11 Month Sleep Regression: What You Need to Know

Is your baby waking up at night or suddenly refusing to sleep? Discover tips to cope with the 11 month sleep regression.

11 Month Sleep RegressionThere can’t seriously be an 11 month sleep regression, I thought.

But lo and behold, a quick internet search showed that I wasn’t the only one with a baby suddenly not sleeping well.

The new sleep patterns—if you could call them that—felt like our family was back on the newborn schedule.

Because for months prior, my son would go down at bedtime easily and happily. If he happened to fuss in the middle of the night, he’d only do so for a minute before falling right back to sleep.

But right around the 11-month mark, he resisted and fussed during the whole bedtime routine. He’d wake up throughout the nightscreaming, of course—and refuse to lie down.

If your sleep situation has gone down the drain around this time, rest assured you’re not alone. The 11-month mark coincides with so much development in your baby’s life.

Thankfully, many parents—myself included—have found that this truly is a stage that won’t last forever. The key is to nip these habits now so you don’t have to continue weeks and months of the same thing. Take a look at these steps to manage the 11 month sleep regression:

Teething Baby Won't Sleep Unless Held

1. Teach your baby to self soothe

Has your baby started to rely on the pacifier to fall asleep (only to wake up when it falls out of his mouth)? Or do you now need to nurse him to sleep throughout the night?

More than likely, he’s grown used to certain habits to fall and stay asleep, which can be problematic during the night.

You see, everyone wakes up between sleep cycles. But while you and I know how to fall back to sleep, many babies struggle to do so on their own, especially when they rely on unsustainable sleep aids. After all, if he can’t find the pacifier or is used to nursing to sleep, no wonder he wakes up crying hysterically for either one.

Instead, teach him how to self soothe so that he can put himself back to sleep on his own—no sleep aids needed. The result? A solid 10-12 hours of sleep without a single peep from him.

Free resource: Interested in teaching him to self soothe? Get a preview of How to Teach Your Baby to Self Soothe. Learn all about the mindset needed for successful sleep training. You’ll also get my newsletters, which parents say they LOVE:

“Your post was exactly what I needed to read. What I love about your sleep advice is that you include practical tips for the external factors we can control, but that you also cover meaningful tips for the internal—what we can control within our own mindsets and attitudes. I found that equally helpful to get me through this tough sleepless period. Thanks for the work you do!” -Kathleen F.

How to Teach Your Baby to Self Soothe

2. Be consistent with what has worked

Whether the 11 month sleep regression came predictably or suddenly, keep your response consistent.

You see, before the regression, you practiced a predictable routine that led to easy sleep. But perhaps you hit a bump in the road and have now allow him to sleep in your bed, nurse him to sleep, or stay in his room.

The problem? However effective these methods may be in the short-term, they’re also training him to develop new habits. Rather than, say, going to sleep when he’s supposed to, he now demands to play with his toys a little longer.

Yes, experiment and be flexible, especially when you see a new method starting to work. But at the end of the day, you’re the one making the final decision on whether to co-sleep or stay in his room.

Instead, go back to what has worked, and stick to it. Don’t give in and create the very habits you don’t want. The consistency in how you respond sends a clear message on how he should fall asleep.

3. Address your baby’s fears and anxieties

One of the stages many babies-turning-toddlers face is the awareness of new fears and anxieties.

For instance, they develop a fear of the dark, especially once they realize that things they can’t see are still there. They might also feel anxious being apart from you, even for as short as a quick nap. And when it all feels so much better with you around, no wonder your baby fusses when you’re not.

According to Healthy Children:

“At about the same time, she’ll become much more ‘clutchy’ about leaving you. This is the start of separation anxiety. Just as she’s starting to realize that each object is unique and permanent, she’ll also discover that there’s only one of you. When you’re out of her sight, she’ll know you’re somewhere, but not with her, and this will cause her great distress.”

First, take practical steps like adding a nightlight in his room or checking in on him every few minutes to remind him you’re still here. Give him a lovey to hold during sleep, and keep playtime low-key before bedtime.

Then, talk to him about his feelings. Yes, even at 11 months old! Read children’s books about going to bed and help him learn that what he feels is normal.

Lastly, play games that teach object permanence like peek-a-boo to reassure him that you’ll always come back, even if he doesn’t see you all the time.

4. Support your baby’s developmental milestones

One challenge with the 11 month sleep regression has to do with the developmental milestones your baby is experiencing. From newfound mobility like standing up and walking to painful stages like teething, these many changes can affect her sleep.

Help her get through these milestones. For instance, ease discomfort with teething rings and give her plenty of time to practice crawling, cruising, or walking.

And if she wakes up standing in the crib crying because she doesn’t know how to get back down, don’t worry—this stage won’t last long. Simply go in and lay her back down. Eventually, she’ll learn the all-important skill of getting herself down and won’t wake up crying every night.

5. Wean from night feedings

Consider weaning from night feedings. At this age, most babies don’t need to feed in the middle of the night. We forget that they’re moving away from frequent feedings at night and into taking in their calories during the daytime.

In fact, many parents have a hunch that their babies cry for feedings not from hunger, but from habit. They might not even swallow milk, but rather rely on the sucking motion to fall asleep.

And even if they are hungry, babies at this stage can usually take their calories in during the day, just like you and I do. In other words, you can increase his calories during the day, so that he doesn’t have to eat at night.

6. Adjust your baby’s routine

Sometimes the 11 month sleep regression can be solved with nothing more than a change in your baby’s routine.

For one thing, make sure you have a routine, and one that’s consistent every day. Kids thrive on predictability, and even at this age, it helps them know what to expect next, including sleep.

Then, experiment with your baby’s sleep schedule. For instance, you might cap her afternoon nap or move it earlier in the day so she has a longer wake window before bedtime.

You could also try putting her to sleep earlier, in case you suspect she’s overtired by bedtime. Falling asleep can be difficult when she’s too exhausted to do so (ironic, I know!).


No doubt, hitting that 11 month sleep regression is tough for even the most patient parent. Rest assured, you’re not alone, and now have several strategies to try.

Start by being consistent with what has worked, even if it means putting your foot down and dealing with tantrums. At the same time, address your baby’s fears and anxieties, many of which can crop up at this stage.

That also means supporting her developmental milestones. Keep her comfortable while she’s teething, and give her plenty of opportunities during the day to practice her new skills. You might also consider sleep training and weaning her off of night feedings so she can sleep 10-12 hours straight.

And finally, adjust her schedule and experiment with different times to put her to sleep. Sometimes a simple change in when and how long she naps can make all the difference.

Unfortunately for many of us, the 11 month sleep regression is a thing—a quick online search tells you that much. But thankfully, it’s also one you can get through, one night at a time.

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How to Teach Your Baby to Self Soothe

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  1. I have an 11 month old daughter. About a week ago she began to only be able to sleep in my arms. She could be in the deepest sleep (both naps and bedtime) and as soon as she senses the motion of me putting her into her crib, she opens her eyes, panics and holds onto my arm, hanging from my neck and screaming for me to pick her back up. I am absolutely exhausted. I can’t get anything done around the house or focus on myself to just have tea in peace and quiet. I’m absolutely bummed. The sad thing is, while her naps have never been consistent and are usually on the shorter side, we have not had issues with overnight sleeping in months. She has slept through the night no problem, without any feedings. I do have to mention that she has always been rocked and fed to sleep. I know this is my fault and it’s now time to adjust but as soon as she is out of my arms she screams.

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      It’s definitely rough to still have sleep issues 11 months in—I can definitely understand your exhaustion! Like you said, more than likely, this is happening because of habit, especially if she had been fed and rocked to sleep for months. It’s understandable that this is the only way she can fall asleep since it’s all she has known and gotten used to. Hopefully you’ll be able to replace them with new habits that allow her to sleep on her own!