By the time your baby hits the 13-month – 15-month mark, you’ve probably encountered the challenges of sleep regression. As your little one grows, helping them through these specific regressions might seem more daunting, but rest assured, it’s entirely manageable.
You might be in search of some helpful tips or just a comforting reminder that your toddler isn’t “broken.” I’m here to provide support!
I’ve gathered a set of survival strategies, useful tricks, developmental insights, and more to guide you through the 13-month and 14-month sleep regressions. Keep reading to discover what you should know during these critical phases of your child’s development!
What Is a Sleep Regression?
Okay, so what exactly is sleep regression? A sleep regression is a period of time in your child’s development when they have trouble sleeping.
Sleep regression is typically due to the fact that your child is going through a developmental leap. Sleep regression can look like skipping naps and having trouble falling or staying asleep.
Is A Sleep Regression Normal For 13 month, 14 month, and 15 month olds?
Yes, a sleep regression is normal for 13-month-olds as well as for 14 and 15-month-olds.
If you look at the sleep regressions that your toddler has been through in the past they are all hinged on a developmental event. The 4-month sleep regression is more neurological and the 8-month sleep regression tends to be more physiological.. so what about the 13th,14th, and 15 month sleep regressions?
Well, this is typically hinged on the fact that they have simply outgrown their current sleeping regimen. If they haven’t already, your toddler will start to drop a nap.
If they are having trouble settling or falling asleep, it could be because they are regressing on their naps.
What You Need To Know About Sleep Regression That Occurs During The 13th, 14th, and 15th Months
Okay, let’s get into it! Below is everything you need to know about sleep regression that occurs during the 13th, 14th, and 15th months!
Signs Of The 13 Month Sleep Regression
Because the nature of the sleep regression that occurs during the 13,14 and 15th months is different, I thought it might be helpful to discuss some of the signs.
Sometimes you don’t realize that you are in a sleep regression until you are nearing the end of it. You might be thinking to yourself “What happened to my happy toddler?”
Knowing what to look for can help make sure you are better prepared to take on the common 13,14 and 15-month sleep regressions.
Waking in the night – Waking during the night is a common sign of sleep regressions during the 13,14 and 15th months. If your toddler’s circadian rhythm is thrown off by too much or not enough sleep that would be why they are waking in the night.
Restlessness – The inability to settle is what we call restlessness. If your baby is tossing and turning all night, they are probably on the verge of a sleep regression.
Crankiness – No sleep makes ME tired, so I can only imagine how a toddler feels! If your seemingly happy-go-lucky tot has turned into a spicy toddler, a sleep regression could be the answer.
Trouble settling – If your toddler is having trouble getting settled during months 13,14 and 15 you could have a sleep regression on your hands! My toddlers usually have trouble settling when I am trying to get them to bed.
Inconsolable – Inconsolable babies and toddlers are usually over-tired. This is such a hard place to be because in your mind you know that they NEED sleep! My kiddos usually get this way when I am trying to help them drop a nap.
Refusing to nap – Ah, my favorite..refusing to nap can also contribute to an inconsolable toddler! When your toddler starts flat out refusing to nap during months 13,14 and 15 they are probably going through a sleep regression.
Sudden independence – “NO, I do it.” Does that sound familiar? Sudden independence is a sign that sleep regression could be imminent.
Short naps – If your 13,14 or 15-month-old is taking catnaps, this could mean that they are dealing with a sleep regression!
Causes of the 14 month Sleep Regression
Toddlers usually have a reason for sleep regression. The reason is usually hinged upon a life event of some sort, whether it is an illness, milestones (which we will talk about more below), or a new routine.
Illness – Illness is a common reason for sleep regression, which should be remedied as soon as your little one is on the mend.
Teething – Teething was a huge cause of sleep regression in my little ones. It always seemed as though their pain would be worse when they went to sleep and relaxed!
Growing out of their current sleep schedule – If your little one has grown out of their current sleep schedule, meaning trying to drop a nap this could definitely be cause for a 13-month sleep regression!
Separation anxiety – Separation anxiety really ramps up during months 13,14 and 15! When your little one sees you leaving the room they might fear you leaving for good.
Major life change – Life changes around 13,14 and 15 months will cause a disruption in your little one’s sleep. Even if it is something that as adults don’t seem like a big deal, it could be to our littles!
New routine – If you are trying to establish a new routine for 13,14 or 15 months, a sleep regression could be coming.
Developmental leap – My kiddos always had sleep regressions during developmental leaps! Their brains are making so many new connections and processing what they are learning, it can be a lot!
Night terrors – Hopefully your little one doesn’t experience night terrors, but these can definitely cause sleep regression. Night terrors can be caused by several things including overstimulation.
Related Post: Will Your Sick Baby Not Sleep? 11 Tricks from a Real Mom
Developmental Milestones That May Coincide With A Sleep Regression
Here is a list of developmental milestones that may coincide with sleep regression. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a comprehensive list of things to look for during months 13,14, and 15.
13-Month Developmental Milestones
When your child starts to develop and hit these milestones, they could be on the brink of a sleep regression. Some of these milestones are:
- Stands Alone – Standing alone is a huge deal for little ones, and can definitely be a sign that a sleep regression is near.
- Carry’s Around Small Toys/Objects – If your 13-month old trying to carry small objects or toys around they could be nearing a sleep regression.
- Holds Utensils – Holding utensils is a sign of developing independence and could be a sign that they are nearing toddler sleep regression.
- Points – Pointing indicates that your tot is aware and observant. This awareness could be connected with a leap.
- Pokes, Twists, Squeezes – These 3 things are signs of fine motor development, which is a good thing but if you notice them a sleep regression could be near.
- Pulls Off Clothing Items – This one gets me every time..like why? Why do you need your clothes off? This is actually a sign of independence and could be a sign of nearing sleep regression.
14-Month Developmental Milestones
These 14-month developmental milestones could be signs that sleep regression is near, so be on the lookout!
- Gives Kisses – These kisses are so sweet and intentional at this age! They also could be a developmental sign that dreaded sleep regression is near.
- Teething – While it is important to get those chompers, getting to that point is troublesome and can cause sleep regression.
- Speaking More – Speaking more is associated with speech development and that can be a sign of a leap!
- Walking Unassisted – Their independence is starting to gain traction, and that may carry into other areas like sleep!
- Feeding Themselves – Again, developments in independence can be cause for looming sleep regressions.
- Separation Anxiety – Your baby loves you and wants to be with you! The fear of you leaving is tough, even if it is only for a nap or nighttime. This anxiety can cause sleep regressions.
15 Month Milestones
If you’ve reached the 15-month mark and still have no sleep regression you might want to count your blessings and then buckle up. These signs at 15 months old are signs that a sleep regression may be near.
- Big Feelings – Big feelings can definitely be an indication of sleep regression woes. Big feelings are associated with becoming more self-aware and independent.
- Understanding Directions – If your tot is starting to understand directions, that is a great thing but can also be a sign of a nearing sleep regression.
- Playing More Independently – While we love that your toddler is on the road to independent play, it could also mean that you are near a sleep regression.
- Walking with Confidence– Is your toddler strutting their stuff? Yep, watch out for a sleep regression.
- Scribbling– If your toddler is starting to get creative and scribble on everything.. their sleep regression could be coming!
- Drinking from a Big Kid Cup– If your little one is done with bottles and sippy cups that is great news! Their newfound independence could be a sleep regression on the horizon!
Please remember that just because your tot is 13,14 or 15 months old and hasn’t hit a milestone yet doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them! Babies and toddlers develop at their own pace, and a wide range of development is considered normal.
These milestones are generalized and can be normal to hit sooner or later. If you are concerned, consulting your pediatrician is always a good idea.
How Long Will The 13 Month Sleep Regression Last
While it may seem like an eternity that your toddler has been struggling with sleep regression, I promise it won’t go on forever.
The 13-15th month sleep regression typically lasts no more than 6 weeks. We say 13th-15th month because it can span the 3 months, just depending on when it starts.
How To Support Your 13-15-Month-Old Through A Sleep Regression
Sleep regression isn’t just hard on parents/caregivers, it is hard on toddlers too!
Supporting your toddler during a sleep regression is important all around but especially for your bond. Here are some key ways to offer support:
- Offer snuggles before naps/bed
- Do not allow screens 1 hour prior to naps/bed
- Keep their routine as consistent as possible
- Don’t add anything new during this time
Survival Tips For The 14 Month Sleep Regression
You’ve already survived several sleep regressions, but here are some survival tips for the 13-15 month sleep regression.
Extend the Wake Windows by 20 Minutes
By extending the waking windows by 20 minutes you are allowing them to exert more energy and be more tired when it comes to nap time.
So for example, if your toddler wakes up at 7:30 and you typically do a nap around 10:30, try to extend that window by 20 minutes.
Making sure that the room they are sleeping in is dark really helps. The darkness helps to increase the amount of melatonin their little body produces.
Pro tip: add a night light to the room in which they are napping. If they are afraid of the dark this should help to solve that problem while keeping the room mostly dark.
If you need help keeping a room dark – try these blackout curtains.
White noise is a huge help for sleep especially naps. White noise helps to drown out any of the excess noise in the home or outside while lulling your toddler to sleep.
White noise was a game-changer for my kids for sure!
Fans are great for helping to cultivate a comfortable sleeping environment. The moving air is great to keep the room at a perfect temperature and refreshing.
Make Sure They Are well-fed
Making sure that your toddler has a good meal or snack before they go to sleep is key in a good sleep cycle! No one likes to go to bed hungry!
Ensuring that you are giving balanced meals and snacks will help your toddler in the sleep department.
Be Mindful of Your Emotions
Coincidentally, children seem to like all types of attention. The good and the bad kind.
When we get overly frustrated, angry, mad or upset toddlers seem to keep going to see what they can get away with and for more attention.
By keeping your emotions in check (while I know this can be SO HARD!) you are not giving them the negative attention or reaction that they want. This results in your toddler realizing that what they want is not going to happen, so they give in and do what they are supposed to.
Trade Off with Someone
I know that this may not always be an option, but trading off with someone and getting a breather is so good for your mental health.
Even, if you have to just walk away for a few minutes. Make sure your toddler is safe and just walk away.
Stick with Your Routine
While I know it can be hard, try and stick with your tried and true routine. When (because it WILL happen) you get back into your normal routine it will be much easier to make small adjustments than having to completely start over.
Don’t Go To Bad Habits
A lot of times what happens during these sleep regressions is that parents and caregivers allow bad habits to form that will have to be broken later or have already been broken.
Things like rocking to sleep, driving to sleep, etc that you may have already dropped tend to resurface.
So, stay strong and don’t give in!
Remember This Phase Won’t Last Forever
Last, but certainly not least.. Remember that this phase will not last forever. While it may seem like it while you are in the trenches, this phase typically lasts around 6 or so weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Regression During The 13th, 14th, and 15th Month
You may have some burning questions about sleep regression during the 13th, 14th, and 15th months, and I want to help answer those for you.
Here are some of the most popular FAQs. Be sure to drop any unanswered questions in the comments!
Why does my toddler wake up crying and inconsolable?
There could be a few different reasons why your toddler is waking up crying and inconsolable:
- Illness: If your toddler has an earache, cold, flu, etc they may be hurting and uncomfortable.
- Night Terrors: Night terrors are scary dreams that toddlers can have during the middle of the night.
- Too Hot or Cold: Sleeping in an environment that is too hot or cold can really disrupt sleeping causing bad dreams.
- Waking Up in the Dark: Believe it or not, lots of toddlers are scared of the dark. Having a nightlight is a great option to help prevent this.
While we want to avoid this situation altogether, knowing how to handle it will make getting your toddler back to bed easier.
When should I be concerned about my toddler’s sleeping and lack thereof?
If the regression goes on for an extended period of time, you might consider consulting their pediatrician. However, sleep regressions are a normal part of development.
Is crying it out an option for a 13-15-month-old toddler?
I am not a fan of crying it out, because I believe that your toddler should know that they are not being abandoned.
Fussing it out (in my opinion) is a better opinion. During this time, your toddler will learn to self-soothe, with your help.
What I like to do is let them fuss for a few minutes to see if they will self-soothe. If not, go in and comfort. Lay them back down, rinse, and repeat as many times as it takes.
Eventually, they will settle and go back to sleep.
I hope that you were able to find some helpful and encouraging tips and tricks. Remember, your toddler is not broken and this won’t last forever!
Did I miss any tips? Let me know your favorite tips and tricks in the comments below!