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What to expect at 1 year: sleep tips

What to expect at 1 year: sleep tips

It’s almost baby’s first birthday — congratulations! 

You’ve made it through 12 months of teething, crawling, drooling, diaper changes and irresistible giggles … but now what?

The one-year mark comes with a lot of developmental changes, and that means changing sleep habits, too. 

By preparing in advance, you can get a handle on upcoming sleep stages and make sure you’re ready to help your soon-to-be toddler thrive.

Celebrate their birthday with some sleep!

The gently weighted Zen Sack™ helps babies sleep better and longer.

Babies sleep better and longer in the Zen Sack - size 15 to 24 months  Shop Zen Sack

Understanding sleep from 12 to 18 months

Welcome to an era of increased independence. 

Most babies at this age are eager to get moving. Your baby may be walking already or at least getting close. It’s time to try: 

  • Introducing new foods
  • Ramping up the baby babble
  • Tackling small, everyday tasks like drinking from a cup 
  • Mastering the fine art of peek-a-boo

Still, with all those positive milestones come a few possible sleep issues.

  1. As babies test their independence, they’re also learning that Mom and Dad can leave, leading to separation anxiety. 
  2. This is also the time when kids realize that midnight wakeups mean more attention. 
  3. Naps are evolving as well, and this trifecta can turn formerly perfect sleep schedules into total disarray—sometimes it even leads to a sleep regression, which are pretty common at 12- and 18-months-old.

Adjusting baby’s sleep schedule

What was working before your baby’s first birthday might not work now. 

Though you ideally put together your baby’s sleep routine when he or she was just five or six weeks old, things have changed a lot since then. 

  • Babies in the 12-to-18-months range need about 14 hours of sleep total
  • Eleven of those hours are usually at night with the other three coming in the form of one or two naps
  • Your child may already be ditching the second nap, consolidating daytime rest into one longer stretch

The most important thing is to stay consistent, and adapt when necessary. 

  • Put your baby down for naps and bed at the same time every day
  • Look for cues that baby is getting tired and adjust your schedule accordingly
  • Watch for signs it’s time to drop a nap—if the morning nap turns into playtime, that may be a sign that it’ll be afternoon naps only from here on out
  • With the second nap kaput, adjust wake-up times and bedtimes slightly to ensure baby isn’t going down for a nap too late in the day or getting overtired because there’s too long of a stretch between waking up and naptime.

Suiting up for a good night’s sleep

Once your little one hits the one-year mark, the womb-like security of a sack or swaddle is no longer needed. 

Instead, it’s time to transition to next-level sleepwear. 

  • The 15-12 month Zen Sack combines the gently weighted security you know and love with front-to-back versatility perfect for tummy sleepers 
  • The Zen Footie looks like an adorable pair of PJs, but look beyond the cute chick pattern and you’ll discover pajamas that work on active sleepers and can be worn in bed, in the car, and in strollers and swings, too.

Bonus Tip: Don’t wait until the next sleep stage is upon you before reading up and getting prepared. Changes happen faster than you can imagine. 

Stock up on Nested Bean sleepwear and have a plan in place before it’s go time. Your baby, your brain and your body will thank you.

Aliste Williams

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