The 12 month sleep regression can hit hard. Often times it seems your almost toddler is ready to drop a nap, but stay strong! It's way too soon to move to one nap a day.
What's this sleep regression all about?
At 12 months old your baby is making huge developmental leaps. Almost a toddler, your little one is learning how to walk, becoming much more active and mobile, and beginning to develop their vocabulary. Your baby can typically communicate with gestures, focus on stories and songs, begin to show some independence and decision making skills, and start to understand simple instructions.
Additionally at this time, separation anxiety can set in, which hugely impacts sleep. Add in cutting their first set of molars and you have one doozy of a 12 month sleep regression.
Signs of the 12 month sleep regression
Increased night wakings
Increased clinginess, crying and crankiness
At 12 months your baby might show signs that they're ready to drop a nap, but don't be fooled! It's very rare to drop to 1 nap at this age. Most toddlers aren't ready to drop to 1 nap until 15-18 months. Continue offering 2 naps through this sleep regression and move bedtime earlier if your child gets less than 2 hrs of daytime sleep.
There's no fooling around with this regression and it hit our household hard. Usually lasting 2-6 weeks, it lasted a solid 6 for us and came 2 weeks early (my son's always been on the early side of regressions).
How to survive the 12 month regression
Offer tons of opportunities to practice new physical and mental skills during the day.
Allow baby to make simple decisions such as picking out a toy to play with or picking what shirt to wear.
Have your almost toddler help with simple tasks like putting something away, picking something up, closing a cabinet door, etc.
Provide lots of reassurance and snuggles when they're awake!
Lengthen the nap time or bedtime routine to help ease the anxiety of being alone and away from you.
As will all other sleep regressions, the key to surviving is to remain consistent! Try your best to not introduce any new sleep associations. If baby is sleep trained, use your sleep training method for any periods when baby should be sleeping. Be compassionate and patient.
This regression will soon pass just like all other regressions.