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What should I do when my 13-month-old wakes up, whines, and screams at night?

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What should I do when my 13-month-old wakes up, whines, and screams at night?


This is a common age for sleep disturbances to occur. It's thought that because toddlers are trying to accomplish so many new tasks, such as walking and talking, that their sleep habits are affected as well.

Routines are very important for establishing good sleep habits. Try to put him down for naps and bedtime at the same time each day. Read a story, give him a hug, and say good night. Offer him a transitional object, such as a teddy bear or a favorite blanket, to help him separate from you and all of his activities.

He really shouldn't need juice in the middle of the night. Review his eating and drinking pattern during the day to make sure he's getting enough then. The more attention you give him during the night, whether it's nourishment or entertainment, the more he'll keep waking up. So, when he awakes, just check on him, putting on as little light on as possible. Talk to him in a soft voice and tell him it's time to go back to sleep, and that his teddy bear or blanket needs to sleep as well. It may take some time for him to learn a new sleep habit, but, if you are consistent, he will learn to sleep through the night. Good luck!  

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