Thursday, December 6, 2012

one year old sleep issues

Some crazy things happened when Duke turned one.  He not only developed some very strong reactions to things that demanded a little more discipline on our part, but his sleep got all wonky.  Naps and night sleep got weird.

Some naps, he would make noise randomly throughout the entire thing.  Some naps, he would wake crazy early from.  At night, he would wake several times crying.  He didn't need anything and would go back to sleep, but going from a little boy who didn't make a peep for 12 hours to this was very strange.

He also started waking really early in the morning.  His normal wake time is anywhere from 8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.  A few mornings, he woke around 6:15 a.m.  Ridiculous!  Sometimes he'd go back to sleep, but sometimes he'd make noise until I came in to get him.  It was frustrating because I had no idea what was happening.  This lasted until the day he turned 13 months.  Literally, on the dot.

Here were my thoughts throughout the month:

1.  Maybe it was because he was now drinking whole milk and wasn't really drinking a lot of it.
2.  Maybe it had something to do with getting rid of bottles.
3.  Maybe he needed more food and was hungry.
4.  Maybe he was sick.
5.  Maybe he needed an earlier bedtime.
6.  Maybe he needed a later bedtime.
7.  Maybe he was ready to drop the morning nap.
8.  Maybe he was teething.

After ruling ALL of those out, I was left very confused.

But when he turned 13 months the magic happened.

I decided two things.

1.  Maybe I need to limit Duke's napping hours and have an "end of nap time" that we never go past.  I decided his last nap can't go past 4:15 p.m. in the afternoon.  Also, 3.5-4 hours of nap time is usually what he gets in a day, so I decided to keep it at 3.5 (1.5 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon).
2.  Maybe we're over the bedtime snack thing.  I was giving him a few crackers and water before bedtime, thinking he needed the extra calories.  But then I wondered if eating right before bed was making his stomach upset and his sleep irregular.  I know if I eat right before bed it can do funny things to me.

Unlike science class, I implemented both of these variables at the same time.  So I'm not really sure which one made the difference.  But since then, he has slept perfectly at night, even going longer than 12 hours.  His naps are also totally back to normal.  (I think his naps got weird because his night sleep got weird, so he was overtired a lot of the day.)

My vote is that getting rid of the bedtime snack was the main fix.  He'd napped 4.5 hours total before in a day and it never bothered his nighttime sleep.  However, I'm still going to keep both things as they are.

Did any of you experience any changes in sleep when your child turned one?


  1. Do you give him any milk before going to bed or does he get it all during dinner time?

    1. No, I just offer milk at mealtimes. what about you?

    2. I give her about 4oz right before she goes to bed, I guess we've always done that even when I was nursing her, so I just thought to continue. I don't know if it's "right or wrong" but I'll just keep doing it. Not sure how it will be once she has teeth and the whole "brush your teeth before going to bed" happens but we shall see when we get there. :)

  2. Yes! We had that issue at one, and now that he is about to turn two, we are having it all over again. Trae will wake up at 4 or 5 sometimes, but I have a rule that no one gets out of bed before 7am (read: I refuse to get out of bed before 7), so he can talk to himself all he wants until then. I just pray he doesn't figure out how to get out of his crib anytime soon. Then I might have to rethink how that rule will work.

    1. That's so good to know! And yes, we have the same rule. :)

      Interesting that it's happening again at 2 years. Any tips/tricks you've discovered?


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