Solving typical sleep problems at 6-12 months, part 3
Author: Heidi Holvoet, PhD
Going on one year old your baby's internal clock quiets down a bit.
That means more regular days and nights, especially if you manage to
relieve discomfort from teething, illnesses and growing-up issues like
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Baby's body clock
Between 6 and 12 months old, you'll find a huge difference in your
baby's body clock compared to the first half year. It is much more settled and regular now.
direct consequence, most babies now thrive on a regular, timed daily
sleep schedule. You may even find that your baby really needs her scheduled naps.
That may mean your own days are less flexible than before - have to get home in time for the
nap ... - but it can also bring much-needed peace and quiet, and
If you don't see that regularity yet, use the simple techniques
suggested below to install a good schedule. It is never too late to
organize your child's sleeping and feeding times. Or to adapt your
existing schedule to fit her changing needs.
1, 2 or 3 regular naps during the day are all good, as long as they
help your baby through the day content and and a not-too-late bedtime
also have an effect on the nights.
Both the regularity and the fact that she's not over-tired by bedtime,
make for more restful sleep. And that means longer nights too.
What to do
- The best sleep schedules are finely adapted to what your baby
needs right now. Don't mind average
or your neighbor's baby's sleep schedule. Your baby will only sleep best on a
schedule that fits her best.
- Finding the right schedule starts with observing your baby well.
Then select a nap routine that suits her and finally install it well
using suited techniques. These are the exact steps we go through in Nap in a Snap (info and downloads here).
- Once you have the sleep schedule, give your baby ample time to
get used to it and to really settle in it. That is when her body clock
will tune in completely and sleeping will be all the better.
- Do stay flexible too. Your baby's needs will evolve, especially
once she's past the 1 year mark. Pay attention to her sleepy signs, how
she behaves before and after naps, what her tired level is before
bedtime at night, ... This will help you re-adjust the schedule when
Typical sleep disturbers at 6-12 months old
Teething and separation anxiety are the top sleep spoilers now between
6 and 12 months old.
As many as 10 teeth are scheduled to cut through in the second half
year ... causing a lot of true pain and overall discomfort for most
Flushed cheeks, sore gums and dribbling are all local teething
signs, but your baby may be bothered in different ways too:
temperature, runny nose, ... and she may simply be unwell, eat less and
not be content.
Some babies suffer less visibly and have none of the clear signs of
teething. You may not even notice until the tooth actually shows up.
But either way, whether clearly showing the signs or not, sleep will
likely be affected. Relieve teething discomfort may be one of your
priorities right now, see "What to do" below.
Separation anxiety is an important phase all babies go through in some
way. Your baby is now very well able to understand that you leave
sometimes but she has not yet built the confidence that you will always
be back. That can lead to tears during the day but also during the
A common baby cold or mild illness can always add to the sleep
difficulties. Night terrors can also start to play up and even if
they're harmless, they can be heartbreaking and scary for you, and
disrupt sleep further.
Under 1 year old, sleep apnea in babies still usually occurs as central
sleep apnea. It will be important to be aware of the sleep apnea signs
so you can seek medical advice when needed.
What to do
- As a rule of thumb, remember to contact your doctor whenever you
are concerned about your baby's health.
- Consult the dedicated topics to relieve discomfort and maximize
Frequently asked questions
Browse these Q&A's for inspiration and advice in your own situation. Or
ask your own question for personalized professional help.
month old girl keeps me up all night
7 month old is screaming a few hours after going to bed
month old nurses all night long
seven months old baby boy wakes up after half an hour sleep
sure if the Ferber Method is working for my 10 months old son
9 month old still wakes up 5 or more times a night!
eight month old has a cold and is napping a lot
sleep disturbance (8 month old)