16 Month Old Sleep Schedule Tips
Is getting your 16 month old to sleep a challenge? Do they need to be held to get them to sleep? Or, are they waking up too many times overnight? If so, it may be time to make some changes to help create the right 16 month old sleep schedule for your family.
When creating your 16 month old sleep schedule, keep in mind that each baby is unique and doesn’t have the same needs as every other baby. So, if your friend’s 16 month old baby is on one schedule, the schedule that works best for your baby may look different.
As you work to create a schedule, you will also need to give the changes you make sufficient time before expecting to see results; it is very unlikely that something will instantly transform your baby’s sleep.
You will likely try ideas that do not work for your baby even after giving them time. Be willing to experiment with our suggestions and you should begin to notice improvements.
Don’t try to implement all the tips at once; choose a few that you think will work best for your baby, and start with those. Hopefully, the suggestions we offer will help you come up with a schedule that will work for your little one.
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Undo Bad Sleep Habits
Getting your baby to sleep is often all about survival, so it is quite possible that you have contributed towards them developing some bad habits along the way. Perhaps, you’ve been rocking them to sleep because they would cry every time they were placed in their crib.
Maybe, your 16 month old is still waking you up for a bottle or to breastfeed one or more times each night. Whatever bad habits may have been developed over the past few months, now if the time to break them.
Sleep training is often used to break bad sleep habits that have been developed and help create a 16 month old sleep schedule.
here are many different options to consider if you are thinking about trying to sleep train your 16 month old. Choose a method that you feel comfortable with and that you think will have a positive impact on your baby’s sleep.
This is another strategy you can use when planning a 16 month old sleep schedule. With the Ferber Method, you put your baby down in their crib when they are tired, but still awake. Then, you leave the room.
If they begin to cry, you go back into check on them after about 3 minutes. After checking on them, go back out of their room. If you hear them cry a second time, you can go back in after another 5 minutes has passed. You continue this, increasing the amount of time you are out of the room each time, until your baby is able to get to sleep.
The Extinction Method is also known as “Cry-It-Out.” As the name may suggest, this option involves letting your baby cry-it-out. After completing your bedtime routine, you will put them down in their crib while they are tired and still awake.
Then, you will leave the room. If they cry, you let them continue to cry. Eventually, they should be able to calm themselves down and get to sleep. People who recommend using this method say that babies learn how to self-soothe more quickly.
Often, when you use cry-it-out, your baby will only cry for an extended period of time for a few nights, and then will become more independent at getting to sleep on their own within a few minutes of being put in their bed. Getting your baby to be a more independent sleeper will definitely help with creating a 16 month old sleep schedule.
A third option to consider when you are making your baby’s 16 month old sleep schedule is the Chair Method.
If you choose to try this idea, you will place a chair right next to the crib. After you have them all ready for bed, put them in their crib, turn off the lights, and sit in the chair next to their crib. You are only there so they don’t feel alone; do not to hold your baby or talk to them.
Stay in the room until they go to sleep, and then quietly leave. Continue this each night, but move the chair a little closer to the door each time. Once the chair is outside the door, you should be able to leave your child in their room after you place them in their crib.
Get the Room Ready for Sleep
It should make sense that if a baby is going to sleep well that you need to have their room set up so that it is conducive to sleep. A quiet and dark space can help your baby get to sleep more easily. If you don’t already have room darkening curtains, consider purchasing a set.
They will help make the room darker and help your baby sleep better even when there is still sunlight. Room darkening curtains can also be helpful in getting your baby to sleep in a little longer in the morning too, since they will be blocking the morning sun.
You can also consider buying a sound machine to put in your baby’s room. Sound machines can be set to produce nature sounds, soothing melodies, or white noise. These sounds can help your baby sleep and can drown out other noises in your home that may be impacting their sleep.
Finally, many babies are able to go to sleep or stay asleep more easily when their room is cooler. Consider turning down your thermostat a few degrees at night or turning on a fan. These suggestions can help you develop a 16 month old sleep schedule that will help for your little one.
Schedule Playdates and Plenty of Activity Each Day
Helping to ensure that your baby gets enough activity each day is important as well. Schedule playdates, give your baby time to run around and play outside, and find time to play together.
Keeping your baby active will help her get out her energy during the day. It will help her to be ready to take her naps, and will make falling asleep at bedtime easier as well. When these two things happen, it will in turn help you to develop a 16 month old sleep schedule that works.
Develop and Maintain Routines
Finally, when you are thinking about setting up a 16 month old sleep schedule, routines are critical. Consistent routines assist your baby in learning the appropriate times for sleeping. They start to learn their bedtime routine, so it can help prepare them for getting ready to go to sleep.
There are many different things you can incorporate into your routine. A bedtime routine will look different for different families, so be sure to pick what works for your family. The most important thing to remember is to be consistent.
Follow the same routine for bedtime every evening. If you aren’t consistent with it, your baby won’t learn to associate the pieces of your routine with getting ready to sleep.
What to Include in Sleep Routine
- Quiet playtime
As you are getting closer to bedtime, let your baby enjoy some quiet playtime. Remove any electronic toys that are more likely to overstimulate her and give her a few quiet toys. Sit on the floor together and encourage her to play in one area rather than running all around.
- Dimming the lights
Dimming the lights a little before bedtime can also work to help your baby calm down and get prepared to sleep.
- Bath time
Bath time is a part of many bedtime routines. In addition to cleaning up your baby, a warm bath can help them get relaxed and ready for bed.
Reading a story together can be an important part of a bedtime routine. It allows you and your baby to bond, lets them hear language patterns and new vocabulary, and can help them wind down and get ready for bed.
- Tucking stuffed animals in
As your baby is getting older now, you might be able to help them get ready for bed by having them help you put their stuffed animals to bed. Make it a part of your routine to tuck some of their favorite stuffed animals into their “beds.” You could use something like a shoebox as a stand-in for a stuffed animal bed.
A few small changes can have a big impact in helping you develop a 16 month old sleep schedule. Remember to be patient and consistent as you try some of the suggestions offered in this article.