From 10 months to a year: baby's sleep |

From 10 months to a year: baby's sleep |

Just before celebrating his first year, baby's sleep can be disturbed by external elements. What sleep pattern should a 10 to 12 month old child have? How to react to the first nightmares? Advice from four experts.

Between his 10 months and his first birthday, baby sleeps longer and longer and falls asleep more and more easily. Since his birth, you have tested everything so that the nights of the whole household are soothed: swaddling at birth, chrono-sleep, little sleep train, 5-10-15 method... Unfortunately, sleep works in phases and it is neither impossible, nor worrying, that baby sleeps less well around his 10 months or 1 year while he slept very well at 6 or 8 months!

Big step: when baby finally sleeps!

His sleep was disturbed at birth, then he woke up every two hours until he was more than six months old, or gastroesophageal reflux disturbed his sleep rhythm, or even a visit to the neonatology department after the giving birth has prevented him from taking his bearings to sleep well... But that's it, baby is finally sleeping through the night!

Pascale Ogrizek, general practitioner specializing in sleep, reminds us that there is nothing to worry about when an infant needs a year to sleep, even if the average is between 3 and 8 months: " The first year, the structure of sleep changes a lot, which explains the problems that there may be. You must also take into account the influence of your baby's food and water needs: some have more difficulty than others giving up the bottle or the night feed and wake up for this reason.

"So he sleeps through the night?" »

What time should baby go to bed at 1 year old?

Between 10 and 12 months, babies need an average of 11 to 15 hours of sleep in 24 hour increments. This is why it is often recommended to put a child to bed between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The rhythm has a significant impact on the quality of sleep of infants, hence the incentives of pediatricians and sleep specialists to keep as much as possible a fixed time for baby to bed, accompanied by a sleep ritual.

“Time givers are essential for the rhythm of a child of this age, confirms Hélène Fouque, child psychiatrist specializing in sleep disorders. Everything is good to take to structure the day and night of toddlers: a regular sleep/wake rhythm; waking up, eating and going to bed as repetitive as possible; an identical sleep ritual every day with the same song for example...” And if we manage to keep the rhythm of the week, the weekend is even better for baby!

When to stop the morning nap for a child?

De 10 mois à un an : le sommeil de bébé |

Each child is unique and has their own sleeping pattern. Some will therefore need one to two hours of nap in the morning until 20 months, while others will be reluctant to sleep in the morning from 8 months! "It's up to the parents to adapt to the child's sleep rhythm even if it's not easy every day, especially in the case of siblings where the infants don't have the same needs at all", recalls Hélène Fouque.

It is therefore up to us as parents to spot the small signs of fatigue (nodding head, heavy eyelids, irritated crying, etc.) in our child to recommend that he continue - or not - the morning nap!

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What sleep pattern for my 10, 11 or 12 month old child?

At 10, 11 or 12 months, babies still need an average of 10 hours of sleep at night and two naps of 1.5 hours each, in the morning and in the afternoon. Whether your benchmarks are more easily marked by the number of naps required or the number of hours of sleep to be found in 24-hour increments, the important thing is the diurnal consequences: "In practice, real sleep disorders are very rare in babies, reassures Anne-Sophie Diependaele, neuropediatrician at the sleep unit of the University Hospital of Caen. Even if it is better to consult in case of parental concerns, it is more when you notice problems during the day - a change in behavior, incessant crying, also difficulty eating - that you have to worry about a possible sleep-related problem. »

Sleep cycles: calm, paradoxical or restless

Just like ours, baby's sleep is divided into different phases. "There are two stages of sleep in newborns: calm sleep and restless sleep," confirms Pascale Ogrizek. In general, quiet sleep accounts for 30% to 50% of an infant's sleep time, and restless sleep 50 to 70%. Sleep cycles last an average of 70 minutes between 6 months and 1 year, then an average of 90 to 120 minutes between 1 and 3 years.

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If calm sleep is characterized by the near immobility of the sleeper and calm and regular breathing, restless sleep, also called paradoxical sleep, is characterized by many movements. Baby's limbs and eyes move a lot and his breathing quickens. We can then recognize six emotions on his sleeping little face: anger, disgust, fear, sadness, joy and surprise!

Why does my 12 month old wake up at night?

While baby's sleep was finally well settled, he begins to wake up again at night... Don't panic: it is completely normal for our child's sleep rhythm to improve and then regress since he is working in phases. In addition, the end of the first year of our infant's life is characterized by the appearance and development of nightmares and night terrors.

The onset of nightmares and night terrors

If baby wakes up at night crying and screaming but you're sure he's wide awake: he's probably just had a nightmare. As usual, your reassuring presence and a sleep ritual will be needed to get him back to sleep, but that's nothing unusual or worrying. In general, children have more and more nightmares between their first and third year.

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On the other hand, it is possible that you are woken up by a crying and crying baby... but you still seem completely asleep! In this situation, it is possible that baby suffers from night terrors and it is recommended not to wake him. Try not to intervene unless you are afraid baby will hurt, bump or fall. In the majority of cases, the child calms down on his own and continues to sleep as if nothing had happened. The next day, he will have no memory of that bad night.

"Night terrors are forms of parasomnia that develop on average between 6 and 24 months," explains Anne-Sophie Diependaele. Parasomnias are often genetic and tend to either diminish and disappear on their own, or turn into another parasomnia such as insomnia, sleepwalking...” If you think your child has a parasomnia or you are worried about the large number of nightmares, do not hesitate to consult your pediatrician or a child sleep specialist.

Read alsoAuthor: Marion Bellal, JournalistWith: Anne-Sophie Diependaele, neuropediatrician at the Caen University Hospital sleep unit; Pascale Ogrizek, general practitioner sleep specialist; Hélène Fouque, child psychiatrist specializing in sleep disorders; and Caroline Ferriol, founder of Feedodo Article published on