This may not be your first rodeo when it comes to nighttime disruptions.
(Dare we remind you of the 4-month sleep regression? 😮)
But nevertheless, the 11-month sleep regression can take a serious toll.
By this point, you may already be in a somewhat regular sleep pattern.
You may have even reached that magical landmark that is sleeping through the night.
And then, without any warning, you are confronted with some serious anti-snooze behavior, and it feels like all your progress has been undone.
While this is common, if your 11-month-old is suddenly refusing sleep, we’re guessing you’re not getting too much sleep yourself.
We’re here to help.
We’ll take you through some of the likely causes of sleep regressions at this time, and give you some tips on how to cope with it all.
In this article: 📝
- Why is my 11-month-old suddenly not sleeping?
- What does an 11-month sleep regression look like?
- How long does the 11-month sleep regression last?
- How do I deal with 11-month sleep regression?
Why is my 11-month-old suddenly not sleeping?
First up, there’s no one-size-fits-all here.
All babies are different, and what might be at the heart of sleep disruption for one does not phase another.
But there is a whole lot going on at this age that might get in the way of a good night’s sleep.
As your baby approaches their first birthday, they hit a bunch of developmental milestones.
They might be crawling, sitting, and pulling themselves up.
On the horizon, there are steps to be taken and words to be spoken.
Add this to the fact that they’re learning new social skills and interacting with the world in new ways.
And all of this can be overwhelming.
Just like when we have a big presentation to do or an important event coming up, overstimulation and rest are not happy bedfellows.
They’re also learning how to be without you and that when you leave, it’s not forever.
Separation anxiety is common at this age as they negotiate the confusing world of what it means to be apart from the ones you love.
And there’s more!
It’s likely that they’re cutting their first teeth at this time.
(It’s the front teeth on the bottom and top that’ll likely come out first.)
This can be pretty uncomfortable for them — and not an unusual cause for sleep disruption.
You may also be changing up nap schedules, starting daycare, or moving to a new house.
Any change to the normal routine can make sleep harder to come by.
What does an 11-month sleep regression look like?
Signs of an 11-month sleep regression include:
- Fussiness, both at bedtime or during the day
- Fighting sleep at bedtime
- Waking up more frequently at night
- Not wanting to nap
- Taking shorter naps
How long does the 11-month sleep regression last?
Alright, time for the good news — they’re usually over within 2 to 6 weeks.
(But yes, it can feel like you’re counting those weeks in dog years when they’re happening.)
In some cases, sleep regressions only stick around for a few days.
Soon, this will be a distant dream (that you will hopefully be having during a good night’s rest).
How do I deal with 11-month sleep regression?
Create a bedtime routine.
Put them down in a room dedicated to sleep and away from devices.
(And, as always, follow the American Academy of Pediatrics safe sleep guidelines).
The goal here is to cue them that it’s now time to get into sleep mode.
Rock, pat, cuddle — do what feels right to you.
This is also your chance to break out those (soft) singing or storytelling skills.
Also, consider anything that might disrupt their sleep.
Diaper changed? Check.
Tummy full? Check.
Dressed for the temperature of the room? Check!
And if you’ve already got a bedtime routine going, awesome.
Keep at it.
Which brings us to our next point:
If you’ve started sleep training, don’t stop.
If you have found a sleep training method that is working for you, keep at it.
While it may feel like your work has been undone when you hit a sleep regression, this is not the case.
You’ve simply got to a small bump in the road.
Stick to a regular(ish) schedule.
An 11-month-old sleep schedule should include somewhere around 10 to 13 hours of sleep time, made up of two naps and a longer stretch of sleep.
(We give you the full lowdown here.)
It’s a good idea to leave wake windows of 3 to 3 ½ hours between periods of sleep.
And if they are waking up too early, adjust your schedule accordingly.
Associate daytime with adventure and play.
Your little one’s circadian rhythm (that’s the body’s internal clock) starts kicking into gear in the first few months of their life.
As do all the hormones and chemical reactions needed to make this happen.
So by 11 months, their bodies are learning that nighttime is sleep time.
So, other than nap times, think of daytime as the hours for fun and stimulation and the night as a time for rest.
Get to the root cause.
If it’s separation anxiety that’s at the heart of their sleep woes, address their feelings of insecurity when they’re awake.
This may mean creating a short goodbye ritual when you part ways.
(The goal here is to reassure them that you’re coming back without making the goodbye too long.)
We give you the 411 on dealing with separation anxiety here.
And if it’s teething that’s keeping them up at night, we have top tips for dealing with that, too.
There’s also a chance that sleep disruptions are a sign of illness or infection, particularly if accompanied by other symptoms like fever, rashes, or diarrhea.
If you’re at all worried, check in with your doctor.
Look after yourself
If you were about to skip over this final point, come back.
You know the old adage of putting on your own life jacket first?
It really applies here.
You can only be present for your baby if you take care of yourself too.
That means calling on your community — partners, family, friends — when you need to rest.
Also, try to nap when they do.
(That laundry load can wait.)
And head here and here for our self-care tips for mothers.
Through all of this, your Peanut community is there for you.
You’re not alone.
And this phase does have an end.
You’ve got this. ❤️