The baby is already very mobile at 23 months. His cognitive activity and motor activity are growing. Sleep regression may appear at the turn of 2 years of age. The intensity of the process will depend on whether the regression is intermediate or whether it is already a regression of 24 months.
Sleep disturbances at this age can occur in the presence of a strong jump in growth and development. Most often at this age, there is no pronounced regression. He will be observed at 24 months. Mild manifestations of symptoms of sleep disturbance are not excluded.
Symptoms of Sleep Regression
Signs of sleep regression appear suddenly. Their totality and nature of appearance depend on the sharpness of changes in the development of the child. Not always the symptoms of regression are manifested brightly, especially in the interim periods. Usually, at 23 months there is no sleep regression in its classical manifestation.
Here are some possible symptoms of regression at 23 months:
- Sudden problems with daytime sleep: false refusal, opposition to sleep, short sleep
- Fragmentary nocturnal sleep
- A general reduction in daily sleep norms
- Increased fatigue, capriciousness, the anxiety of the child
- Demanding in communication, dependence on the mother, frequent tears for no reason
- Difficulty falling asleep at night, fussiness, and protest
Remember that the symptoms of sleep regression should contrast strongly with the background of the usual daily routine. The child sleeps well and has no problems with sleep disturbances before they occur. The negativity of symptoms should be obvious, otherwise, other circumstances may be the causes of problems.
The set of symptoms in sleep regression is always approximately the same. Their severity is different depending on the individual abilities of the child to adapt.
Does Every Child Have Regression?
Sleep regression occurs in all children according to the observations of specialists. But each is different and with its intensity. The main regressions that most often occur in babies are distinguished: at 4 months, at 8 months, at 12 months, at 18 months, and 24 months. They are more noticeable and are characterized by vivid symptoms.
All children are different and each has its adaptive abilities. The duration and severity of regression are different for everyone. You can get used to the new conditions almost immediately and such children do not show strong symptoms.
Some parents note the absence of signs of regression in their child. This suggests that the baby has adapted well and managed to independently cope with a jump in growth and development.
Night and Nap Changes During 23 Month Sleep Regression
The generally accepted daily norm of sleep for a child from 1.5 to 2 years old is 12-13.5 hours. These indicators are not always stable during the regression period.
Children at 23 months sleep mostly 1 time per day. The duration of such sleep should be at least 1.5-2 hours. Sometimes babies prefer short periods of sleep of 30-40 minutes. It is better to offer the child one more nap during the day in this case.
There may be a false refusal of sleep during the day during the period of sleep regression. This is expressed in the child’s strong opposition to bedtime. Night rest should ideally last at least 10-11 hours. The child begins to wake up frequently at night during the regression period. Uninterrupted sleep may not go beyond 3 hours.
The total time of wakefulness before a break for daytime sleep is 6 hours and continues after waking up until going to sleep at night. The child may refuse daytime sleep and prolong the time of wakefulness during the regression period.
Development Changes That Cause Sleep Regression at 23 Month
Sleep regression is caused by strong growth and developmental spurts in the child, but any significant developmental changes can affect the onset of symptoms of regression. New skills and abilities require a certain amount of time to master. This delays the adaptation process for a long period.
1. Increased mobility
A child of 23 months is restless, active, mobile, and dynamic. He is in constant motion: jumping, running, overcoming obstacles, dancing, spinning, and playing.
The increased mobility of the baby takes up all his waking time. Sometimes it is simply impossible to stop it. Such activity requires considerable time for rest. There is an effect of accumulation of fatigue if it is not enough. The child stops sleeping normally at night and refuses to sleep during the day.
2. Active brain activity
Babies of this age are extremely inquisitive. They are interested in absolutely everything that happens around them. The world is huge and there is so much to learn new and interesting things. The development and use of all the senses expand the possibilities of knowledge.
The child’s brain is overloaded with new information that requires constant processing. Night sleep may stop being stable because of this. Overexcitation leads to the fact that the child begins to sleep restlessly and often wakes up.
3. Emotional overload
The child already perfectly understands the emotions of others after a year and a half. He still can’t always control his emotions. The kid is impulsive, quick-tempered, and unstable in its manifestations.
The mood of the child during the day can change several times. Frequent tantrums and outbursts of anger. All this is normal for a given age, but it can greatly overload the psycho-emotional sphere, depriving the child of stable sleep.
4. Social activity
The child is increasingly interested in the people around him and making contact with them. The baby’s social circle is expanding and he is already becoming much more interested in someone besides his mother.
The development of verbal communication skills allows the baby to establish contact with both peers and adults. Sometimes the number of new acquaintances and friendships overload the child’s psyche. Especially in the evening, when the child’s nervous system is extremely vulnerable. A kid without metered communication is overexcited and gets too much psycho-emotional stress.
The rapid development of speech occurs constantly. The baby is increasingly using verbal methods of communication. He can no longer manage only with gestures. A child of 23 months is constantly replenishing his vocabulary. He already has enough words in his arsenal to express his feelings or attitude toward the situation.
The development of speech directly affects the activity of the brain and cognitive activity. New neural connections are formed and the brain is overloaded. This provokes restless and fragmented sleep.
How Long Does Sleep Regression Last?
Sleep regression begins at the moment of a sharp jump in growth and development. The child’s adaptive mechanisms are launched aimed at mastering new skills and adapting to new conditions. The duration of the regression will depend on the effectiveness of these mechanisms.
Sleep regression lasts no more than 2-4 weeks. This is the approximate time it takes the baby to fully adapt. There are also longer regressions that flow into the next age period.
External conditions can affect the duration of the regression: illness, teething, a poorly adjusted daily routine, and non-compliance with sleep conditions. Significantly reducing the symptoms of regression can be constant training of new skills and abilities during the day.
How to Deal with 23 Month Sleep Regression
It is difficult for a child to cope with sleep regression at this age on their own. The baby will need parental support if the symptoms of sleep regression at 23 months are severe. It will significantly reduce the risk of a protracted process.
Compliance with all conditions for sleep
Preparation for sleep should always be ritualistic. Do not cease to consistently comply with all the conditions that help the baby fall asleep peacefully.
The room must always be ventilated. The lighting is dimmed in the evening and creates an atmosphere of calm. Close the curtains even if it’s already dark enough. Maintain silence and safe emotional security for the child.
The bed should be comfortable and clean and the child’s clothes should be as comfortable as possible for sleeping.
Practice taking breaks between attempts to go to bed
The process of falling asleep becomes much more complicated during the period of regression. The child is naughty a lot, protests cries. Remember that attempts to put the baby to bed should not exceed 30 minutes. You should take a break if during this period the child still has not fallen asleep.
This practice is the most rational during the period of sleep disorders and requires serious patience. Breaks in trying to get to bed can remove resistance and distract the child. A new attempt is often more effective.
Do not load the baby before bed
The cognitive activity of a child at 23 months is very high. His attention is constantly occupied with new research and attempts to try all methods of knowledge.
Many mothers are already practicing developmental activities for their children. Do not use them before bed at night. This greatly affects the brain of the child and does not allow him to relax.
All complex activities aimed at developing intelligence should be postponed for the first half of the day. It is better to give preference to physical activity and quiet games in the afternoon.
Constant training of new skills and abilities
It has been noticed that most of all the daily routine and sleep is disturbed precisely during the development of a new skill or ability by the child. Regular training is needed to get it right. It’s best to practice new skills as much as possible during the day to avoid them at night.
The child needs to master new skills well, get used to them, and then the adaptation period will decrease.
Avoid being static
Mom begins to take the baby everywhere with her if she does not want to sacrifice her activity in favor of the child. The downside of this method is that the baby spends a lot of time in a stroller or car seat.
Spontaneous dreams in a static position are not uncommon during this period. This is unacceptable during the regression period. The child should be as active as possible during wakefulness and not limited in space. Form a daily routine so that you do not have to keep the baby in a confined space during wakefulness.
Active walks in the fresh air
Oxygen and fresh air do wonders for the body of any person. Walking outdoors is the best therapy during a sleep regression. They relax the nervous system, give pleasant fatigue to the baby and regulate the daily routine.
Make the most of your wakefulness by walking outdoors. This will normalize the baby’s sleep and make it strong and stable.
Don’t be nervous
Learn to control your emotions, restrain yourself and be patient. Numerous attempts to put the baby to sleep may not stop for a long time. All the negativity that you will radiate will certainly affect the child. Children read any state of their parents and especially mothers.
The baby will remember this process as extremely negative if you constantly get nervous every time you put him to bed. Every time the child will broadcast it to his mother. Pull yourself together and accept the fact that regression is temporary and quite normal.
FAQ about 23 Month Sleep Regression
Q1: How long does it take for a child to overcome sleep regression?
A1: These indicators are always relative and individual. It all depends on the adaptive abilities of the child and the help of parents.
The sleep regression period according to generally accepted standards is from 2 to 4 weeks. These figures may be less if the regression is intermediate and weakly expressed.
Q2: Can a 2-year regression start at 23 months?
A2: It is quite real. It all depends on the individual growth and development of the baby. The regression will manifest itself more intensively if there is a strong jump in these parameters during this period.
Q3: Does sleep regression affect a child’s health?
A3: Regression is a natural process inherited from nature. This is a stage of growing up that a child cannot do without. There is nothing criminal or bad in it. No adverse effects on children’s health have been reported. Sleep regression is not able to change the physical and mental health of children.
Q4: What to do if the sleep regression coincides with the crisis of 2 years?
A4: This happens very often. Regression and crisis can overlap. Sometimes it is even difficult to distinguish between these two processes. There is only one thing you can do in such a situation: wait!
Help the child with support and understanding. It is very difficult for a child in this state. Overcoming the crisis is not a matter of one day and it is worth taking the symptoms calmly.
Q5: Can chronic diseases affect the regression process?
A5: Chronic diseases do not provoke or trigger the process of sleep regression. They can only complicate the flow of regression. Concomitant symptoms will slow down the adaptation of the child. The exit from the regressive state will be slightly slower.
Q6: Is there a way to prevent sleep regression?
A6: Sleep regression is a natural process and not a disease or a virus. Why prevent it? It’s a necessary stage in a child’s development. It does not affect the health and mental state of the baby. It’s not worth fighting him. You can only help your child during the period of adaptation and create acceptable conditions.
Q7: If a child has a hard time going through all the sleep regressions, will it be like this all the time?
A7: Sleep regression is temporary. It is timed to certain age periods. These periods will pass and sleep will improve. His difficulties with sleep regression will have nothing to do with the future life of the baby.