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16 Month Sleep Regression: Causes, Signs And Solution

16-month sleep regression is a phase in toddlerhood where sleep patterns are disrupted. It’s typically caused by developmental milestones, separation anxiety, and teething.

To address it, maintain a consistent bedtime routine, offer comfort and reassurance, provide comforting objects, adjust nap times if needed, and manage teething discomfort through pediatrician-recommended methods.

Remember, it’s a temporary phase, and with patience and understanding, both parents and toddlers can overcome this challenging period.

Additionally, sleep regressions are often regarded as daunting challenges, leaving both parents and their little ones exhausted. One such milestone in a child’s development is the 16-month sleep regression.

Within this extensive manual, let’s explore why it happens, what are the symptoms and what is the solution to this problem.

A child is sleeping peacefully after healing from sleep regression.

What is 16-Month Sleep Regression?

The 16-month sleep regression is a stage during which a previously good sleeper may suddenly experience sleep difficulties. Typically occurring between 16 to 18 months of age, it can last for several weeks.

Moreover, parents often find this regression perplexing, as they thought the sleepless nights of the early months were behind them. And, It’s a natural component of a child’s developmental progression.

Furthermore, your child may face Sleep Regression 6 Months, 10 Month Sleep Regression, 15 Month Sleep Regression, 14 Month Sleep Regression & 20 months sleep regression as well in their development journey.

Why Does it Happen? 

Several factors can contribute to the 16-month sleep regression. A major factor is the swift progress occurring in your child’s life.

 At this age, toddlers are learning new skills, such as walking and talking, and may be experiencing separation anxiety. These changes can disrupt their sleep patterns.

Additionally, teething and illness can also play a role in sleep disturbances.

See also: 13 month sleep regression

Data-Driven Insights on 16 sleep regressions

Research shows that sleep regressions are a common occurrence in toddlerhood. While each child is unique, many parents report similar experiences during the 16-month sleep regression.

A research paper released in the Journal of Pediatrics revealed that approximately 70% of toddlers encountered sleep disruptions at approximately 16 months of age. This research highlights the normalcy of this phase in a child’s development.

See also: 11 Months Sleep Regression

Signs and Symptoms 16 Month Sleep Regression

  • Increased Night Wakings

One of the primary indicators of the 16-month sleep regression is a sudden increase in night wakings. Your previously sound sleeper may now wake up multiple times during the night, leaving you both feeling exhausted.

  • Disrupted Naps

Naps may also become inconsistent and shorter in duration. Your toddler’s daytime sleep routine may be severely affected, adding to the challenges you face as a parent.

  • Changes in Bedtime Routine

A disrupted bedtime routine can be frustrating. You may find that your child’s previously smooth transition to sleep has become a nightly struggle.

Related: 24 months sleep regression

How To Handle The 16-Month Sleep Regression

Stick to a Consistent Routine

Consistently following a bedtime regimen can offer a feeling of comfort to your toddler. Engaging in activities such as reading a bedtime tale or berceuse a lullaby can serve as cues that it’s time to rest.

Create a Cozy Sleeping Atmosphere

Ensure your child’s sleep area is cozy and favorable for rest. Verify that the room is dim, peaceful, and has a suitable sleeping temperature.

Limit Screen Time Before Bed

high-energy visible (HEV) light  emitted by screens can negatively impact sleep. Avoid letting your child use electronic devices close to bedtime.

Offer Comfort and Reassurance

When your child arouse in the night time, provide solace and affirmation. Sometimes, a gentle pat on the back or a soothing voice can help them settle back to sleep.

Consult a Pediatrician

If the sleep regression persists and you suspect an underlying medical issue, consult your pediatrician for guidance. 

See also: Why Do Babies Sleep With Their Butt In The Air

16 month sleep schedule

Here’s a sample sleep schedule for a 16-month-old toddler in table format. Please note that the timing and duration of naps and sleep can vary from one child to another. Be attentive to your child’s signals and adapt the routine accordingly.

 Also, ensure your child gets enough total sleep over a 24-hour period, typically around 12-14 hours at this age, including nighttime sleep and naps.

6:30 AMWake up
7:00 AMBreakfast
9:00 AMMorning nap (1-2 hours)
11:30 AMLunch
1:30 PMAfternoon nap (1-2 hours)
3:30 PMSnack
6:00 PMDinner
7:30 PMBedtime routine (bath, story, etc.)
8:00 PMBedtime

See also: Baby Witching Hour

FAQs about 16 Month Sleep Regression
How long does the 16 month regression last?

The 16-month sleep regression typically lasts for a few weeks, ranging from 2 to 6 weeks. However, each child may experience it differently.

How do I manage my 16 month sleep regression?

To manage a 16-month sleep regression, maintain a consistent bedtime routine, ensure your child gets enough daytime sleep, offer comfort during night awakenings, and consult your pediatrician if problems persist.

How many naps should a 16 month old have?

At 16 months old, most children typically take a single daytime nap, typically lasting between 1 to 2 hours. Some may shift to having one extended nap during this phase.

What triggers sleep regression?

Sleep regression is triggered by various factors, including developmental milestones, teething, illness, changes in routine, separation anxiety, and cognitive leaps, leading to temporary disruptions in a child’s sleep patterns.

Do you feed during sleep regression?

During sleep regression, you may need to offer comfort feeds if your child wakes up at night. However, try to avoid creating new sleep associations or overfeeding.

Conclusion of 16 Month Sleep Regression

Dealing with the 16-month sleep regression can be a real test for both parents and toddlers. However, once you grasp the reasons behind it and put some effective strategies into action, you can certainly make this phase a bit more manageable.

Always keep in mind that this setback is an inherent aspect of your child’s maturation and progress. One of the most useful steps  you can implement is adhering to a consistent bedtime routine. This offers a sense of security for your little one.

Additionally, engaging in calming activities like reading a bedtime story or singing a lullaby can signal that it’s time to sleep. Establishing a cozy sleeping atmosphere is equally vital. Ensure their room is quiet, dark, and has a suitable temperature for sleeping.

It’s advisable to steer clear of screen usage near bedtime since the blue light emitted by screens can disrupt sleep.

Providing solace and consolation when your young child awakens during the night can be highly effective. A gentle pat on the back or a soothing voice can help them settle back to sleep.

If sleep disturbances persist, or if you have concerns about an underlying issue, consulting your pediatrician is always a wise move. Every child is unique, and their sleep patterns can vary, so exercising patience and understanding as you navigate this phase together is essential.

Despite the challenges, it’s essential to remember that the 16-month sleep regression is part of the incredible journey of parenthood, marked by growth, love, and cherished moments.

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