Q&A: One-year-old not sleeping

Once again, when it rains it pours. A grand cascade of 5 emails, and one real-life friend, in the past week asking what the heck is going on with birthday babies. Let me write you a composite sketch of the emails:

“OMG Help! We made it through that !@#$% 9-month sleep regression, and my baby was only waking up once per night (which, believe me, was a miracle) by 11 months. But my baby just had a birthday and is now waking up 4 times a night again. Help me! What am I doing wrong? Why does my baby hate me? Is this ever going to end?”

In the order in which the questions were asked:

You’re not doing anything wrong. Your baby doesn’t hate you. Yes, it will end.

Your baby is ramping up for the 55-week developmental spurt. I forget what happens at this spurt, and my Wonder Weeks is packed in a box while I paint my living room, so I can’t look it up. But there’s a great summary here.

It’s going to be over in a couple of weeks, and then your baby will go back to sleeping at least as well as before, but maybe even better.

Sympathy, commiseration, anecdotes (either of your kids or of things you did because this regression threw you for such a loop), or any other musings welcome.

Here’s my musing: I thought it was so bizarre to get to one year, and then feel like my child was in such flux. It made 365 days seem completely arbitrary. You think, when your baby’s an infant, that a year actually means something. To me it just seems like a big period of flux in all sorts of areas.

0 thoughts on “Q&A: One-year-old not sleeping”

  1. OMG. My daughter finally started sleeping “through the night” in more than a technical sense at 11 months (just after she started walking?) Then just after she turned 1 (13 mos?) she started waking again! Arg! I think she was developing language, growing all sorts of teeth, and doing some other stuff all at the same time. Oh, and rearranging her naps. By 18 months she was back to sleeping through the night reliably, and for the most part has been since (and she started kindergarten last week) – I can’t give you a better estimate of how long it took for her to get to be sleeping through the night again, but it wasn’t crazy long.

  2. rule out actual ailments, too, of course. Once mine started sleeping worse and I thought I would just have to tough it out, but he had an ear infection, so the cure was within our grasp after all!

  3. My coping mechanism has been my husband. Since I’m the one who has to get up in the night, he gets the baby for an hour or so after she gets up in the morning and I get to sleep in. Though, I’ll be honest, there are still many nights where I wish I could kick HIM out of bed to tend to her.Babies and sleep. Argh.

  4. In addition to Moxie and the Wonder Weeks book, I want to thank paola for warning me about this 55 week period and telling me what she was going through. And then warning me about the 74(ish) week regression, which luckily came after a break of her sleeping. I think it will end someday, but I’m not sure when. I have hopes for her sleeping at 18 months (just another couple of weeks!), but we’ll see.I can only offer sympathy, empathy and commiseration. Plus the knowledge that it gets better and worse, so it’s not always 4 times a night. Oh, and thank goodness for cosleeping! Some nights, she seems to just need to be near us to sleep without really waking, so cosleeping has been a great way to at least let us all get sleep.

  5. In a way I am glad Chuckles never slept well enough (consistently enough, long enough) for me to notice a bad sleep phase. It was just more of the same. Those random nights of sleeping through (in more than just a technical sense) seemed more like a treat and the rest of it less like torture that way.And I guess it gets better, although I was up (what like 4 times Saturday night?) with a 3-year old.

  6. With the cosleeping, I didn’t notice this whole deal as much, other than that one of the kids (R) hit the whole ‘must nurse to be able to sleep, will stay attached all night, I don’t care if you get thrush’ scenario hard on that one. Actually, I got thrush at that point with B, too.Sigh.
    Yeah, sucky. Yeah, normal. Yeah, they stop doing it. Eventually. I don’t think G (who is almost 11) has been up more than once at night for eons, and he didn’t sleep through until he was 4. Like, years. But then he never had a good sleep period before then, either – the ones who did, all went right back to sleeping in reasonably good order. So if even my non-sleeping son can make it to ‘doesn’t wake that we notice at all’ (even when I’m in the same room cosleeping with someone else), it has to generally get better for pretty much everyone.
    We just don’t get to choose when. Or how bad the disarrangement will be each phase. At least the brain growth spurts get less intense after a while… not so much obvious (though that makes it easier to get all pissy and mad about the ‘why the HECK are you now so forgetful, don’t you CARE where you put your open milk box? I thought you loved your books, why did you put it in the book shelf?’ ARGH. (Seven, that one. I am not a fan of the brain transition that happens between 6 and 8. I think I’ve mentioned that. Have I mentioned that B is just hitting this? ARGH.)
    So, um, sometimes I’d take the not-sleeping thing. The year-long gradual, easy-pace brain transition from logical to emotional/social irritates me no end. (But at least I knew it was coming and knew it wasn’t his fault -or mine, even though it feels like a personal insult or parental failure… just like all the phases do. Sigh.)

  7. So it isn’t just my daughter? She was up every two hours wanting to nurse the other night–it’s like a flashback to a year ago!I WISH she’d let us cosleep again–it would make it so much easier. However, she doesn’t sleep and tends to fall out of bed when cosleeping, so that is out. Glad to hear she’s normal!

  8. oh god. lv is 11 months now and not sleeping. i feel like she hasn’t slept well since xmas eve when she slept from 9pm to 8am. bliss. Then the 4 month sleep regression hit and since then? nada. there was a 2 week period about 2 weeks ago where she was waking maybe 2-3 times a night which was an improvement. However the last 3 nights she has been waking every 2 hours and waking up for good at around 3:30am. I don’t even try to figure out why she is waking so often anymore. my brain can’t take it. I think it is a teething thing (drooling, shoving fist, spoon, anything chewable into her mouth). tried teething tablets, oral gel, etc. Last night it was all night nursing (which makes me feel that starting the weaning process next month as i had planned would be pretty much impossible. My hubby does shift work (rotating between day, afternoon & graveyards) so he has never been much help at night. And even if he did get up with her now she won’t settle with him- sigh. i was hoping things might get just a teensy bit better at her birthday. thanks for the timely post.

  9. Things were rough for us from 12.5 to 13.5 months. It was a combo of the developmental spurt and the first year molars. Cosleeping was hit or miss because the peanut was fussy and fidgety even when she was sleeping. Nursing would help but wouldn’t always put her back to sleep and we had a few wide awake at 2am nights. And hubby and I were just both kind of insulted (like we were again for the 18 month spurt) that things were backsliding. Intellectually, you know that the kid isn’t trying to ruin your sleep, but when all you want to do is to go back to sleep and you can’t it is so easy to get frustrated.Tylenol helped with the molar pain, but nothing fixed the waking until she grew out of it. She also seemed to come out of it with much better balance and control with walking. She started walking 1 week before her birthday, but after the spurt it was like she didn’t have to think so hard about it anymore.

  10. @taylor, I had planned to wean G at 12 months… and tried. It totally freaked him out just trying to drop one session per day. Escalated the clinging, fearfulness, and super-escalated the number of times he’d ask to nurse, even when he didn’t apparently really need to, he just needed to know I’d say yes. You’re smarter than me, already wondering if that maybe won’t be a good plan… though a lot of kids I know have weaned juuust at the front edge of the 14 1/2 month stage (still in the good part of it). Always easier to wean when it doesn’t feel so desperate (even though that’s when we’d likely prefer to do so!).

  11. My girl didn’t come out of the 8-9 month sleep regression until 11 months, and then right after her birthday began a month of constant colds and cutting four teeth simultaneously, so I can’t say that I noticed a specific 1-year sleep problem (that whole month was just awash in snot and tears, not always hers). But I can say that it does get much, much better. She went back to waking just once a night shortly afterward, and even started sometimes sleeping through. Now if we can just power through the 18-month sleep regression…

  12. Just went through something similar at 51 weeks with my girl. She has tended to be early on stuff like this (I swear, I am not being the normal boastful proud parent – it’s not like she’s an early walker or early talker, she just does the annoying developmental things early, like refusing to eat or throwing food around or night waking).Anyway, hang in there! After 1.5 weeks of waking up every 2 hours, my husband and I decided to do CIO at 3 a.m. on a Friday morning. Just at the moment when we decided to let her cry it out, she fell asleep, and has slept through the night every night since (2 weeks). I feel like the higher power, whoever that may be, knew that I was at the end of my rope and finally decided to give us a break.
    It’s super-annoying though! I am sorry you are facing this!

  13. “You think, when your baby’s an infant, that a year actually means something. To me it just seems like a big period of flux in all sorts of areas.”I love this statement. I may need to print it out and keep it where I can see it often. I keep reading about how a 6 month old should be eating this many times a day, and sleeping through the night, etc etc etc and I just feel like mine’s all over the place and everything changes from day/week/month to day/week/month. Right now he’s at 6 months and waking 1-2 times a night.

  14. thanks hedra. i am almost desperate to wean her at this point. like i.hate.every.freakin.minute.of.this.blessed.torutre. right now but i think it you are right and what happened with G would happen here. And we are planning a move to a new place in oct/ nov and i am assuming that the change would affect my weaning plans too. sigh. Anyways at this point with the near constant waking, nursing seems to be the only thing that helps to soothe her even if it doesn’t always send her back to sleep. Was in tears this am when i finished reading this post and hubby just got home off the graveyard shift and he said i could sleep in on his days off and we would figure it out so hopefully we can hang in there~!! thanks again…

  15. @Marcy – “I keep reading about how a 6 month old should be eating this many times a day, and sleeping through the night, etc etc etc”Me, too. Hate the books, hate the “deadlines” for baby doing X. What’s up with that? At the pediatrician’s office, too! The intake sheet said my infant should be sleeping through the night at a ridiculously early age. Boo!
    Tried everything. Ferber. Weissbluth. Did not work at all. We co-sleep even though we once swore we wouldn’t. For the last year, it’s been the only way anyone can get a night’s peace.

  16. I broke down crying yesterday afternoon when T was in his crib SCREAMING at the top of his lungs refusing to take a nap for the, well I have lost count of the days but it’s been since before his last ear infection and we just got over that a few days ago. He started refusing naps, then got the ear infection which of course meant a total interruption of his night sleep pattern and now he’s decided that 5:30 in the morning is time to wake up. He’s only eleven months old. He just can’t live on nine hours of sleep a day – although he’s trying – but he’s soooooo miserable by the end of the day. I really have no idea what to do and am feeling like the worst mother on the planet.Anyway, it’s just good to be able to come here and vent. Thanks.

  17. My guy was a fantastic sleeper from 3-6 months and then it went to HELL. It would get occasionally better – like only up two times a night, but then right after he turned one, it was like every 1 to 1 1/2 hours. It was terrible. I’m not a CIO mom, so that wasn’t an option. What worked for us was for me to just pick a time like 3AM… after that time, if he woke up I’d just take him to the guest room and we’d sleep together then. He would sleep soundly with me, we’d get 4 or 5 hours of sleep, and we could at least make it through one more day.It was no fun. At all.
    He is over it now though – he’s 19 months and is finally sleeping through the night pretty consistently.
    Things I think helped
    – sleeping with me. He learned how to put himself back to sleep that way I think.
    – putting him to bed awake. Instead of him falling asleep on me or with me and then putting him in bed, we started putting him in awake, and I’d kneel by the crib and pat his back til he fell asleep. It was hellish for a few nights, but then he got better. Now I just lay on the floor next to the crib while he falls asleep. I think that also helped him learn how to go back to sleep in the night.
    – weaning. I think that was the least important for us though. I know it’s really important for some people though.
    Good luck. And it will get better. I remember Moxie emailed me saying that round 15 months, it usually gets better. And she was right. Although it was more like 16 or 17 months for us, but still. At some point, they figure it out.
    For now, I think you jut have to figure out how to survive it.

  18. @Hedra Please tell me eight (or nine or ten or sometime ever) is better than seven? My seven year old is just not very likable right now and that’s horrible to say and perhaps has nothing to do with ages and stages but it would really make me feel better as a parent if it was a phase and not his forever personality that is driving me up a wall right now.

  19. @anonforthis: I feel like the “bad” ages double. So 4-ish months, 9 months, 18 months, 3.5 years. And 7 years would be the next trouble spot.

  20. @anon. IME, 7 is one of the toughest ages ever. It’s just hard. For everyone. I don’t know anything about the scientific or developmental explanation for it, but I remember being quite a crabby-pants myself when I was 7 – picking on my little sister, barking at my mom. crab.by.pants.8 should be better. 13 or 14 will probably be no fun.

  21. Yeeesss… 1 yr. (for my oldest) sucked big time… now it’s a distant memory… so, yes, it will end, and there will be total, angellic sleep again. :)@anonforthis- My boy just turned 8 2 weeks ago, and all the sudden he’s started saying things like “Mom, how come you never cuddle with me anymore?” and being proactive about his chores and correcting himself when he starts to get mouthy… it’s like this little switch just flipped. It’s a beautiful thing! I’m glad 7 is over, but my girl’s turning 6 on friday, sooo.. at least I have a year before it all starts again, right?

  22. babies- they are so friggin cute and so friggin annoying, huh? it’s like, dude, sleep is gooooooooood, i swear! like we need a public service announcement to educate them on this fact…sigh…i told my husband it was the full moon making our 3 year old stay up til all hours and then wake up a few times at night…i have no such reasoning behind what seems to be a switch that was turned on with her that makes her ASK QUESTIONS ALL!DAY!LONG! and is driving me bonkers. i love her so much but this desire in me to get a break from her is like when she was around 9, 12 months old…hmm…see how it all came back full circle?
    calling more nursery schools this afternoon…good luck ladies and hang in there…it will get better, then worse, then better, then worse…

  23. This is my first time posting on Ask Moxie (though I read every day). I just want to say thank you to all the Mom’s who have written comments. It feels great to know that I am not the only one with a child who does not fit the pediatrician norms. My 13 month old son cosleeps and nurses off and on all night. In addition, he has wacky food sensitivities (gluten, soy, eggs, nuts, dairy, and chocolate) which mean that he does not eat the foods most of my friend’s kids eat. I sometimes feel like a mediocre parent because my life with my son looks so, so different from my peers. It feels wonderful to read that other people are up with their kids at night and nursing them on demand. I feel less alone.I hope it is okay to throw in a question – but please feel free to ignore. I wonder whether other Mom’s with kiddos who have food sensitivies found that their kids were still getting a very significant portion of their calories (like maybe 75%) from milk at 13 months old. I offer my son food three meals a day and snacks throughout but he still seems to be getting most of his nutrition from breastmilk. Is this normal? I read the guides which say that he should be eating 1/3 cup at each meal and there is no way he gets that much. His ped said his weight was fine at the 12 month check-up so I am thinking (really hoping) that this pattern of food consumption is normal for him. Thanks, G.

  24. @anonforthis, Joy’s experience is right in line with mine – 8 is FAB, they turn into a real-person version of them, brain fully functioning. 7 sucks rocks.The background information to help your mind cope, even when you’re gnawing your fingers just to keep from clawing your eyes out…
    A friend of mine is a Montessori teacher who has taught 6-7-8 year olds. In one class, usual Montessori deal. Six is eager to be organized, eager to figure out, to think through, to logic things out (even if they use their own special logic, LOL!). Seven year olds walk through the classroom door and even after a year of class working exactly the same way, cannot remember that the first thing they’re supposed to do is get a pencil and check if it is sharp and sharpen if not sharp. It.is.not.that.hard. Seriously, they can’t remember to get the pencil. To check the point. If they find it is dull, they stare at it, or cry, or go sullen, or stare at the teacher. They’ll trip over their laces and never think to tie their shoe.
    Then when they turn 8, they’re all about the social network, are my friends sharpening their pencils? maybe I’ll sharpen mine, too. They can access the logic side of their brain again, but it doesn’t rule everything, it just plays a role (where at 7, that seems to be questionable). They suddenly develop empathy (them that didn’t have it before – some don’t develop ‘cognitive empathy’ – the ability to ASSESS feelings and place themselves intellectually in another’s shoes – until 11 or 12, but it generally starts at 8, with the basics showing up quite a few years earlier). They care about their own feelings, and others, and will ask things like ‘why don’t we cuddle anymore?’ and will say with a sympathetic expression, ‘Mom, you really struggle with this parenting thing, don’t you?’ (that’d be G – and he was even open to having a conversation about how difficult it is to parent a moving target…)
    Seven biologically is in the midst of the transition from the completion of the development of the left brain (which is actually physically larger at this point) to the development of the right brain. One is going offline, the other is coming online, neither is working optimally, the information gets mangled from one side to the other, they lose stuff, forget stuff, can’t relate, don’t understand themselves, don’t understand anyone else, stress out, get emotional, go stony, etc. It’s like someone is in there shorting out all the mental circuits on a random basis. Which is kind of true.
    It may help to have a single year-long project for year 7, just to have one single thing to deal with as the ‘thing we’re doing as parents this year’. We did this with G, and it soooo helped us keep our grip – we decided to teach him how to formulate a plan, execute it, re-evaluate it, and re-plan, using weekly homework as a basis. But key point here – we planned for it to take the entire school year to get to where he would be able to do it all the way through in a single week. I think by the end of the year, he’d managed a couple of times of making a plan, writing it down, sticking it in his homework binder, checking it daily to see what was planned for today, reassessing mid-week to see if it was working, tweaking the plan, and finishing up the homework on schedule. BUT, as he headed into the following year, it was smooth, easy, automatic, understood. No effort. Knowing (from our friend) that the brain is just totally rewiring itself allowed us to just take it slow, expect there to be a lot of repetition, gently, encouragement, finessing the itsy-bitsy margins (should I put the sticky note in my binder, or on my book or … AAHH!), struggling to stay on task (really hard for G to not get distracted by anything that came into his brain or within reach of his ears… tra-la-la my pencil is a rocket ship… wait, homework. Right. I hear music. Is someone playing music?)… frustrating no end to us, but not all that fun for him, either. (I think that’s the year we did allowance savings as a project, too, but that one was weekly not daily effort.)
    Deep breath. I much prefer 8, 9, and 10. So far, pre-11 looks good, too. 14 may suck, if the doubling thing is valid (it may be, though there’s always Ames and Ilg’s half-year cycles as well – the half-year part of each year is the worst of that year. 3 1/2, 4 1/2, 5 1/2, etc.).
    @taylor, good luck. I wanted to crawl out of my skin when any of my kids nursed during toddler fussy stages. :shudder: But it was so much more pleasant in-between stages, I decided it was worth just gritting my teeth for the duration(s).

  25. Ha, I had no idea there was a sleep regression there–between 11 and 13 mos Mouse got 5 teeth, had pink eye (x2), roseola, coxsackie, a horrible cold, started crawling and learned like 40 words. There was no sleeping, whatsoever, but there were more then enough reasons to go around. It did all pass (winter ended, the teeth came in, she got bigger). Hang in there!@pnuts mama, lol, preschool is a great thing–good luck with the search! Preschoolers are awesome too, and even more awesome when they have some time with someone whose sole job is to answer them and stimulate them. BTW, if anyone has a good succinct explanation of *why* fish’s eyes that evolved to live in the water don’t need goggles, do please send. 🙂

  26. @Gale, are you on POFAK.org (parents of food allergic kids)? $25 to join their message boards, but so so so so so so worth every blessed penny. You’ll find a slew of parents there whose kids didn’t even START solids until 12 months, and then only nibbles.Thankfully, our family doctor is pro-bf, and had a lot of experience with kids who were nursed for a long time even before I came along. What he said to me at I think 4 or 5 months was that it was entirely okay with him if I gave NO solids until 12 months. I could start as young as 4 months, he recommended waiting to 5 or so (before the new AAP recommendations for 6+ for breastfed babies), but those were just possible start points. He preferred some solids be offered around a year if not before then. But at that point it was the same kind of slow adaptation process – not straight to full meals! He did say that kids who got no solids or few solids by 12 months tended to be smaller in stature for a little while, but they just had a different curve, as they caught up entirely by 4 years (his experience, though I’ve seen research that says basically the same thing).
    G? He had undiagnosed reflux. At a year, he was still nursing 7-8x/day, and that’s WITH me working full time. So that’s from 5 PM to 6 AM. And he was drinking a lot of milk (cow at that point), too. So, yeah. At 13 months, yes he was eating solids, three meals a day. But he also had a lot of dietary issues (super-taster, textures, aversions), and while he ate ‘well’, he also relied more on nursing than on solids.

  27. Oh, now I’m cracking up … G’s comment about me struggling with the parenting was right around when the girls were, yep, 12 months. And I was losing my noodle about it, even though I knew exactly what it was.

  28. @Gale — my 13 mo. old also cosleeps and nurses on and off all night; I consider it totally normal (but do look forward to the eventual day when I can have six uninterrupted hours of sleep in a less crowded bed!)My son has no food sensitivities, so I can’t really speak to that, but I’d say he nurses at least 4-6 times during the day (not including the annoying little snacky-y nurses where he’s not really getting anything) — again, something that I think is unusual compared to some of our peers, but still totally normal. He eats a good amount of table food too, so is maybe getting 40-50% of his calories from breastmilk?
    I think if his weight/growth are fine and you’re managing his food sensitivities (which it sounds like you are), I’d probably just chalk it up to different strokes for different folks. When I hear from friends that their similarly aged kids are sleeping nearly or totally through the night, or are only nursing 2x a day I sometimes second guess myself, but when I really listen to myself and my kid, I know that our situation is exactly where it needs to be right now. Trust your instincts!

  29. @Hedra, other than the ‘Wonder Weeks’, do you know of a book that details a child’s brain development. I’d love to know what is going on in there.

  30. @gale- welcome and my best advice would be have a second baby and watch all your anxiety about “what is *right*, what does the book say” melt away- ok, i’m only 1/2 kidding, just mean to say that it’s totally normal to over analyze every blessed thing your baby ingests and excretes and weights and heights and %iles and times and augh! til you make yourself nuts about it- yes, i’m talking about myself. then you have your second baby and you realize that humans have been around a looooooooong time, and really, survive despite our craziness. they eat when they’re hungry, and unless your baby is falling off the charts so significantly that he’s labeled “failure to thrive” (or whatever it would be with an older baby) i think you’re good. real good. more power to you for being aware of your kids sensitivities and addressing them accordingly. you are *not* a mediocre parent- everyone parents their kids in their own way, no matter what it may look like from the outside.i also think that we want our kids to eat so much more than they can/should- isn’t a person’s stomach the size of their fist? my 1st kid was always tiny- always- and i nursed her til about 18 months- started on solids about 6 months, which she was never crazy about, so we had to take it really slow- small portions and snacks all day long, with a bottle of whole cows milk and my boobs throughout the day. she doesn’t have any sensitivities, that i know of so i can’t co-miserate with you there. she got there, and you will too- hedra’s advice to look into that support group could be a great resource for you! good luck!

  31. @Sam: “What’s going on in there?” is actually a title of a great book on the first five years of brain/mind development. 🙂 (Did they target the title accurately, or what?)The Ames and Ilg ‘Your X year old’ series talks about the development in general (behavior, characteristics, typical issues, regulation, personality/temperament, cognition, emotional processing, etc., but in somewhat broader strokes than in detail).
    The rest I know I’ve gleaned from reading way more research than I should. 😉

  32. 12-15 months for us was an AWFUL time. one reason, MOLARS. teething has been the bane of my bloody existence (and tell me, how on earth is he getting MORE molars at almost 38 months????) between the molars & ear pain from what turned out to be “glue ear” (which was resolved when he had tubes put in at 15 months and they sucked the gunk out of his ear) AND starting to walk, it was miserable. he was waking up every two hours all night every night, and basically teething on me, and I was a friggin zombie and almost couldn’t bear to nurse him for nutrition during the day. I lost a bunch of weight cause all I ate was cereal & I was zombie walking him in the stroller every morning.We ended up night weaning at 15 months because I was going out of my effing mind, and wanted to heal so our daytime nursing would be more rewarding for both of us. that helped after a rough 3 night transition where his father soothed him through, but then we all slept better. it was helpful for us all. (I got ZERO support for this at LLL, and that was really hard for me, wish I’d been here back then.)
    then molars came in, sleep got even better. walking commenced, ear tube surgery & he even gave up his pacifier. I think he was feeling so much better that he didn’t need paci.
    it went all to hell again a few months later but not anywhere near as bad as it had been. damn canine teeth.
    @Gale, if his weight is fine, I would try to not worry. it’s soo hard when everyone else seems to being doing different or what seems to be working “better” or more “normal”.
    @hedra, thanks for sharing those details re: age 7, yikes. I hope we’re still on here in 4 years and I can either search for that post or you’ll remind me!
    @Charisse, holy crap what Mouse (and you all) went through in such a short period of time. jeez.

  33. All these “sleep regressions”, I just don’t get it. My guy has NEVER slept through the night. EVER. He’s 2. Since the day he was born I have been up at least 2x/night every night (and 2x is a good night!). I’m sorry I can’t be more sympathetic here when I say this but my feeling would be, I know it’s tough to get up at night but it will be over shortly.

  34. Just to commiserate here…my one-on-Wednesday year old is driving me up the wall. Napping is becoming a struggle, we did manage 2 half hour naps today, although it takes longer than that to get her off to sleep in the first place! The wake ups are twice nightly.I just need to hear that her sleeping will get better without any need for sleep training (not that I’m dead against sleep training, it’s just that my LO is definitely a tension gainer when she cries!!).

  35. Just chiming in to say we’re sharing in the general suckitude that is the one year old sleep regression.I don’t mind so much the middle of the night stuff- what is doing in me is the AWAKE FOR THE DAY at 4 freaking am. Oh wait, that is the middle of the night as far as I am concerned. If we get to 5am, we’re doing well. Of course getting up that early throws all the naps of the day into chaos, and I am not a morning person at the best of times, so it is just hell. Add to that mix the fact that I’m doing this all on my own now- there is nobody else to share the early morning torture and…yeah.

  36. 4 am – I’m not going to complain anymore about 5:30…Babies/children are just a lot of work. More than anyone could have ever made me believe before hand. Of course the rewards are beyond anything anyone could have made believe before hand either, so… 🙂

  37. First of all, I just want to say good luck to all who are dealing with this trying age, I will have to come back for a reminder in a few months when K hits it and I’m ready to “accidently” break both my arms to get out of childcare. My daughter (3) has always been a great sleeper so I didn’t even know what a regression was until my son came along. Who, as payback for having such an easy #1, has decided sleep is his least favorite thing in the world. We recently (in a state of utter despair) tried CIO, which for us was astronomically successful. (This is so NOT a plug for CIO, just the totally surprising way things worked out for us). Please GOD let it hold through his developmental crap. (A girl can hope, right?)Second of all, can I just point out how great this site is? I was having a completely unrelated problem- Ped told me @ K’s 6 month check-up I need to be down to 2-3 (breast)feedings a day so I’ve been stressfully/frantically trying to cut him back, much to the little bugger’s chagrin. Reading everyone’s posts, even though this is a totally different topic, has reminded me that *I’m* responsible for what goes into this kid’s body and *I* know him best, so if *I* feel he needs 5 feedings a day, he’s going to get it, dammit. I love you people.

  38. Seriously, 2-3 feeds per day? Even with formula that would be pretty low, unless they were taking 10-12 oz/feed, yes? And many don’t take more than 5-6.Lessee, typical breastfeeding would be 6 oz, that’s only 18 oz per day. Um, no. And since there’s no volume indicator, when they snack and take 2 oz, do you count that as 6? or is he thinking 10 oz per feed, every time? M and R never took more than 3 or 4 oz from a bottle at one go, either…
    Someone needs to talk to that pediatrician and get them some decent information. Before a less-strong mama causes a problem for her child by following that advice too far (or maybe he’s just trying to sabotage everyone’s bfing so he doesn’t have to deal with nursing past a year? Because at that rate it might also cause a supply crash.)
    Find yourself a different doc, IMHO.

  39. Oops- I meant to say that he told me (at his 6 month check-up) to cut it down to 2-3 feedings by 9 months (which he’ll be next week)- this still seemed on the low side but this is uncharted territory for me since #1 had switched to formula by this age.

  40. And I switched doctors already :)! (After he told me I should shout at the kid every time he clamped down on the twins while breastfeeding. I just couldn’t get on board with yelling at a 5 month old…

  41. @r+k+mama – Good grief, what an out of control doctor! Good for you for trusting your instincts about finding a new one.This brings to mind the discussion we once had about the role of the professional vs. the role of the parent. I was comforted once by a wise woman on here (hedra probably) who said words to the effect of “your doctor isn’t necessarily the end all, be all fountain of wisdom.” The professional recommendations seem to change all the time. The one & only constant seems to be: use a carseat. 😉 Lots of room to interpret the advice & tailor it to your own family situation.

  42. @Nella–I’m right there with you. Mine is 15 mo, and I’m so tired I could cry–I think 1 week of through-the-night when he was3 mo old.@Moxie (or anyone really)–where can I go to find the ages of “Wonder (ah ha ha ha ha ha) weeks” beyond 55?
    We’ve never had good sleep, but it makes me feel better if I just take the nearest “wonder” week as an excuse, or merge 2 together, or whatever. Wonder. As in, “I wonder why I thought having kids was such a good idea?!”

  43. Same, same, same.Sophia turns two in a month and for the past week she has been sleeping LITERALLY “through the night” (11-12 hours) for the past week. That’s the first time, though. Sadly, after three years (if you count pregnancy) of broken sleep, MY body is rewired to wake every 3 hours, so I’m still not getting the uninterrupted sleep she’s getting! Ack!

  44. @r+k+mama – 2-3 nursings by 9 months? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Babies around the world are nursed on demand until 2-3 years. Breastmilk is the healthiest food on the planet. Possibly, possibly and only arguably, iron needs to be supplemented after 6 months, but otherwise we could well survive and thrive on breastmilk for well over a year. I would let your baby lead the way. I stressed SO much about food and nursing and nutrition in DS’s first year and, in hindsight, oh how I wish I had trusted that our babies are born to know what they need, exactly what and when they need it. We are a species after all, they are designed to survive and to know exactly what we need in order to survive.@Gale – my comment above is meant for you too. Please, try not to stress about your baby’s solids to breastmilk ratio at 13 months. The one year mark is so arbitrary, as Moxie said, and yet we decide it is “the TIME” that babies must transition from breastmilk to solids. Why? It hasn’t always been this way. The book My Child Won’t Eat provides such a fascinating history of pediatric advice on solids and how it varies generation to generation. There was a time when 1 teaspoon of solids were offered at 12 months of age, and no more! Yes, one teaspoon max., per meal. I really feel we need to trust ourselves and our babies – we would all be OK without the books and the doctors, really, we would be OK.

  45. On sleep…it’s comforting! to know that there are others out there experiencing the same frustrations with the on again off again, although for some it seems always off, sleep patterns. It’s maddening that when I talk to many other moms most give me the impression that all is well, baby sleeps, naps without effort, as does mom. Why the facade? Just be honest, it won’t hurt, really!It’s very heartening to know that so many of us are so caring & giving to our children.

  46. @r+k+mama: Good for you for switching doctors! I was just going to suggest such a thing. I hate those rules, as though babies are little robots that should all be ready for certain things at the same time.To make you feel better, we have absolutely not followed the ‘rules’ when it comes to eating. We started solids at 6 months old (the time when some pedis of the old school suggest we should be on 3 meals a day…) we didn’t add a 3rd meal until 8 or 9 months. We nursed every 2 hours during the day through 10 months. Didn’t start finger foods until nearly a year– he just wasn’t interested. He still loves his purees (he’s a year and 2 weeks). I’ve just weaned him– I have pretty mixed feelings about it, it seems too early, but he’s perfectly fine with it to my surprise/relief. Doesn’t seem to notice or care that he’s getting a bottle instead of a boob.
    Anyway ask 100 women on this board, you’ll get 100 different food schedules, and 100 happy (if not sleeping through the night!) babies 🙂

  47. My son turns one on Friday and we are just starting to see a change in his sleep patterns. Naps are getting difficult and a few more wake-ups during the night. A question please – I still breastfeed him once a night – around 4 AM (sometimes earlier – often later). I was going to try to nightwean soon, but I keep putting it off. Afraid to try I guess. So my question – in light of the 13 month sleep regression coming up – should I try now to get rid of that early morning feed or wait until the regression is over? He sleeps in a cot in his room. Goes to bed with just a shh/pat and if he wakes at night, he cries out but often puts himself back to sleep. Other than in the early AM – I always feed him then…. Thanks for any help.

  48. Serendipitous. That’s what this site is. We’re just around the corner from one year of survival so this is good to hear and prepare for. Not that D was EVER a good sleeper. Good, for us, is up 2x a night. But we co-sleep, much to my entire families chagrin, and the boob is still wonderboob! and helps him sleep (again, much to my families chagrin. Oh…family…)I think that a sleeping baby is just another hard to reach ideal they push on people from a young age. Remember all the dolls you had as a child? (if you had them, that is) What did they do? Sleep! All you had to do was put them down and their creepy “eyelids” would close. Liars.

  49. @Hope, my only recommendation is to night wean between stages. It may or may not ‘stick’ through the next wonder week stage, but it likely will be easier to work through if the expectation is already ‘no nursing at night’. Whether it is this stage or the next is entirely up to your instinct about your child. You can try it, if it seems to be useful (generally seeing definite results in 3 days or less, is my definition), then you’re done. If it doesn’t seem to be an easy transition, then skip ahead to the next stage break.@r+k+mama, glad you switched docs. Sheesh, that one seems kind of mean.
    @sudru (and others frustrated with the ‘oh, my baby sleeps fine!’ thing) – 30% of people have a gene that makes them very insensitive to dopamine, which means they have even temperaments, tend to be easy sleepers, not fussy babies, just calm, nothing bothers them, tra-la-la-la-la. 30%! BUT, while this sounds grand, the knee-jerk ‘just you wait until they’re teenagers’ reaction (you’ll get yours!) actually holds true, because they’re equally immune to that gut-dropping feeling when their life does or might take a bad turn, so they don’t learn from their mistakes, punishments have little to no impact, they have a hard time figuring out what they really want to do (everything is fine, nothing is really all that bad), they’re not motivated by good parenting, they’re relatively immune to bad parenting, they drive their parents NUTS. At that point, those parents get to learn the same thing that everyone else learns – that it isn’t all what we did, that the way they are is more about them, that we can’t control everything, etc. Eventually these kids figure out their direction, too – but it tends to take a lot longer.
    So, some of the parents who are saying ‘easy baby, sleeps when I ask, naps all the time, never fussy’ are not lying. Some are, but some are not. The ones who have miserable sleep and fussies are less likely to be out in public! It kind of skews the sample.
    @hush, I don’t know that I said that, but I do think it. I recall there was a conversation here where a lot of people said that. I definitely had a lot of experience suggesting that the doctors could be totally full of it, and that it is valuable to find a doctor who doesn’t think they know everything…
    @RBee, Moxie actually has a post here that was something like ‘toddler wonder weeks’ or ‘tell me what other fussy stages you have experienced’ – I have to run, but maybe you can find it in the archives… otherwise, I suggest the Ames and Ilg books, which detail the signs of the dysregulation phases from 2 1/2 up. The timing stops being quite as regular, though.

  50. I can be a (apparently rare!) voice of both sympathy and hope here. My daughter was never a great sleeper, and at 7.5 mos we did sleep train her (Weissbluth style). That, plus being on a VERY tight schedule has been really helpful for her. She is like an ad for sleep-begets-sleep, and routine-begets-happy! But she was still up 1x a night (I’d feed her) till about 11 mos. Then she slept through for 2 blessed weeks (7pm-6am!). Then… up for 1-2 hrs, 1-3x a night, until 13.5 mos. UGH. And then just last week, she decided she was done. Back to sleeping through.No idea what caused it, but it did indeed pass. We didn’t re-sleep train, since it seemed less developmentally appropriate at this age. Good luck to all of you going through this… and I hope it passes quickly!

  51. once again, askmoxie is as timely as ever.after night #2 of waking up multiple times with the 14-month-old crying, crying, crying and only getting back to sleep in our bed, i thought “hm, i wonder if this is a sleep regression – i should check moxie.” and boom.
    information AND validation – score!
    so…she’s probably cutting molars (i’ll be checking tonight) and experiencing a developmental surge – it’s probably not the best time to cut out nursing before bed, i’m guessing?
    we’re down to only nursing in the morning and to sleep at night – only solids during the day. maybe i should just stick with it another month or so until she’s over the hump and the teeth are in?
    i’m so thankful that this blog exists – i’ve gotten more sound and useful information here than the stack of parenting books at home. thank you, ladies!

  52. Wow! Scary how the timing fits sometimes. Little S is nearly 14 months, and was up 2x last night, howling with misery. I never thought to check for molars. The second time I gave the Motrin and that really helped, plus another bottle (she’s been night-weaned for 5 months.)We also went through a period of a twohour middle of hte night wakeup – she wanted to play. We went down to one nap a day, and that stopped.

  53. 12 months was tough for us. Twins @ 12 months + husband away for 7 weeks = tough.One thing that really bugged me was that they would wake frequently between putting them down at 7pm and when I ‘went down’ at 10pm, ie during my few hours of break. Oh, and then 3+ times each per night. ughhhh!
    Co-sleeping was the only way I managed to get any rest, but even that didn’t work well since they’d tend to disturb one another (and me).
    It got better around 14 months, I think. Husband returned, one got out of our bed. Now (17 months) we still have rough patches, and only random ‘through the night’s, but it’s so much better than at 12 months.

  54. Crap, my girl has her 1st bday on 9/17 and she’s been a “good” sleeper for about 7 months (knocking on wood now). Hopefully, this doesn’t ring true for us. Good luck to the rest of you…hang in there!

  55. thanks hedra. i am not sure what to do. i guess i like to know that i have that feed “in my pocket” if i need it. at the same time, i really think it is habit at this point and he would probably sleep better if i helped him break the habit.anyway – for all – i found a description of the 55 wonder week on the site below for those of us without the book:

  56. just wanted to come back today to tell you that last night, our bed was baby-free thanks to some suggestions from here! there was still a waking at 1230 but with some patting, a drink or two of water, monotonous repetition of “lie down, it’s time for sleeping” and NO picking up, she finally laid back down in her crib and was out. THANK YOU.

  57. Thank you, thank you for this post. My son turned 1 at the beginning of the month and we’ve had a hell of a time. Just AWFUL. He’s never slept through the night and only given us 6-8 hours a handful of times. Most often we are up 2x a night at least. And those 2x change every night-never the same hours, no consistency to work around. My husband wants to try CIO, but I just don’t think it will work and I don’t want to do it, anyway. I’m trying to hold off on nightweaning until he’s closer to 15 months, but Lordy how I dream of it day and night.@Gale-I think I saw on kellymom.com that her guidelines were 25% solids during 12-18 months, after that 50%, etc. She wasn’t saying it in a strict fashion, just if you wanted to kind of shoot for something, I think. Anyway, in my sleep deprivation I could be misquoting, so you might want to check it out.

  58. Hope … just wanted to tell you what worked for us with the early am feeding. Around 10 months we were finally down to the one 4 am feeding. If I sent my hubbie in or tried not the breast feed he would freak out completely. So, a friend recommended I start reducing the number of minutes gradually. It worked! I was shocked. I would only reduce by 30 secs at a time and if he cried when I put him down I would feed him for the same amount of time the next night. Once he was ok with the amount of time, I would reduce another 30 secs. When we got to about 4 min, he just stopped waking up. we did have a few nights around 12 months that were difficult and I did go back to feeding him b/c he couldn’t be consoled but then again I started decreasing the amount of time I fed him and it worked. He is now 13 months and pretty consistently sleeping through the night.

  59. Such a timely post. My LO is just a few days over one-year old, and I’m just about out of my mind with exhaustion. We co-sleep, and he awakens every.single.hour. and won’t sleep til he gets some boobage–sometimes just a few seconds of it will get him back to sleep, which is more annoying than having him really nurse. Anyway, we’ve come to a crisis situation here: DH and I haven’t been in the same bed for a year now, I don’t get enough sleep, DS is turning into a toddler and parenting isn’t just about keeping him alive anymore, and I just realized yesterday that I’m not being the parent I want to be because I’m so freaking tired!I’m not in the CIO crowd, but I can certainly see why parents resort to and even embrace it…

  60. holy c@@p, the only thing that was getting me through the living hell that is our 9 month sleep regression was the thought that it might get better from here – still, forewarned is forearmed…I depend on this site for my sanity in a world full of friends with Babies Wot Sleep, but haven’t posted before. It’s a longshot but if anyone can help me I will be as grateful as only someone else who hasn’t slept for more than a three hour stretch in nine months can understand.
    Our problem is that our baby doesn’t fit any profile I can find of your average nursing-to-sleep-dependent crappy sleeper. Thanks to this site I have worked out that he is a tension releaser for naps and for bedtime, and I can put him down in his sidecar cot wide awake and with his paci and after a few minutes of shouting (cross crying, not miserable crying) he without fail takes himself off to sleep no problem. But when he wakes at night (which at the moment is *every* 1 1/2 hours) he HAS to nurse for a few minutes before going back to sleep. He doesn’t actually fall asleep nursing though – he picks his paci back up, stuffs it in, rolls over, and goes to sleep. This works for the first couple of wake-ups – after that it may or may not work and sometimes he is up for an hour or more in the night. If we leave him to cry he gets himself worked up, and NOTHING else (rocking, walking, singing etc) ever works. We’re happy to co-sleep but it makes no difference at all.
    He isn’t a comfort nurser during the day at all – in fact he seems completely indifferent about it, and only feeds for a couple of minutes when I offer, and is eating a fair bit of solid food I think.
    I have always been very very anti-CIO but to be honest I would now try anything if I thought it would work, because we all desperately need more sleep, especially him. But the thought of putting us all through it and for it to fail is too much, and I don’t really understand what problem we are trying to solve.
    Has anyone out there had a similar experience? Anyone?!!!

  61. I love this @*!&%@# site. It has been my island of sanity in a difficult year.My 13 month old girl wakes up at least once a night, usually more often. She is still happily nursing to sleep every night. I’m not in any rush to wean her as long as she still enjoys nursing. Getting up lots of times a night is definitely not my favorite. I have tried co-sleeping, but she has been completely uninterested since she was about 3 months. I just keep thinking to myself that the night waking is a very small part of my life, and soon I’ll have to struggle just to get her to let me hold her at all! These thoughts help when I get super grouchy. Of course, if I had an outside job to go to in the morning, it’d be a different story!

  62. Thank goodness someone can tell me that what I am going through is normal! My son will be a year old in 2 weeks. For the past month, he has went from putting himself to sleep and sleeping through the night with no feedings, to having to be rocked completely to sleep, waking 1-3 times a night, and one night feeding. I have tried the “check, leave, and come back method” as well as the short term “cry it out method” and neither seem to work. My son will cry till he is shaking and gagging till he throws up if he doesnt get picked up, rocked, and fed. The wakings arent the biggest problem. How do I stop the night feedings? I have tried to just NOT feed him, but he simply wont go back to sleep. It is wearing on me and my husband as we are both working parents. Any advice?

  63. Good Luck with getting her to sleep. Chase doesn’t sleep eitehr unless he is in bed with me, but than *I* can’t sleep. I am thinking of trying a toddler bed for him and putting him in Aislinns room, she is totally down with this so it is worth a try!That is a super cute picture of Alice.

  64. Hey mate,I was just researching Polyphasic Sleep as I’m going to be rieevwing the Uberman sleep cycle for 21 days and stumbled across this. How have you been getting on with it?Great post, and if you get a chance, fill me in on the 8-months without shampoo that’s written on your about page!Ed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *