There comes another regression of sleep at 2 years, which is associated with a jump in growth and development. This age is characterized by serious changes in development and the acquisition of a large number of new skills and abilities.
The regression of 24 months is characterized by more vivid symptoms and duration. There are many breakthroughs in the achievements of the baby. He masters new horizons in cognitive activity and physical activity.
The sleep of a 2-year-old child ceases to be stable. Nocturnal awakenings and unreasonable anxiety become more frequent. Sleep regression makes itself felt immediately through the sudden onset of symptoms.
Symptoms of Sleep Regression
Signs of 24 month sleep regression are clearer and almost impossible to confuse with anything else. The daily routine changes and the child suffers greatly from overwork and is not able to cope with the symptoms on his own. They are very bright and spontaneous, causing discomfort to the baby and parents.
The main symptoms of sleep regression at 2 years:
- A dramatic change in sleep stability
- Complete rejection of daytime sleep or its periodic absence
- Loss of quality of night sleep: it becomes intermittent and restless
- Deterioration of the psycho-emotional state of the child
- Appetite is disturbed
- Ways to calm down stop working
Signs of a two-year sleep regression are more noticeable and obvious. The negativity of their manifestation significantly reduces the quality of life of the family. Almost everyone cannot sleep because the child’s sleep is significantly worsened. This occurs in most children of this age.
There are exceptions to the rule when children more easily endure the regression of 24 months. Symptoms will be less noticeable in this case.
Does Every Child Have Regression?
Sleep regression occurs to some degree in every child. Children who have not experienced regression are likely to be distinguished by the highly effective work of adaptation mechanisms. They quickly and gently adapted to a sharp jump in development and were able to easily step over this stage.
The absence of symptoms does not mean that there has been no regression. He most likely passed less noticeably than his parents.
Major regressions occur at 4, 8, 12, 18, and 24 months. The beginning of regression is considered a sharp jump in growth or development. The end is the complete adaptation of the child to new conditions. Continuous training of new skills can become an operational help with regression.
Night and Nap Changes During 24 Month Sleep Regression
Children still have a very high need for sleep at 2 years of age. The daily norm of sleep for this age is 13 hours. It is necessary to take at least 10-11 hours for a night’s sleep. Daily rest should be 1.5 -2 hours.
You can forget about the generally accepted norms of sleep when regression occurs. Night sleep becomes fragmented, intermittent, and unstable. The child falls asleep very difficult, intermittently, often wakes up, often stays awake at night.
The kid is prone to rapid overwork during the day. The period of continuous wakefulness is best kept within 6 hours. Next should be a daytime nap.
There may be a refusal to sleep during the day during regression. This is due to a sharp restructuring of the body associated with a jump in development. The child either completely refuses to sleep during the day or transfers daytime sleep to a later time, which has a bad effect on the general regime of the day.
Night time and daytime sleep undergo significant changes during the 24 month sleep regression. You can adjust them using flexible mode.
Development Changes That Cause Sleep Regression at 24 Month
A feature of the development of a child at 24 months is that his increased activity affects all areas of life. The physical load on the body increases as the child is super mobile. The work of the brain is enhanced and the intellect develops. The child is on the verge of a crisis age, which also leaves its mark on his sleep.
1. Wide range of motion possibilities
It is difficult to hold a two-year-old child in place. He is in constant motion and cannot sit still even for 5 minutes. This is quite normal and natural for his age. The baby grows and develops, rapidly learning the world. His curiosity knows no bounds. He is ready to explore all the nooks and crannies in the apartment and the yard.
A child at 24 months spends the most active wakefulness. It is worth worrying about his daytime rest. Physical overwork has a bad effect on night sleep.
2. Developed motor skills
A kid at 2 years old often draws with a pencil, pen, or felt-tip pen, confidently holding them in his hands. He is happy to cope with a small designer, puzzles, and pyramids. The child eats on his own at 24 months holding cutlery in his hands. He drinks from a cup, can put on tights and socks, go to the potty on his own.
The development of motor skills is directly related to the activity of the brain. Accumulated fatigue may be a consequence of this activity. Each new skill and ability requires careful development throughout the day.
3. The abundance of verbal communication
The verbal way of communication is growing against the background of the development of speech. A 2-year-old kid always strives for new acquaintances. He easily establishes contact with peers and adults. Interest in verbal communication is growing exponentially.
A large number of new contacts and received emotions greatly tire the baby. He is overexcited and has difficulty falling asleep. Not dosed communication in the evening can provoke a refusal to sleep.
4. Psycho-emotional overload
The nervous system of a child is easily overloaded at this age. He is prone to frequent tantrums. His psyche has not yet grown stronger and is not as stable as we would like.
Children 2 years old are characterized by frequent tearfulness, exactingness, nervous excitability, and, as a result, sleep disturbances. Psycho-emotional overload of the child provokes difficulty falling asleep, fragmented night sleep, frequent nightmares, and awakenings.
5. Heightened curiosity
The child does not want to sleep at all when there are so many interesting things around. A 2-year-old child can be distracted by anything. He will come up with any vigorous activity just to stay awake. Everything can captivate a kid: from shadows on the wall to a toy forgotten under the table.
Watch carefully so that all his inquisitive impulses are satisfied in time, otherwise, the lack of sleep is guaranteed.
6. Tendency to quickly overwork
A 2-year-old child should take a closer look and notice signs of fatigue. Children of this age get tired very quickly and at the same time do not want to sleep at all. The baby will enter the active phase of wakefulness and cross the border of fatigue if you do not put him to rest in time.
The accumulated fatigue adversely affects the child’s sleep. It is doubly difficult to put a child to bed in the evening if a dream is missed during the day. The tendency to rapid overwork is due to increased physical and mental activity.
How Long Does Sleep Regression Last?
It is difficult to say about the duration of sleep regression in a particular case. There are general standards according to which the regression lasts for 2-4 weeks. But these norms are relative and are not a mandatory limit.
The beginning of sleep regression is considered to be a sharp growth spurt after which the mechanisms of the child’s adaptation to new conditions are launched.
The end of the regression stage is considered to be the complete adaptation of the baby to the conditions of a jump in growth and development.
Accompanying symptoms and processes can complicate the course of regression: illness, teething, non-observance of conditions for sleep, a sudden change of scenery, and emotional instability of the mother. Help in overcoming this stage can be constant training of new skills and abilities during the day.
How to Deal with 24 Month Sleep Regression
The child needs the help of parents in any difficult situation. While the baby is small, his need for his mother is very high. Her care and love can cure any ailment. Mom should help the baby in overcoming the stage of sleep regression.
Reduce Separation Anxiety
The age of two is characterized by an increased desire for independence. Moms hear from their children “I’m on my own”! He wants to put on shoes, and a hat on his own, eat with his spoon, pour out the pot, and walk not by the handle, but on his own.
This feature of age increases the level of separation anxiety of the baby. He is increasingly afraid of losing his mother and does not accept the fact of separation from her.
Reduce this effect with the right of choice. Let the baby decide for himself what he needs from 2-3 options. Tell him that if he wants to clean up the toys on his own, then you are always there and will help at any moment.
Active wake time
Control the time of his wakefulness and spend it actively. Alternate developing activities with physical exercises and walks in the fresh air. A baby’s day at 2 years old should be as varied and eventful as possible. Pleasant fatigue will allow the child to sleep well during the day and get tired by the time of night sleep.
Watch for signs of drowsiness and offer your child a rest right away. There is a stabilization of the regime and regression proceeds with fewer losses if everything is done correctly.
Focus on snacking before bed
The child should eat well during the day to make up for the energy losses of the active day. Particular attention should be paid to snacks before bedtime. Avoid sugary and fatty foods before bed. Sweet excites the nervous system and causes overexcitation. It will be difficult for the baby to fall asleep and relax.
Use only those foods that are easy to digest and do not cause bloating. It is necessary to exclude milk, fruits, sweets, fresh pastries, and legumes. Give preference to crackers, lean cereals on the water, vegetable or fruit casseroles, and dairy products.
Filtering the child’s visual entertainment
It is impossible to do without gadgets in the 21st century, especially if the mother has no other helpers. Maximum waking time is best spent without using a TV, tablet, or phone. Watching cartoons should be strictly metered. Try to filter genres and topics of entertainment content.
Many cartoons are not suitable for viewing by children of 2 years of age. They can provoke overexcitation, aggression, and nightmares.
Develop your child’s emotional intelligence
A wide range of emotions that a child experiences at 2 years old often confuses him. The child is not yet able to accept and control most of the experience. He cannot understand that there is nothing wrong with negative emotions and tantrums.
Help your baby realize that he has the right to absolutely any emotions. Ask him about the feelings he experienced and explain the reason for his condition. The development of emotional intelligence should be continuous. You can purchase special books from psychologists or independently cope with this task.
Practicing new skills during the day
If your child has learned something new at age 2, help him improve that skill. Training to fully master a new skill should be mandatory throughout the day. The kid will train these skills at night if this is not done. This will negatively affect the quality of his sleep.
The more the baby learns, the more difficult it is for him to adapt to this breakthrough in development. Help your child with support. Ask him to show what he can do and repeat it. This will make it easier for him to adapt.
Reduce the risk of associated symptoms
When a child goes through the sleep regression phase, it is important to help them overcome this process. Try to reduce all symptoms if the baby is sick at this time: bring down the heat, relieve pain, and remove discomfort in the abdomen. Accompanying symptoms greatly complicate the process of overcoming sleep regression.
Sleep regression will be less pronounced if all concurrent symptoms are eliminated. Never make this path difficult for your child. Do not be afraid of painkillers and antipyretics. Don’t make your child suffer.
FAQ about 24 Month Sleep Regression
Q1: Is the 24-month regression the last sleep regression?
A1: Usually yes. The child’s sleep normalizes after 2 years. Sleep regression in some children may take a little longer or start a little later than usual.
Some sleep disorders may occur before the age of 3, but they will no longer be associated with regression.
Q2: How long will the regression of 24 months last?
A2: Sleep regression normally lasts from 2 to 4 weeks. Everyone has a different duration. How long will the process of adaptation of the child to new conditions take so long and the regression will last.
Q3: Does the intensity of regression depend on the gender of the child?
A3: No, such dependence is not observed. The sex of the child does not affect the intensity of the regression.
The only difference between babies of different sexes is that boys, as a rule, are slightly larger than girls. They have growth spurts at a slightly different age, and there are differences in the stability of the occurrence of regression.
Q4: Can a long separation from the mother provoke a sleep regression?
A4: The beginning of the regression is not related to how far or close the mother of the child is. This stage occurs with a sharp jump in the growth and development of the baby.
This can provoke a protracted process of adaptation if the regression has already begun and the mother has not been around for a long time. Regression will be more difficult and longer.
Q5: If there is no sleep regression at exactly 2 years old, can it appear a little later?
A5: It may or may not appear at all. All children are different and each develops at their own pace. Sometimes there may be no signs of regression at all.
It also happens that by the physiological age of 24 months the child has not yet reached all the limits of development. It can significantly increase in growth in 2 years and 1 month, which will provoke a regression.