if your baby doesn’t want to go to bed at night. Do not be afraid that everything will not be the same as before. The regime will gradually improve.
Watch for signs of fatigue
Children at 22 months are very active. Their fatigue can take them by surprise. Sometimes you can’t talk about any mode at all. Yesterday the baby was sleeping at 1 pm and today he is showing signs of drowsiness by 11 am.
Always notice the first signs of fatigue and offer your child sleep. Accumulated fatigue can adversely affect night sleep. Overwork prevents the child from adapting and prolongs sleep regression.
Practice early bedtime
Try not to delay the process of putting to bed at night. The bedtime limit is 10 pm and the best time is before 9 pm. It all depends on what time the baby woke up after a nap.
It is worth adjusting this process by slightly shifting the schedule if the child goes to bed late in the afternoon. Then the baby will have time to get tired by the time of night sleep.
Always be near
The sleep regression period is not a time for principles. If you have already practiced his independent falling asleep, you can forget about it during the regression period. You should pay attention to the baby if he needs it. So the child remains calmer and will sleep better at night.
Don’t wait for your baby’s cry to turn into a tantrum. Let your child know that you are there and will always come to the rescue. The child needs love and affection in this difficult time.
Create comfortable sleep
Comfortable sleep conditions play an important role in overcoming the regression stage. Observe elementary standards of hygiene, cleanliness, and freshness of the air.
Close the windows with curtains, create silence, slow down a bit, and put away active games before bed. Use the usual rituals: bathing, light massage, clean pajamas, a bedtime story. The atmosphere in the room should be completely appropriate for relaxation.
FAQ about 22 Month Sleep Regression
Q1: Is there a difference in the intensity of sleep regression in boys and girls?
A1: The intensity of the manifestation of regression does not depend on the sex of the baby. There is still a difference. Boys in a certain period of their lives grow a little faster and look larger in appearance. Their regression may occur a little earlier and be a little more intense.
Q2: Does regression depend on the temperament of the child?
A2: There is no scientific evidence for this. Psychologists believe that more empathic and temperamentally sensitive children endure regression more difficult. A high degree of adaptation is seen in children of a lighter temperament, such as sanguine children. It is more difficult for melancholic and choleric people.
It is difficult to trace what temperament your child has at 22 months and it is problematic to identify dependence.
Q3: Is the adaptive capacity for regression inherited?
A3: Most likely yes. Particularly sensitive children are not able to quickly adapt to new conditions and they experience regression longer and more difficult.
Several children in a family can tolerate sleep regression quite differently, and this will be evidence of some kind of inheritance.
Q4: Can there be no regression in 22 months?
A4: Yes, this is not a mandatory process. Each child has a different number of regressions experienced. Someone does not feel any discomfort at all during its course. 22 months is not the main regression that is observed in almost all children.
Q5: How can I quickly deal with a 22 month sleep regression?
A5: Some recommendations can be applied:
- Labile mode
- Compliance with the conditions for good sleep
- Fatigue control
- Early laying
- Good nutrition
- Care and support