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12 Month Sleep Regression

The long-awaited first year of a child’s life has come. He has matured and developed. The next growth spurt of the baby occurs at the turn of 12 months. He is significantly stretched, gaining bodyweight, and gaining new skills. Another pronounced sleep regression is taking place.

Sleep can be spoiled not only due to a strong growth spurt but also due to active cognitive activity. Regression of 12 months is characterized by more pronounced symptoms and duration. The crisis state of sleep in the 1st year of life occurs abruptly, is very pronounced, and has a whole set of symptoms that change the behavior of the child.

Symptoms of Sleep Regression

Children at 12 months have to overcome new difficulties, struggling with a crisis. The symptoms of this condition are different for everyone. Some of the kids will react violently to new growth spurts and achievements in development. Others will endure this stage quite calmly and without reactive adaptation.

The main symptoms of 12 month sleep regression are:

  • Strong attachment to mother
  • Lost appetite
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Disobedience and hysteria
  • Frequent awakenings at night
  • Decrease in the daily rate of sleep
  • The false rejection of 2nd nap

All symptoms of sleep regression at 12 months can be complicated by teething, changes in sleeping conditions and environment, health problems, and cessation of breastfeeding. How strongly these symptoms will be expressed depends on the individual physiological characteristics of each baby.

Signs of a crisis state are expressed in failures of sleep and wakefulness. This condition is temporary and does not require medical attention.

Does Every Child Have Regression?

Sleep regression in the first year of life occurs in almost every child. Everyone has their period of adaptation to a breakthrough in development. A one-year-old child can go through the stage of sleep regression without severe symptoms. This does not confirm that there is no regression.

Sleep disorders are observed in absolutely all children and they are associated with certain periods of development. Regressive manifestations entail changes in the behavior of the child. He becomes more capricious, naughty, whiny, and hysterical.

Parents are only required to wait until the crisis period has passed. The manifestation of care and patience to the child will help to cope with a difficult stage.

Night and Nap Changes During 12 Month Sleep Regression

The daily routine should remain as stable as possible despite the regression period. Stick to daily sleep norms and control the time of wakefulness.

The baby still needs to sleep about 12-13 hours a night in the first year of life. It is important to reasonably enter activity and rest in this period. A balanced daily routine will help to overcome the stage of sleep regression with the least loss.

You can leave only 2-2.5 hours for a child’s daytime sleep. This will be enough for the baby to have a good rest. It is necessary to choose the time of wakefulness well so as not to overload the child.

A one-year-old baby may well sleep through the night without waking up for feeding. Night rest should be approximately 10-11 hours. Try to bring your child’s sleep indicators as close as possible to the norm. Regression at 12 months can cause a decrease in the daily rate of sleep. Using a flexible schedule will help him adjust to new rhythms faster and improve his sleep.

Development Changes That Cause Sleep Regression at 12 Month

Any changes in the development of the child can greatly affect his condition. The first year of life is a transition to a new stage. The child becomes more aware. He is in good contact with the outside world develops and grows a lot. It takes a lot of effort to cross the threshold of regressive deviations.

Here is an example of the major developmental changes that cause sleep regression at 12 months:

1. Height and weight

The weight of the child by 12 months has increased at least 3 times since birth. Growth can be from 71 to 80 cm. The increase in these indicators slows down slightly by the age of one. There are no such strong and sharp jumps. After a year, these parameters change more smoothly.

If a child by the age of 1 has noticeably gained in height and weight, then he needs to learn how to balance and feel his body well. Adaptation to such conditions is often delayed and causes sleep disturbances.

2. Developed vision

The child already perfectly sees into the distance, orients himself in space, and recognizes colors and volumes. Well-developed vision sharpens perception. The child is more and more surprised by others. He reacts violently to facial expressions and not always positively.

The impressionability of the baby can provoke overexcitation. The brain processes the information received during sleep and this requires a lot of effort.

3. Active movement

A one-year-old child is active like never before. He constantly trains in walking. Many children already begin to walk during this period. The baby is dominated by vertical pastime. He begins to explore his territory, open cabinets, poking around in things, and reaching out to previously inaccessible objects.

If the child does not walk yet, then he actively crawls on his haunches. This is a good workout for all muscle groups. Sometimes a lack of practice during the day causes active behavior at night. This is fraught with sleep disturbances.

4. Sounds and words

There is a very impressive breakthrough in cognitive development at this age. Children who began to master the first sounds from 7 months speak simple words by the first year of life. They are quite conscious and the child uses them in the right way.

The baby can say “mom”, “dad” and so on. This is a simple and understandable combination that kids use. The development of speech or its beginnings is caused by the active work of the brain. Such a leap in development leads to mental overwork. This can make it difficult to sleep at night.

5. Teeth

Teeth can complicate the stage of sleep regression at 12 months. Breaks in their eruption are rare. Aching pains, itching, profuse salivation – all this gives a lot of discomfort to the child. Teeth erupt most actively at night. Frequent restless awakenings, screams, and crying of the child are the norm during this period. This significantly affects sleep patterns and complicates the regression period.

How Long Does Sleep Regression Last?

Crisis periods in a child’s life appear unpredictable timing. The duration of sleep regression cannot be predicted. There are approximate norms for the duration of this period based on observations. Sleep regression at 1 year mostly lasts 2 weeks. Sometimes its symptoms can be traced up to 4 weeks. The acute period of regression takes several days.

There are also exceptional cases when sleep regression can take up to 6 weeks. In such situations, the boundaries between periods of regression of different ages are sometimes blurred. Parents observe a constant sleep disturbance without breaks for good days.

How to Deal with 12 Month Sleep Regression

There is no magic pill to help with sleep regression. This condition is due to natural causes and is complicated by external factors.

Proven mechanisms for establishing a daily routine will help to cope with sleep disorders at 12 months. They can be used in any crisis period. Remember that this is not a panacea. Regression is a stage that the baby must go through on its own. You can only help him a little by relieving the symptoms.

Do not overwork

The child becomes very interesting: he is cheerful, funny, and sociable. Parents often play a lot with the baby without observing the daily routine. You can’t do that. Try to control wakefulness without letting the baby overwork.

Notice the first signs of fatigue and immediately invite the child to rest. Wake time should always be diluted with daytime sleep.

Go to bed on time

Remember that by the evening all the processes associated with the child should gradually slow down. The house should become quieter and calmer in the late afternoon. Instill a stable habit in your baby and signal the onset of night.

Strictly control the regime of the day starting from the morning awakening. The earlier the baby woke up in the morning, the earlier he should go into the night.

Waking time

Sleep during the day should begin approximately 5 hours after waking up in the morning. Do not delay this process, otherwise, the baby will overwork and be very moody.

Focuses on the habit of the child. The “sleep window” is the most favorable time when the child falls asleep best. All children have their parameters and cannot be imposed by any norms. Start from the personal biorhythms of your baby.

Don’t use visual aids

Many mothers resort to the use of all kinds of gadgets due to impotence, the inability to do anything at home, and the lack of help. Most often, these are cartoons on a tablet, phone, or TV. This method is very efficient but dangerous.

Especially do not use it as an accompaniment to meals or at bedtime instead of a sedative. The effect of watching cartoons is often the opposite. A bright and dynamic change of pictures greatly overexcites the child and he becomes emotionally unstable.

Guarantor of security

Any new sensations in the body, perception, or well-being lead the baby into slight confusion. He can be anxious for the slightest reason and it is difficult to endure this period.

Among the basic needs of a child of 12 months, the need for security stands out. The kid needs to feel protected. Only this helps him to remain calm. The mother is the guarantor of the safety of the child. Her love and care can cope with any crisis.

Practice skills during the day

The main cause of sleep regression is an adaptation to developmental leaps. It is difficult for a child to immediately adapt to the new conditions of his life and he tries in every possible way to adapt to them. Learning new skills is a serious process that takes time.

Train your child as often as possible throughout the day. Let him repeat new skills, get up, try to walk, and actively crawl. Then he won’t do it at night.

Don’t plan big changes

It is better to postpone repairs, moving, traveling, and changing the main person who is nearby at the stage of regression. Do not stop breastfeeding or try to return him to the crib. Regression is a very difficult period in a child’s life. He has to adapt to all the changes.

Any deviations from the usual way of life can significantly complicate the period of adaptation and delay the regression.

FAQ about 12 Month Sleep Regression

Q1: Is this the last regression in the child’s life?

A1: No. There are a few more regressions that can overtake the baby. More explicit is a regression of 18 months. Sleep disturbances can occur at any stage of a child’s development up to 2-3 years of age.

There are cases when the sleep regression is not felt by the parents and the most striking episodes occur at 4 months and 1 year.


Q2: The child is 1 year old. In the middle of the night he jumps, crawls, starts to play and sometimes screams. Is it a regression?

A2: Possibly. This is most likely a reaction to teething. It is this behavior that is most often observed with excruciating pain at night.


Q3: I have twins. One sleeps well, and the second has bad sleep at the age of 1 year. Regression is not the same? They were born on the same day.

A3: These are two different people with their feelings, emotions, and character. Yes, they are similar even in behavior, but each develops at its own pace. You can observe regression in one and a little later in the other. Or you may not see it at all.


Q4: Are the 1-year crisis and sleep regression the same thing?

A4: No. These periods just often coincide. The crisis of one year is characterized by behavioral changes. They can affect sleep in the same way that regression can complicate the course of the crisis of 1 year.


Q5: How to identify sleep regression at 12 months?

A5: According to the severity of symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Significant reduction in the daily rate of sleep
  • Sleep interruption at night
  • False refusal to sleep during the day
  • Decreased appetite

Q6: How long will the 12 month sleep regression last?

A6: Sleep regression can last from 2 to 4 weeks. The duration can be 6 weeks in rare cases. The acute phase of regression usually resolves within a few days.

Sleep regression at 1 year can be either short or long. The severity of symptoms also varies in intensity. Regression begins with a sharp jump in development and ends with complete adaptation to new

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