Sleep: I have a 13 month old little boy who just doesn’t... - NCT


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I have a 13 month old little boy who just doesn’t sleep past 4/5am he goes down at 7/7.30pm but everyday wakes up same time between 4/5am we have tried so many things but he just does sleep longer so only gets 8/9 hours sleep and about 2 hours of nap a day.....Help! Anyone know this to change his waking pattern I will try Anything and everything ☺️

21 Replies

I dont really have an answer but when my little one goes to sleep at 7:30 she wakes up at 6am. When she goes to sleep at 8:30 she wakes up at 7, so we think that's just how much sleep she needs. I think babies like adults need different amounts of sleep but that doesnt help you get more sleep sorry.


Is this a recent thing? It could be sleep regression if it's new and may not last 🤞 My son has also started waking up at 4 am the past few days but this morning I left him as I was exhausted and he wasn't crying, just talking and jumping up and down. Thankfully he went back to sleep until 6.15. It's so hard when they get up early. My son is 17months and has only started sleeping through the last month x

I feel for you he has never been a great sleeper but this is a few weeks in since the clocks changed before it was 5/5.30am! I don’t think he will ever sleep the full 11/12 hours and we have tried leaving him but he just shouts and shouts! Not even crying just whinging and shouting 😢 we tried an earlier bed time and that meant we were up at 3.45 this morning. So tonight he can have a light snack and a later bottle and bedtime routine I just hope it works as I also am exhausted and just so lost at what to do x

That's what I went through a few months ago and sometimes he is still up at 5. Things I tried which may or may not help

Calpol as he had teeth coming through, put to bed 9pm, made sure he was warm so turned heating up as he kicks the blanket off, put him to bed awake, if he wakes see if he will self soothe or I would give him a bottle of warm milk which usually helped. I also didn't bring him out until 6.30 and put him in my bed 🙈 he would be awake an hour then go to sleep as I didn't play with him etc. X


I feel for you bc my lo is the same. Some babies just wake up around that time (or rather between 4 and 5am). I don't think there's a lot you can do but here's a link to some advice if you want to try

It's really hard that your lo wakes so early bc it's not when we wake up ourselves but just so you know there's nothing wrong with your baby sleeping 9 or 10 hours at night. Many babies don't need 11-12 hours. My lo has never slept that long either.

Charlesmum profile image
Charlesmum in reply to QT314

This makes me feel so much better! I just didn’t understand why he wasn’t sleeping like I thought he should! We are going to try a later bedtime but also a little snack when he gets home from nursery to rule out anything like being hungry!

Thank you 😊

To second the post above, my little girl usually sleeps around 9/10 hours a night. That's just her I've realised. Luckily, she goes back to sleep when she wakes at 3/4 but only in our bed! 😴😴 She goes to bed around 8pm because any earlier just doesn't work for us, but pushing it back would make her overtired. So hard to know what to do for the best! My LG has never been thst great at sleeping and often still wakes multiple times! Last night was a good night 8pm - 4.30am with no waking in between. Tonight will most likely be 3 wake ups before midnight! 😂 But, silver lining, sleep has improved since around 15 months. Some weeks are brutal, others much better.

We tried earlier InCase he was overtired but nope!! He is great goes down but as soon as he wakes up just stands and shouts!! We will get through this I can see now it’s normal and I just need to understand he will never sleep 11/12 hours so hoping if 8pm is his bed time we can get back to 5am at least! X

Sad thing is he won’t sleep in our bed!! His goes stiff and just cries if you try and put him in!!

Well, I say only in our bed. We choose to do that overwise I have to lay in her toddler bed and that is uncomfortable. She is very restless in our bed but it just seems to be the lesser of two evils during the night! 😂

My LG can go to sleep easily a bit earlier but it never guarantees a later wake up, most of the time she is ready to party at 2/3am if it's too early.

I loosely follow the Sarah O-S routine as posted above and whilst my LG isn't 'sleeping through' it has made me feel better knowing the biology behind sleep. When you're tired and can't help your little one to sleep, it makes you feel like you're doing something wrong, when that is not usually the case.

If you going to push his bedtime back, I would suggest doing it gradually, eg. 5 minutes at a time until you get to the desired bedtime.

Argh right we brought it forward last night to 6.45 he usually is 7-7.30 so was thinking 7.30 for his milk then bed by 8!

See what works for you and your little one. If you are putting it back by more than 30 mins then gradual might be better so help him adjust, but perhaps you could do 10/15 minutes at a time instead. I'm not an expert though, this is just what I've read and it made sense to me!

Thank you so much we moved it 15 mins earlier for only 1 night so maybe will go the other way tonight just trial and error I guess I need to be able to function 🙈🤣

Always trial and error! 😂 Good luck

Have you tried putting him to bed a bit earlier? It sounds counter-intuitive but sometimes over-tiredness can course early waking.

We have tried earlier bed tones still wakes up early sometimes earlier! Think we are doing a little better at later bed time ignoring him when he first wakes he now does lie back down and snoozes for another hour! We used the huckleberry app so gone back to that again!! Anything to try and help!

I might say something that goes against other advise: it sounds like you need to put him to sleep later! But we also need more data from you: how long is each waketime, how long is the overall waketime, does he do 1 or 2 naps per day? How well does he eat during the day? Does he eat at night? What are the activities during the day? Does he get to excited in the evenings?

My guess is that he does 1 nap right? Which means his wake times are something like 6-7 hours at a time? Normally early rising means the wake time during the day is too short, but with these numbers it sounds like either overtiredness or overstimulation, especially if he screams and can't go back to sleep.

Depending on when he gets back from daycare of course, I would shorten his waketimes to 5-5:30 and insert a micronap of 15 mins inbetween. That will push going to bed till 10 pm, which is absolutely nothing to be freaked out about. Also sleeping 11-12 hours at night is absolutely unreal at that age. Such babies are some mythical unicorns. Going to bed at 6-7 pm is a road to disaster as you are witnessing.

You could see, if he needs the second nap every day or alternate the days with 1 and 2 naps to give the rest to the nervous system.

Then if your baby really needs 11-11,5 hours of overall sleep per day, and if you add 15 mins of second nap from time to time, you might need to slightly reduce the first nap, so the baby doesn't oversleep during the day.

Also about increasing the temperature in the room. 18-20 degrees celsius is optimal, if they knock off the blanket, use a sleep sack. And humidity of at least 50% is important. You can try the blackout curtains as well.

Hi. My son is now 3 year’s old. He’s always been a good sleeper as in he didn’t really wake up at night once he’s asleep. But from age 1 and half he always woke up at 4am, now when he hit 2 he changed to 5am. He’s now 3 and still getting up at 5am. He also goes to bed at 7pm and we read till 7.30.

I’ve tried making sure he eats just before sleep so he’s not hungry early in the morning, I’ve tried having the heating, I’ve even put him to bed as late as 10pm and he still got up at 5. I’m shattered from the early mornings and it makes the days sooooo long and it’s gone on for 2 year’s now. I suppose I’ve realised with mine I’ve just got to ride it out and hopefully when he hits school she he will stay asleep a little longer. Because I’ve literally exhausted all over avenues x

Hi ... sorry no real help but my now 4yr old is exactly the same he has always been an early riser somewhere between 5 and 6.20 depending on how he feels I guess ( trust me we have tried to work out what gives us the latest possible time but nope no clue!!!) however our saviour has been the growclock even though he may wake up he does not come out until the sun come up at 6.30 unless it’s for a wee and he still goes back he has done this ever since he was around 2 or 2 1/2, so might be worth getting one of those to help him realise it’s too early to be up yes he’s too young to fully understand it but just keep using it, it will give you that extra 20 mins of snooze sometimes 😂😂😂

It just helps knowing I’m not alone! It’s half the battle x

The Baby Sleep Info Source at Durham University have lots of great information and research articles. They also have a free app with all the info in smaller chunks.

I found this lecture by Prof Helen Ball very reassuring, too. A must watch for all new parents

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