Sleep regression” is somewhat of a misnomer when it comes to understanding your toddler’s changing sleep patterns. In reality, these shifts are closely linked to significant developmental milestones that don’t necessarily follow a strict timeline. Around the 14-month mark, many parents notice a distinct change in their child’s sleep habits, often referred to as the 14-month sleep regression. However, this period is more accurately a reflection of your toddler’s rapid growth and learning.
In this blog, we’ll explore some of the developmental changes that occur around 14 months of age, such as advancements in walking, language, and emotional skills, and how they can impact your toddler’s sleep. Our aim is to provide you with insights and strategies to effectively navigate this dynamic phase, ensuring a smoother transition for your child and a more peaceful night’s sleep for the whole family.
As your toddler navigates the 14-17 month age range, they are not just learning to walk but are becoming more proficient at it. This stage involves mastering skills like running, dancing to music, and exploring their newfound mobility. While this is a crucial developmental milestone, it can also influence their sleep patterns.
As your toddler becomes more mobile, their ability to move away from you increases, which can sometimes trigger a new wave of separation anxiety, a common aspect of the 14-month sleep regression.
This is a normal part of development but can be challenging, especially around sleep times. As they grow tired, their clinginess may intensify, and being put down in their bed can become a distressing experience. Additionally, big emotions at this age can manifest physically, with behaviors like biting and hitting.
Picky eating is a common and normal phase during toddlerhood. It’s important to remember that as parents, your role is to provide a variety of healthy food options, while your toddler has the autonomy to choose what and how much they eat. This approach respects their developing independence and helps establish healthy eating habits.
Too Busy To Eat: Toddlers are often so engrossed in exploring and playing that they may not sit still for meals, leading to insufficient daytime eating. This can result in night waking or early rising due to hunger, a common issue during the 14 Month Sleep Regression. Avoid the temptation to reintroduce nighttime feeds, as this can create a cycle of less daytime eating and more nighttime feeding, which is not sustainable in the long term.
The shift from two naps to one is a significant change in a toddler’s daily routine, typically occurring between 13-18 months. This transition is not a direct component of the 14 Month Sleep Regression, but rather a natural evolution in your toddler’s sleep needs that often coincides with the physical, cognitive, and emotional developments happening at this age. As toddlers grow, they are able to comfortably handle longer periods of wakefulness, necessitating a shift in their sleep pattern.
Toddlerhood is marked by an increase in communication skills and the emergence of ‘big feelings’. Managing these feelings is a dual challenge, requiring you to not only help your toddler navigate their emotions but also to regulate your own.
Setting clear and consistent boundaries becomes crucial during this time, especially in relation to sleep. A structured approach to bedtime routines and limits provides much-needed stability in your toddler’s rapidly evolving world. It’s about striking a balance between acknowledging their growing independence and maintaining the comfort of predictable limits.
Your role is to be the guiding force, helping your toddler understand and manage their emotions, while also modeling emotional regulation yourself. This approach lays the foundation for healthy sleep habits and emotional growth.
Toddlerhood is a journey of remarkable growth and discovery, not just for your child but for you as a parent. At Batelle, we specialize in adapting to the evolving needs of your growing child, focusing on the interplay between emotional development, boundary setting, and sleep to help your whole family get the best sleep possible during the 14-month sleep regression.
With Batelle, you’re not just addressing sleep challenges; you’re building a foundation for your child’s emotional well-being and resilience.