13 Month Sleep Regression: Here’s How To Get Back To Normal

Author Image By Paula McLaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH •  Updated: 08/04/23 •  Sleep / Sleep Regressions

Baby suddenly fighting sleep? Being fussy? Struggling to settle? The 13 month sleep regression has arrived. Here’s what that means, and what exhausted parents need to know to get through it.

What Is The 13 Month Sleep Regression?

How Long Does The 13 Month Sleep Regression Last?

The 13 month sleep regression, like all sleep regressions, commonly lasts between 2 and 6 weeks depending on the trigger.

13 Month Sleep Regression Featured

13 Month Sleep Regression Signs

If your little one has been settling and sleeping well until now, the signs that your baby is experiencing a sleep regression are:

Looking to get your little one to sleep quickly and effortlessly? Check out my Bedtime and Nap Cheat Sheet and master the art of making daytime naps and bedtimes as seamless as possible.

Causes Of The 13 Month Sleep Regression

As I mentioned earlier, sleep regressions can be caused by a variety of reasons, the main one being developmental leaps…

However, there are other reasons why a 13 month sleep regression can occur and it’s important to know what they are to reduce the chances of a sleep regression from occurring.

Causes Of The 13 Month Sleep Regression

1. Developmental Leaps

A lot is going on developmentally at this age with your little one perfecting the art of walking, climbing and talking. There is a lot going on cognitively as well as they become increasingly aware of the world around them and their place in it. All that extra brain and body activity can easily disrupt their sleep!

2. Baby’s Sleep Environment And Routine Has Changed

Moving house, going on holiday or visiting family overnight can all trigger a sleep regression.

And any major changes in routine could also upset a consistent sleep schedule such as starting daycare, parents returning to work or the primary caregiver changing.

3. Changes In Sleep Needs

Around this age, you may need to adjust daytime sleep, especially if newfound skills are making them more tired.

If they have started daycare they may need more sleep for a while as they adjust to the new routine. Alternatively, some 13 month olds may only need 1 long nap during the day.

Here’s a quick video to go over why babies fight sleep and I’ve written an in-depth article about nap transitions, so be sure to check that out to learn more.

4. Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is also very common at this age and will make it difficult for your little one to fall asleep and they may become distressed when they wake up in the night and discover you’re not with them.

5. Teething

While most babies will have passed the teething phase by now some will still be getting theirs. If your little one is experiencing pain due to teething their sleep is very likely to be disrupted for a short while and although this is not a true sleep regression in itself, it may trigger one.

Investing in a natural teething toy can help soothe your baby resulting in helping them sleep better!

6. Illness 

Like teething, illness may cause a sleep disruption for a short period of time and although this is not a true sleep regression, sickness can trigger a brief one.

7. Hunger

With all the increased physical activity that your 13 month old is now capable of they may need more calories to keep them going. This can result in them waking more often due to hunger so you need to keep an eye on their calorie intake during the day and especially at the end of the day.

Tips To Get Through The 13 Month Sleep Regression

If your little one does start to experience sleep troubles around their first birthday, then there are some things you can do to help both you and your baby get through the 13 month sleep regression:

13 Month Sleep Regression Tips

1. Stick To Established Sleep Routines

I cannot stress how much maintaining baby’s healthy daily and consistent bedtime routines will help to keep you sane and keep their healthy development on track.

I know life gets in the way sometimes, but being super vigilant about nap times, meal times and bedtimes during a sleep regression will make your life so much easier and keep your baby’s circadian rhythm on track during this time.

So, if you have to cancel a few plans over the coming weeks to ensure you’re at home for naps and bedtime, it will be worth it in the long run.

2. Have Lots Of Cuddles

Sleep regressions can sometimes make your little one feel less secure and offering extra cuddles and snuggle time can help reassure them as they navigate this tricky, yet temporary phase.

3. Watch For Hunger Being A Nighttime Waking Trigger

It is very tempting to feed your baby in order to get them back to sleep… however, this is not a habit you want to continue. Therefore, if your little one is experiencing a growth spurt they may naturally become more hungry.

Ensure they get enough solid food during the day to support any growth spurt. Offering mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks can help as well as a milky drink before bed (a bottle or cup of formula or breastmilk, depending on your preference and weaning stage).

4. Keep Nighttime Interactions Low-Key

If your little one wakes at night then it’s super important to keep your interactions low-key. Have the lights down low and do not chat to them. A night light is a great investment for these night wakings as it stops you from having to turn on a light when visiting them.

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Its gentle glow makes it the best night light for feeding baby, diaper changes, or comforting your little one back to sleep.

As your baby grows the Cozy Starry Night Light's starry sky projection can provide comfort and gentle quiet time stimulation. Its soft lighting ensures a dreamy, peaceful environment, supporting your baby’s natural sleep cycle.

It really is a fantastic nightlight (at a very reasonable price!)

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  • A USB adapter is not included for charging.
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5. Teach Your Little One To Self-Settle

If you have not done so already try and teach your little one to self settle. Allow them to spend time in their cribs during awake time and put them down whilst drowsy and not asleep.

Read this post to learn more: How to Teach Baby To Self Soothe.

6. Try Not To Pick Up Baby Every Time They Wake

It is very easy to fall into bad habits during a sleep regression so if your little one is waking more at night try leaving them to fuss for a short time when they wake as it can result in them falling back to sleep without you having to go to them.

If however, they start to become distressed, you should go to them.

7. Help Your Baby Get Used To Spending Short Periods Of Time On Their Own

Encourage your baby to spend short periods of time alone in a playpen or their crib during awake times. But keep popping back to check on them so that they know that you will return.

This will teach them that they’re safe and ok to be alone and that you will return in time. And as a result, baby will go to sleep alone at night much easier as they understand that you will be back in the morning.

I personally prefer the Graco Play Yard for independent toddler play:

My Top Pick
Graco Pack 'n Play Portable Playard

This playpen takes very little time to set up and putting it away is a breeze thanks to its clever design. Small but perfectly suited for indoor and outdoor use, this play pen will keep baby safe no matter where you are!

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8. Learn Your Baby’s Sleep Cues And Act On Them

During a sleep regression your little one may need more sleep during the day to make up for broken nights, so keep a keen eye on their sleep cues and act on them.

Common sleep cues include: yawning, rubbing eyes, clenched hands, glazed eyes, being distracted, pulling ears and becoming less social.

9. Make Up For Poor Nighttime Sleep With Extra Naps During The Day

Let your little one sleep whenever they need to during the day to avoid them becoming overtired. Knowing how much sleep your baby needs in a 24-hour period and then calculating how much daytime sleep they need will help enormously too.

Never try and keep your little one awake during the day in the hope they will sleep better at night.

10. Make Baby’s Sleep Space More Conducive To Sleep

Now your little one getting older, they will be more easily woken by sleep distractions and noise.

So, darken the bedroom using blackout blinds and use a nightlight. During a 13 month sleep regression your little one needs to be sleeping safely in a calm, dimly lit room.

Using a white noise machine can eliminate background noise from disturbing their sleep too. They will help to ensure that sudden changes in noise will have less of an impact on your sleeping baby.

My Top Pick
Dreamegg White Noise Machine - 21 Soothing Sounds

White noise machines are a game-changer for your little one's sleep and having one that plays all night is a must. With a long-lasting battery, this compact and stylish white noise machine contains 21 non-stop relaxing noises, which will lull your little one to sleep night after night, no matter where you are!

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11. Help Your Little One Practise New Skills

It is important that you give your baby plenty of opportunity to practice any new skills during awake times so that they are not desperate to do so when they should be sleeping.

Provide them with toys to help them walk (like this), opportunities to learn to climb safely, play with construction toys such as building blocks and try simple puzzles too. Read lots of books to encourage speech and cognitive development.

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Another toy staple is the baby walker and there are a lot out there to choose from. I really like this one from Le Toy Van. It is eco friendly, safe and sturdy and will be a firm favourite with your toddler before, during and after they learn to walk independently!

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How Will I Know When The 13 Month Sleep Regression Is Over?

When your little one starts to fall back into a regular nap and nighttime sleep routine you can breathe a sigh of relief that the sleep regression is now over.

Bear in mind that the new schedule may look slightly different from what they were doing before the regression hit as regressions are often a transition between sleep schedules changing, as your little one’s needs change.

Take a look at our 13 month old sleep schedule to give you a helpful framework for what to expect.

Frequently Asked Questions About The 13 Month Sleep Regression

Looking for more information about the 13 month sleep regression? Check out the most commonly asked questions here.

How Much Sleep Do 13 Month Olds Need?

Your 13 month old will need an average of 12-14 hours of sleep a day with the bulk taken at night and the rest in 2 daytime naps. Not all 13 month olds will need 2 naps per day some may only take one long nap.

If you suspect your little one is going through a nap transition, read this: 2 To 1 Nap Transition.

Is There Really A Sleep Regression At 13 Months?

If your 13 month old has been sleeping well at night and napping nicely during the day and suddenly none of this is happening any more then you can safely assume that they are experiencing a 13 month sleep regression.

Why Is My 13 Month Old Suddenly Waking At Night?

If your 13 month old has been sleeping beautifully and suddenly starts waking at night and resisting sleep in general this usually means they have hit a sleep regression.

This can be due to a number of triggers including a growth spurt, teething or achieving a developmental milestone, starting daycare or changing sleep needs.

While you should always rule out any illness that may be affecting your little one if all is well then you should deal with your little one’s nighttime waking and or nap resistance as a sleep regression and follow the tips listed above.

Do All Babies Experience A 13 Month Sleep Regression?

No, not all babies will experience a 13 month sleep regression. They may have already had one or they may have missed previous ones and are now experiencing a sleep regression for the first time due to any of the reasons listed above.

What Do You Do When Your 13 Month Old Won’t Sleep?

Not all sleep issues at this age can be put down to a sleep regression. If it is a regression you will have to ride it out but either way, there are certain things you can do to help your 13 month old sleep better:

Are the 13 Month Sleep Regression And 12 Month Sleep Regression The Same?

It is unlikely that your little one will experience a sleep regression at both 12 and 13 months so yes… in essence, they are the same.

Young children develop in a common sequence but not at a common rate, with babies reaching developmental milestones at different times, especially in the early years.

Therefore, if and when your little one experiences a toddler sleep regression will depend totally on what is going on developmentally and environmentally in their lives, at any given point.

Should I Let My 13 Month Old Cry It Out?

No. Letting your 13 month old cry it out is not going to cure a sleep regression or make it pass any more quickly. Sleep regressions are challenging and you will need to be patient and help your little one through this tricky phase by following the guidelines outlined in this post.

When Do I Need To Talk To A Doctor About The 13 Month Sleep Regression?

If you are unsure if your little one’s change in sleep patterns is due to a sleep regression, watch for the following signs.

If they are present then you should consult a doctor:

Can You Do Sleep Training When Your Baby Is Going Through A 13 Month Sleep Regression?

I would NOT recommend doing any sleep training during a 13-month-old sleep regression unless the regression transfers into a permanent change in sleeping habits.

There is too much going on to change more of your baby’s environment, so just follow the tips I have outlined above and you should get through the regression without undoing your hard work of creating healthy sleep habits.

Once you’re back on track you can start to assess sleep time and use sleep training methods to help baby sleep at night with healthy sleep associations.

How To Handle Minor Sleep Regressions That Come With Teething

Your baby may be experiencing a minor 13 month sleep regression due to teething. This interruption to their normal sleep pattern should last no longer than 8 days in total.

Read these posts to help you get through a teething blip without losing any sleep:

Further Reading

If you would like to learn more about sleep regressions and how to handle them at different ages, check out these posts:

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Author Image Bio
Paula McLaren is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and a highly qualified childcare expert with over 40 years of experience as a Norland Nanny. She holds a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development & Learning (0-6 Years) and the prestigious Norland Diploma. Paula has worked as a night nanny, run a successful daycare center in London, and helped raise countless children using her tried and tested developmental and guidance methods.

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