20 answers

13 Month Old Still Not Sleeping Through the Night

i have a 13 month old daughter that does not sleep through the night she never has since birth. sometimes she is up two and three time throughout the night. fussing and tossing and turning not fully waking up. my husband and i both have full time jobs and sometime the only way we get any rest is to bring her into our bed with us. and she still fusses, tosses, and turns. i am open to any type of advice that i can get. i pick her up from daycare by 3pm ans she is awake until bedtime around 8:30 to 9:00pm.

What can I do next?

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It just sounds to me as if she is in a stage of sleep. Just let her get through it and don't bother her (I know it is hard to ignore, some babies are just louder than others). I also STRONGLY suggest Babywise. My 8.5 mo. son is a great sleeper because of it!

Do you have a nite time routine,it can be as simple as eating dinner at the same time bath time give her a massage with lotion to help soothe her every nite even if she doesn't have a bath wipe her down with a wipe after a diaper change and give her a massage then hold her for comfort she may be squirmy my daughter was at this age.Is she warm enough at nite?

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Don't know what others will say but your bedtime is WAY too late. A 13 month old should be going to bed at 6:00 to 7:00pm and getting 2 naps per day. The more rested a child is, the better they tend to sleep. When they are chronically sleep deprived, the adrenaline system gets kicked up a notch and they are too wired to sleep appropriately. So, if you try an earlier bedtime it will probably help. Also, you may just need to ignore her for 2-3 nights until she figures out how to quiet herself. It is 4am and my 15 month old has been cooing and tossing in her crib for the last 30 minutes which I am only aware of because I am up. She will go back to sleep in a few minutes and wake at 7:00 or 7:30. I recommend Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child as an awesome reference for sleep questions in children of all ages. I am a physician and a mother to a 3 year old and 15 month old. Hope that helps.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a 16 month old and when she was about 6-12 months, she didn't sleep through the night. I read the Babywise book before my daughter was born, but wasn't completely sure I wanted to do it. Then, my daughter slept through the night from three to six months so I thought I didn't need it (although I am a FIRM believer in sleeping schedules). So, from 6 to 12 months, I suffered with getting up two and sometimes three times a night. In desperation, I decided to take the Babywise advice and the advice of my nanny and let my daughter "cry it out" at night. It was the hardest thing I've had to do because I so desperately wanted to go in and get her when she cried. But, my husband wouldn't let me. (You will need support). It only took two nights, and I am proud to say that from 12 and a half months through 16 months, my daughter sleeps about 11.5 to 12 hours at night. This is IN ADDITION TO the two naps a day that she takes when I am at work. I don't think cutting out naps is the way to go. That just gets your baby even more tired and irritable. I think the way to go is to let your child learn to fall asleep on her own. It is one of the greatest things you can do for her, even if it is hard for you to do. I wish that I had followed this advice a little earlier. I am also a FIRM believer that co-sleeping is not a good idea. I know people do it and love it, but I need some alone time with my husband. I've seen people who do this and have to continue to do this until their children are 8 or so years old because the child doesn't know any differently. That's not something I was willing to do. Start now while you can still have some peace (and room) in your bed because it just gets harder when the babies get older. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I would recommend reading "On Becoming Babywise". It's a great book that talks about setting a schedule for babies. Babies thrive on structure, according to this book. If you already have her on a schedule, you might just try letting her fuss it out for a while. My 7 month old also wakes up a few times throughout the night and she soothes herself back to sleep within 5 minutes or so if I just leave her alone. Sometimes I will go in and give her a pacifier if it's over 5 minutes, but she always drifts back off to sleep within a few minutes. Also, maybe the stretch between 3pm and bedtime is too much? Maybe if you tried giving her a nap around 4:30 or 5, just for about 45 minutes, it would help regulate her sleeping a little more and result in more peaceful nighttime sleep. If babies are over tired sometimes they have trouble calming down and sleeping. Just a few thoughts. I am by no means an expert! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I am a mother of two and I did a lot of research with my first on sleeping and trying to get him to sleep etc... I think one problem might be her bedtime - for a 13 month old 8:30-9pm is relatively late. Everything that I have read recommends a bedtime of 7-7:30 for a child that age. By putting her to bed earlier you might find that some of these problems are eliviated. Also, if she is not waking fully during the night maybe you can try for several nights and just leave her in the crib - you might have a few days of being sleepy but it should work out in the end. Good luck!

It just sounds to me as if she is in a stage of sleep. Just let her get through it and don't bother her (I know it is hard to ignore, some babies are just louder than others). I also STRONGLY suggest Babywise. My 8.5 mo. son is a great sleeper because of it!

Have you tried an earlier bedtime? I have a feeling that might help. Kids actually sleep WORSE when they are chronically sleep-deprived.

Try going earlier by about 15 minutes a night and see what happens. We found out that 8:30 was too late for our daughter (now 20-mos) and 7:30 was too early, but 8:00 was right on the money. We've had an 8pm bedtime for almost a year now, and she started sleeping through the night consistently at about 18mos.

Our daughter has also had issues with sleep apnea when she was about a year old-- her tonsils are big and don't grow at the same rate as her throat. So if her tonsils were larger in proportion to her throat, she'd go through a couple weeks of not sleeping well at all (waking several times a night, starting sometimes just an hour after I put her to bed). We could always tell this was the problem because she would have very noisy breathing while she was asleep and would gasp for air sometimes. So imagine you're sleeping and all of a sudden you can't breathe! You'd wake up and be upset too!

So you might try to figure out WHY your baby is waking-- go in there after she's been asleep for a few minutes and see if you can figure out what causes her to stir-- is she cold, breathing well, etc. Good luck! It DOES get easier!

Do you have a nite time routine,it can be as simple as eating dinner at the same time bath time give her a massage with lotion to help soothe her every nite even if she doesn't have a bath wipe her down with a wipe after a diaper change and give her a massage then hold her for comfort she may be squirmy my daughter was at this age.Is she warm enough at nite?

I have a daughter who is almost 4 now and we had the same problem with her. The only time she'd sleep all night was when she stayed the night at my in-laws, otherwise she was either up 3 or 4 times or sleeping with us. Our first daughter to this day has never slept with my husband and I both in the bed, so it was very strange for us. We tried letting her sleep with her big sister and that helped a bit but not much. Things have happened that have caused us to move in with my in-laws for the last 6 months and she's slept all night nearly every night since.....so strange! She has a toddler bed at home she never wanted to sleep in. She sleeps in a queen sized bed now all by herself and sprawls herself across it every night. Soo......now that I've given you my life story:-) maybe try different scenarios like a bigger bed, sleeping with big brother for a bit, something different so you can hopefully get some sleep! Even if my suggestions don't work, know that there are others who've lived through it and there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Good luck!
Columbia, MO

I agree with the other posts about trying an earlier bedtime. We used to keep our son up until 9 or 10 pm thinking if he was tired, he would sleep thru the night. It just got worse. Then we read about the sleep needs of infants and changed his bedtime to 7 pm (along with a routine of bath, bottle, bed and play soft music in his room all night). Within a week he was sleeping thru the night. If he does wake up, he coos and then puts himself back to sleep. It was a miracle!! Babies need more sleep than adults; their sleep cycles are different than ours. And the nighttime routine helps them wind down and ease into sleep. I know every baby is different, but it's worth a shot for you. Good luck!!

I'm not sure what time she gets up in the morning, but she may need an earlier bed time. 8:30 or 9 is pretty late, unless she gets to sleep in. Often, when kids are over tired, they don't sleep as well. Try starting your bed time routine with her just a little earlier each night until she is going to sleep around no later than 7:30 or 8 pm. Just a thought.

Also, I would just let her stay in her crib all night. Everyone wakes up a little each night naturally. Most of the time we don't even notice, but it is just part of the sleep cycle. It sounds like she is waking up more than just a little during this time, and can't quite get herself back to sleep on her own. Let her practice doing this. If she is brought into your room, she won't learn to do it on her own (and it doesn't sound like it's helping anyway). If she's crying, you could go in and stroke her hair or pat her back. But, don't say anything or get her out. Also, make sure her room isn't too bright or has too many stimulating toys in her crib. Is she warm enough at night? Too warm? A white noise machine or small fan could also help. Maybe one for your room too, so you don't hear every move she makes if she is just tossing and turning. You would still be able to hear if she is crying.

Anyway, just some suggestions. Just remember to be consistent in whatever you decide to try.

Best wishes!

My 2 yr old has a similar sleep schedule.

She goes to bed in her bed - and sleeps well for about 5-6 hours and then joins us in our bed. She does tend to toss/turn during the last phase of the night and I just think that is who she is.

A sleep schedule is fine, as long as it doesn't interfere with comforting your child. I strongly disagree with letting your child 'cry it out'

I actually found that my sleep was better when I bring her to bed with me - then when I used to try to comfort her and put her back in her own bed. All the up/down disrupted my own sleep pattern too much. Now - she just comes to bed with us in the middle of the night - she sleeps in the middle and I turn my back to her. I've learned to ignore her little movements.

I agree with the other mom about enjoying this stage of babyhood/toddlerhood.

Co-sleeping has also been a way to fulfill mine and my child's need for more constant contact. Since, I also work out of the home full time - and get home at 5:30. At that age, my daughter was in bed by 6:45-7:00 and I feel like a lot of the night waking was just because she needed more "mommy time"

Good luck - feel free to contact me if you need further advice!

If I could frame Baby Wise in gold, I would. It's amaaazzzzzinnnnngggg! And, I personally thing 8:30-9 is extremely late for a 13 month old to be going to sleep. Read Baby Wise...it will save your sanity!

Sounds to me like she is used to mommy and daddy coming to her rescue. I tend to baby my son too much and sometimes to hard to hear but you need to get tough with her. It's hard but it's better for her in the long run if you let her cry it out for a few nights and let her be. Look into "night terrors" This is where kids cry but they are still asleep and they have no memory of this in the morning. It is scary and disturbing to parents but no known harm to chldren. For your sake and hers let her tose and turn in her own bed. The only other thing I would suggest is to make sure you are spending quality time with her during bath and book time so that she knows that is "mommy time" and night is sleep time. Whatever you do don't feed her. This will make her tummy used to being hungry at this time of night. And I'm sorry to have to disagree so strongly with others but if a 13 month old is not sleeping though the night it's often the parents or a medical problem. It's by no means normal.

After she has been fed, bathe her (in warm as you think she can stand water) you might want to add some night time bath, rub her down in a lotion/creamy baby oil (like a massage) give her a warm sippy cup & she should make it through the night & bedtime around nine. The worse thing you can do is to keep putting her in the bed with you. Good luck to you & God Bless!

Hi M.,

Co-sleeping/bed-sharing probably is your best bet. Don't feel guilty about it. There is a lot of misinformation out there about co-sleeping & it's actually perfectly safe & a great idea in situations like yours. I've always worked full-time outside the home too & I understand that the loss of sleep can be devastating.

Is she taking a nap at day care? Maybe you could try to get them to cut out her naps but depending on the style of daycare that might not be an option. Or she might just need a slightly later bedtime (although any later than 9pm-ish may give her trouble during the day but maybe she's the kind that just doesn't need quite as much sleep).

I posted almost the same message just now for someone with a 10 month old - sorry I didn't have time to completely re-write something original for you!! ;) Here it is though.

13 months is still young enough that I wouldn't really expect them to sleep through the night. My 3rd born slept through the night almost from day 1, and people would ask me (all sympathetically) at maybe 2 or 3 months old if the baby was sleeping through the night yet, I would laugh & say, yeah she sleeps fine, it's my 2 year old that's STILL not sleeping through the night! That 2 year old is now 9 & still often wakes up once or twice & occasionally is still a little needy when she wakes up. At least she doesn't cry anymore! But it took years before she would sleep through more often than not. She's always been the earliest riser though. She just doesn't need as much sleep. The baby that slept through from day 1 has remained a great sleeper, and my 5 year old (a different one) still often wakes up screaming. sigh. But the baby (almost 3) is a great sleeper. They're all different. 13 months is still a little early to worry about sleeping through the night. It's been a solid 10 years since my husband & I have slept through the night since we have so many kids so close together. It just comes with the territory!

Just try to go to bed a little earlier to make up for the interruptions in your sleep. (Can you take a nap on your lunchbreak??!) And enjoy these baby months before they're gone forever. Don't be in a hurry to get her to grow up, which sleeping through the night is part of.

Good luck!

S., mother of 6

My oldest daughter didn't sleep through the night until she was almost 3 years old, she NEVER took naps. I consulted doctors, no one seemed very concerned and I was told over and over again, it's probably "normal" for her. I have never been able to understand that attitude by doctors, as a baby she slept 20 minutes at a time and sometimes as long as 3 hours. We never did figure out why.
She's a healthy 21 year old now, but still only requires 6 hours of sleep a day.
One thing I might suggest, if they have sinus problems, stuffy noses or allergies get that taken care of. Often sleeping problems are breathing problems and they are too little to let you know they can't breath.

you might want to have an E.N.T specialist dr check her out. restless sleep is sometimes due to obstructed airway issues. obstructed airway issues may be due to larger than normal adenoids and/or tonsils.

obstructed sleep issues can lead to more serious matters...so it's worth getting checked for physical signs

we had situation like this in our child. pediatrician didn't know what to do next. his nurse suggested ENT. we were glad we did. ended up being the adenoids too big. explained a lot about our child since his birth almost three years ago.

having said all that? it's also statistically possible she is just not able to sleep. it seems some kids don't get tthe sleep thing down til as late as age 4 or 5 (from what I read). sorry for the bad news!

good luck.

this may sound mean but it worked for us tell the daycare to not let her sleep even with a bottle let her drink it but as soon as she starts to nap wake her up start doin somthin active and keep her busy then when you pick her up do the same keep her active with games or just play with her till dinner let her eat by that time she should be tired enough to sleep throughthe night it worked for us

Lots of good advice! Here's my two cents:

I would recommend first making sure there aren't allergy or sinus issues disrupting her sleep.

Then, an earlier bedtime. The CDC recommends between 13-15 hours of sleep for children ages 12-18 months. It seems counterintuitive, but it was our son's problem. He sleeps from 7:30pm-7am now. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Sleep/

He also tosses and turns, moans, talks, and sometimes even laughs in his sleep! We have had to learn to partially close the door in his room and our room so that we sleep thru his "normal" sounds. When he needs us he cries louder or calls for us. It was really hard for me at first but then we started to see the rewards of good sleep all around - we were all happier and functioning better after just a week!

Routines are also very important. We started with reading a book downstairs then telling him, "lets go brush our teeth" and taking him upstairs. Then we'd change him, give him his bottle, say a little prayer and cuddle - putting him down while he was still just drowsy. It took some work, but we're all doing really well now with him sleeping thru the night unless he's sick or something else is bothering him. (if something random like gas or growing pains we use a couple doses of Hyland's Colic Tabs)

When he was about 13 months we did get him an alarm clock from Target that makes ocean wave sounds. We moved from the city and there wasn't enough noise - that's how we coped at first, now he's fine and enjoys hearing the train whistles as he drifts off.

Letting her sleep in your bed is just a slippery slope though - and no one gets the sleep they need! Believe me, it took 2 weeks of him crying himself to sleep to break that little mistake! Oops. None worse for the wear though!

Hope all this helps you and you ALL find some well deserved sleep soon!


I am having the same problem and nothing is working for me. I don't bring my daughter in bed with me, but I do go into her room and hold her and cuddle her and try to get her back to sleep. If you get a good answer, please send it my way.

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