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12 Months Sleep Regression | A Survival Guide For Parents

Sleep regressions are expected disruptions in sleep for a baby or toddler who was previously having no problem in it. A 12 months sleep regression is one of those periods that usually happen around a child’s first birthday. These are related to developmental milestones. Your child may regress in one area of their life as they grow up in another area such as walking or talking.

If you find that your usually well-rested baby is having sleep problems like they were younger, they may be experiencing a 12 months sleep regression. The fortunate thing is that it is temporary and will subside within 1-2 weeks. So if you are a parent and can’t figure out what to do, here are the ways you can help yourself out!

Also Read: 4 Month Sleep Regression – How To Tacke As a Parent?

Signs of a 12 months sleep regression

During this period, your child may show:

Trouble falling asleep

This is one of the major signs of a 12 months sleep regression. Your child may have issues falling asleep and may stay awake for quite some time

Resistance to bedtime

During this time, your child may resist bedtime. They may cry or show distress when you try to make them fall asleep at the appropriate time.

Also Read: My Baby Won’t Sleep In The Crib – What Should I Do?

More recurrent wake-ups in the night time

Your baby waking up in the middle of the night after having a good stretch of sleep or close to it shows they’re going through a 12 months sleep regression.

Messy behaviour

Your child may cry more and show more crankiness and tantrums. For that, remember your child gets 11-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour interval.

Extended intervals of daytime naps

Your child sleeping more in the day time just means that they are covering up their lost sleep due to their 12 months sleep regression.

Increased appetite

Your child may show greater hunger during this time period.

Also Read: When Can Toddler Sleep With a Pillow?

Uniqueness of the 12 months sleep regression

This regression is typically different from your child’s previous regressions. This is because of the following reasons:

Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety usually peaks at this age of your child. It makes sleep regression a bit more difficult. Your child may become more clingy and expect you to always be near them. They may have issues falling asleep at places that are far from you.

Also Read: Stranger Anxiety in Toddlers – All You Need To Know

Bodily functions

At this age, your child is learning numerous new skills, that involve talking, walking, and following simple physical commands. No doubt this major change in your child can make the regression different from the others!

Awareness of the world

Your child may simply not want to go to sleep because they want to keep playing! Getting to know new things for your toddler may be very exciting for them.

Also Read: What To Teach a 5 Year Old?

Change in nap patterns

Nap patterns change at this time of your child’s age. They may fight the afternoon nap, which often leads to more crankiness due to lack of sleep.

How to get through a 12-month sleep regression

Even though this regression is temporary and just lasts for almost 2 weeks, it may get disturbing. You can tackle it by the following strategies:

Keeping your toddler busy in the daytime

Let your child play LOTS. Your toddler at this age is full of energy, make sure that they burn up their energy and get enough tired at night to sleep well. Make a safe playground for them, or put them in a jumper. Taking them out for walks or in parks can help too.

Also Read: Fun Things To Do With Toddlers

Give your child lots of attention!

By distracting your child and giving them praise and attention, you can help them release the frustration they feel. It helps in the reduction of tantrums and crankiness.

Also Read: What Kids Want From Their Parents – Are You Paying Attention?

Don’t bring drastic changes to the sleep routine

Reducing your child’s naps to only one, just because they are resisting it, won’t help. It will make things worse by tiring your child. Regressions are a time of disturbed sleep. The more you stick to your child’s regular sleep routine, the better will it be.

Keep your baby on 2 naps a day, with awake timings ranging from 2.5-4 hours, and try to make your baby sleep in the crib near you, and not with you. It is easier said than done, but the regression will be over within 2 weeks.

Give physical affection

Give your child lots of kisses, cuddles, and hugs. Your 12-month-old child may be learning to be independent but they still need a lot of reassurance. And make sure that your child’s nap time has no distractions and is only filled with eye contact and hugs.

Also Read: How To Be A Good Mom?

Get a night light

If your child is experiencing nightmares, a night light will help them out. Be sure to pick a warm, red bulb as this type of light activates the brain comparatively less.

Feed your baby more

Don’t try to resist a night feed when your child wakes up in the middle of the night and seems genuinely hungry. Your 12-month old should have milk or solids every 2-3 hours a day during this regression. You may consider increasing the amount of their feed or giving them snacks more frequently.

Also Read: Best Nutrition For Children – What Do Experts Agree On?

Don’t consider weaning for now

Bringing another issue during this 12-month sleep regression can be a recipe for chaos! Since at this time, your child wants to be near with you and has separation anxiety, hold on weaning for now. Instead, use breastfeeding as a way to reassure your child and bring them comfort when they wake up at irregular moments.

Early bedtimes

Your child may be tired because of waking up in the night. Try to make your bedtime early, it will help your child get proper sleep, and it will help you get proper sleep too.

Also Read: My Baby Won’t Sleep Unless Held – What Should I Do?

Remember to take care of yourself too!

You can’t take care of your child if you’re not taking care of yourself. It is okay to admit that you are exhausted because of this 12 months sleep regression Remember to take regular breaks. Extracting small moments of time to refresh yourself through the day, will help you get through this rough patch of time.

This will pass soon!

Remember that it is a temporary phase and it will pass soon. Be patient, follow all the tips above and you’ll be fine.

If this regression lasts more than 2 weeks, contact a doctor so they may guide you further out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a sleep regression at 12 months?

Yes, it is a change or setback in your baby’s sleep schedule. 12 months sleep regression can occur after months of regular and healthy sleep. It may seem strange but it is normal and is related to all the new changes in your baby’s body

How to survive the 12 months sleep regression?

As mentioned, the following ways can help you cope with your baby’s 12 months sleep regression:

  • Motivating day time play
  • Keeping a strict routine
  • Giving comfort to your baby
  • Asking for help
  • Looking after yourself
  • Sleeping early

Why is my 12 month old fighting naps?

A year is an age when your child’s body is going through the most significant age. They start developing new skills like recognition and walking. This activity can make your child restless in the middle of the night!

How can I get my newborn on a sleeping schedule?

Try to feed your baby regularly, and remember to take care of yourself too. You can have day time naps too.

In order to improve the sleeping schedule, you can plan activities like a warm bath, singing to your baby, having silence in the house and even reading

How can I get my 12 month old to stop bed sharing/co-sleeping?

During the 12 months sleep regression, you may think about this issue too. Well, to solve the problem of bed sharing, you have to have a consistent sleep schedule. Set a specific time, and give your baby a nice massage before it.

You can try to start making your baby sleep in a crib near your bed. Keep a gentle light in the room turned on. Red lights are preferred because they comparatively activate the brain less than other light colors. Melanin is secreted in the absence of light, hence it is advisable tp turn off all the electronics and keep the room dark before at least 30 minutes of sleep schedule.

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