Just when you think you have your little one’s sleep figured out, when you finally know the balance of how much awake vs. sleep they need each day, when you know all of the sleepy cues and get them down for bed at the perfect time, when you are getting your wonderful 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night, BAM a new sleep regression shows up and rocks your world. 

I am currently living through a 2/2.5 year old sleep regression and it has been challenging to say the least. My daughter was once an angel of a sleeper, she would go down in her crib with no issues. She slept 12 hours a night and would wake up and talk to herself until someone went in to get her. I couldn’t have asked for a better sleeper. Suddenly, that angel sleeper is gone.

The tears start to well in her eyes as soon as the bath starts to fill, she tries every excuse in the book to delay bedtime, she fights being put in her crib and even fights laying down to sleep (she has spent hours over the past few weeks sleeping standing up). But, she also emotionally needs me now more than she ever has. Sleep regressions are normal and a sign of just how fast her brain is growing and developing. She isn’t the same naive baby she once was, she’s a person now. She has thoughts, fears, and anxieties, and it is a delicate road to navigate. 

All of that being said, when you are going through a sleep regression it is difficult. While I can sit here and put a positive spin on it, I can also acknowledge the brutal reality that is a sleep regression. My husband and I got a full night of sleep every night for months, and one night that just stopped. We are back to the newborn days, taking shifts because our toddler doesn’t want to be left alone.

I hear her crying at times when she is completely silent, I lose track of the days and can barely get my act together to leave the house. I sit and cry too, thinking I know what my daughter needs, but not really knowing how to give it to her. I cry wondering if I will ever sleep again and not knowing what a new normal will look like for us. Will my husband and I ever get to watch TV on the couch together again after a long day of parenting? When will I get my house in order, if I can no longer do chores after bedtime, because now I need to spend hours comforting my toddler?

The hours I am not spending in my toddlers room or at her door, as I try to sneak out, I am Googling. I am looking for a magic answer on how to “fix” this. I contemplate spending hundreds of dollars from every professional sleep expert out there. I am trying to figure out how to better understand what it is my daughter needs from me, and how exactly can I do that for her. I read up on the “perfect bedtime routines” and see what we can tweak to better prepare for the night ahead. I also spend the later afternoon and early evening hours in a complete sense of dread, I don’t know if tonight will be a night where I get to sleep or not. It is easy for a sleep regression to take up your every thought.

We have been down this road before, babies and toddlers seem to hit sleep regressions every few months. I know this phase will pass. I know I have to cherish every extra snuggle I get from my little one, because time simply moves too fast. I know my toddler is only going through this because of how much she loves and is attached to both me and my husband. I know this is all normal, but this normal is hard.

There are so many beautiful things about motherhood – the unconditional love, the laughs, the memory making, the hand holding, the snuggles, and the list goes on and on. Being a mom is a wonderful thing, it is my favorite title I have ever been called. BUT, being a mom is hard. I have spent hours crying over the last few weeks at just how hard this job is. I don’t always know where to turn or what to do. It is hard to function as a mom, a wife, a person with little to no sleep. 

If nothing else, I hope you find comfort in knowing you aren’t alone in whatever hurdle you are currently facing as a mom. There is no other job that is as difficult but equally as rewarding as being our little one’s mother. You (and I) got this Mama. This too shall pass.

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