18 Month Sleep Regression?

Today I’m getting back to my favourite mommy topic: Sleep.

Not to brag or anything, but for months Willow has been the best sleeper! It’s been glorious. After the Hell we went through for the 8/9/10 month sleep regression, and the sleep training Willow forced us into, it’s been bliss. Two 2 hour naps a day, 12 hours at night complete with angels singing.

Then she went to play school and my little terror decided “Why sleep when I can play?” From day one she refused to sleep at school. I figured this part of parenting and that we simply needed to adapt. So the new strategy was to put her down for a nap when she got home and to move bed time up to compensate.

This worked like a charm. I was getting at least two hours of day time sleep and night time was not affected.

But lately, she’s been difficult about the nap. Before she would simply wave me off and go to sleep. Now we have so much screaming, which starts long before she’s even in the crib.

She got really sick a few weeks ago with strep throat and since then night time sleep has not been quite right either. We’ve had a lot of broken nights punctuated by whining and moaning at all hours. Usually, I can leave her and she’ll settle down, but more often lately I’ve had to go into her room two or three times for a cuddle and to settle her down.

Then we had a doozy of a night. She when down like a charm but woke screaming at 9.30. When I checked on her I heard she was congested so I gave her some saline spray. After 20 minutes the screaming had not abated so I thought maybe her teeth were troubling her (yes we are showing signs of teething again! This time the back molars are the culprit), so I gave her a bit of Ibruprofen.

Still no affect on the screaming. But finally, she settled down to sleep. For a whole three hours. The screaming started again and miraculously stopped when either A or I went into the room. I started running through the list: is it a dirty nappy? Is she hungry? Is she scared? Is it separation anxiety? Why is she screaming?

She thought it was clearly time to play Midnight Cowboy and she refused to go back to sleep until 3am. After that, we started waking and crying every hour on the hour.

I still have no idea what caused it and while it may be a blip on the sleep radar, I have the nagging feeling that we may be at the start of the 18 month-sleep regression. God, I hope not. Is it too soon to tell? My sleep deprived brain is at a complete loss…

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