14-15 month old sleep. Developmental leap? Teething? Nap transition?

(7 Posts)
Sandrine1982 Mon 16-Nov-20 15:45:24


I'm so exhausted and depressed about my DD's sleep. She's never been a great sleeper but we managed to get to an acceptable place around 12 months - that's when she started sleeping long stretches - which coincided with the time she started walking properly and attending nursery.

Now she's almost 15 months and for about a week her sleep has been terrible. She will do an initial stretch of 7-8 hours but after her first wake-up (between 3am and 5am) she starts crying, tossing and turning, etc, and is very difficult to settle. Then when we get up she's too tired for nursery sad

- Is she transitioning to one nap? At nursery they transitioned her to one nap last week because she was refusing the second nap, so they now only give her one nap at lunchtime. That nap is quite long, usually around 1.5h or even 2h.

- Could it be teething? She's due to get her first molars but I can't see them yet. However she does seem to be touching her mouth a lot when she wakes up crying

- Is it a developmental leap? She's going through Leap 9 right now and we've been noticing a lot of new words, babbling, reactions, tantrums, etc.

Anyway I'm just after some reassurance that I'm not alone and that we'll get back to sleeping well.


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Sandrine1982 Tue 17-Nov-20 10:02:00

Arrrghhh, another wake-up at 4:30 and difficult to settle afterwards.

Anyone got any advice?

OP’s posts: |
Abouttimemum Tue 17-Nov-20 13:14:42

DS 20 months dropped to one nap at 15 months. But he was being fussy at bedtime rather than overnight, so he was tossing and turning for an hour or more before going to sleep. We dropped to one nap and he went straight back to normal. In fact he was shattered by bedtime!
I’m not sure if that’s helpful! On the rare occasions that we have an early morning wake up (4 or 5am) it’s usually because he’s had a longer than usual nap the day before. Seems weird but that’s the way he is! They’re little mysteries!

Sandrine1982 Wed 18-Nov-20 09:50:26

Thanks @Abouttimemum! Good to hear that your nap transition was not that bad. I think it might really be the teething. I tried to feel them this morning and there was a bit of a bump on the lower gum so she's probably cutting the first 4 molars at the same time.

Last night was awful. She woke up at 2:15am (the earliest she's done in about a month) and we couldn't get her back to sleep until after a dose of Ibuprofen and milk at 4:30. I'm shattered !!!

Any tips on how to get through the early wake-ups when they're cutting molars? How to get them back to sleep quickly?

DD isn't keen on Calpol / Ibuprofen so we always get her a bit upset and make a mess in the middle of the night, plus I don't want to use medication every night for 3 weeks if this goes on....

ARRRRGGGHH, tell me it will pass sad

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Dillybear Wed 18-Nov-20 10:24:01

My DD is younger than yours so I can’t speak from experience in terms of a transition from two to one naps. Having said that, I have learnt that my DD needs a very specific amount of daytime sleep and if she gets too much we have long wakes in the middle of the night (of course, too little and she’s much more restless and likely to wake early for the day - you really can’t win!). For now, she is sleeping through. The only times she hasn’t slept through recently is when she’s slept over 2 hours in the daytime, and then she’s up at least an hour in the night, so it’s really stark.

When she started transitioning from three to two naps her sleep was awful and she was awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night every. single. night. I didn’t realise at first that the naps were the issue, as I could still manage to get her down for the third nap, even though she was fighting it and it was getting later and later, and she was exhausted by bedtime, still. But even though she went to sleep okay, she couldn’t get back to sleep quickly after she woke as she wasn’t tired enough. Her sleep didn’t automatically improve once she’d dropped the nap, either, but it did begin to get better and we got back to one or two quick wake ups. Have you noticed your DD’s sleep is better, or even different, on the days she’s having one nap at nursery? Given that she’s 15 months she probably is ready to drop the second nap - I would definitely give that a try, and stick with it for a couple of weeks as she may take a while to adjust. Sometimes with DD it felt like she needed 2.5 naps, and they’re just awkward and in the middle. The other thing you could try is a power nap instead of her full second nap - so aim for one main nap but let her sleep 10-15 minutes in the pram if she can’t quite make it to bedtime. That will take the edge off the tiredness but won’t relieve the sleep pressure which is what she needs to sleep soundly at night.

I also find my DD’s cry is totally different if she’s awake and cross about it than if she’s in pain. Then if ever I’m not sure - if I pick her up and she’s in pain she will carry on crying and writhe around, whereas if she’s just awake and not happy about it she’ll calm down straight away. It may have been pain keeping your DD awake, but given the length of the wake it may also have been that your DD just ran out of steam eventually and went back to sleep.

As for the medication - if you give a dose of painkiller once a day for three weeks you will do your baby absolutely no harm at all. In my opinion it’s better to give painkillers than not. Babies can’t tell us what’s wrong so if I think DD is upset because of pain at nighttime (when distraction, going outside, or chomping on a toy aren’t options) I always give her some medicine. As your DD gets older it will be easier as she will be able to tell you what’s wrong so you can make a decision about whether she needs painkillers. It’s really just in the short term, when they’re pre-verbal, that you might give painkillers when they’re not absolutely needed. But better that than letting her suffer inadvertently, I think.

I hope this is helpful. The nights are an absolute killer.

Sandrine1982 Wed 18-Nov-20 10:42:45

Thanks Dillybear! I'm following your other thread with a lot of excitement! Well done on STTN !!! :-D

Yes the naps are definitely a thing, and it's so difficult to strike the right balance. At nursery they're definitely doing only one nap now, and it can last anything between 1.5h and 2.2h. I'm recording everything in an app (I know, I've become such a geek trying to find some sort of correlation since she was born and I've become a nervous, sleep deprived wreck ...which only improved recently ... only to get worse again LOL).

Anyway 1 nap is more of a norm now, even at home the last two weekends. So we might try to cap it at 2h, although at nursery it rarely goes over 2h anyway.

You just never know ... they say sleep begets sleep ... until they get too much sleep maybe? Haha..

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Dillybear Wed 18-Nov-20 11:05:33

Haha thank you! We will see how long it lasts.... DD is only 9 months but is already heading towards needing 1.5 naps. I reckon by 10 months we’ll be in another nap transition from hell again. The last one carried on for a couple of months!! Though I think I would recognise the signs earlier so maybe it won’t be so bad this time?! 🙈

It’s so true- the saying sleep begets sleep made me think that the more my DD napped the better - I ended up with a fantastic napper who was awake half the night! I have come to realise that my DD just needs slightly less sleep than other babies and as long as she gets what she needs that’s fine.

I hope the nap transition passes quickly for you. It sounds like you’re doing everything you can for your DD. Unfortunately we can’t make them sleep!

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