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You have worked your child’s entire life on having consistent and healthy naps. You have survived wonder weeks and short naps. You have navigated several naps being dropped over the last couple of years. You may have thought sleep regressions would be behind you as you entered toddler-land. Enter the two year old sleep regression.
A sleep regression is when your child suddenly stops sleeping well. There can be good reasons for regressions, and there are common ages for regressions that have no explanation or cause. Sometimes treating those exact issues can help bring you back to the sleep patterns you are used to.
Here are some things to do and thing to not do when your child is having the two year old sleep regression.
Do Not Drop the Nap
I have written on what to do when your toddler refuses to take a nap. My number one thing is do not drop it. Remember there is a regression right now. Things can go back to good with some tweaks and sometimes just with some waiting it out. Keep nap time.
Do Analyze Wake Time Length
Your toddler might need a little longer waketime length before nap starts. I have a handy chart on waketime length for toddlers in this post: Optimal Waketime Lengths for Toddlers.
Do Consider Teething/Sickness
Your toddler might be having sleep troubles because of teeth coming in or because of sickness. An ear infection can cause sleep problems. A simple cold can lead to poor sleep.
Do Consider Life Changes
Your toddler might be moving into a new bed, getting a new sibling, or starting a new activity. These things can all cause sleep regressions.
Do Have Rules and Consistency
Stay consistent with sleep and with your sleep rules. Your toddler might start testing getting out of bed without permission. Respond in a way to set the stage for good sleep habits long-term.
Do Be Aware of the Environment
Is it too hot? Is it too cold? Is the sun breaking through the window? Does your toddler need a blanket? Does your toddler need a pillow? Is your child comfortable sleeping?
Remember what a sleep regression is like? Baby doesn’t sleep well for no good reason? If this poor sleep is a literal regression, there is nothing you can do but wait it out.
When your two year old is not sleeping well, consider the list of possible factors listed above. In the end, it might just be a regression that you need to wait out. Wait it out and continue on the sleep track with your toddler. While your two year old probably won’t sleep every day consistently ever again, a daily nap is still super important in your toddler’s daily routine.