Updated: This post has been updated in July 2020 due to the increase in search traffic we’ve seen from parents asking why my one year old won’t sleep through the night. We asked our Facebook community to share their tips for helping a toddler sleep through the night to give some additional information on solutions that parents can try to help a baby sleep restfully. We think our readers will find this info really helpful because the best advice often comes from moms who have been there and found a solution that works for their family.
If your one year old won’t sleep through the night — we are here to help! We have been there and helping your baby sleep through the night is a goal that we are going to try to help you reach!
Every parent has an idea of what might work, so we joined all of those ideas together for you! I’m sure that you will find something that can work for you & your family.
When Your One Year Old Won’t Sleep Through The Night
- Move bedtime UP. Yes, it is crazy, I know, but try it. Sometimes kids are overtired and they tend to have a harder time going to sleep and staying asleep. Give it a full week of trying this. Even just 30 minutes sooner could be all that you need.
- Try feeding them a banana before bed! It can help them sleep. Try it!
- Or mix it with oatmeal: a warm snack, like banana oatmeal, before bed, is always a good trick.
- Start the bedtime routine sooner, but read a little longer. Have more “relaxing” time before bed might be all that you need to calm your child down enough to fall asleep.
- Is your baby still taking a bottle? Try Dream-feeding your baby. This is where you will put a bottle to their lips, as you cuddle them. Let them drink, half-asleep, and then lay them back down gently when they are done. You have’t fully woken them, but you have filled their little tummies and have switched the time of their REM sleep just a bit. (Do not leave the bottle in the room, for safety reasons).
- Have a nightly routine: bath time, lavender lotion, snack, bottle or a warm cup of milk, then bed.
- If your pediatrician gives the OK (after 12 months), you may want to switch to water when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, instead of milk. Many babies dislike this and will start sleeping through the night, as there is not quite the desire to wake up if you are just getting water.
- You could even try just snuggling or giving a little hug, instead of offering anything to drink (if you are offering a bottle).
- “It is perfectly normal for a child to wake during the night… all in all, you are blessed. Enjoy your baby.” ~Renee Redekop
- Do the opposite of #1 and try putting them to bed 30 minutes later, if they have a very early bedtime. I always tend to try the earlier bedtime first, as I think that being overtired leads to difficulty falling asleep and sleeping, but if this doesn’t work, try the opposite. (7:00 – 7:30 is a good bedtime to aim for at this age, depending on how early they wake up.)
- Is she trying to walk or do something new? Remember that this almost always causes sleep disturbances. She may be burning more calories throughout the day, or wanting to stay up and ‘practice’ the new skill.
- Add an extra feeding in the evening or late afternoon.
- Be sure that it isn’t your child’s ears that are bothering them. Ear pain typically hurts more when the child is lying down, so many kids will start to wake up if they have an ear infection or if they are teething.
- Cut back on nap time. If your child naps for two hours, cut it back to 90 minutes or even just an hour.
- Add more outdoor playtime during the day. Kick the ball around, go on a scavenger hunt, play on a trampoline… whatever it is, let them burn that energy during the day, so they are ready for bed at night.
- Wait to see if she goes back to bed after she wakes up. Give her 5 minutes or so. Many babies wake just a bit as they move into REM sleep.
- Remember that it could be a growth spurt and it will pass.
- Babies rarely need nighttime feedings at this age. It may be out of habit. Try reducing the bottle by an ounce a day (perhaps even replacing with water, after checking with your doctor).
- Try a night light. It is around this age that they start to notice how dark their room really looks.
- Remember that this will end, soon enough. “Our job as parents isn’t to make them adults as soon as possible, but to help them grow and thrive. This, too, shall pass. Take turns with dad, if you can, getting up with her. Hang in there!” ~ Erin Rutledge
Check out the Coos to Snooze ecourse – it is a brilliant system designed to get your baby sleeping and what’s more, if it doesn’t get your baby to sleep, you get your money back.
All in all, every child is different, as is every parent. There are so many great ideas, from parents who have tried them, but you will need to find what is best for you and your child. If the waking doesn’t bother you, maybe you can think of it as your one-on-one time.
If you are ready to sleep through the night, try out some of these suggestions and see what works. We’d love for you to share your experiences with our Facebook community to help other parents who have a 1 year still not sleeping through the night.