15 Month Sleep Regression – Signs, Causes and What to Do

As your child grows and their development progresses, there will inevitably be sleep disturbances. The 15-month sleep regression is one such phase many parents grapple with. If you’re trying to decipher the causes and cope with sleepless nights, this article will provide you with the information and strategies you need.


What is the 15 Month Sleep Regression?

The 15 month old sleep regression refers to a phase where a previously well-sleeping baby starts waking up frequently during the night, refuses naps, or showcases other disruptions in their regular sleep pattern. While it can be exasperating for parents, understanding the causes and signs can make navigating this phase smoother.

What Are the Causes Of 15 Month Old Sleep Regression?

Sleep regressions can be perplexing, but they usually have underlying reasons. Here’s a breakdown of the main causes:


1. Teething

Around this age, many toddlers experience the growth of their molars. The pain can disrupt sleep.

2. Developmental Milestones

Learning new skills like walking can make babies more restless.


3. Separation Anxiety

Often, the 15 month sleep regression separation anxiety plays a role. Your child is becoming more aware of their surroundings and may fear being apart from you.


4. Changes in Sleep Needs

Babies might need less daytime sleep, causing disruptions at night.


5. Illness or Discomfort

Simple things like colds or ear infections can throw off sleep patterns.


6. Habitual Waking

Sometimes, if babies get used to being soothed back to sleep, they might wake up expecting it.


7. Dietary Changes

Transitioning to more solid foods can sometimes upset a baby’s stomach or change their sleep needs.

Signs of Sleep Regression at 15 Month?

The 15-month mark is significant milestone in your baby’s life, packed with growth and developmental leaps. But with this comes potential sleep disruptions, commonly known as sleep regressions. It can be a perplexing time for parents, with many wondering if their child’s changed sleep patterns are indicative of the famed 15-month sleep regression or if they’re a result of some other factors. Recognizing the signs can be the first step to understanding and managing this phase better. Here are five key signs that your toddler may be going through the 15-month sleep regression:


1. Increased Night Waking

If your previously sound-sleeping baby suddenly starts waking up multiple times during the night without any apparent reason (like hunger or discomfort), it’s a clear sign. They might cry or simply be restless, making it hard for them to settle back down.

2. Resistance to Napping

At 15 months, most babies still need a nap during the day. However, during a sleep regression, your toddler might vehemently resist nap times. This can manifest as crying when put down, shortening their nap duration, or skipping naps altogether.


3. General Irritability and Mood Swings

A disrupted sleep pattern can lead to crankiness during waking hours. If your usually cheerful baby is suddenly fussy, whiny, or prone to meltdowns without any apparent cause, the sleep regression might be the culprit.

4. Clinginess and Separation Anxiety

One unique feature of the 15-month sleep regression is heightened separation anxiety. Your toddler might become more attached, not wanting to be away from you. This can make bedtime challenging, especially if they resist sleeping alone.


5. Changes in Sleep Patterns

Particularly because of the 15 month sleep regression separation anxiety, they might be more attached to you. If you notice a sudden shift in when your baby gets sleepy, how long they sleep, or the quality of their sleep, it might indicate regression. This includes longer periods of light sleep, tossing and turning, or waking up earlier than usual.

How Long Does 15 Month Sleep Regression Last?

Most sleep regressions, including the 15 month regression, tend to last between 2 to 6 weeks. However, the duration can vary based on individual babies and how parents handle the regression.


How Can You Manage Sleep Regression In Your 15 Month Old Baby?

Navigating through the 15-month sleep regression can be a trying period for both parents and babies. Suddenly, your previously good sleeper might be resisting bedtime, waking up often, or showing signs of separation anxiety. Understandably, you might be feeling exhausted, frustrated, or even concerned. However, with the right tools and strategies, you can help your baby transition smoothly through this phase and ensure a return to peaceful nights. Below are six tried-and-tested ways to manage the 15-month sleep regression effectively.

1. Establish a Consistent Routine

A predictable bedtime routine can provide a sense of security for your baby. This routine might include activities like reading a short story, taking a warm bath, or playing calm lullaby music. Keeping to a consistent sleep schedule can signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down.

2. Comfort, But Maintain Boundaries

It’s crucial to comfort your baby when they’re feeling distressed, especially if separation anxiety is at play. However, try not to introduce new habits (like rocking them to sleep every night) that you might not want to continue in the long run.

3. Create an Ideal Sleep Environment

Ensure that your baby’s sleeping space is conducive to a good night’s sleep. This means a dark room, a comfortable temperature, and a quiet environment. Consider using blackout curtains and white noise machines if needed.


4. Stay Patient and Calm

While it might be frustrating to navigate sleepless nights, remember that your baby is also struggling. They can sense and respond to your stress or agitation. Approach each night with patience, understanding that this is a temporary phase.

5. Seek Peer Advice

Sometimes, the best 15 month sleep regression tips come from other parents who’ve been there. Consider joining parent groups, forums, or social media communities where you can share experiences and solutions.


6. Avoid Big Changes

During this regression, try to keep everything else constant in your baby’s life. If you’re thinking about transitioning them to a new bed, room, or even introducing new foods, consider waiting until the regression has passed.

What Should You Not Do During 15 Month Sleep Regression?

The 15 month sleep regression is a phase that many toddlers go through, often characterized by sudden wakefulness during the night, difficulty falling asleep, and general restlessness. This can be a challenging time for both parents and toddlers. While it’s essential to support and comfort your child during this phase, there are certain actions you should avoid to make the sleep regression smoother and more manageable.


1. Don’t Be Inconsistent: One of the worst things you can do during a sleep regression is to be inconsistent with your response or routine. Here’s why:

  • Confusion for the Toddler: If you sometimes let your toddler cry it out, but other times you pick them up immediately, it can create confusion. This inconsistency can make it harder for them to learn what to expect and can prolong the regression.
  • Establishing a Routine: A consistent bedtime routine helps signal to your child that it’s time for sleep. Stick to the same bedtime rituals, such as a bath, reading a story, or singing a lullaby.

2. Don’t Introduce New Sleep Crutches: During this period of disrupted sleep, it can be tempting to introduce new methods to soothe your child to sleep. This could be rocking them, offering a bottle, or allowing them to sleep in your bed.

  • Temporary Fix, Long-term Problem: While these might offer a short-term solution, they could become a sleep crutch, meaning your child will begin to rely on these methods to fall asleep.
  • Building Independence: Ideally, you want your child to develop the ability to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own. This independence is beneficial in the long run.

3. Don’t Lose Your Cool: Sleep deprivation can test the patience of even the most understanding parents. But it’s important to manage your emotions and reactions during this time.

  • Creating Anxiety: If you respond with frustration or anger, it can create anxiety for your toddler, making it even harder for them to relax and fall asleep.
  • Seek Support: If you find yourself overwhelmed, it’s okay to ask for help. This could be from a partner, a family member, or a professional. Remember, you’re not alone in this; many parents go through the same challenges.

When to Call A Doctor?

While the 15 month sleep regression is typically a normal phase, if you notice signs of extreme distress, illness, or if your child’s sleep doesn’t improve after several weeks, it might be time to consult with a pediatrician.


In conclusion, the 15 month sleep regression what to do question often concerns parents. Armed with knowledge and patience, remember that this is just a phase, and like all phases, it will pass.

Also Read:


Simple Solutions to Your Child’s Bedtime Problems
Tips to Make Your Child Sleep Fast

This post was last modified on August 17, 2023 10:26 am

Recent Posts

List Of Christmas Words That Start With Z

As the twinkling lights adorn the streets and the jingle bells echo in the distance,…

November 21, 2023

List Of Christmas Words That Start With Y

The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to dive into the festive…

November 21, 2023

List Of Christmas Words That Start With X

The holiday season sprinkles a unique kind of magic, especially for the young and curious…

November 21, 2023

List Of Christmas Words That Start With U

As the jingle bells start ringing, heralding the festive season, our hearts brim with joy…

November 21, 2023

List Of Christmas Words That Start With N

The festive season of Christmas brings warmth, cheer, and a plethora of delightful vocabulary. For…

November 21, 2023

List Of Christmas Words That Start With S

The festive season has a magical way of sprinkling joy and laughter in every corner,…

November 21, 2023