My 15 month old is wanting to sleep most of the day

by An. - Answer by Heidi Holvoet, PhD


My 15 month old daughter is wanting to sleep for most of the day, she's not eating a lot and is getting cranky very easy, is there something wrong?

Heidi's Answer:

There could be something going on, especially if this has begun only recently, but not necessarily.

If she's always been sleeping a lot and is not a big eater in general, then there is not necessarily something wrong.

To give you an idea of typical amounts of sleep: at this age the average is about 12 hours during the night and 2 - 4 hours of total nap time during the day. Remember that these are averages so some babies will sleep less, others more, and still be withing normal range.

If this has only recently started, something may be on its way: either a virus or some illness may be about to break through, or she may be teething. She may also be developing an allergy.

The combination of the sleeping and the not eating well may be a good indication for teething (14 months is the average age for first molars coming out). Check for other signs of teething like dribbling, flushed cheeks, skin rash, sore gums (more teething details on the signs of teething page).

If she is really eating very poorly or if she is sleepy all day (not alert and content in between naps at all) you may want to consult your doctor to make sure.

In the meantime do make sure she drinks enough, and try with some cold and sweet food (like ice cream - could be home made frozen juice lollipops to keep it healthy). Many babies like these, so they can help to get some necessary fluids when eating poorly. In case of teething they also soothe sore gums.

Best wishes to both of you,

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