It never seems to fail that once your baby's hit a good sleep schedule, there's a new milestone or regressions headed your way. Even when you're past the newborn stage and finally hit your baby's first birthday, you're still not off the hook when it comes to sleeping changes. Although there may be regressions to deal with, fortunately, many of the important sleep milestones a baby should reach at 1 year are longer-lasting and can even be modifiable for parents and their little ones.
Even though it's exhausting to deal with regressions, sleep training, or waking up in the middle of the night, it won't last forever. Most sleep changes happen within the first two years of a child's life and usually only last between two to six weeks according to The Sleep Lady. When you hit the one-year mark with your baby, it is totally normal to start seeing some major changes in sleep patterns and nap time schedules. If you're in the middle of what you think may be a sleep regression or odd behavior for your 1 year old, here are some key milestones to keep an eye out for, ong with helpful ways to deal with them.
1. They Sleep More Soundly At Night
It often takes newborns a while to sleep more than a couple of hours at a time. But in an interview with Parents, clinical social worker Jennifer Waldburger shared that after four months, the natural preference of a baby is to sleep. Although babies may not understand how to stay asleep just yet, parents are able to start incorporating strategies that will help them sleep through the night by one year or before, according to Parents.
2. They Experience A Regression Period
According to Baby Sleep Site, there is a 1 year old sleep regression. Although it's not as common as other sleep regression ages, it does exist for both nap time and bedtime. At night, some 1 year olds start to get hungry again, because they've become more mobile and burn more calories throughout the day. The Baby Sleep Site suggested increasing daytime food intake instead of starting a nighttime feeding pattern to curb sleep regression.
3. They Nap Less
Although it varies from child to child, one milestone to look for is less nap time during the day. Kids Health shared that by the age of 1 year to 18 months, many babies will condense naps from two to one. In my experience, if you find your 1 year old is starting to fight one of their nap times, she may be ready for just one nap during the day.
4. Their Bedtime May Need To Come Earlier
Wee Bee Dreaming Pediatric Sleep Consulting suggested that when your baby has transitioned from two naps to one, it may be a good idea to move up bedtime. Setting bedtime to occur between four and five hours after an afternoon nap and no later than 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. for your 1 year old is suggested for optimal sleep.
5. They Sit Or Stand Up In Their Crib
By 1 year old, the Office of Child Development (OCD) noted that baby is able to to sit up and stand. According to OCD, those skills are two of the major physical developmental milestones, which also means you will begin seeing your baby sit up and stand in their cribs at 1 as well.