This post is written by Alexandra Coffman from My Baby Sleepology
As if adjusting to working from home while juggling watching your children was not stressful enough… let’s top it off with the now oh-so-common baby & toddler sleep regressions due to these changes. I call this the “Covid Sleep Regression”.
Our children get used to and thrive off routines. Routines bring comfort and consistency to a child’s life and give them confidence and independence! When those routines are disrupted, it can cause a domino effect on both their sleep and behavior.
For children who were used to being placed down for naps by a nanny and meeting other littles at the park; or used to going to daycare and napping around a bunch of their friends, while exerting a ton of energy, they are going through a significant change! The whole family is home… under 1 roof… all day! Not to mention, a lot of families are moving out of cities to stay with family in the burbs during this time. The new environment may further add to the disruption that our previously happily sleeping babies and toddlers may be experiencing!
Here is what a lot of MyBaby Sleepology clients are describing and experiencing due to the Covid changes:
- Bedtime battles
- Nap strikes
- Night wakings
- Early rising
Here are some tips you can employ to help your little ones get back to sleeping more soundly:
- Building strong bedtime routines: Right now this is especially important! If you didn’t have much of a nap routine (5-10 minutes) or bedtime routine (15-20 minutes), create one! Our children need a solid wind-down to help set the stage for them that it is time to go to sleep.
- Be mindful of the timing of the increased screen time: We get it! All mamas may need to leverage screens a bit more right now. Sleep rule: no TV within 45 minutes of nap or bedtime! It is a stimulant and can make it tough for children to fall asleep.
- Be aware of the clock and an overtired child: If you are staying with family it is easy to lose track of time, be cognizant of the timing of bedtime. If your child gets overtired, cortisol (a stress hormone) is secreted in their brain and they go into flight or fight mode. This can cause bedtime battles, night wakings, early rising and/or skipped naps!
- Dealing with nap strikes: If your child is on 2-3 naps, make sure they are in the crib for the first 2 naps for at least 1 hour. Doing this will give them the time & opportunity to adjust to you putting them down (vs. the nanny/daycare) and sleeping in their own crib… or pack n play at grandma’s. If your child is on 1 nap, they should be in the crib for a minimum of 90 minutes.
- If your child’s nap is short or skipped… early to bed!
Any life changing event is a big deal for a little kiddo (and for mama!). Whether it is welcoming a new sibling, moving… or dealing with a global pandemic! Small tweaks can make a huge difference to help your child adjust to the new norm.
As a sleep consultant, my role is to help empower my clients during this time. We discuss where to draw boundaries with toddlers and how to create new routines to help establish healthy expectations around sleep; ultimately leading to healthier, better quality sleep for the entire family!
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20 thoughts on “The Covid-19 Baby & Toddler Sleep Regression – It’s Legit!!”
Hahaha….. Great work. Love babies.
Those are so awesome tips for toddlers. I don’t have any kids yet, hopefully someday! But if I hear of any of my friends that are struggling with their toddlers sleeping, I will send them on over.
sounds like one of the ‘not so fun’ parts of parenting. but that is terrific you offer free 15 minute phone consults.
Such a great offer!
These are really great toddler sleeping tips to help parents. Although, if I’m being honest. I should apply the screen time to my own personal sleeping habits.
Heheh! Me too!
Hhhhmmmm….you are very right about routines. It is just that times like this….the pandemic times have created something we have always wanted to be. Adjusting to it, is the interesting part.
I dont have small kinds myself nowadays, but your story seems perfectly logical 🙂
I am glad that my 4 years old son have his own sleeping routine. He is an early riser, he woke up at 7am and he is normally taking a 2 to 3 hours of nap in the afternoon.
I just noticed that he takes a lot of sleeps during these days compare before and I agree it is so important to set a routine for them.
Oh the number of things I don’t have to think of as a single individual. That’s why they say I should revel in my childless years! Glad you’re all organized with it though!
It is amazing how much life affects babies’ sleep patterns. And besides covid, there are so many other things going on–teething, belly aches, bad dreams, and the list could go on. I learned through the years to just love my kids through whatever they were experiencing. But I was fortunate to always be working from home and able to adjust my schedule if I was up with kids the night before.
Wow good tricks. I got a 3 and a 6 years old boys and They never went to sleep. I’ll try some of your tricks.
this is truly an issue and I think we all need to be stoic and disciplined to stick with our daily routine. Thanks for sharing your insights and I will also sharing it with me friends who just gave birth to her baby boy! – Kncyx journeying
These are great tips for all the mommies out there. We need to make aware of these tips. Will share it!
My son is 1.5. He has absolutely no idea what’s going on in the world right now. He goes to bed around 6:30/7pm every night. That’s really the only routine we have for him. He does go to daycare every day and truly loves every minute of it too. That helps tire him out!
Daycare definitely keeps our little ones active!
Those are some great tips to keep in mind. As a mom myself this was quite the helpful post.
My girlfriend was just telling me the other day her baby was going through something similar and it was driving everyone nuts! Sharing this great article with her now! Thank you!
So brutal! Yes, I hope this can help her!
I have no kids but these timetables are really perfect!