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Thread: Overnight Sleeping for 12 mth olds

  1. #1

    Default Overnight Sleeping for 12 mth olds

    My DH and I were talking this evening about what was a reasonable expectation for our DS to sleep overnight. He is 12 mths and hasn't been a great sleeper. Some nights he can go long periods without waking and other nights he is up a number of times or awake for hours. There is no set pattern yet and he is 12 mths.

    So I was wondering how the "average" (not the great sleepers) 12mth sleeps overnight. How many times do they wake and how often would you have to go in to them and help them re-settle.

    I just want to make sure we don't expect too much of him and we aren't comparing ourselves with "good" sleepers which is unrealistic. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Sunny Qld


    Hands up here for crappy sleeper!!!!

    DS is 17 months old and its not uncommon for him to wake several times a night. Thankfully, he resettles pretty quick (like 15 mins) when we give him back his dummy and pat his back.

    He is much worse when teething, which is what he is doing at the moment, and if he is generally unwell, he can wake up for several hours (the last stint he did he was awake from 3am to 5.30am). Thankfully that is a rarity!!

    I would say, on average, he wakes at least 3 - 4 times a night, and always has. I can count on one hand the times he has actually slept through the night. He did it the other night when I put a cloth nappy on him - but I think that was just a coincidence....

    Does this information help you or make you more depressed because mine is older!!! lol

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    In the middle of nowhere


    I'll be honest. At 2 I still get up to Darcy sometimes 3 times overnight. Sometimes less, sometimes none, but usually at least once.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    NSW Central Coast


    Yep I've got another waker here too. She's 14mths old. The other night I was up at least 6 times, probably more I try not to count how many times I'm up on nights like that anymore cause it makes me feel more tired, LOL. Last night it was two. So for us anywhere between 1-6 times is normal. Usually its 2-3 times. She usually has a bottle once or twice, only a small one, about 120mls. Other than that I have to rock her for anywhere between 5-20mins. There's not too many midnight parties, but they do happen and they usually last 1-2hrs. I dread having 2 to get up to, especially a newborn who will probably feed every 2 hrs or so....I feel like I'm never gonna sleep more than 2hrs in a row again!!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    ...not far enough away :)


    "hands up over here" yep I've another not so good sleeper. Prob my biggest beef with Charlie who is 14months old is he in not CONSISTENT aaggghhhh! I would like to be able to go out & know he'll sleep great where ever we are, of if we have a late night it doesn't matter he'll sleep great til certain time of the morn - but nope not this little boy.
    When teething it's terrible, up every couple hours, usually wanting a feed. Some nights will just suprise us & sleep through. Others cries out a few times, but settles himself. But mostly he wakes for a bottle either once or twice. If he wakes early then he'll want another but if he wakes later then that's the only feed. But I'll give him one thing, doesn't usually wake too early as he's had a feed or 2 - so I'm all for that. So that's my novel LOL. Don't know if that helps but it's nice to know you are not the only one. You'll only hear about the good ones as the rest of us can't be bothered explaining our situation.
    In my experience being part of a mums group where each mum has a couple kids there is always a not so good sleeper, it may be your first it may not. Those of us who get one first a much better off next time round I think, we don't have high expectaions. I had approx only 5hrs sleep last night & still got up & had to stock take all day today but I don't complain...I have a nice coffee & get on with my day as he's my awesome little man & he's not stupid he'll figure it out one day - I hope

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    I'm not sure where I got this from... But I think a lot of Attachment Parents say about 3 years old is a reasonable age to expect them to sleep through on their own? Of course every kid is different, so you never know. Could be sooner for you.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Getting to know Brisbane all over again


    Don't feel bad, there are so many parents out there with non-sleepers but we don't talk about it because everyone expects kids to be sleeping through. If you read the No Cry Sleep Solution it states that it is PERFECTLY NORMAL for young children to wake several times a night! Apparently 5hrs is "sleeping through" according to the experts.

    My DD wakes at least 2-5 times a night (8pm-8am) however last night she only woke once! she is 15mths old. My DS would come into our bed 2-3 times a week until he was about 4yo now we rarely see him before 6:30am. There is hope! Hang in there and remember 1 yo is such a tiny mark on a lifespan of 80+ yrs, they are still so tiny and learning so much including how to sleep. 3 yrs from now you won't remember how tired you were but you will remember those quite late night snuggles that are so precious

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Mornington Peninsula, Vic


    yep, once or twice a night here and Rylee is 21 months - wakes about 2 am and comes into bed with us. I was talking to a psychologist a while ago and she said up to 4 years of disruptive sleeping was reasonable to expect for a child......mmmmmm. The last time Rylee slept through was the night before my birthday (21 Jan) couldn't tell you the time before that. I get fed up of trying to figure out what the problem is and now just put a smile on my face and go with the flow. For a long time it really stressed me out so I think it became a viscious (sp?) circle for us - me stressed = baby stressed. After hearing about what some teenagers get up to these days, I think this time of Rylee's life will be the easiest for me

    Laurin x

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2005


    Well, DD has always been a good night sleeper - rarely had to get up in the night for her.
    DS on the otherhand, was brilliant as a NB. He would go down at 8pm and wake at 6am for a Feed and then at 8am to get up. Now however at 8mths, I have to get up at least 2 or 3 times after 12pm (sometimes once or twice before 12pm) and will wake up at 6 and refuse to go back down! I am in a perpetual state of sleep exhaustion. I have no idea what he will be like at 12 mths, but I am keeping my expectations low.

  10. #10


    misty - my DS was the same - from about 8 weeks to about 18 weeks we got nice night sleeps from about 8pm to 6am - MAYBE 1 wake up inthe middle. that all chgd and now we get up about twice b/n 11 and 6 and sometimes also settle before 11. he feeds 2 times per night after he goes to bed...
    hmmmm maybe it is the canberra weather (i also live in canberra!!) LOL!!!
    the last few weeks he seems to have dropped 1 night feed and the last 2 nights has slept til 5am and 3am with no settles or feeds so MAYBE he is on the improve...
    I try not to worry about it, and just go witht he flow - in the whole scheme of life i guess it is OK LOL!

  11. #11
    cate0404 Guest


    My now nine year old slept through at 9 weeks then I had my now eight year old who slept through at four years, then I had my now 3 year old who still wakes through the night ( only once at around 2am) then I had my now 2 year old who goes to bed at 7pm and sleeps until 7.30am. I also live in canberra, I bought some small electric heaters (the bar type) and I leave it on low all night in all the kids rooms, this seems to have helped in the winter months. I think it depends on the child and it seems to flow through to when their older too, my nine year old is a terror to wake in the morning but my eight year old gets up as soon as I say to.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    In the Angelic Realm


    Wrecked sleep, no sleep is so like Chinese torture. My son, now 5 still has difficulty sleeping. My daughter, 10 months wakes at least twice a night and wants a bottle and then falls back to sleep. It's worse when she's teething.
    My DH doesn't like sleeping so i think both kids take after him whereas i could sleep standing up anywhere, anytime!
    They both wake at 6am as if they need to go to work!
    I guess each child is different.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Gold Coast, Queensland


    DD is almost 13 months. She slept well from about 4 weeks - 8 months. With that I mean waking 1-2 times a night for a feed and going straight back to sleep on the boob (we co-slept full-time for the first 6 months and co-slept after her first night feed from 6-12 months). However, from 8 months on, after the first 2 teeth had popped out, things went progressively worse. Around the time of her birthday, I was at the end of my tether as she had taken to waking every 45-90 minutes. And sometimes around 4 am, she would have real troubles going back to sleep. At tother times, shed fall asleep on the breast quite easily. But I wasn't prepared to feed her up to 10 times a night anymore.
    So we gently made some changes. Like cutting down to only one day sleep, and trying to settle without the breast (DH had to help there, mainly on the weekends, though) at most times (I had made a rule that she doesn't get fed before 12 and then not again until 4:30am). It has been 3 weeks roughly and we have had some great nights where she slept from 7-6 (and then with me for another couple of hours) and only woke up once around 2 for a quick feed. Other nights (like last night) she still wakes up every hour or 2, but generally settles quickly without the breast. Around the time we made those changes, she started to be able to be settled in her cot (rather than me having to rock or feed or lie with her until she was asleep and then transferring her). I believe that has made thing easier.

    Every baby is different, but I do get the impression that most babies have rotten sleep patterns around the 12 month mark.

    My friend, who has done CIO or CC with her DS from the beginning had a very good sleeper on her hands, sleeping through from 6-5 since three months. But around his first birthday, she told me that he woke up lots of times. And because he wasn't breastfeeding and also wasn't used to being rocked, she had real troubles getting him back to sleep.

    See if changing his day sleeps helps. Or if you give him more stimulation (playgrounds, etc.) during the day, he might be more tired at night. You could also see if it might be time to make minor changes or adjustments to his bed time routine. But, the main advice I can give you is: don't focus on his sleeping. Try and roll with the punches. If you get frustrated by his bad sleeping habits, he might pick up on it. And the last thing you want is him developing anxieties around bed time.

    All the best, Sasa

  14. #14


    Hi Lana
    I found with DD that from about 9-10months i cut out 1 day sleep.
    So now she has only 1 sleep during the day and she is in bed by 7pm and sleeps solidly for 12 hours. I found only letting her have 1 sleep in daytime made a big difference to her nighttime sleep.
    Yes she at times is grumpy towards the late afternoon but i would rather that than a bads night sleep.

    In saying that everynow and then she will wake a number of time through the night - either nightmares, cant find dummy, sick, loud noises etc but for the most part - a good sleeper.

    Do you have much of a routine for bedtime at night. We have a strict routine of :
    Dad comes home, play outside, have dinner, bath, milk and bed.
    It has worked wonders for us since we introduced it so she knew it was night time sleep and not day time naps.

    Also we keep the room dark. No nightlight so if she wakes she cant see anyone or anything and goes back to sleep

  15. #15


    Thanks for all your replies.

    We have been to sleep school so have a bedtime routine, have cut out the over night feeding and have been working on self settling strategies for a while now. Hence my husband's frustration at his still frequent waking (it varies we have good nights and bad nights). This started the original discussion as I think DH thinks by 12 mths DS should be able to be put down at 7pm and sleep until 7am and we don't hear from him again. So I wanted to get a picture of how the "average/normal" 12 mth sleeps so I can say it is normal for them to still wake a few times a night. Even normal babies do it this is not just because he is a "bad" sleeper, it is normal and will just take time to settle.

    It is hard as we are thinking about the timing for baby number 2 and getting up to DS and a newborn isn't all that appealing right now. I know people do and I take my hat off to these people as it has been hard enough with one!

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    J as sleeping through the night from 6 weeks until it went pair shaped at 7 months. At 12 months he would have been waking a few times in the night. And sometimes just once - but not going back to sleep.

    T was a shocking sleeper day and night for about 4 months, then was waking once or twice overnight until a couple of weeks after turning 1. Now he sleeps through nearly every night, if he does wake he usually just wants a cup of water (and this is pretty rare).

    So for my boys they were two extremes, no real average at all. And interestingly that the one that started off as a great sleeper is now not so great, and the one that started off as a shocking sleeper has become a great sleeper! Maybe that will happen for you!

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