How to Handle Baby’s 12 Month Sleep Regression
You think the worst is over?
Just when you thought you are done with sleep training, here comes another sleep stealer:
The 12th-month sleep regression.
It is one of the most unexpected and hardest baby sleep regressions to work on.
After almost a year, you know the drill. You and your child are so used to his sleeping routine that bedtimes became automatic. He sleeps right on schedule and takes naps during the day as predictable as clockwork.
Out of the blue, he stopped following you. Your little kid just won’t take naps, and it took him ages now just to fall asleep.
Is this resistance normal? Is this permanent? How do you deal with this?
Tips to Deal with 12 Month Sleep Regression
Sleep regression that happens at baby’s 12th month is normal. But remember: not every kid is the same.
According to Baby Center, some babies sleep through the night during this time while some experience varying degrees of sleep regression.
Let me assure you that this is not permanent. Your child can fall back on a routine albeit a new one this time around.
Dealing with this type of sleep regression is a bit tricky, though. For one, you baby is starting to test his limits and mobility. He is now starting to stand up and to make lots of noise. It’s not as easy as dealing with a baby since your kid is slowly behaving now as a toddler.
What do you do?
1. Check if he is teething
As you might have known by now, teething messes up baby’s sleep big time.
Check his gums. If a new set of teeth is now sprouting up, you are in luck. Give him some teething toys and pain medication to soothe his gum pain. Just wait for a few more days and your little tot can fall back to his sleep track.
2. Comfort your kid
He might be a little uneasy and even fussy during this time. Whereas previously, there is no need for you to cajole him to sleep, now he is persistent and wants to be held.
Give in to this.
Comfort him a bit. Just give him some assurance and attention so he can fall back to sleep.
3. Tire her out
12-month sleep regressions usually happen because your baby is growing up. As his walking and speaking ability starts to sprout, it will take more than the usual routine to put her to sleep. There’s so much to do, and your little one wants to explore them all.
Put your baby’s extra energy to something.
Give her toys and let her play during the day. Try buying a baby jumper so he can have some fun and release steam.
Understand that your child is craving to test his newfound abilities so you’ve got to provide him with something.
Take him out to the park, let him crawl and stroll around the house. Let him work out those little legs at daytime, so there’s no need for him to move too much come night time.
4. Reschedule his naps
Your 12-month-old kid is not yet ready for one nap a day. He still needs his morning and afternoon naps.
It is best to schedule his naps immediately after bath time and once he is already exhausted after play time.
It might be an hour later than his usual nap time, or it could also be earlier. See to it that he is well-fed and not hungry before you put him down to sleep.
As a rule:
Don’t ever let your 12-month-old skip his naps. If this happens, he’ll fight sleep and trust me, you won’t like it.
But just in case he missed his afternoon nap, put him to bed an hour earlier at night.
5. Routine is everything
Do not schedule weaning off breastfeeding during his sleep regression time. If you suddenly find you kid regressing back, perhaps you should spread out the weaning phase a week or two longer.
Kids love routine.
There might be some changes such as Mom or Dad acquiring a new job, but this must not put your 12-month-old’s routine off-track. Stick to his usual mealtimes and bedtimes.
12 month sleep regression isn’t permanent; It lasts from 2 to 6 weeks. Likewise, there is no perfect formula out there for putting your baby to sleep.
Be warned that your sleep regression woes are far from over. Brace yourself as you are still to conquer the 14th, 18th and 24th-month sleep regression.
There is no such thing as a perfect sleeper. These little tots are complex creatures; some will give you a hard time early on while some will only start to give you headaches come school age.
What matters is to explore, be patient and ask for help. Before long, you and your baby shall grow it out.
So chill out!
As always, this is just a phase.