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My Ngala • View topic - 12 month old sleeping

12 month old sleeping

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12 month old sleeping

Postby Millymollymandy » Fri 19 Jul, 2013 8:37 am

Hello,

My little girl just turned one on Sunday and for the last week has refused her second day sleep, I thought this a little early but she has been having long uninterrupted night sleeps sometimes from 6 pm till 7:30am. I have been slowly putting back her morning sleep from 9:30 then yest tried 10:30, she will sleep for an hour and a half, sometimes nearly two. She does get pretty ratty by the afternoon and then last night woke at 11 and then 2 ish and was up for the day at 6am. She hasn't woken at night for nearly 3 months now. I'm wondering if the lack of second day sleep is now affecting her night sleeping?? I have tried to put her down for a second sleep each day but she may lie there for 15 minutes and then cries to get up. I'm thinking about taking her for a walk this afternoon as sometimes she will have a little nap in the pram.

Some books I have read say put to bed at 7 pm and wake no later than 7... Do you think this might help or should I continue to let her do her own thing? She has never been a wonderful day sleeper so has generally always gone down at 6/630, I don't mind this but should I wake her at 7 to help the day sleeps?

She isn't walking but will try a step or two. I remember when she was trying to crawl her night sleeps were disturbed too...

Thanks for any advice

Shannon
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Re: 12 month old sleeping

Postby NgalaOnline » Sat 20 Jul, 2013 2:59 pm

Hi Millymollymandy

Thank you for your post. Babies will typically drop their second day sleep somewhere between 12 months - 18 months of age. 12 months is on the earlier side, and if you felt that your baby still really needs this sleep or does better with a second sleep it would be reasonable to continue trying to get your baby to have the second sleep for another couple of weeks to see if you could get her to return to her usual pattern. Taking her for a walk in the pram in the afternoon or putting her in the cot to give her some rest time and an opportunity to fall asleep is a good approach if you would like to persist with offering her a day sleep. If, however, you feel that your baby is coping quite well with just one day sleep then it is reasonable to follow her lead and allow her to drop the second sleep.

The pattern you are describing of your baby pushing back her morning sleep and also becoming tired and grumpy by late afternoon is a very typical pattern for a baby in the transitional phase of dropping a day sleep. It can often be a very challenging few weeks as the toddler will often be finding it difficult to cope with tiredness by late afternoon and falling asleep at this time can impact on bedtime. This difficult transitional phase often lasts a few weeks as the toddler adjusts to the changes. You may find that there will be some days in the week where she will be ready for bed early in the morning and will need 2 sleeps that days, and other days in the week where she is happy to have one day sleep. During this transitional time it can be helpful to give your toddler an early dinner (even as early as around 4 or 4.30pm) as she is likely to be too tired to eat in the evening. Avoiding activities such as driving in the car or watching TV in the late part of the day is also helpful if possible as these activities may induce the toddler to fall asleep. Your toddler may require an earlier bedtime than usual during this time of transition. Often, after a few weeks the toddler will begin to adjust and cope better with tiredness in the afternoon, and often will also begin to extend their middle of the day sleep to being a longer sleep.

With babies and toddlers sleep generates sleep, and it is quite common for reduced day sleep or a change in routine to cause an increase in night waking. This is likely to be temporary and just part of her adjustment period. Continuing to persist with putting her down awake for naps and in the evenings, and avoiding introducing new sleep associations if she does wake during the night (such as introducing a night feed or taking her out of her cot) will help to ensure that this does not become ingrained as a new habit. Providing reassurance and comfort in her cot and possibly offering some water from a sippy cup is a good way of supporting her when she wakes at this time, without providing an incentive for her to continue waking each night.

I would not suggest keeping your daughter awake till 7pm if she is showing tired signs earlier than this as this is likely to result in her becoming overtired, which often results in difficulty settling and increased wakefulness overnight. Responding to your child's tired signs and putting her to bed when she seems ready in the evening is a good approach. Some parents find that starting the day at a regular time can be helpful for regulating their child's sleep, but it is not something that works for every child or every family. If your child is waking much later than 7am and you would like to continue with her having 2 day sleeps then it would be worthwhile experimenting for a week or so with waking her at 7am as this might help her to be more tired for her morning sleep. If you decide that you would like to move to one day sleep then I would not recommend waking her earlier than usual during this transitional period as she is likely to be overtired during her period of transition and needing to catch up on sleep. You are correct that new developmental milestones often do negatively impact on sleep and settling temporarily, and you may find that she does return to her usual pattern once she has adjusted to the new milestones of standing and trying to take first steps.

I hope this information is helpful.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

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Re: 12 month old sleeping

Postby Millymollymandy » Sat 20 Jul, 2013 3:18 pm

Thanks for your reply

On thurs night she woke twice and I only had to go in once and just be sitting in the room, I i didn't need to even be touching her, the other time she put herself back to sleep without me going in. Again last night she woke almost every sleep cycle befor i went to bed but only very briefly putting herself back to sleep immediately so I didn't have to go in. She has woken much early... 6 am, the last two days and had two sleeps the last two days as A result I guess.. So definitely a transitional stage I think.

I'm wondering if it might also be separation anxiety, today she was very very clingy and teary / whingy I have been back at work two days a week for the last five weeks.. Slightly delayed response but I think it could be that.

I will keep trying the second sleep , but on days where she doesn't seam to need it I will relax about it and put her to bed early.

Thanks again
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Re: 12 month old sleeping

Postby NgalaOnline » Sat 20 Jul, 2013 3:32 pm

Hi MillyMollyMandy

You are correct that separation anxiety could be playing a role as she is at a common age for experiencing separation anxiety, and this is common when a parent returns to work or there are other transitions in a child's life. Separation anxiety often peaks for a period of weeks or a few months and then resides. It is very positive to hear that she is resettling herself very quickly without needing a lot of support during the night. If she is resettling without getting distressed it is best to avoid going into the room, but if you do need to go in then your recent approach of just remaining nearby and giving reassurance with your presence but without touching her is a good approach. Waking at 6am can be very normal for babies and toddlers but is also likely to be a transitional thing whilst she is adjusting to less day sleep.

Continuing to offer the second day sleep but following her lead without being distressed if she rejects sounds like a good plan. Best of luck.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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