How to Get Your 1-Year-Old to Stay Sleeping

By Nakia Jackson
sleeping baby image by Maya Kruchancova from Fotolia.com

Lots of parents wonder when their one-year-old will begin sleeping through the night. The truth is that many adults don't actually sleep eight uninterrupted hours per night. Adults minimize night-waking during the time scheduled for sleep. At one year, a child is at the cusp of infancy and toddler-hood, so while a one-year-old is sleeping less than he was six months ago, he still may need help with minimizing wakeful periods during the night. Sleeping through the night is a milestone of development that every child reaches when they are ready.

Write down the times your one-year-old is put down for night-time sleeping and naps, the time it takes for him to fall asleep, the times he awakes in the morning and from naps and whether the waking was initiated by the one-year-old or someone else.

Calculate the total nap time. Calculate the total night sleeping time. Calculate the time elapsed between awaking from his last nap and bedtime, and the time between the last nap and the one-year-old falling asleep naturally. One-year-olds need approximately 10 to 13 hours of sleep, including 1 to 3 hours of nap time. If your one-year-old is sleeping less than 10 hours total, choose an earlier bedtime or add one naptime. If your one-year-old is sleeping more than 13 hours total, choose a later bedtime or substitute or shorten a nap.

Choose a bedtime that allows adequate sleep for your one-year-old, is a quiet time for your household and is a time you can spare 10 to 30 minutes to prepare your child for bed.

Eliminate night-time discomforts. If your one-year-old is teething, ask your doctor about remedies that can be offered near bedtime. Offer a light snack 1 to 2 hours before bedtime and make sure your one-year-old goes to bed with a dry diaper.

Establish a bedtime routine. A bedtime routine can include a bath, story, massage or any activity that is soothing to your one-year-old and is something you can do every night.

When your one-year-old wakes up in the night soothe him promptly and quietly. Movements like rocking or walking, nursing or sucking on a pacifier, and soothing touch can all help soothe a one-year-old back to sleep. Put the one-year-old back down when he is nearly asleep. The sleep interruptions will be minimized for your one-year-old and he will become accustomed to falling back to sleep quickly.

About the Author

Nakia Jackson has written for online publications since 2006, including columns for Sadie Magazine, Naseeb and Muslim Wake Up!. She has written on religion and beauty, crafts and music. Jackson's expertise stems from personal experience and her years at Berklee College of Music, pursuing a Bachelor of Music.