Sleep Training 13 month old for first time — The Bump
Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Sleep Training 13 month old for first time

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edited December 2013 in Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

DS has always been a decent sleeper. At 8 weeks he only woke up twice a night and at 4 months it dropped down to once a night and finally at around 7-8 months he started sleeping through the night. We never had to sleep train him, he just started doing it on his own.

We don't have the best bed time routine - he goes to bed at the same time every night but we usually give him a bottle right before bed which makes him drowsy, rock him a little and try and put him down when he's drowsy but awake (this doesn't always happen and DH prefers to have him sleep in his arms and then put him down).

Well, we recently took a 2 week international trip to South East Asia (13 hour time difference) and since we have been back, DS consistently wakes up once a night and it is getting harder to put him back to sleep. At first I thought it was the jet lag but we have been back a month and he is still doing this. Plus we started taking him to bed with us when he wakes up until he falls back asleep and then put him back in his crib. Oh, and we give him a bottle when he wakes up which we have been doing since he was born. :)

I think it is time to sleep train him and my plan is to change up his bed time routine so that he doesn't get a bottle right before bed (so that it's no longer a sleep crutch for him) and stop rocking him to sleep in our arms. When he does wake up, I'm planning to gradually reduce the amount of milk in his bottle and again stop rocking him to sleep in the middle of the night. I have considered the walk in/walk out method but whenever I have let him cry a little, the crying just escalates and he never seems to calm down. I do have to admit though that I have never let him cry more than 10 minutes.

Do you guys have any suggestions for sleep training an older baby?

Edit: Sorry for the essay!

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Re: Sleep Training 13 month old for first time

  • You might want to consider reading a book or two on sleep training.  As PP said consistency is key.  Also, you want to have a good night time routine and a good plan in place that you can stick to.  It's easy to cave to a crying baby at 4am but if you have a solid plan and do the same thing every night he will get it.  I recommend Ferber's book because it has lots of good info on sleep and lots of support.  Good luck!
  • We didn't do sleep training until 14 months...when I just couldn't take it anymore :)  I had read "The No Cry Sleep Solution" and tried it but didn't have success. So then I let him cry it out. It only took 2 nights. The first night, the first time he woke up he cried for over an hour (which was awful) but then the 2nd time he was only awake for maybe 10 minutes. The 2nd night he only woke up once, cried for maybe 10 min and that was it. He's been sleeping through the night ever since. He's now 18 months old.
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  • seunrine said:
    We didn't do sleep training until 14 months...when I just couldn't take it anymore :)  I had read "The No Cry Sleep Solution" and tried it but didn't have success. So then I let him cry it out. It only took 2 nights. The first night, the first time he woke up he cried for over an hour (which was awful) but then the 2nd time he was only awake for maybe 10 minutes. The 2nd night he only woke up once, cried for maybe 10 min and that was it. He's been sleeping through the night ever since. He's now 18 months old.
    Thanks! I read the No Cry Sleep Solution when he was much younger and followed some of her techniques loosely. I think I will try and remove his sleep crutches and if he is still waking up, might resort to crying it out. I appreciate all of your responses! Now if only I can get DH to be consistent with me. ;)

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  • Nicb13 said:

    This might make me sound like a bitch but here goes: IMO an hour is an extremely long time to leave a baby/toddler to cry. After an hour, the reason he's falling asleep is because he's given up that anyone is coming. To each their own but I personally couldn't handle it for DS at an older age, where he is completely aware of what is going on and that I'm not coming. Sounds awful to me.

    I agree that it really sucks to have them cry for that long. But if you can ride out the first few nights of crying marathons, then it decreases so drastically that the initial rough patch is worth it. I think I would start feeling bad if he showed no signs of improvement and kept crying that long after several days of crying. I'm single though, so I have to be kind of tough at bedtime for my own sanity because I have no back-up. And I think if I always respond quickly when he needs me during the day, he'll see the difference, and know it's only at night when mommy doesn't come. I've made a few exceptions when he's really sick or sounded very desperate, but then we go right back to normal the next day so he knows it was a one-time thing.


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  • We sleep trained DD at 10 months. Never had to resort to CIO (although I completely understand why people do). For my DD, she didn't know how to self soothe. We put her down drowsy after a bottle and it was a crutch for her. I started a good bedtime routine (bath, 2 books and song) and put her down awake. She started STTN.
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  • Like PP said you need to establish a consistent routine. Bath, book, show, bottle, rock, bed. Start around the same time every night and see how LO adjusts.
  • Thanks everyone! I did change up his routine and he has started sleeping better. Definitely been sleeping through the night more consistently (although he was up for 2 hours last night which I am hoping was due to overstimulation due to Christmas). Thank you for all your suggestions!

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  • We did the sleep easy method when my dd was eight months old. You are supposed to follow the same routine every night and put them to bed drowsy but awake. If they  cry when you put them down or in the middle of the night you check on them at 5, 10 and 15 minute intervals. When you go into their room you arent supposed to touch them and are supposed to say something like "mommy loves you, go to sleep." If they are still crying after 15 min you start the 5, 10, 15 minute process all over again. The first night we had to do four check-ins when she went down and one in the middle of the night. The second night was two check-ins total and by night three we didn't have to do any.

    This did wonders for us. Before, it would take me three hours sometimes to get her to bed and I would have a lot of anxiety before bed about whether it was going to be a good or bad night. Now, unless she is sick or teething I know she will be in bed at 7:30 and up at 7. It is also no longer a battle to put her to bed.my 22-yr-old brother-in-law watches her frequently and is even able to put her to bed himself with no problems. I know some are against sleep training but it worked for us!!


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