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Elizabeth BarlettaEditor-in-Chief of Top Mom
Is your 12 monther fussy, cranky, restless, refuses day-time naps, often wakes up during nights? It can be 12-month sleep regression. Probably, you feel like déjà vu because you and your baby might have experienced such a situation during 9-month sleep regression or even earlier. Let’s be honest, it’s a hard time for the whole family. So, how to handle this common blip in your little wee’s sleeping pattern?
Our registered pediatricians and childcare experts have decided to create this post. We want to help parents to survive and stay sane during a 12-month-old sleep regression. Here you’ll find so much-needed info and actionable tips! Besides, you’ll understand whether your baby has really sleep regression, or suffers from teething, growth spurt, etc. that may affect your little one’s Zzzs too.
What Is The Cause Of 12-month Sleep Regression?
What is a sleep regression? It’s an asleep disruption in an infant or toddler who previously slept well. Here are the main signs of 12-month sleep regression:
- Resisting falling asleep
- Waking up more at night
- Fighting day-time naps
- Being more restless, fussy, clingy
- Being hungrier than normal
Sleep regression is a predictable condition because it coincides with a child’s developmental milestones. So, when your baby advances in something, like talking or walking, etc., it can temporarily regress in another aspect of development. That’s the main reason for toddler sleep regression.
The bad news is that you and your little one will have to be through several sleep regression stages. They might happen when the child is 6-weeks-old, 4-, 7-, 10-, 12-, 18-months-old; 2.5-year-old sleep regression must be the last one. The good news is that a child doesn’t go through all these stages – just a few of them during first 2 years.
To sum up, if your baby was sleeping well but suddenly has begun to wake up at night, fought day-time naps, become fussier, then chances are it is experiencing 12-month sleep regression.
How Much Sleep Does A 1-year-old Need?
We often get asked, “How much sleep does a 1-year-old need?” Normally, kids of this age sleep about 11-12 hours at night and have 2 day-time naps. So, totally toddlers need about 11 to 14 hours of sleep. By it’s second birthday, your little one may sleep 1 hour less with 1 day-time nap. However, don’t worry if your child doesn’t fit this pattern and sleeps a bit less or more unless it feels well-rested – it’s ok. Typical sleep requirements can vary greatly from kid to kid.
How Do You Fix Sleep Regression?
Our experts have prepared several actionable tips which will help to alleviate 1 year old wakes up screaming.
- Provide your tot with plenty of attention: When you give your little one quality one-to-one time, you help it to cope with frustration it might be experiencing. So, use smart distractions, heap praise & attention, and you’ll be able to prevent a nerve storm in your baby.
- Keep the baby active: Prompt your tot to walk, talk, and play as much as possible during the day so that it will be tired enough not to refuse day-time naps or night Zzzs.
- Try to avoid any changes during a sleep regression: This regression is not a proper time for any changes in a 1-year-old sleep schedule, e.g., a switch to a toddler bed or transition to 1 nap, etc. Try hard to stay stick to your child’s normal sleep routine; this way, it will bounce back easier when the 12-month sleep regression finally passes. Even though your little one can refuse it’s normal sleep routine, doing the same things at the same time every day eases its restlessness.
- Be patient: As experienced mothers say, “This too will pass.” Remember that 12-month sleep regression is a temporary condition, so while sleepless, tear-filled nights are expected, your baby will get back to its normal routine soon.
Remember, kids, thrive with routine and consistency, especially during hard times. So, stay consistent!
How Do I Sleep Train My 12-month Old?
When you are planning to sleep train your little one, you should choose the right time for it. Never and ever begin it during a sleep regression! Besides, there shouldn’t be any big changes or shifts in your and your baby’s life. Some parents prefer to sleep train the child during their vacation or days-off so that they don’t have to be at work early in the morning. Here are several steps that lots of parents have used and found them helpful.
- Create a soothing bedtime ritual: This pleasant procedure will prepare your little one’s mind and body for Zzzs. Stay in its room near the crib, choose the same quiet, calming activities, e.g., singing, reading. There mustn’t be anything stimulation like TV or tickling. If your baby is older than 6 months, incorporate a blanket or favorite stuffed animal toy.
- Create a comfortable environment: The right, comfortable environment means almost everything when it comes to baby sleep training. The room must be cool (68-72 degrees), set room-darkening shades if the baby has problems with naps or early wake-ups, get a night light so that your little one feels safer.
- Rest the baby awake: After 15 minutes of a bedtime routine, put your little one down in the crib sleepy but awake. Expect some cries, especially if it is accustomed to falling asleep in your arms. Stay near the crib; you can offer gentle reassurances and touches. If the baby bursts into tears, pick it up, but when it calms down, put it back. Be close until your little one falls asleep.
- Say no to “sleep crutches”: Some scientists state that once a baby is older than four months, singing, rocking, and nursing until it falls asleep, become “sleep crutches”. This habit is not bad or wrong, but the little one won’t drift off without this ritual. And it means that every time the baby wakes up, you’ll have to rock, sing or nurse it while your aim is to teach it to self-soothe and fall asleep on its own.
The biggest mistake parents can make is being inconsistent! So, whatever you do, whichever method you use, just stay consistent and patient! We, at top-mom.com, are always here to help and provide you with top tips on parenting.
Have you found our recommendations useful? Do you have your own tips and tricks on how to handle 12-month sleep regression? Share them with us! Let’s learn from each other!