12 month old sleep

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12 month old sleep

Postby MumToOwen » Wed 29 May, 2013 2:40 pm


I was wondering whether my nearly 13 month old is having sleep regression or whether its something else. He's not walking yet but in the last few days he's been attempting to take an independent step but other than that that's the only thing I can think of that's different. Each time I put him down he takes his dummy out and wants to chew on it, not 'gum' it but actually chew it with his front teeth. So I'm not sure if its some kind of tooth pain or new teeth coming through that's bothering him but he's becoming difficult to put down for a sleep. He'll be relaxed, droopy eyed (while I'm watching him on the monitor) and then all of a sudden he'll sit up and start mucking around and won't go to sleep, can take over an hour sometimes. Very frustrating especially when I can see he's so close to closing his eyes and then totally awake, and the fact that I KNOW he can self settle. Does this sound like a developmental thing or could it be something else that's causing it?

On another note, we are heading to the UK in 5 weeks time and I wondered if there's anything I can do to help his transition to that time zone and when we get home again. He doesn't ever sleep anywhere other than his bed and the car if he's really tired. I'm a bit worried about the sleeping out and about on our journey.

Thanks in advance for your reply.
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Re: 12 month old sleep

Postby NgalaOnline » Thu 30 May, 2013 4:18 pm

Hi MumtoOwen

Thank you for your post. It is difficult to say what is causing your son's current unsettledness. It does sound as though it is quite likely he is having some teething pain, as chewing on objects is a common sign. This often only becomes apparent with hindsight when a new tooth suddenly emerges. Giving him something hard and cold to chew on before he goes to bed may be helpful. Frozen teething aids are often too cold for babies, but he may respond well to one from the fridge. It sounds as though he has good sleep skills in general. It is common for babies to have short phases of being more resistant to going to sleep than usual, and longer periods of settling (such as around an hour) are common during this phase. It can definitely be frustrating, however, if he is not getting distressed then it is worthwhile persevering with your usual settling techniques and "riding out" the longer times it is taking him to settle. It is possible that learning to take steps is having an impact, but often these phases come for a short while with no apparent cause. Sometimes children are ready to drop their second day sleep from around a year old (whereas others continue it till around 18 months). If you feel he is not tired enough to go to bed you may like to experiment with pushing his morning sleep back and dropping the afternoon sleep. This often has to be done in a step by step fashion, moving the morning sleep back bit by bit as the baby can not usually cope with a very late day sleep (but may be able to initially cope with one day sleep at around 11am or so). There is often a transitional period of several weeks when a baby is adjusting to just one day sleep where the afternoon can be rather "trying" as the child is tired and grumpy by late afternoon. Avoiding driving in the car or any activity that may cause them to fall asleep very late in the afternoon, and having an earlier dinner and bedtime during this transition can help.

In terms of adjusting time zones in preparation for your trip, unfortunately this is not easily achieved. Travel can often have an unsettling effect on sleep but this can be temporary if you stick to your usual settling methods as much as possible. If you are taking a portacot it may be worthwhile getting him accustomed to it before you go - either as a place to have some of his naps or night sleeps - or even just as a place to play in during the day to help him become familiar with it. Introducing a familiar comfort item such as a teddy for sleep times may help. Jet lag can often last between 3 - 5 days. The best thing you can do for yourself is arrange some assistance or to have very quiet days during these adjustment periods so that you can rest when possible, as caring for a baby whilst also suffering jet lag can be difficult.

I hope that this information is helpful and that your trip goes well.
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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