I’ve been blessed from the beginning with Audrey’s willingness to sleep – and sleep a long time. She was a up-every-two-hours newborn, but once she was in her own crib which was at 3-weeks-old and when I started formula feeding at night with rice cereal, she was sleeping almost all the way through the night.
Since then, she has consistently slept for ten to fourteen hours at night. That includes, for the most part, taking two hour to two hours naps. Tired girl, I guess.
Lately I’ve been having the most difficulty with my 15-month-old. She has started to fight bedtime, scream like she’s never screamed before and only want Mommy (putting to bed is usually a Daddy job).
There has been a few nights that I have to lean over the crib and spend a good chunk of time tracing her face softly with my finger to calm her down. In most cases, she will still start screaming when I leave. The kind of cries that are making her gag.
Furthermore, she has always been an active dreamer. Mostly, what looks like she is suffering from little nightmares. They will sometimes wake her up, but usually she’ll just moan and whimper and make some expressive faces.
Yesterday, I actually brought her in bed with me to cuddle after Daddy had already gone to work. She was sound asleep and started making some dreaming noises. Then, in a deep sleep, she puts her hand up and points to the ceiling and says, “Clock.” This has been her new word/object for the last two weeks. After repeating it three times, she began snoozing again.
It was such a deep sleep that I was laughing so hard right next to her and it didn’t wake her up.
Something else, Audrey sleeps best when her bottom is up in the air. When Daddy or I check on her and she is sleeping with her bottom up, we know she’ll sleep in.
After researching and reading that Audrey’s sleep position, separation anxiety and dreaming are very typical for her age, I decided to share what else I found.
6 to 12-Months-Old
Typical Sleep Pattern: By age 6 months, most babies sleep a total of 11 1/2 to 15 hours of sleep a day (between nighttime sleep and naps) and are capable of sleeping for long stretches at a time. Naps start evolving into two naps per day, but may stick to three shorter ones.
At 9 months, babies typically sleep 11 to 14 hours a night and nap twice a day for one to two hours at a time.
If your baby isn’t yet sleeping at least five or six hours straight, you’re not alone. Many babies still wake up at night for feedings in the 6- to 9-month stage — though most are ready for night weaning, if that’s what you choose. But babies this age don’t necessarily wake up because they’re hungry. From 9-12 months, they are almost positively not hungry.
Reaching major milestones in cognitive and motor development and with separation anxiety starting at this age may start to wake your baby up again at around 6-months-old.
If you want your baby to sleep independently, she needs opportunities to practice this important skill. Instead of nursing or rocking her to sleep, let her practice falling asleep on her own by putting her in bed when she’s relaxed and drowsy.
Tips at this age:
- Start a really consistent bedtime routine
- Encourage baby to fall asleep on her own
- Put her to bed earlier – you may see she will sleep longer and better!
1 to 2-Year-Old
Typical Sleep Pattern: With getting busy, most toddlers sleep 10-13 hours of sleep a day. Whether all these hours are slept at night or split up between nighttime sleeping and daytime naps is up to you. Toddlers may still nap or may stop napping. At this age, if they are tired, they will go to sleep. Sometimes, rest/quiet time is just as beneficial as an actual nap at this age.
Separation anxiety, teething pain, active dreaming and active crib time (i.e., crawling out of the crib) is very common starting at one.
Dreams and nightmares can begin to affect toddlers, who have a difficult time distinguishing these from reality. Be mindful of any videos or books he or she sees just before bedtime, and keep the content mild.
By now, you should have a good going-to-bed routine (i.e. established time, bath, book, etc…). Now, rules need to be enforced since toddlers will learn to start pushing it and testing your discipline strength.
Decide how many drinks of water you’ll allow and how many times you’ll retrieve the toy that’s thrown out of the crib in defiance of bedtime.
If your toddler awakens in the middle of the night, just as when he or she was younger, you’ll want to quietly and quickly provide reassurance that everything is OK and you are close by. But too much interaction can backfire, so keep your nighttime “visits” brief and boring for your toddler.
Tips at this age:
- Keep sleeping times darker and quiet. Once a sound-proof newborn will now not sleep well with loud conversation or other loud movement around the house.
- Stick to the consistency and make the rules.
- During cold months, dress the toddler warm since they will almost never stay covered with blankets.
- Be careful what she is watching or reading, this may affect nightmares.