It is a proud moment for Mom and Dad when baby turns 1! No doubt there’s a party and maybe even a cake smash. Beyond the hoopla and celebrations, your baby should continue to sleep fairly well, as long as you’re not keeping her up too long between sleep periods , and have taught her how to relax herself into sleep without the help of a bottle, a boob or being laid beside.
There maybe some early mornings… hello again 6 am. But those killer EWU (early wake ups) from all the teething and motor development through 10-11 should have receeded. You can read more about early wake ups here.
While all the books talk about 12 months as being the walking time, from personal experience I can tell you that most kids don’t usually start walking until 14-15 months. My daughter didn’t walk until she was 23 months! I’ve been on many a play ground chatting with Moms and explaining why my daughter was still scooting up the stairs on her behind. Other parents would try and commiserate with me telling me all about how stressed they were that their child was a late walker…. and didn’t pull out the strut until 15 months! Kind of a different ball park for me, but I loved the empathy from these ladies. The good news is she’s walking and running fine now:), and you can breathe a sigh of relief if your babe isn’t walking at 12 months…. Totally normal.
If your child is an early walker and starts cruising and walking, then you may see some blips in night time sleep or perhaps even a nap refusal. Anytime your child is working on a new motor skills, this can interfere with sleep because they are excited about that new skill.
Imagine you surfaced from an early morning sleep cycle, and were super excited for an upcoming vacation and couldn’t get back to sleep because of it. This is a similar analogy as to what toddlers go through when thinking about a new motor skill such as walking. The same thing happened at 9 months when babe started crawling.
With any motor development related “sleep regression” remember to give your baby lots of practice time during the day.
I also love the use of sleep sacks from 4 months onwards, until 2 year or until potty training, to help your child feel secure at night and for naps. In addition, the sleep sack also helps limit the mobility in the crib. Yes, I want my child to practice this new motor skill, but not so much at sleep time.
It’s not uncommon to see some nap refusals start to creep into these toddlers years. Rest assured that your child is NOT ready to drop down to 1 nap until about 14-16 months. You can read more about the 2-1 nap transition here.
Dropping all naps, *sniff, a sad mommy moment*, happens sometime between 3-4 years of age, which you can read more about here.
Overall, 1 year of age is a fabulous stage to be enjoyed without any major sleep disruptions. It’s kind of like the calm before the storm, as there is a big sleep regression coming at 18 months, which I’ll cover in the next Sleep Series post next month.
If you are wondering how long your child can comfortably stay awake for between naps and bedtime at this age, or how much sleep your child needs overall, you can download Free Sleep Summary By Age Chart.
Do you like what I have to say? You can join my Free Helping Babies Sleep Support Group where you can post sleep questions and hear from myself and other Moms like you.
Sarah Mitchell has a Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster University and a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. She has always been interested in health and the human body. Having children of her own uncovered a new passion, helping parents get their children to sleep. Her 1stchild would not sleep, which led her down the path of researching everything she could about baby and toddler sleep, and now she wants to empower you. She coaches parents and blogs at Helping Babies Sleep. www.helpingbabiessleep.com/blog/, www.facebook.com/helpingbabiessleep, twitter: @sleepcoachsarah