13 Month Old Sleep Schedule Tips
You made it through your baby’s first year! Congratulations. Now, you have an increasingly-independent 13 month old and you are realizing that it is time to get a more consistent and effective sleep schedule implemented. But, how do you create a 13 month old sleep schedule?
If you’re at your wits end with your baby’s sleep, you are not alone. Middle of the night wake ups, prolonged bedtimes, or a baby that won’t fall asleep without being held are all too common. However, there is hope. In the article below, we’ll share a few tips you can try that may help you create a 13 month old sleep schedule.
One word of caution: every baby is different. Don’t be upset or discouraged that something that works for others doesn’t work for your baby. You also will likely need to be very patient and consistent when trying a new strategy to create a 13 month old sleep schedule. Don’t expect an instant miracle; be ready to try things a few times before expecting to see results.
Start with an Age-Appropriate Bedtime
Choosing the right bedtime for your baby can make all the difference. Ideally, when you are trying to create a good 13 month old sleep schedule, you will want to put your baby to bed between 5:30 and 7:00. This bedtime has been shown to be the most effective for children of this age.
When babies are put to bed too late, it can lead to them having more trouble falling asleep. It may also cause them to wake up more frequently in the middle of the night. And, you may be surprised to learn that babies who are put to bed later will almost always wake up earlier. Sticking with an appropriate bedtime can go a long way in developing a 13 month old sleep schedule for your baby.
Create a Nap Schedule
Having a consistent nap schedule is also important. Your 13 month old may still be taking two naps each, or they may have dropped down to one nap each day. However, many naps they are taking, try to create a consistent schedule. Look at how many hours each day they are awake, and consider when they start getting cranky, to help you determine what times they should take a nap.
Implement Bedtime Routines
A solid bedtime routine is so important for helping develop a 13 month old sleep schedule. A routine helps your baby learn when and what bedtime is since they will begin to associate the different parts of your routine with getting ready to go to bed.
Your routine will likely look different than another family’s, but you’ll likely share many common elements. Some of the things you can consider adding into your routine include reading a story together, taking a bath, playing a quiet game, singing songs, saying prayers, putting on a clean diaper and changing into pajamas, and so on. The most important thing is to do the same thing every night before bedtime so that your baby starts to learn that it is time to go to sleep.
Eliminate Any Bad Sleep Habits
Unfortunately, helping your baby develop bad sleep habits is easy. As parents of a young baby, we are often quite overwhelmed. We want to do whatever we can to help our babies get some sleep and allow ourselves to get a little rest as well. Because of this, some bad sleep habits are formed.
Some bad habits to look for in your baby are listed below. If you have helped develop these bad habits, it is time to break them. This will help tremendously in developing a 13 month old sleep schedule.
Being Fed to Go to Sleep
While it may have helped you get your fussy three month old to calm down and sleep, now that your baby is 13 months, it is definitely time to break the habit of being fed to go to sleep. Feeding your baby to put them to sleep can cause them to associate sleeping with eating. They may not be able to get to sleep without eating, so you want to break this habit to help them learn how to fall asleep without drinking a bottle or breastfeeding first.
At 13 months, your baby shouldn’t be having a bottle or being breastfed immediately before bed. At this age, they should be eating more and more solid foods and having some milk with their meals. If you would still like to breastfeed your baby or give them some milk before bedtime, consider adding this step to the beginning, not the end, of your bedtime routine.
Being Rocked to Go to Sleep
Rocking your baby to sleep is another bad habit that should be broken. Again, you don’t want your baby to become dependent on being rocked in order to fall asleep. If you have been rocking your baby to sleep, it will likely take some time (and possible sleep training) to help them learn how to fall asleep on their own.
Co-sleeping is another habit that you should break. In addition to not being the safest option, bedsharing may also be contributing to an inconsistent 13 month old sleep schedule for your baby. You are likely disrupting each other’s sleep. If your 13 month old is still sleeping in your bed, consider moving him to his own room where he can sleep safely in a crib.
Try a White Noise Machine
If you have tried some of the tips listed above and your baby is still having trouble sleeping and getting on a good 13 month old sleep schedule, try a white noise machine. A white noise machine can provide a soothing background sound that will drown out other noises that may be keeping your little one awake. You can also look for other sound machine options that play soothing music or sounds from nature, if you prefer.
Keep the Room Comfortable
Consider the temperature of your baby’s room overnight. Babies typically sleep better in cooler rooms, so make sure that you haven’t set your thermostat too high. You can also consider placing a fan in your baby’s room to keep them cool. Just be sure that the fan is not anywhere they will be able to reach it.
Try Sleep Training
Sleep training is another option to help you develop a 13 month old sleep schedule. Sleep training is designed to help your baby learn how to fall asleep independently. It works to remove any bad habits that you may have formed and teach your baby that they can go to sleep without you.
There are many different options when it comes to sleep training. Depending on your comfort level and your baby’s needs and personalities, one option may sound like a better choice for you. Here are a few different sleep training methods for you to consider:
The Ferber Method is designed to limit the amount that your baby cries. Unlike some other methods that may let them cry for long periods of time, you will be checking in on your baby every few minutes. The first night, you’ll put your baby to bed awake (but tired). If they cry, you go back in after three minutes, calm them down, then leave. If they cry again, you go back in after five or so minutes. The amount of time between when you go in the room continues to increase, helping your baby learn how to self-soothe and fall asleep independently. This method is named after Dr. Richard Ferber who developed it.
The Extinction Method is also known as Cry-It-Out. This technique tries to teach your baby to fall asleep independently by letting them cry after they are put down or when they wake up in the middle of the night. The theory behind this method is that eventually they will learn to self-soothe, and that each night you use Extinction, they will cry for shorter periods of time.
With the fading method, you will slowly decrease some of the bad sleep habits you have developed. For example, if you typically rock your baby to get them to go to sleep, each night you will shorten the amount of time you rock them. Then, eventually, you will just be putting them in their crib while they are still awake.
As you can see, there are many different techniques that can help you develop a 13 month old sleep schedule. Remember, since every baby is different, what works for someone else may not work for you. You may need to try a few different tips until you find the right combination for your baby. Also, remember that patience and consistency are key. It is highly unlikely that something will change overnight. You will need to be consistent with implementing the tips you choose in order to find what will work for your little one. Before you know it, you’ll have a 13 month old sleep schedule that works so much better for you and your baby.