This week we have mostly been Googling…18 month sleep regression

When you have a bad sleeper, you don’t really imagine things (i.e.sleep, or lack of it) could get any worse. An average night with Dangermouse, age 18 months, normally involves several zombie state trips round the corner into her room, to fumble around for her bunny-rag and dummy (patting around the bed / her face in the process), re-establishing a happy, sucky, cuddly state, and collapsing back into our own bed. Repeat 2-8 times, alternating turns with increasing frustration.

I think once, she slept all night. I emphasize the SHE, because as the law of sod would have it, that (obviously) was a night her sister had nightmares / tummy ache / fell out of bed. I can’t remember exactly, It’s all a bit of a blur. Tiredness has become a way of life.

Last week, to our despair, things took a turn for the worst. We had the usual first night wakening unusually early, not long after we had gone to bed, but she was standing in her cot, crying ‘Mumma’ with her arms out to me. Wide awake. Fiercly rejecting the idea of going back to sleep, we went through several hours of trying to calm her down. Our bed, Calpol, the disappearing chair, sleeping on her floor, cuddles, controlled crying. We were all, all over the place.

During the morning debrief (when obviously all was forgiven courtesy of those big brown eyes), we discussed the potential cause for such a horrendous night, reminiscent only of those newborn sleep deprivation days.

Maybe it’s her teeth?

Maybe she’s got a stomach bug?

Maybe she’s scared of the dark?

Maybe she’s sleeping too much during the day?

Deemed inconclusive, we did all we could do. Limp through the day, grab a mega early night and pray to God for a better nights sleep.

REQUEST DENIED. Cue round two. And we thought last night was bad…sparing you the details, it was more of the same only for longer, and with less fuel in the patience-tank.

By night three, we were really wallowing in self pity. Is this the end of life as we know it? Are we going to have to cancel our overnight babysitter this weekend? Do we even want to go out anymore anyway?

The good news is we did get a respite. A couple of nights back to ‘normal’ (including our date night, thank goodness or it may have been theย last ever kind offer from Nanny). We even, shock horror, had a whole nighter (amazing!). But, it seems this is not the end, as we were back to the scream-a-thon last night.

By the power of Google, and the moral support of other Mums, I’m learning about this thing…18 month sleep regression. Apparently kicking in around the time a child drops down to one nap a day (check), and is making some major developments in the brain causing a peak in separation anxiety. She now knows we are next door snuggled up in our big bed, and she knows how to try and make her way to join us for cuddles.

It seems this is another phase, but maybe, whats on the other side is a better place than where we were? ย Things just might have to get worse before they get better.ย Here’s hoping.




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74 thoughts on “This week we have mostly been Googling…18 month sleep regression

  1. Anna Brophy Reply

    Awww…I hope it picks up for you! It is soooo tough!! I also found even if they got back to sleep, I couldn’t as I was waiting for the next round. Chug down that coffee and be kind to yourself. #fartglitter

    1. Anna Brophy Reply

      And here again from #thecoolmumclub

  2. islandliving365 Reply

    Ohhhh I feel your pain! Sleep deprivation is truly evil! The worst form of torture. I hope that it gets better soon #marvmondays

  3. Becky (and then there were two) Reply

    Oh no! First boy was a wonder sleeper and defied sleep regressions. Boy two not so much and he’s now 14 months – does this mean I should prepare myself for four months time?! At least Google provides some reassurance that it’s normal. Though I know this doesn’t help much when you can barely see to read the screen through sleep deprivation ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for sharing on #marvmondays

  4. beautybabyandme Reply

    Oh hun these phases are a chuffing nightmare aren’t they – we are dealing with the four month sleep regression so I do feel your pain! Get the coffee down you…. and the chocolate!! A fellow tired mummy xx #MarvMondays

  5. Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows Reply

    Ick. Our tot is at this stage although we think it’s nightmares as he wakes up shrieking things like ‘Squiwul!’. And squirrels can be terrifying, I’m sure you’ll agree. We’re floundering the in the sleepless dark too. Wishing us both a goodnight’s sleep!


  6. imatwinmama Reply

    Every mama on earth is sympathising with you right now! One night is annoying. Two is bad. Three is taking the p*ss and 4+ is soul destroying!

    We too suffered the 18 month regression, which unfortunately has continued off and on until 22 months (and counting) . I find it so much harder when I hear, “Mommy!” instead of just a wordless cry :'(

    I’m with you on the morning big brown eyed forgiveness though! I swear, nature makes them cute so that we don’t completely and utterly lose it!!!


  7. yvette morgan Reply

    Don’t miss these sleepless nights at all x #bigpinklink

  8. Franjones Reply

    Oh no. I hope it passes soon. I’m hoping Poppy starts managing longer at night soon! I’m also terrible for googling everything! #bigpinklink

  9. internationalelfservice Reply

    I’m an absolute disaster when I don’t get enough sleep! I so feel for you. It is all just a phase but this phase does pop up and down again when they’re ill or ‘just because.’ There’s a reason they use it as chinese torture! Hang on in there xxx

  10. Baby Anon Reply

    Thanks for sharing, really useful insight. Hope you’re all getting some sleep now. I am waking my parents a lot but I try and tell them it’s just because I love being around them so much ๐Ÿ˜‰ #bigpinklink

  11. jaxbest Reply

    My 17mth old is in the exact same spot! It is exhausting! I have asked my self the same questions as well! Good luck, I hope it improves soon! x

  12. Katy (@hotpinkwellies) Reply

    I really feel for you! My little boy suffered from all the sleep regressions, and the 12 month one hit us really hard and continued for months. Then one day he just snapped back to normal. Bizarrely though, I didn’t actually know there was an 18 month one because he must have just sailed through that one! Or perhaps it coincided with him being ill, so I didn’t notice it. You can tell I didn’t notice it though, because my usual behaviour with every sleep regression was frantic googling!! I really hope this phase passes soon for you #bigpinklink

  13. ljdove23 Reply

    Ugh poor you! I hate those stages but I promise you that they do pass. It feels like living hell I know, thank god they are worth it! #fartglitter

  14. This Mum's Life Reply

    Oh my goodness, that really is torture… I didn’t even realise there was supposed to be an 18 month sleep regression!! I think I’ve only got the 4 month one on my radar, because that one hit us really hard with DT. I’m so sorry, and really feel for you, because it sounds absolutely torturous… Do you know you can get dummy dispensers for cots?! They can pull one out if they lose one, and another comes to front in case they lose that one! I’m sure you won’t use that as a solution, but I threw it in in an attempt to be light hearted…! I don’t know about you, but I only believe the worst possible scenarios when I look on google! So I’ve had to stop myself doing it, or I’d have believed after DTs regression that he’d be a lifelong insomniac who would be a failure at school because his brain cells were underdeveloped due to a lack of sleep… Always the optimist, me!! I’m sure there will be a beautiful sleep rainbow at the end of this storm!!
    Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink. X

    1. MMT Reply

      I would like a rainbow AND a pot of gold after this! ๐Ÿ˜‰ thanks for the lovely comment xxx

  15. Kaye Reply

    I can relate to this SO much! Every single time A started to struggle with his sleep, I would come up with a million things it could be and consult Dr Google. I must’ve read every single thread on the internet about sleep regressions and still don’t really have an answer! Haha. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

    1. MMT Reply

      Same here Kaye…there is only one real answer, and that’s an early night. Where I am headed right now! xx

    2. MMT Reply

      It’s one of the very reasons I started blogging… I wanted to BE one of those posts you read that make you feel better. Less alone anyway! X

  16. Squirmy Popple Reply

    Great – my baby is already a terrible sleeper, and now I have this to look forward to! Is the 10 month sleep regression a thing? We’ve had one decent night’s sleep in the past few weeks. #fartglitter

    1. MMT Reply

      I didn’t think you could regress any further! Ha! Wrong ๐Ÿ™

  17. Nadia - ScandiMummy Reply

    Noooo… don’t say there’s another one coming… zzz! We bed-share so at least I don’t have to get out of bed when he wakes, but at 14 months I though we were through the worst! Well done you for still sounding reasonably sound and getting through it all. Thank you for sharing, now I know to be prepared. #Passthesauce

    Nadia – ScandiMummy x

    1. MMT Reply

      I sometimes just thinks she’s just never going to be a sleeper! *sob* guess they are all different!

  18. justsayingmum Reply

    Aww I really feel for you … I know that doesn’t help but it does get better … I say that loosely as my son still struggles and he’s (shhhh) 11! night terrors, scared of dark, the ?tummy ache … we’ve pulled our hair out too as the girls have never had any problem and we haven’t done anything different. The 18month sleep regression is an interesting point – I wonder if there’s one for ’11 year old boys sleep never happened’ – right where’s google?! Hope you get some sleep soon lovely #passthesauce

    1. MMT Reply

      Noooooo!! You’re killing my hopes and dreams of a whole nights sleep in a few years time! Ah well, one day they’ll leave home I guess…

      1. justsayingmum Reply

        aww sorry! I reckon you’ll crack it though! Trust me, mine are getting too close to that stage of adulthood – don’t wish it away!! Back from #coolmumclub

  19. Nicole - Tales from Mamaville Reply

    Arghhhh those horrid sleep regressions! I remember them all. Sleepless days and nights. Typical how things usually get worse before they get better… you’re so right. Hope everyone involved gets more rest soon.

    1. MMT Reply

      Thanks lovely. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?!

      1. Nicole Reply

        Absolutely! Hugs

  20. Blue Faced Momma (@BlueFacedMomma) Reply

    A routine is the only thing that got us through that same period. I wanted to cry. Then I read somewhere about a routine and a nightlight titled “our night time routine”. I actually wrote a post about it on my site if you’d be interested in checking it out. Best wishes to you momma. It’s a rough phase but it will pass.

    1. MMT Reply

      We don’t have any problems with going to sleep / bed… It’s just the staying that way till the morning, or even a few hours?! Thank god for coffee!! X

  21. Rosie Hill (@EcoGitesLenault) Reply

    ….and all too soon you’ll be pulling your hair out wondering how to get your teenage children out of bed and awake ๐Ÿ˜‰ #BloggerCLubUK

    1. MMT Reply

      That is the stuff of DREAMS! ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

  22. ourrachblog Reply

    I remember the 18 month sleep regression well. We moved house at the time too, it was tough. My son was an amazing sleeper from birth but once he turned 12 months it all went to pot and then once we established routine again, once he turned 18 months it all went to pot once again. He’s 2.5 (almost) now and I can’t remember the last time he slept right through. I figure I’ll get an all nighter one day – maybe when he’s 12??!! #bestandworst

    1. MMT Reply

      It’s never ending with some kids! Our first daughter was sooo different! Thank god, or she may have ended up a single child ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

  23. agentspitback Reply

    That is one of the hardest things ever for a parent! My three children were all horrid sleepers and to make matters worse, they had totally different patterns. #1 was early to bed and then waking up before the sun (I know!) type of sleeper and then #2 was late to bed and late to rise, so this meant that I slept really late and woke up really early and yes, and all the goes on during the night. *sigh* It will get better, kids are so much older now and it is a thing of the past. I would say don’t give up and keep trying to find something which helps her settle for the night. Fingers crossed for you. Thanks for linking with #PasstheSauce

    1. MMT Reply

      Wow that must have been tough! I’ve been utilising the reverse lay in approach and catching up when I can! X

  24. whitecamellias Reply

    Oh no! I really hope it gets better soon. I always find that once I’m awake with the kids I find it very hard to go back to sleep myself. My daughter is not waking up in the night very much but she wakes up at the crack of dawn every morning. This has been going on for a couple of weeks now and I can’t wait for it to end as she always wakes up her brother and them I have to deal with 2 very grumpy kids in the morning ๐Ÿ™


    1. MMT Reply

      Definitely had some of those moments! What’s worse is the hubby is away with work this week so it’s been extra hard hopefully tonight is the night! Xx

      1. whitecamellias Reply

        Keeping my fingers crossed for you x

  25. Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) Reply

    We had more of issues going to bed at that age rather than waking during the night so it was taking AGES to get my gremlin down. I really feel for you as it is so hard to keep calm and no lose it. It maybe a couple of nights letting her sleep with you to get some rest; we have done that and not caused any long term issues. Good luck and let us know how you get on. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

    1. MMT Reply

      Thanks Sarah…we have tried that too…she thinks it’s play time in our bed and likes to smash her head back in your face in the pitch black, so gave up on that approach! She’ll get there…trying to stay positive through a rough phase!

  26. rightroyalmother Reply

    Oh blimey. I have this to come with NC and you just brought it all back … (what’s the ‘disappearing chair’??) I hope it gets better. And I am so glad to hear that you do basically EXACTLY the things I do. Both have gone to bed with Calpol tonight. Do they need it? Not sure. Do I? Yes. #BloggerClubUK

    1. MMT Reply

      Ha ha – Bloody love you Polly. Yep Dangermouse had a dose tonight too! Might just have a glug myself before I collapse into it in about ten minutes ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

    2. MMT Reply

      PS Dissappearing chair is when you creep out of the room slowly, an inch at a time, so they don’t notice…well, sort of anyway. I think the proper way is a bit further away from the cot night by night but I’m too impatient for that!

      1. rightroyalmother Reply

        AHHHHH. Yes. I did do that with NG and I’m sure will do it with NC soon. Oh good. Happy days(!) xxx

  27. rightroyalmother Reply

    Just reading this on #coolmumclub too …hope last night was ok! x

  28. crummymummy1 Reply

    You never know it might be a case of two steps back four steps forward (I made that up). Fingers crossed for you!! #coolmumclub

  29. Rhyming with Wine Reply

    Hunny I feel your pain!! Broken / no sleep is just torture! You kind of expect and accept it with a newborn, but then for sleep to return, only to be snatched away again at a later stage?? Well that’s just cruel. It appears that our 19 month old hasn’t received this memo… Yet!! *sobs* I remember it with Miss Tot though so I pretty much know that we have it coming! It is just a phase. I’m sure it’s just a phase. Have some cake. xx
    Thanks for hosting #Coolmumclub.

  30. wendy Reply

    Ohh I remember this. Leo slept through the night from about 10months and then suddenly around 10months he was waking every night again wanting to play in the middle of the night and then screaming when we told him it was bed time. No one wants to play trains at 2am..except a toddler of course. It didn’t last long though, one night he just slept through again and it’s stayed that way ever since. I hope little one gets through this phase quickly so you can stop feeling like a zombie ๐Ÿ™‚ xx #coolmumclub

  31. beautybabyandme Reply

    Visiting again from #coolmumclub Hope your week has got a bit better xx

  32. Louise Reply

    Oh I feel your pain – sleep-deprivation is awful and I remember both my girls going through a sleep regression stage around that age and wondering if it would ever end. I think we ended up Googling it both times! It lasted about six weeks with both girls and then got better quite quickly. On the whole, they’re both reasonable sleepers now at 2 and 4 although it’s a rare night that one or other doesn’t end up in our bed! #coolmumclub

  33. Robina - Reply

    Noooo. This is bad news! Poor you, you must be shattered. Really hope this phase is a short one for your household (and a non-existent one for ours!) Thanks so much for hosting and an even bigger thank you for having us on meet the members! #coolmumclub X

  34. Kat EatLoveLive Reply

    I feel you honey. We’re 20 months in and we still have a terrible sleeper on our hands. Doesn’t it just make you want to slap the mum that tells you their child slept through the night from 4 weeks after you’ve had a particularly sleep deprived night? Haha x

  35. G Reply

    ahhhh we had this a few months back, and it does get better again. when they go through the big developments its the sleep that gets messed up for our little one. good luck and get nanna back again ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for sharing #Coolmumclub

  36. Unhinged Mummy (aka Janine Woods) Reply

    Oh I’ve so been there. Hunting high and low for a reason as to why my son won’t sleep and hunting high and low for a solution for it. Four years on I have come to the conclusion that he just doesn’t need a lot of sleep. Unlike me sadly. I hope you get some sleep soon.


  37. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    SO remember being there, and that it lasted for ages…and that basically there is nothing you can do. Sleep regressions suck big time. Really hope the little one settles down soonest lovely #coolmumclub co-hosty! xxx

  38. Davina Reply

    We are also going through a less severe version of this right now. I spend a lot of time out and about doing things with my boys in the hope that fresh air and exercise will help them sleep at night. But for a couple of weeks now, my 18 month-old has been waking in the night and lying awake talking to himself and rolling around and yelling “READY STEADY GO!” The only redeeming thing is that he hasn’t actually needed me to help settle him back to sleep. But it means that I am mostly awake for the whole time he is and it seems like there’s nothing I can do about it. So even though I am so, so sorry (and I AM) that you are going through this right now, I am relieved to know that it’s not just us and that it is, in fact, A THING. #ccolmumclub

  39. tammymum Reply

    We went through this, although she was 16/17 months at the time and we have now passed 18 months and it didn’t happen again, so I’m putting it down to sleep regression. Boy was it hard, and soul destroying…it went on for about a month. It all seems ok again now, thank god, but it was one hell of a phase. Fortunately though everything is just a phase and you just have to get through it – that is my mantra during the hours of 8pm-8am …. It doesn’t always help admittedly but I do try to remind myself that one day, one blissful day I will sleep a long interrupted nights sleep, consecutively xx #coolmumclub

  40. Helen Reply

    Oh ouch, tea and virtual hugs. Why is it, the less you sleep, the more you want choc and cake? You will get through it. We’re just coming out of a rough patch. My friend told me not to look at them or make eye contact and just settle them and leave (tricky in the dark!). My other friend swears that it’s all about body temperature and to make sure they are warm and put an extra blanket on. I swear and drink wine. Good luck deary xxx #coolmumclub

  41. Debs Reply

    They like to keep us on our toes don’t they?! I remember with my 1st little one, now almost 4, that he was often changing his sleep pattern – then I would run through all the things that might b causing it – teething was def one but each time he had had a cold or growth spurt we wanted to use a reset button on him after some really rubbish nights! It did settle down though. We tried not to bring him downstairs or into our room in the night. Hope it all settles for you very soon x #coolmumclub

  42. Something About Baby Reply

    Bloody sleep regressions! We had an angel of a sleeper, he’d go 10-4 from about 2 weeks old, until we hit the 4 month sleep regression. At 9 months, I’m still waiting for us to recover! So I know all about the sleepless nights. I like to think of it as he loves his mummy cuddles too much to go all nogjt without them – that’s what gets me through. Here’s hoping it is just a stage for you and passes soon ๐Ÿ™‚ #coolmumclub

  43. Mummy Rules Reply

    I didn’t know about the 18 month sleep regression! We went through similar with our toddler 6 months ago and I had no idea! I hope things recover quickly for you. The worst phase is definitely when you start getting your sleep back and it gets cruelly snatched away from you. I am at the newborn crazy zombie stage, so I am getting used that in a messed up way….but can’t blooming wait for a good night’s sleep again :-/ #coolmumclub

  44. Becky, Cuddle Fairy Reply

    Google & I are best friends! I have googled about sleep so many times -. It’s so tough & there’s rarely any way to know what causes it either. Good luck to you, I hope this phases ends soon! #coolmumclub x

  45. thewhimsicaladventuresofanotsosupermum Reply

    oh god reading this is like reading into the future with my youngest who is 4 months behind, he is not a good sleeper, this week has been a killer whilst hubby has been away and I think I’ve hit rock bottom with the level of tiredness, honestly feel hungover each day from being so tired, how I have the energy to bounce around with the boys when I can barely hold my eyes open.

    Keep going hun, it will get better at some point….it has to doesnt it??? I think out of everything having a child throws at you, the lack of sleep is the killer. x x x #coolmumclub

  46. Mum in Brum Reply

    uh-uh you’ve just scared the sh** out of me – 18 months sleep regression?? So I have two months to go…obviously feeling very sorry for you and all that…oh crap! Hehe…but seriously, how have you managed to even write this post? The thought of going back to those early days again makes me want to crawl into bed right now. I’m not sure how you’ve managed it for all of this time not having regular ‘all nighters’ I seriously don’t know how I would’ve coped. You are a hero – as you say, hopefully things might start to get better for you soon, fingers crossed for you xx #coolmumclub

  47. Mummy in a TuTu (@mummyinatutu) Reply

    we seem to have a sleep regression every other bloody month. I have given up the thought of ever sleeping properly again… at least until school starts!

  48. mudpiefridays Reply

    I am always googling something or other.. but sleep deprivation is horrid ๐Ÿ™ I really hope this phase passes quickly for you. I am not looking forward to the endless sleepy nights we have coming with our imminent new born but I had forgotten all about the sleep regression later on! Thank you for joining us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again this week x

  49. DomesticatedMomster Reply

    Oh how happy you make me that my kids sleep through the night and all in their own beds. I remember the nights of only like 2 hours a night in 5 minute intervals. Hope things get better for you! Thanks so much again for hostessing #coolmumclub!

  50. Silly Mummy Reply

    Aww. We’ve had bad sleepers here too. Eldest became good at about 13 months & has been fine ever since, but is currently a problem as she just turned 3 & we decided to remove the dummy she still used at night time. She’s not happy. Fine once asleep though, hard to get to sleep. Little one refused to sleep alone until about 15 months. Not too bad now, but still more likely to wake in night & harder to get to go to sleep. Interestingly, she has really regressed in past few weeks. She’s 20 months. Maybe it’s the same thing. #coolmumclub

  51. Becky Pink Reply

    Oh no you poor things, I know exactly how you feel. Our youngest Thea has always been a terrible sleeper but FINALLY came out the other side when she was about 2 1/2. We tried everything, but I think it was just her personality. Sorry that’s so not helpful! Good luck with it all xx #coolmumclub

  52. The Mum Project Reply

    Aw man, I feel for you! I had to laugh at ‘whole nighter’ because this is a saying I use now….very rarely….but when I do use it I feel like Superwoman all day. Hopefully it gets better soon! #coolmumclub

  53. bridiebythesea Reply

    Oh I feel for you, we are only at 12 months but still battling away….I’m not sure what I’ll do when she finally sleeps through! The 18 month regression does not sound like fun…hope it passes soon x #bloggerclubuk

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