April 29, 2008,
A.M. asks from Lititz, PA on April 23, 2008
1 Year Old Sleeping Less and Less
My 13-month old daughter has gradually, in the last month, decreased from 14 hours of sleep to 11. She would sleep 8:30pm - 8:30am which was great, and then a 2 hour nap. But then she woke up at 8, then 7:30, 7, and now 6:45am. Not only that, but she is napping for only 1 hour during the day. And she now wakes up crying, while she used to sit quietly and happily in her crib. I'm going crazy, because it's hard to get anything done during only a 1 hour nap during the day! I know she will be needing less sleep as she gets older. Is this normal, though? To decrease by 3 hours of sleep all in a month?
M.A. answers from Philadelphia on April 24, 2008
I went through this with my son around the same age. He was sleeping less during the day and waking earlier in the morning. When he woke from his nap he was crying - almost screaming. I would run in to soothe him and then the rest of the day he was miserable - not my normally happy baby. It made life for us pretty rough. I finally decided to ride out the crying to see if he would soothe himself or fall back to sleep. It took just a few days (as every change does, I guess) and he was falling right back to sleep and waking up like his old self! He also started to sleep later again in the a.m. I think it was that thing the Dr.s say about needing to be well rested to sleep well. He has become a much better napper since this and he is now 2 1/2 years old!
B.D. answers from Lancaster on April 24, 2008
How is your daughter acting when she is awake? I know you said she cries after waking up from her nap - but I believe that is normal. Unless she is acting very tired, I wouldn't worry about it - she may not need as much sleep, and at her age they are starting to do much more, and I think are just too busy with life! I will say I envy how much she used to sleep for you - my children never slept like that! Good Luck.
D.J. answers from Reading on April 24, 2008
I know what you are going through! I went through the same thing with my daughter right around a year old. She was still taking a morning nap and an afternoon nap at that time, as well as sleeping a good 11 or so hours at night. Could she be teething? Or she could possibly be going through a growth spurt or something like that. It does seem like an awful large amount of sleep to all of sudden not need. What I did was stick with my schedule and I gave it a good week or two. She eventually got back onto her schedule to where she was sleeping like she was before. She didn't end up giving up her morning nap until 18 months, so I'm glad that I did that! If by that point she is still not sleeping as much, I would chalk it up to the fact that as they get older, they just require less sleep. Good luck to you! I know it's hard! My daughter went through that a couple of times, but things always seemed to even out.
D.P. answers from Pittsburgh on April 23, 2008
I think now that's she's walking, she's too excited about exploring the world! I think it's normal. If you've gotta get something done, try a Baby Einstein video--30 minutes of fascination! Good luck!
F.H. answers from Sharon on April 25, 2008
Try reading "Sleepless in America" by Mary Sheddy Kurckinca. It explains why these things happen and why its important to find a way to help them get the sleep they should be getting.
M.R. answers from Philadelphia on April 23, 2008
My son was getting up earlier and earlier in the last month, and do you know what fixed it? Blackout shades. It is getting light earlier and it throws them off--they can't tell time, so they think it's time to get up. Try putting something dark over her windows for a couple of days and see if it helps.
K.W. answers from Philadelphia on April 24, 2008
Sometimes when babies this age are learning a new skill, or having a growth spurt, they will have sleep pattern changes. You have to just go with the flow. My guess is that she will return to a more "normal" schedule in a week or two. Hang in there! It's happened to all of us!
C.K. answers from Pittsburgh on April 24, 2008
It is normal and natural that her sleep cycles are changing, and some kids make those changes faster than others.
I would feel blessed if my daughter napped regularly for a whole hour. I am luck to get 45 minutes out of mine!
E.F. answers from Pittsburgh on April 24, 2008
I would try putting her down a little earlier at night. Mine is waking up earlier now (I think it is the sun), and has never been a good napper. See if you can put her down 10 minutes earlier every 3-4 days and see if that helps.
G.S. answers from Allentown on April 24, 2008
Children's sleep habits are constantly changing. You're lucky to have had such a fantastic sleeper so far! But as she gets older, she does need less sleep. Is it possible that something has recently changed for her? Could she be teething? (Did she act this way with teething in the past, and could she be struggling with those pesky molars?)
My 13 month old has never slept more than 10 hours overnight, except when sick (maxed at 11). But she also still takes 2 naps a day - one catnap and one slightly longer nap. Is it possible she's just getting overtired and needs to have 2 naps a day? It may be that she still needs close to 12 hours of sleep overnight and because she's waking earlier, she's getting overtired. I would suggest watching for signs of fatigue and possibly getting her to nap twice. OR - if she wakes early, see if you can re-settle her and get her to sleep longer. (I have had some success with this when my little one would wake early from overnight or from a nap).
My only other question would be, when does she eat dinner? Is it possible she's waking up because she's hungry and wants to eat again? I mean - 12 hours (or more) is a long time to go without eating, even if you're really tired. Maybe she needs a small snack before bedtime?
I wish you luck in figuring it out, and I hope that you can help her get back to that schedule you previously enjoyed.
H.S. answers from Pittsburgh on April 23, 2008
Hi A., It is completely normal for your daughters sleep to decrease. I have three kids 7,4,& 8 months. You might try having her do a little excersising before going to sleep simpe stuff jumping like a frog, crazy funny dances.. I have done this and although it desn't make then sleep as long as they once did it does allow them better sleep therefor they wake up much happier.. no worries. H.
K.S. answers from Pittsburgh on April 24, 2008
This may just be a normal schedule of cutting back, but three hours less is a lot less all of the sudden. My guess is that it will even out in the next few weeks. I would stick to the schedule you are doing. It sounds just right for her age. My two boys both cut back on sleep around this age or maybe closer to two and they now wake at 5:30 every day no matter what time they go to bed! It is so hard to get up that early, ugh! Both of my boys completely dropped the nap around age 3. It was a big bummer for me! Hang in there, I do think she will pick up a little sleep soon. Especially with the warmer weather and getting outside each day.
M.G. answers from Pittsburgh on April 29, 2008
Try reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth... it helps to explain the changes in sleep schedules and offers solutions. I would definitely try an earlier bedtime, too.