Hey now – what happened to your sweet little baby that used to be such a great sleeper? What happened to your sweet little baby that now fights sleep like it’s his job.
Wow, sleep sucks at 12 months – but don’t worry, it can get better.
Let me tell you what to focus on!
What’s Going on at 12 Months That Affects Sleep?
Your baby is constantly growing and developing so yes, development plays a part in sleep regressions.
- standing up
While all these new abilities can lead to a sleepy baby, they also can make for a very overstimulated baby. There is so much going on for your developing baby that sleep may be difficult.
Sleep regression occurs in most babies, it is a period of time when your baby can no longer get an easy night’s rest. He may wake up more frequently than prior.
Mental Leaps Affect Sleep?
Are you familiar with the wonder weeks or mental leaps?
If you sailed through other regressions with flying colors, you’re most likely having a delayed reaction regression.
It doesn’t matter when the regression hits, it’s all about making sure you can make things as easy as possible to get back on the other side of sleep!
We can’t blame everything on physical milestones.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news – but usually when you see a total regression in sleep, I can confidently ask you this question.
Does your baby know how to fall asleep independently?
You see, independent skills are the magic to make everything so much easier. It’s the first component when taking a look at why your baby isn’t sleeping well.
Does your child have sleep crutches? When sleep regression happens, it is easy to rely on old crutches. You need him to lay down and you don’t want to leave him miserable, so you revert back to rocking him to sleep or any other crutch that helped him sleep when he was younger. The problem with reverting back to these old ways is that your baby may become dependent on them. Even when the regression is over, your child may be unable to sleep without you.
Still offer comfort to your baby! You want to have a balance between becoming a crutch and providing your child with comfort so he can fall asleep independently.
Comfort can involve a lot of extra cuddling and hugs before bedtime. Fill the bedtime routine with lots of quiet time. help him settle down from playtime so that he can be ready for sleep when it’s bedtime.
Is Your Baby Fighting Naps?
At 12 months old, your baby has a whole new outlook on the world! It’s bigger than it’s ever been before. Can you blame him for fighting sleep to enjoy it? Of course not! You also know that babies need their sleep and hence, can’t let him stay awake to explore the world when it’s time to sleep.
Babies are ready to practice the new skills they’re learning! Give them ample opportunity to play. Even adults have trouble falling asleep if they have pent up energy! So, let your baby get all of his energy out throughout the day. Encourage playtime. Your baby needs to stay active and stimulated. If you’re stuck in the car or a waiting room for long periods, ensure that your baby has a few toys to play with in the meantime.
He’ll be less restless when it’s time to sleep. Plus, as an added bonus, you’re helping his mental and physical development.
If the fighting continues, should you drop a nap? In most cases, you don’t want to drop naps, especially in the middle of a regression. While some children can easily transition to one long nap, your baby may not be ready. There’s nothing wrong with waiting until 14 or 15 months to transition. If he’s fighting a nap, then it’s easy to come to the conclusion that he’s ready for one long nap.
If you make the leap too soon, however, especially during a regression, you may make the problem worse. Wait until the regression is over before you make any changes to the routine. Try to stick with two 30 minute naps. It’s okay if your baby simply has a quiet awake time, but if he doesn’t get rest during the day, he may be overtired during the day.
If you absolutely have to change your baby’s sleep schedule or routine, it is crucial that you only do it in small increments. You can play around with his bedtime, but only in hour or half hour increments. For instance, try to put him to sleep an hour earlier or later and you will eventually discover what he prefers.
Can You Make it Through Sleep Regression?
As parents, we need sleep too. You are overworked, overtired and when your baby won’t sleep, it may feel like it’ll never end. What you need to remember is that sleep regression is normal! Your baby is experiencing a completely normal stage and there is an end to it. Some parents stress during sleep regression, worry that something may be wrong with the baby, but this is all a part of the process.
The good news is that sleep regression is temporary! When you’re through with it, whether it is the first or last time, you can relish in the fact that you have an independent sleeper. That means no worries when you take that trip across the country or look into cruises from Miami. After all, if your baby cannot sleep, you can’t think about trips and vacations.
Stay diligent. Remember to keep a schedule and try to maintain a routine as much as possible. If you have to make changes to your baby’s routine, make sure that these are small changes. Keep up with your baby’s playtime, encourage his development and remember that this is a stressful time for him also. In no time, your baby will be back to his normal self.