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« Starting to feel the holiday crush approaching | Main | Q&A: nighttime parenting is making our eyes bleed »



my daughter is now 13 months old (at the end of september). she does wake at night occasionally, but we also co-sleep. patting her on the back and lying down with her usually does the trick (in getting her back to sleep). actually, i've been sleeping in a separate bed at the moment (38 weeks pregnant), and my husband doesn't always wake up when she does. i'm the one who has to get out of bed and get her back to sleep, then return to my own bed. i know that not everyone co-sleeps but maybe reassuring your child and being there until she sleeps again will help.


How is it that husbands can do that?? I'm also expecting, and DH also is an extremely sound sleeper. I thought he was faking it, but he's totally not.

My experience with my first two is that how they get to sleep in the first place has a big impact on how they sleep the rest of the night. If they get to sleep on their own when I initially put them down, they are far more likely to sleep through the rest of the night on their own without me. Things to encourage that - plenty of exercise during the day, a bath before bed, no t.v., nursing cuddling before you put them down, and sometimes an earlier bedtime (which to me was very counter-intuitive.) Everybody's child sleeps differently, so take what I've said with a grain of salt.

I really liked the book "Healthy Sleeping Habits Happy Child" - there's only about a half a chapter that would apply to you right now - I would never tell a sleep deprived mom to go read an entire book without expecting to be punched! Their techniques about getting a nap schedule together, bedtime, sleep "organization" worked wonders for my kids. The biggest thing I learned about my own kids was that they needed really great naps during the daytime in order to sleep through the night.


I am going through the same crap, 18 months version.

At 13 months we were pretty much exclusively cosleeping, so we didn't talk to him much, let him toss and turn himself back to sleep. If he indicated he wanted to nurse, I let him--but that was the age when it began to mean that nursing did not automatically equal back to sleep. Sometimes patting his back or singing a little helped, but usually it just took a while of lying next to him.

The only difference now is that he starts the night in a toddler bed on the other side of our room. He usually winds up next to me between 2:30 and 3. If he goes back to sleep, fine. If not, and he's searching for a comfortable position for a long time and it's driving me INSANE, I put him back in his bed (with his newly anointed lovey) and talk to him from my bed to keep him in there until he settles.

I am an insomniac so I sympathize with everything that's going on in their brains that keeps them awake. But having your night so interrupted (or, in my case, my night has been known to END at 4am) is grounds for going totally crazy.

If the kids will allow someone else besides mom to comfort and just let them toss and turn in a quiet, dark room, DO IT. This is not the fun part of parenting, so it's good to share. My son treats my husband (for the past 12 months! won't it ever end???) like an ax murderer between 8pm and 6am, so it hasn't been an option for us--but if it were, I'd so take a night in the guest bedroom.

Gosh, there is really nothing helpful here, but I sympathize. Really, really, really. Really. (And it does get better before it gets bad again, so there's that to look forward to. But after age 2 it gets better for real!)


My probably not so helpful technique was that this was the age we started co-sleeping. He'd start the night in his own bed, wake up, and then we'd bring him into ours. No talking, no lights, sometimes a nurse, sometimes a cup of water.

Just beware that if this becomes your solution, it gets embedded in the toddler brain. My son is now almost 26 mos and we don't really have a separate bed for him anymore (he has his crib mattress on the floor, and soon we intend to create the big-boy bed fanfare, but we sort of know we set an expectation it will take a while to change.)


Oh having read the comments I will add to the "healthy habits" thing that starting around 13 mos and getting entirely necessary at 18 mos was that eat/nap/sleep at about the same times every. single. day. routine.

Unlike the kind of "if he woke at 7, then nap will be at..." pattern for the first year, for us the magic sleep aid in the 1-2 year has been to eat and sleep at the same times (within about half an hr) by the clock.


I love this site. I am sitting here having just returned from dropping my daughter off at daycare, and pondering whether I can get away with going back to bed for a while before starting work. She's 17 months, and we've been up for 60-90 mins (from 11 to 12:30 or so) the last two nights. What fresh hell is this, after months -- months, I tell you! -- of sleeping through the night??

Needless to say, I have no solutions. Only that we let her cry the first night and then went to her last night, and it made no discernible difference. She's not wanting to play -- she's clearly exhausted and miserable but doesn't want to sleep. I am so, so wary of Shandra's point about habits becoming embedded in the toddler brain -- I had a miserable experience cosleeping when she was tiny (I just couldn't relax enough to sleep well) -- so cosleeping isn't in the cards for us right now.

And the worst of it? I have to go on live TV tonight to talk about a story I wrote, and I am going to have bags the size of cinderblocks under my eyes. If that's not justification for going back to bed, I don't know what is. My sympathies to everyone else going through this -- it really is helpful to know that we're not the only sleep-deprived toddler parents around!


Our son slept really well for the first year and then we hit the same rough patch you're all describing at 13 months. I read and took some cues from Jodi Mindell's book "Sleeping Through the Night" with pretty good results. For us, dealing with the middle of the night wakings meant changing the way we put him to sleep at 7pm. I know everyone tires of the hype around "put them in the crib awake so they learn to fall asleep on their own." But. At 13 months, that did prove to be the trick for us. We rocked him to sleep the whole first year and never had any issues, but when the sleep regression hit, we decided to bite the bullet and work on going to sleep differently. Honestly, after a week of putting him in the crib awake at 7pm (following Mindell's suggestions, which involved frequent checking/comforting if/while he cried) the middle of the night wakings stopped. That said, he didn't ever cry for very long at bedtime, so I suspect he was a kid who, as Moxie puts it, releases tension by crying. But crying is crying, and it is tough to let them do it no matter what. But slogging through a little of that made us all better off in the long run. I imagine this was mainly just very good luck for us, but I think that teaching him to fall asleep by himself - at 13 months old - was a good move. Letting a child cry when they seem genuinely distressed never felt right to me. Letting a slightly older child cry when they seem more pissed off than distressed, well I could handle that a little better. It worked for us. And I hope that something works for you, because its a rough, rough thing to deal with. Good luck!

Amy M

I think one reason the sleep regressions are so heartwrenching is because they totally catch you off guard. You think you've got the sleep thing at least under enough control that you can get by, and then WAM, your child is waking up and staying up and unexpected hours of the night. (And why does it always seem to start on a sunday night?!?!)

I'm 90% sure that we've just hit the 8 month sleep regression combined with the emergence of the peanut's second tooth. We were totally expecting her to stay asleep after her dose of tylenol, and 45 minutes later she was awake and begging to nurse. Fine, except that then I couldn't get her back to sleep until 5 minutes before my alarm went off. *Sigh*

I don't have any advice, but I know that I've already forgotten most of the hardships of the 4 month sleep regression...and that and my large coffee are the only things keeping me going at work today!


I'm so with you on that last part moxie. Notice how all the male tests of strength are purely physical. Ours are physical, emotional, psychological all at the same time. Um, all the time.


Our last bout of this was when I was 5 months pregnant, so it was all my husband. He would bring her downstairs and have an hour nap with her on his chest almost every night, and then he'd put her back to bed and come back with me for an hour or 2 before it was time to wake up. Mercifully, it didn't last much longer than a month...I vaguely remember going through this stretch with all our kids, and none of them lasted very long. Good luck! Hopefully it'll pass quickly...


My son (now 22.5 months) still wakes up periodically during the night, but I oh-so-fondly remember the phase you're talking about. No matter what I did he wouldn't go to sleep, so my solution was to go downstairs and sit in front of the computer and watch old Dr. Who episodes on YouTube. He now loves watching Dr. Who with us, and I felt productive about the time we were spending awake. *big grin* I'd have cheerios in a bowl for him if he was hungry, we'd munch, watch Dr. Who, and about 1.5 hours later he'd fall back asleep.


From 14-16 months I cried *every day* I was exhausted from sleep deprivation, sore from having to carry her all the frickin time, and desperate for something to change!!! She is now 21 month-old and is much like Karoline's 22.5 month-old- she still wakes at night. However, our sleeping got a lot better at 18 months when we could finally feel comfortable explaining to her that we were going to come in and check on her the first time she cried, but after that we would be listening to her, but that we wouldn't come in to her room. It also coincided with ending the family bed- she was a constant motion machine and managed to monopolize a king sized bed! Good luck...


We just went through this with my 13.5-month-old daughter. My husband figured out that she just didn't want to be alone, but otherwise didn't require much from us. Cosleeping doesn't work for us as she finds it too exciting that we're all! in! the! bed! together and can never quite settle down. His solution was to camp out on the floor of her room for a couple of nights, and with him there she got herself back to sleep fine, or at least wasn't crying. He casually mentioned this to a pediatrician friend of his, who warned that this would become a habit and he would have to sleep on her floor forever and ever, but the phase seems to have passed already and now she is sleeping better than ever. She also just started walking, and as Moxie said being much more independent, so that may help wear her out during the day more so than just a few weeks ago.


We are going through this right now but at 9.5 months. One night she will be fine just playing in her crib for an hour or so and the next she is crying until we come get her. I am hoping this is just a phase which, from what I have read here, it sounds like it is... right?!? :)

On the whole strength topic, I totally agree. I always find it funny what my husband complains about. He'll say his lower back hurts or that he didn't get his 8 hours of sleep and I always think how most mothers don't complain about these things, but I guess if they did they would be complaining all the time!


If you're not into the cosleeping thing, or have a child like mine who sleeps perpendicular to everyone else and hogs the bed, I found that having a futon in his nursery helped things. I could go in there if need be and lay down with him, and he seemed to do better than if he was in the bed with both my husband and myself. Also, at least one of us was getting good quality sleep, and we could switch off the next night if need be.

Kate, my son wouldn't allow my husband to comfort him during the night until probably 15 months, so there's hope! Until then, it would just send him into frenzied wailing if my DH dared to try and pick him up at night.


My recollections (vague mostly, and no guarantees they are all from the same phase, as they all blur together):

1) sleep in their room. In physical contact or with back-rubbing.
2) rocker-recliner. LOVED that thing. Could get them down (And let me sleep some, too), on my lap/chest in that when nothing else worked.
3) go downstairs, walk around or sit, and then go back up to bed. Kind of a re-set to bedtime, if they left the room. That was last-ditch effort (as I hate carrying them around from place to place when I really just desperately want to go back to sleep!), but it almost always worked.
4) cosleep, but with as much space as possible. (crib sidecar, extra bed, futon, whatever you've got) - for some reason at some ages they'd get as irritated being with me as being apart. Enough room for them to spread out a bit helped a LOT.
5) snack/drink and back to bed (nursing, or cup of water)
6) changing bedtime to much earlier for ME so I could get a larger chunk the first part of the night while they got their largest chunk. If I was going to be up anyway, I'd rather do all the evening stuff in the wee hours than just be a zombie. We still go to bed at the same time as the kids, now.
7) Pretend to fall asleep again, face to face with them. For some of them, just doing the eyes drifting open/closed while they watched me would settle them back down. Granted, sometimes they'd just play and sing to themselves while I tried to snooze, but that was better than nothin'.
8) Grit teeth and just get through however, somehow. Because every one of them went back to sleeping as well as before (or better) after each phase. Some were good sleepers in between, others terrible, but it always got better than the fussy period sleep zone again.

Good luck!


We have a big family bed (queen sized mattress on the floor, crib mattress on top of a twin mattress between the wall and our bed) but we probably shouldn't have bothered - our little 14 month old always manages to end up snuggled right next to me no matter where I am. She has never slept through the night and on good nights wakes up only once for a long nursing session. On normal nights she wakes up two or three times. On those nights when I feel trapped between the bed-hogging furnace (how are babies so hot? and why am I not allowed any covers just because SHE doesn't like them?) and the dead-to-the-world snoring-to-wake-the-devil husband, I sneak out after the nursing session and either take my stepsons bed (he's at his moms every other week) or the couch.

Thing is, she's been doing this since she was born. So are you people telling me its going to get WORSE?


We just finished this last week (for us it coincided with nightweaning, so it was EXTRA fun!!) We cosleep. I just pretended to be asleep as much as possible and gave up around 4:00 am many days. (Which is when he would finally scoot down off the foot of the bed in the dark, announce brightly "bye-bye!" and crawl off into the living room to play. In the pitch black dark. But now he's past it (hooray!) and sleeping through, pretty much.


Oh, is that what is going on? I thought it was the molars coming in and the learning to walk. Those probably don't help. She's almost 14 months now and slept through from months 6-12 months with 12-13 hours of sleep a night! Now she's up 3-7 times a night! Miserable! But I figure EVENTUALLY it will end.


Oh, yes, this hell we are also experiencing.

Gray has NEVER (NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER) been a good sleeper. N.E.V.E.R. Yet, a month ago, he would sleep from 8 at night until 5 or 6 in the morning and it felt so wonderful.

14 1.2 months old now, with a virus, and he's putting himself to sleep at 7 and waking up at 4 am. Going back to sleep at 6:30 ish (1.2 hour before the alarm clock goes off, little devil) and waking up at 8:30, ready for the day.

We are confused. He also is a tension builder crier outer, so leaving him to CIO does not work. Nor does going in there to comfort him, yet not pick him up. That Makes Him Mad!! So we walk and rock in the dark, sometimes for hours, until he falls asleep.

We are coupling this FUN! TIME! with weaning from nursing, so things are ... strained at our house.

I comfort myself with ... this will not last forever, and ... he is Only A Baby. *sigh*


My daughter just FINALLY started sleeping through 12 hours straight at 11 months old. She will be 13 months next week. Please tell it's not all going to fall apart again. She does put herself to sleep in her crib so, according to some of the comments, maybe that will help us avoid this pitfall (fingers crossed, knocking on wood).


Can anyone tell me what skill(s) are being worked on in the 6 month regression? I'd really like to be able to help my son transition through this one more easily, for all our sakes, as it's certainly feeling like an endurance event right now.

No one seems to have the Wonder Weeks, in stock here in the UK, and the library doesn't have it either. Boo!

Oh, and I think my friend's mum would have easily beaten the kickboxer et al. She had triplets, and then twins 2 years later.


At about that time (13-14 mo) A's molars were coming in....so I wouldn't rule that out as a possibility for the night waking. For us, our solution the whole way through has been to "nurse" him back down - for us with the bottle but if you still have the boob in play so much better b/c you have zero to prep while the baby wails alone in the room. At 24 months we still do this if he wakes at night. Under NO circumstances does he leave his room at night....for any reason. Lots of sleeping together in the chair - but we're also lucky because after a certain point he gets a little pushy and wants to go back in bed b/c he needs his space.

I think our "sleep regression" really demonstrated intself in an EARLY wake time. We're talking between 5 and 6 AM most days. Talk about a personal hell. Nothing we tried worked...early to bed, later to bed, longer naps, shorter naps, eliminating a nap....nothing. We just had to wait it out......and now that I look back on it, it took most of a year. And he waited until AFTER my summer vacation was over to start sleeping until 7. What a sweetheart.

Good luck. It sucks.


With La, she had finally given up her 4 or 5am wake up and started to sleep straight through until 6:30 or 7 just before she turned one (probably just after she started walking, full time, on her own). Then she started waking up again. I had attributed it to teeth - she grew a whole slew of teeth bing-bing-bing just after she turned one. She was also notorious for having more trouble sleeping when she was "working on a project" - rolling over, crawling, walking, etc. Still now, she has a lot more trouble falling asleep when she's on the verge of a developmental spurt, and she's nearly 5.


Yep, yep, yep. Totally agree on the molars, the mobility, etc. Not much to do with those beyond understand and get through it (I was sorely tempted to embroider a "This tooth shall pass" sampler around this point, except I don't know how). Couple other items I haven't seen anybody mention:

-gas (seriously). Your 1-yo is probably starting to eat a lot more foods and if you're nursing you're probably good and over the "eat bland foods so I don't hurt the baby's tummy" business by now. Mouse has always been a poot-monster, so we were alert to this--but if it's ever taking her a long long time to fall asleep (or back to sleep) when we know she's tired, that's one of our first suspicions. A little Mylicon helps about 80% of the time. This has continued to vastly improve with age--now (3 1/2) it's just if "oh dear, did we realize she ate 1/2 cup of super-fiber pumpkin seeds AND a cup of pinto beans AND tried that spicy dish tonight?--oops". But at 1, a lot of things including a big spicy meal for mom would do it. Mylicon is pretty innocuous in my book, so I'd say it's worth a try for a baby who's up but seems tired and annoyed. Especially if their eyes are kind of wide and staring in a spacey way but they can't. fall. asleep.

-also, YKMV of course, but if you have a low-sleep-need child, it may be time for the 2 to 1 nap transition to start. Mouse was down to 1 by 14 months and it coincided with coming out of this regression. Consolidated into a longer, earlier nap and a much easier bedtime. Something to think about if it's getting hard to get down for naps & bedtime.

Hang in there!


I sooo did not need to read this right now. We're just starting to pull out of the 10 month regression and now you tell me there's another one in 2 months? While we'll be staying at my in-laws? Actually, that may work out in my favor...

Jen in Redwood City, CA

9.25 month old Little Guy seems like he's been in a sleep regression for months and we just nurse back to bed and/or rock in a chair so no sleep help here, just commiseration. But, Michaela, RE bags under the eyes: get yourself some Bliss Baggage Handler if you can. That stuff is wonderful! (I do not work for them, I'm just amazed by how instantly the stuff seems to work)

If I had time to watch tv, I might watch Last Man Standing, just because I sometimes enjoy watching guys do stupid guy things. Sick, I guess.


We have been going through one of these regressions with our 10-month-old. And she had just started sleeping through the night!

I would definitely call this the worst phase we have been through...and I am convinced it's separation anxiety. She is a crib sleeper and has always gone down pretty well, up a time or two in the night but never for longer than a diaper change and a bottle of water. Now all of a sudden bedtime has turned into desolate screaming--we are not averse to letting her cry it out but this sounds different, so panicked and afraid. If we go to her she calms right down--we just pat her back and then stand by her crib for 15 minutes or so and she falls asleep. And then in half an hour she is up again screaming bloody murder, and we do the whole thing over again three or four times a night.

We are of the school that if she truly needs us we will be there, day or night, but we also don't want to set any bad habits, since she has been such a good little crib sleeper. What do we do?????


We JUST went through this (well, sort of still going through it).

I thought it was just us!

Suggestions - After picking him up to comfort/nurse/whatever, I will put him back in his cruib, but stay in the room with him, sitting on the floor next to his bed, or pretending to sleep, and saying "shhh.."
and letting him hold my hand. I also suggest repeatedly to him, in a calm voice, "lie down in your bed, it's time to sleep."

We're still up for a while (1/2 hour to an hour) but both of us are more calm.


Chive: according to the Wonder Weeks (did I manage to buy the last copy on Amazon UK?), the 6 month regression (Wonder Week 26) is all about "The World of Relationships". That means from this point on (not, as some people think, *at* this point) your baby can perceive the distance between one thing and another (including him/herself and mum -- yikes!), begins to understand the concepts "under", "over", "inside", "outside" etc, and to understand that puching/flipping switches and buttons can cause things to happen (lights to go on and off etc). Your baby will also begin to understand "that people, objects, sounds, or situations can be related to each other" -- the examples given are things like bustling in the kitchen means dinner is being prepared, the key in the front door means daddy/mummy is home. This may also be the time that your baby starts trying to crawl and pull him/herself up to standing (this was the case for my boy, and he kept waking up in a crawling position, absolutely freaked out about how he got there).

We went through a big sleep regression at 4 months, recovered a little (but not back to the way it was before, which wasn't great anyway -- never had more than 4 hours in a row once a night) then things went down the pan again at 6 months, recovered slightly, and then went completely and utterly up the creek at 9 months (we're talking waking every 45 mins at both naps and at night, with nursing back to sleep every time. I nearly went insane. We're still not back to anything like we had before 4 months, but in the last couple of weeks (since 10 months) things have improved somewhat, and we're getting 2-3 hour stretches at night. I don't know what I'll do when I get more than 5 hours in a row.


Oh, I'm totally in the throws of this right now. For the first 9 months she nursed 1-2 times a night. At 9 months she was magically sleeping through the night. Now, for the last three nights, she's up between 3 and 4:30 for at least 1.5 hours, she screams when alone, when held she screams & tries to climb out of our arms, etc. We've given in to the cry it out after about 10 min of soothing. I know it won't last more then a week but OMG it sucks!


My daughter just turned 13 months yesterday and she has been waking up the past 3 days in the same manner Kamala and Kelly described. She has been sleeping in her crib since she was a month old and for the most part (except for those lovely sleep regression phases) she has been sleeping pretty well. She goes through weeks of sleeping 12 hours and then others sleeping 10 hours, waking up for a bottle and then sleeping another 2 or 3 hours. So, needless to say we have been fairly rested lately up to now!
She will wake up at around 3 AM and even after I give her a bottle of milk, she will not fall back asleep for an hour or so. I have tried not going in to her, only to have her scream non-stop for 30 minutes. This "new" screaming is head-splittingly loud and insistent and very "mature" sounding. Frankly, it sounds like she is in incredible pain. Which she is not. I know this because when I go in there, she promptly quiets down, and starts to coo and motions for me to pick her up. When I pick her up, she immediately wants her bottle which she sucks down and nods off.
As I said though, lately she drinks her bottle and will stay awake after I put her in her crib. She will be quiet for a while and then she will start to cry again.
Last night I tried just giving her water from her bottle and she got really mad at me. I put her back in her crib after she started hitting me in her frustration. She cried a little and then quieted down. About an hour later, she started up the screaming again. This time, I just let her do her thing for what seemed like forever (but was probably only a half an hour) and then eventually she did fall asleep. She goes to bed around 7PM every night and will sleep until 7 or 7:30AM, so earlier bedtimes or routines are firmly in place. We don't change them except for the fact that we no longer rock her to sleep. She goes to bed awake every night and always falls alseep on her own. She is definitely teething with the premolars (she's now working on the 12th tooth)and she is learning to walk. What is driving me nuts is the screaming and yelling she does in the middle of the night. It is impossible to ignore unless you live in a mansion (we do not), but even if we did, I would always be worried that something was wrong and would have to go and check on her.
We had a pediatrician's visit today and she made the following recommendation: leave a bottle of water or milk in her crib so she can feed herself in the middle of the night. Do this for a few weeks and then switch over to a sippy cup. Do that for a while and then remove completely. Moms, any thoughts on this?


J, I always put my two down with an ounce or two of water in a cup, and then when they are sleeping I refill it before I go to bed (just another ounce or two.)

For inconsolable crying I've (sometimes) had really great luck with chamomile tablets - they are tiny, and dissolve instantly on your tongue. My doula gave me some, and I got more at Whole Foods when I ran out. I used them at desperate times from when they were just a few weeks old up through now (my oldest is not quite 3 yet.) I really don't get how or why they work, (nor do I care - I just want something to work already damnit!!!) but after having a couple of them, my kids would really calm down. Go figure.

Rachel, hang in there!


No advice, just some more "me too!". I'm going through the four-month sleep regression with my twins. I'm going crazy with exhaustion. For several nights this week I've been awake almost every hour through the night with one or the other. Attempts by husband to resettle them are usually met with screaming. Nothing but nursing will do.

It's terrible. I think the worst thing is that some nights they will sleep better and you think, "Phew! Perhaps that's it and they're past the sleep regression". Then the very next night they'll wake earlier than ever when you've only been asleep for an hour and even that's with you having gone to bed earlier than usual and, well, crap.

To know that there may be more stages like this ahead, times two ... oh my.


I would love to be able to use the word "regression" for my 15 month old, but he has never slept well. I won't go into what it took to get 1/2 hour of sleep in his first 9 months, too tedious.

The problem with his current waking is that he has to be in a near-total state of sleep before he goes back into the crib in the middle of the night or he screams incessantly. It takes 20 minutes to 2 hours to get him back in. We've tried all the books/methods, ocean background noise, and every other variable including miserable cosleeping (or co-kicking by my son) for a year.

Why don't they make baby Ambien? Our very young and childless pediatrician has no idea what to do. Does anyone else's doctor have good advice?

The young insomniac is happy and smiley during the day. Goes to daycare 3 mornings a week, and to his grandma's for the other 2 days until 3pm (I'm a 75% teacher). He is quite social and active too. Naps are okay once he has help falling asleep.

But I'm turning into a tyrant who has hardly slept for over a year. And I see that some of the above advice says they grow out of it, but we just haven't had any light at the end of the tunnel. Just a lot of tunnels (like when he had an ear infection a few weeks ago and was awake from 12am to 5am).


My 17 month old is going through one of these things right now and it totally sucks. I had to let her cry a couple of times because there simply wasn't anything else I could do. If I bring her in bed with me she doesn't sleep-- she just starts crawling around the bed. She is really one of those kids who releases tension by crying, though. Yes, I know they eventually grow out of it, but this is a real pain in the butt. Hey, what they really need is love!


Oh yes, 13 months was a miserable time for sleep in our household. My daughter was never a good sleeper as a baby but 13 months was like the pit of despair.

How did we get through it? We just got through it, and my husband took her out for 2 hours every single morning so that I could sleep. Sometimes it felt like the only sleep I really got all night was that 2-hour stretch in the morning.

That's probably not very helpful. But looking back on all our sleep issues, time was the only thing that really changed things, besides night-weaning (at 19 months). We had good times and bad times and it all seemed to cycle back around, with varying intensity. It still does, although the cycles are less distinct.

If either of the two question-askers' kids are not night-weaned yet, from breast or bottle, they might consider trying it. I thought my dd was too young at 13 months, so we waited...but a friend of mine who parents similarly (co-slept for a long time, very "AP") used Jay Gordon's nightweaning method with her dd at 13 months and it worked really well.

Our nightweaning method, fwiw, was just to tell dd that nummies were no longer available at night and to put daddy in charge of ALL night-waking until she got with the program. And we stopped co-sleeping at that point. I was just at the end of my rope. There was some crying but she took to it pretty easily. She did not then start sleeping through the night, but she did do longer stretches. She is now 2 1/2 and sleeps through most nights. I now bring her to bed with me if she does wake in the night, b/c I know she can handle co-sleeping without asking to nurse.


I am in the same boat! We co-sleep and have a one bedroom home so I feel like I have been living in a no sleep dreamland for the last 14 months. Our baby is such a miserable sleeper that to hear of this "regression" made my husband and I look at each other and laugh and then a fear spread over our faces...
Really though, I have of late been trying some of Pantley's methods to try and get him to sleep at least 4 hours in his crib without waking up- we are beginning with naps and I hope to holy heaven above that something will change.


Huh. We went through that - my twins started sleeping beautifully right around their first birthday and I thought the worst was behind us, and then wham! Except I didn't know it was a time for a sleep regression. Oh, I should have known.

What worked for us? I ended up sleeping long stretches on the floor in their room for a while - I'd nurse and pat for a while, then settle nearby. At first I was trying to model behavior - see, it's time to SLEEP! - and I'd just stay until they were settled, but the more tired I was the less I could fake it. So... I kept a couple of pillows and a blanket in the room, and I sacked out on the floor. Didn't help with the 5am wakeups at all, but got me through the middle of the night stuff.

Of course the twin thing complicates stuff, both because I fear letting them cry for too long at night - one awake baby is quite enough, thank you - and because oftentimes one would do a middle of the night wakeup and the other would decide to start the day at 5, so I was doubly screwed. No idea how I got through that. And yet, somehow, they're 14.5 months old and somewhat better.


We are right there at the moment, just when we were starting to claw ourselves back from the 9-10 month regression. And he's teething. And has started walking. And we have another set of immunisations coming up. Tell me it gets better!

Claire, London

I have 8-month old b/g twins and we're just hitting the 8 month sleep regression after a hellish time during months 4-6. Things improved rapidly once they started crawling at 7 months, but are rapidly going down the pan again! Moxie, just out of interest, is there any evidence to suggest that those who go through a particularly rough time with the earlier sleep regressions have earlier 'movers'? For example, I have friends who had a hellish time with sleep(particularly months 4-6) until around 10-11 months, by which time their kids were walking, and other friends who had a relatively peaceful time until around 9 months, whose kids then went on to walk at 13 months. I'd be really, really interested to see what everyone else thinks... (and yes, I am clutching at straws here, hoping that this latest sleep regression will be the last biggie for us!).
PS apols for any spelling mistakes, dodgy grammar etc... had 2 hours sleep last night :(


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Noel, you could look into medical reasons for the lack of sleep. Does he have circles under his eyes? They can indicate apnea, reflux, or allergies (especially to dairy, which is a huge sleep disrupter - unfortunately it takes five weeks clear of even trace dairy to see the sleep return, according to the research done by Johns Hopkins, and one mistake... five more weeks. AAAAHHHH!). My oldest was one of 'those' sleepers from birth, and it wasn't until we solved all the physical issues that he slept well. For him that was chiropractic (the BIG leap in sleep was from that), reflux (another large leap), and various intolerances, temperature issues (he runs cold, needs his room CHILLY), and so forth. If your baby is at all a restless sleeper, sweats/overheats/snores at night, etc., I'd look further for a cause of the sleep issue, rather than trying to find a solution.

Oh, and our son was pleasant, sunny, kind, easygoing, and so forth during the day, despite never sleeping at night. Didn't nap excessively during the day, etc. It wasn't until he was four years old and his teachers noted that he would sit and watch the other kids play at recess (HUH?) that I thought 'something is seriously WRONG here!' He was plenty active at home (gastly active), but just not early in the day. His neck was totally mangled (bad twist to the side, possibly due to position during labor plus long labor), and he stopped snoring and started sleeping through almost all the time after two weeks of pediatric chiropractic care. We didn't find the reflux until he was 5, and working through a feeding disorder. Sigh. It sucks to know he was uncomfortable physically, but that discomfort was so normal and constant that he didn't even feel it, complain about it, recognize it as not what life should feel like. :(

Good luck! It may be just that he's one of those exceptionally bright kids who thrives on half the sleep everyone else needs... but I'd make the effort to be certain if you can!


We just finished the 18 month sleep regression and the magic light switch on this hell for us was: full sized mattress in the floor.

DD started climbing/hoisting/vaulting herself out of her crib at 15 months (seriously overnight she figured out how to do it and there was no fear or turning back for her.) She coslept for 12 months, but after waking up one morning unable to breathe because both of my nostrils were filled with fingers and a foot in my rib cage I was done. So 3 months she lasts in the crib. After putting her in the toddler bed and suddenly no one anywhere is sleeping- including the dog, a moment of clarity (or complete utter insanity) hit and (out of desperation) I yanked the mattress off the guest bed, laid it on the floor in her room, where she proceeded to crawl on it, lay down, say night night and slept or 8 straight hours. Are you kidding me kid? Apparantly Her Highness needed more room in the bed and was actually afraid of the toddler bed. It only took me 2 months to come up with that brilliant plan.

The 13 month regression was an entirely different beast. Any stimuli at all and it was over. We sat in the rocking chair and nursed. We laid on the bed and nursed. No TV, No radio, no stories. I could sing very quietly, but that's it. She was also struggling with dropping that second afternoon nap, so we bumped her bedtime up to 7 (some nights it was 6:30-6:45) and it worked like a charm.


I am a little late in getting to this -- but just wanted to say Thanks SO Much for all your advice/experiences/sympathy. Reading all these ideas have made me feel much better, and given me lots of stuff to try. (More likely just to keep myself busy until she just grows out of this naturally. :-) )

Thanks again everyone!

sleep deprived

Ah have totally just been there with my 19 month old. After months of waking very briefly at night only, maybe a couple of times didn't realise how good I had it till dd started doing the same thing! All of a sudden at 18 months old she would wake at around 1-2 am and NOT go back to sleep for 2-4 hours, despite co-sleeping and nursing (which has always worked previously). After talking to a friend, we hit upon a plan which has worked well for us. I realised dd was just not tired enough to go back to sleep, it was like she was tired but just couldn't get back to dream land, and was very grumpy at night with this. It was almost like "toss and turn" that adults do, except with her it was "nurse, go back to sleep briefly then wake again grumpy, and repeat for 4 hours..." So anyway we decided to limit her nap during the day to 2 hours, and put her down slightly later at night. THis has been working a treat. She had been napping for 4-5 hours before this!

SHe is a bit more grumpy at night, so am going to cautiously try to get her down a little earlier and see what happens with the night time sleep. But even if she has a couple more tantrums, it is worth it for all of us to get more sleep. I was a walking zombie when I had to get up and go to work the next day!


Thank god I found this! I was just about to write my own "OMG HALP ME" email, when I figured I'd at least look for a known sleep regression at this age. My son is 13 months today, and we've been enjoying this lovely new milestone for the last two weeks. And by we I mean I, as my husband has been deployed since May and won't be home for another three weeks. Joy!

So here I sit, bleary eyed at 9am with a crankypuss who's had me up since 5. More joy! I guess I'll be working on a few of the suggestions offered up here. Here's to this ending sooner rather than later!


Hi all,

Just browsing the internet to find more information re: Wonder Week 12. I've ordered the book and it has yet to come and needless to say I'm at my wits end!!! My perfect sleeper has done a 360 degree turnaround. She normally takes 3-5mins to whinge/cry/fusses minimal herself to sleep, and can self-settle mid cycle. Starting yesterday, she screams blue murder when she's put down...and takes forever to go down and won't stay down for very long. Last couple of nights she has been waking every 2 hrs to nurse. I'm wondering whether this coincides with Wonder Week 12 or/and growth spurt!!! Few questions:
1) Is crying it out during this time not effective? if I were to console her and feed her to sleep now will it create a bad habit for her seeing as she's already learnt to sleep by herself and self settle?
2) Seeing as I haven't got the Wonder Weeks book yet, any advice on how I can help her during this phase? and how long it lasts?
3) Any tips on toys/activities I should encourage at this time to help her development positively?

I'm SOOOOOOOO exhausted :(


My 14 month old is a BAD sleeper. I just want to rant here, please bear with me.

She slept great until she was 4 months old then overnight she seemed to decide to either wake up every hour or so, or just wake up once but stay awake for 2 hours at at time (usually 2-4am) EVERY NIGHT. Then, somehow, 2 weeks after she turned 1, she slept through one night (8pm-5am), for the first time ever. Then she did it again, then again the next night, then she only woke up once and only for 2 mins, then she slept through again. Hurrah, we thought, she figured it out by herself! It lasted 3 weeks.

For the past 2 weeks she has woken up multiple times a night, last night every 30 minutes from midnight until 5.30, when we gave up and started the day. What happened??? Was the 3 weeks of good sleep her "regression", and now we are back to her normal, god-awful, sleep patterns? I want to cry....

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Here, here Conrad. It would be a brave thing if more men had the courage to stand up for their women. I sure wouldn't mind the help. Its a difficult decision though because it could turn a pleasent afternoon for you into a black eye.

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  • My expertise is in helping people be who they want to be, with a specialty in how being a parent fits into everything else. I like people. I like parents. I think you're doing a fantastic job. The nitty-gritty of what you do with your kids is up to you, although I'm happy to post questions here to get data points of how you could try approaching different stages, because, let's face it, this shit is hard. As for me, I have two kids who sleep through the night and can tie their own shoes. I've been a married SAHM, a married freelance WAHM, a divorcing WOHM, a divorced WOHM, and now a WAHM again. I'm not buying the Mommy Wars and I'll come sit next to you no matter how you're feeding your kid. When in doubt, follow the money trail. And don't believe the hype.
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