19 Month Sleep Regression: Here’s All You Need To Know!

Author Image By Paula McLaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH •  Updated: 08/19/23 •  Sleep / Sleep Regressions

Is your child suddenly fighting sleep? Being fussy? Struggling to settle? The 19 month sleep regression has arrived. Here’s what that means, and what exhausted parents need to know to get through it.

What Is The 19 Month Sleep Regression?

How Long Does The 19 Month Sleep Regression Last?

The 19 month sleep regression, like all sleep regressions, commonly lasts between 2 and 6 weeks depending on the trigger.

19 Month Sleep Regression Featured

19 Month Sleep Regression Signs

If you suspect your little one is experiencing a 19 month sleep regression, here are some of the signs that will confirm your suspicions:

So, if you are nodding your head in agreement whilst reading this list… Then your little one is almost certainly experiencing a sleep regression.

Looking to get your little one to sleep quickly and effortlessly through a healthy nighttime routine? Check out my Bedtime and Nap Cheat Sheet and master the art of making daytime naps and bedtimes as seamless as possible.

Causes Of The 19 Month Sleep Regression

There are a variety of causes of the 19 month sleep regression. But if I had to narrow them down, these are the top causes of sleep regressions that every parent should be aware of.

Causes Of The 19 Month Sleep Regression

1. Reaching Big Physical, Mental And Emotional Developmental Milestones

A lot is going on developmentally at this age with your little one perfecting the art of walking, climbing and talking. There is a lot going on cognitively as well as they become increasingly aware of the world around them and their place in it. All that extra brain and body activity can easily disrupt their sleep!

2. Newfound Independence

Your toddler’s growing sense of independence at this age may make them push and resist boundaries around naps and bedtimes, resulting in them becoming overtired and finding it difficult to settle and or stay asleep.

3. Their Sleep Needs Are Changing

Around this age, you may need to adjust daytime sleep, especially if newfound skills are making them more tired. If they have started daycare they may need more sleep for a while as they adjust to the new routine. Alternatively, some 19 month olds may only need 1 long nap during the day.

4. Their Environment And Sleep Routine Has Changed

Moving house, going on holiday or visiting family overnight can all trigger a sleep regression.

And any major changes in routine could also upset an established sleep schedule such as starting daycare, parents returning to work or the primary caregiver changing.

5. Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can occur at any age and will make it difficult for your little one to fall asleep alone and to become distressed when they wake up at night and discover you’re not with them.

6. They’re Teething!

Your toddler’s first molars may start to erupt at this age. If your little one is experiencing pain due to teething their sleep is very likely to be disrupted for a short while and although this is not a true sleep regression in itself, it may trigger one. Investing in a teething toy can help soothe your baby resulting in helping them sleep better!

7. They’re Unwell

Like teething, illness may cause a sleep disruption for a short period of time and although this is not a true sleep regression, sickness can trigger a brief one as your little one may have been used to you responding to every cry or unsettled sleep while they were unwell.

How Much Sleep Do 19 Month Old Babies Need?

Your average 19 month old toddler will need between 11 and 14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. This will consist of 10-12 hours taken at night with the rest taken in one afternoon nap.

Tips To Get Through The 19 Month Sleep Regression

Sleep regressions are tough, there is no question about that.

However, there are things you can do to help you and your child get through the 19 month sleep regression and come out the other side with your healthy sleep habits intact.

19 Month Sleep Regression Tips

1. Stick To Your Routines

I cannot stress how maintaining a healthy daily and bedtime routines will help to keep you sane and keep your little ones healthy development on track.

I know life gets in the way sometimes, but being super vigilant about nap times, meal times and bedtimes, during a sleep regression will make your life so much easier during this time.

Ensuring your little one gets consistent cues in preparation for sleep will go a long way in helping your little one fall asleep during a sleep regression.

So, if you have to cancel a few plans over the coming weeks to ensure you’re at home for naps and bedtime, it will be worth it in the long run.

2. Get Outside Every Day

Fresh air is a great way to ensure your toddler gets some physical exercise and an opportunity to practise their new skills such as walking, running and climbing.

Fresh air also helps to stabilise their circadian rhythm (which will help to stabilise your toddler’s sleep cycles!)

3. Watch For Hunger Being A Nighttime Waking Trigger

It is very tempting to feed your baby in order to get them back to sleep… however, this is not a habit you want to continue. Ensuring your toddler is eating enough to keep them fuelled for their activities and growth will help prevent hunger from being a nighttime wake reason.

Try offering a healthy pre-bedtime snack such as apple slices, peanut butter, or some yoghurt before bed to help them sleep through the night.

4. Keep Nighttime Interactions Low-Key

If your little one wakes at night then it’s super important to keep your interactions low-key. Have the lights down low and do not chat to

them. A night light is a great investment as it stops you from having to turn on a light when visiting them at night.

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  • The star projector is static without motion (however, this is ideal for very young babies and toddlers).
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5. Teach Your Little One To Self-Settle

If you have not done so already, try and teach your little one to self-settle. Allow them to spend time playing in their cribs or a playpen during awake times and put them down whilst drowsy and not fast asleep.

When they fuss, try not to pick them up every time they wake.

It is very easy to fall into bad habits during a sleep regression so if your little one is waking more at night try leaving them to fuss for a short time when they wake, as they may just fall back to sleep without you having to go to them.

If however, they start to become distressed, you should go to them.

6. Try Adjusting Nap Times And Bedtimes

This can be a tricky phase when it comes to naps and you might be tempted to drop naps in the hope that your toddler will be more tired for bed and sleep better at night.

However, as I say over and over, less daytime sleep does NOT mean better nighttime sleep.

In fact, the complete opposite happens.

An overtired toddler is not going to go to bed peacefully or quietly.

Their bodies will be stressed and full of adrenaline…

And this is not ideal when getting ready for bed because your little one will be hyper instead.

If your toddler is transitioning from 2 naps to 1, you need to make sure that their nap is taken at a consistent time each day (preferably after lunch) and that they have had an adequately active morning to be ready for sleep.

7. Make Their Sleep Space More Conducive To Sleep

Now your little one getting older they will be more easily woken by sleep distractions and noise. So, darken the bedroom using blackout blinds and use a nightlight.

During a 19 month sleep regression your little one needs to be sleeping in a calm, dimly lit room.

Using a white noise machine can eliminate background noise from disturbing their sleep too. They will help to ensure that sudden changes in noise will have less of an impact on your sleeping baby.

My Top Pick
Dreamegg White Noise Machine - 21 Soothing Sounds

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8. Help Your Little One Practice New Skills

It is important that you give your toddler plenty of opportunity to practice any new skills during wake times so that they are not desperate to do so when they should be sleeping.

Provide them with toys to help them walk, opportunities to learn to climb safely, play with construction toys such as building blocks and try simple puzzles too.

Read lots of books to encourage speech and cognitive development.

Paula's Pick
Lovevery Building Block Set

Possibly the most comprehensive wooden block set ever created!

This beautiful and brilliantly designed wood block set promotes spatial, language, and problem-solving skills through bright and solid wood building blocks, planks, shapes, people, magnetic wheels and dowels with a toggle string. All are safely kept in a wooden storage box and a cotton drawstring bag for storage at the end of a busy day!

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Our Top Pick
Le Toy Van - Petilou Wooden Walker Toy for Toddlers and Babies

Another toy staple is the baby walker and there are a lot out there to choose from. I really like this one from Le Toy Van. It is eco friendly, safe and sturdy and will be a firm favourite with your toddler before, during and after they learn to walk independently!

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9. Consider The Gradual Retreat Method

While I would not advocate letting your little one cry it out while experiencing a sleep regression… Trying gentle sleep training such as the gradual retreat method can often get your toddler’s sleep back on track.

To learn more about this sleep training method, read this: Gradual Retreat Method.

Looking After Yourself During A Sleep Regression

As parents, we often forget to look after ourselves. Our children are our priority, and everything else falls into second place.

However, insufficient sleep will undoubtedly make us short-tempered and cranky… And at the best of times, looking after a toddler requires lots of energy and patience.

So to help yourself through toddler sleep regressions remember to:

Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you are struggling or feeling irritated from sleep challenges. Sleep disturbance and parenting go hand in hand…

But you can navigate these sleep regressions if you stick to established routines, understand what is going on in your toddler’s development and hold on to the fact that this is just a phase that will pass if handled correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions About The 19 Month Sleep Regression

Looking for more information about the 19 month sleep regression? Check out the most commonly asked questions here.

How Will I Know When The 19 Month Sleep Regression Is Over?

When your toddler settles back into a settled sleep schedule consisting of regular daytime naps and a consistent bedtime routine with little to no waking at night, you can safely say that the regression has passed.

Why Is My 19 Month Old Waking Up At Night?

If your 19 month old has been sleeping beautifully and suddenly starts waking at night this may be due to a number of triggers including teething or achieving a developmental milestone, starting daycare, newfound independence or changing sleep needs (2-1 nap transition).

While you should always rule out any illness that may be affecting your little one, if all is well then you should deal with your little one’s nighttime waking and or nap resistance as a sleep regression and follow the tips listed above.

Why Won’t My 19 Month Old Sleep?

If your 19 month old is not sleeping it could be due to any of the reasons stated in this article. Try to identify which ones seem appropriate to your situation and implement my suggested solutions.

Is There A Developmental Leap At 19 Months?

At 19 months of age, your little one will be honing their walking skills and will be able to walk for longer periods of time and will probably like to run off at times.

Their language will be developing too and they will constantly talk unintelligibly as they practice different sounds.

In addition, your 19 month old will be starting to play in a more imaginative way, pretending to feed their toys, talk on the phone or copy common household chores.

And of course, they will be experiencing increasing independence.

Can Toddler Night Terrors Trigger A Sleep Regression?

Night terrors are usually a result of your little one being overtired or suffering from separation anxiety… This can in itself trigger a sleep regression and sleepless nights.

It is therefore important that your toddler is getting to bed at an appropriate time and that you are addressing any separation anxiety issues they might be having.

Are the 19 Month Sleep Regression And 18 Month Sleep Regression The Same?

The 18 month sleep regression is considered to be one of the more common regressions. However, this common sleep regression can occur a little before 18 months or a little later.

Therefore, yes, they are very similar.

But, it is highly likely that if you’re experiencing a sleep regression at 19 months of age, your little one did not have a regression at 18 months.

What Time Should 19 Month Old Go To Bed?

I would recommend that a 19 month old should go to bed between 7pm and 8pm depending on their daily routine and naptime schedule.

When Do I Need To Talk To A Doctor About The 19 Month Sleep Regression?

If you are unsure if your little ones change in sleep patterns is due to a sleep regression, watch for the following signs.

If they are present then you should consult a doctor:

If your little one has a persistent fever or a cough which is waking them at night you should also consult a medical practitioner.

Further Reading

If you would like to learn more about sleep regressions and how to handle them at different ages, check out these posts:

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Author Image Bio
Paula McLaren is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and a highly qualified childcare expert with over 40 years of experience as a Norland Nanny. She holds a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development & Learning (0-6 Years) and the prestigious Norland Diploma. Paula has worked as a night nanny, run a successful daycare center in London, and helped raise countless children using her tried and tested developmental and guidance methods.

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