Just when you’re excited about your little one’s first birthday, you come face to face with sleepless nights and a fussy attitude from your toddler.
We all know how difficult it is to get your young toddler on to a good sleeping schedule and just when you think you’ve finally figured it out, the 11-month sleep regressions hit you like a truck! Ouch! Those late-night crying sessions sure hurt, but you might be wondering, what caused this abrupt change.
At 10 to 12 months of age, most toddlers experience some form of sleep regression, but this is not set in stone. The 11-month sleep regression can appear in the form of a bad mood, fighting naps, and resisting bedtime.
What Is Sleep Regression And What Causes It In An 11-Month Old?
You might be wondering what exactly a sleep regression is. Sleep regressions are brief periods when your child experiences major changes in sleep cycles, resulting in sleep disruptions.
These sleep regressions occur multiple times in the first few years of life for some babies. The 11-month sleep regression occurs due to the physiological and neurological changes going on inside your little one’s body.
Signs Of The 11-Month Sleep Regression
Your toddler might experience crankiness and have trouble falling asleep. You might notice that they are not sleeping at night or get up every 2 hours or so.
Some babies tend to skip their morning nap, which in turn makes them crankier and fussier, while some of these babies sleep in the day but have trouble staying asleep and eventually get less than the amount of daytime sleep they are used to.
Don’t worry, these sleep regressions are mostly temporary and can be handled with patience and consistency. Here are some reasons why your little one might be experiencing the 11-month sleep regression.
Why Does The 11-month Sleep Regression Occur?
As your little one grows and makes their way out of infancy, major changes take place inside their mind and body. These changes might leave your child drained. A massive change in routine or teething might also cause sleep regression in babies. Here are some reasons why your 11-month-old might be experiencing sleep regression:
While your little munchkin makes their way out of babyhood, they might start standing on their own and even walking. This new development and stimulation keep your little one excited throughout the day and even at night. They might want to perfect their skills at bedtime.
Achieving Developmental Milestones
We all love to hear our babies talk and they sure love to practice their speaking skills, but your child might want to sharpen their newly attained skills, especially at night.
As your child grows, they slowly gain familiarity with the idea of object permanence, which refers to the concept that you exist even when you’re out of their sight. This makes them anxious the moment you leave the frame.
Your child might resist sleeping and end up with shorter naps during the daytime eventually skipping them altogether. This transition from two naps to one might play a role in sleep regression.
With little teeth on their way, your child might feel a bit uneasy and tooth eruption isn’t that soothing. This might keep them up at night, which would eventually result in sleep regression.
Any underlying condition or illness might cause the 11-month sleep regression, so make sure you visit a pediatrician if you have concerns.
How Long Does The 11-Month Sleep Regression Last?
Typically, these sleep regressions last for 2-4 weeks, and many parents tend to let their kids be during this time and prefer to start sleep training afterward.
For some children, it might last for just a few days, for some others more than a month. These are physiological regressions, and there is no need to worry if there are no red flags such as loud breathing or snoring.
This might end up affecting their mood, so make sure to stay calm and expect a cranky baby! Some children also experience feeding issues that might affect their nutrition.
Why Is My 11-Month-Old Waking Up At Night And Crying?
With all of the aforementioned reasons at play, your child might be suddenly up at night, crying. For most babies, it is due to separation anxiety or anything that triggers it as well as exhaustion, and with crying the only way of communicating distress, your child might end up crying all night long to get your attention.
Other reasons that might be worsening sleep regression in your 11-month-old include:
Waking Up Too Early In The Morning
Your child might end up shortening their nap time eventually waking up early in the morning. This makes your 11-month-old fussy throughout the day.
With crying sessions occurring every hour or so, it’s not easy to get the adequate amount of sleep your baby needs. This worsens the sleep regression already at play.
Hunger Or Teething
Hunger might also cause your little one to be up at night crying hysterically. Teething might also trigger late-night wakings. Make sure you feed them well before bedtime.
If you feel that your baby wakes up every hour or so at night and has been a bit off for a couple of days, try to reach out to a doctor. It is important to rule out any underlying illness.
What Do I Need To Know About 11-Month-Olds Having Sleep Regressions?
The 11-month sleep regression is not as common among babies, unlike other regressions, and should be treated as a temporary change lasting for no more than a month.
If your 11-month-old is facing sleep regression, do not worry, as it is completely normal for babies to experience this change during the first few months of life.
As your baby grows and aproaches their first birthday, their mind undergoes some major changes such as fine motor skills and communication. All these changes lead to stimulation, eventually keeping your little one up at night sharpening these new skills.
During the 11-month sleep regression period, your child might resist sleeping because as these little ones grow, they attain independence, which makes them more excited about places they could crawl to and things they can explore. If they do not get to do that during the daytime, they might end up staying up all night.
The 11-month sleep regression for most babies lasts for 2-4 weeks, but for many babies, these might last longer which is completely fine. Try to work on your child’s sleeping habits and make sure to sleep-train them.
How Do I Know If My Baby Is Having A Sleep Regression?
Most sleep regressions coincide well with developmental milestones as your child achieves them. Any new skill at hand might keep them up all night. So while your baby’s taking their first steps, try to keep an eye out for these sleep regressions.
Some signs that you might look out for, if you suspect that your little one is going through the 11-month sleep regression, include mood changes such as cranky attitude, disrupted nighttime sleep, decrease in appetite, crying in the middle of the night, and restless sleeping. They might even take short naps throughout the day.
You might also notice separation anxiety as your little one tries to cling to you when it’s bedtime. Your little one might resist sleeping and ends up fighting bedtime.
How To Deal With The 11-Month Sleep Regression?
Make sure that there is no other issue going on with your baby’s health that might be disrupting their sleep. Consult a doctor if you notice loud breathing, snoring, or shrill crying in the middle of the night.
Look For Warning Signs
If there are no teething or warning signs, and your child’s sleep cycle is suddenly going rogue then they might be going through an sleep regression.
Sleep Training To Help Them Fall Asleep
You might adopt a sleep training method different from the one you were following but be consistent! You can sleep train your child by introducing a consistent bedtime routine, setting a sleep schedule, and making sure that you do not respond to or reward crying. Cry-it-out method might help your child learn that it is bedtime and throwing a tantrum won’t let them skip it.
Try to give your child the positive sleep environment they need to condition them to sleep. A well-sought bedtime routine might help you manage this part.
Sleep cues such as singing a lullaby or reading a story before bedtime would give your little one the idea that it is bedtime.
The ambiance is key when it comes to an ideal sleeping environment, so make sure their room’s lights are dim and there’s no noise. A night light might help comfort your child if they wake up in the middle of the night.
Break Negative Sleep Associations
Try to break negative sleep associations. Rocking the baby when they are about to sleep might end up becoming a bad habit. Practice sleeping skills that induce independence and help your child sleep on their own. Sleep training helps babies gain positive sleeping skills, helping them get an inch closer to independent sleeping.
Keep Track Of Morning Naps
Keep track of how many naps your child takes throughout the day. A slow nap transition from two naps to one nap per day might help you manage the sleep disruption. But make sure your child gets enough time to enjoy their new skills throughout the day so they can have a good night’s sleep!
To make sure your baby has a good night’s sleep, try to set a nap schedule in such a manner that the shortest wake windows are nearer to the morning nap, and the longest wake window goes just before bedtime.
While your child is busy achieving milestones, make sure they practice their new skills in the daytime without getting too tired. An afternoon nap might help these children get rid of their tiredness but try to increase the wake windows between each nap.
Plan out a sleep schedule and be consistent with it. Make sure it’s flexible according to the child’s needs but sticking to a sleeping schedule might make this phase much easier for your little one.
What Is The Best Bedtime For 11-Month-Olds?
With all of that in mind, you might be concerned about the best sleeping practices for your little one, well we’ve got you covered! Here are some tips that might help you.
While most babies require 11-12 hours of sound sleep at night, an additional 2-3 hours of daytime sleep is essential. The best bedtime for your little one could be around 6-8 p.m. and try to be strict about this time. A consistent bedtime is a recipe for good sleep.
If your toddler sleeps at 8 pm, try to shift it a bit earlier, as the earlier bedtime might help you deal with early morning wakings or late-night sleep regressions.
Moreover, awake times between each nap throughout the day should last for 2-3 hours. Try to avoid night feeding as much as you can, and if you are concerned about your baby’s health, consult a pediatrician about this.
Why Is My Baby Waking Up Every 2 Hours At Night?
There could be a handful of reasons why your little one is crying at night. It could be due to hunger or teething. Sleep regression is common in this age, and hence could be a possibility. If your baby wakes up at night, try to check up on them and see if they are comfortable. Feed them if they are hungry and make their crib comfortable as well.
Sleep regressions are temporary disruptions in sleep, which tend to ramp up their fussy attitude. They occur multiple times throughout the early years of life. As the baby develops, major neurological and physiological changes occur in the body, which might end up in sleep regression.
Sleep regression in your 11-month-old might be due to separation anxiety, developmental leaps, teething, or nap transitions. During the 11-month sleep regression, babies struggle to fall asleep during nighttime and take shorter or fewer naps throughout the day.
Some children have milder sleep issues, but it is totally normal if your child is going through a sleep regression even if you’ve sleep trained them. Try to be supportive during this time and practice good sleeping skills, as these can make all the difference in the future.