Once a child has reached two years of age they have generally developed well defined sleeping habits so that mothers can rely on a regular pattern for their sleeping and waking cycles. From around 18 months of age, however, some children experience what is referred to as toddler sleep regression where they suddenly refuse to sleep at the allotted time, do not settle down for naps during the day or constantly wake up during the night and will not go back to sleep by themselves. This is referred to as a regression because it is as if the child has gone back to sleeping patterns they had as a baby.
Sleep regression in a child is part of their development and can occur at different parts of the child’s life. It often occurs between 18 and 24 months of age as the child deals with a new period of growth and development but can also occur because they are teething, have experienced some other change in their routine, are sick or otherwise stressed.