When you’re overtired, it’s like every problem becomes ten times worse, thirty times harder to solve, and emotions are at least fifty times harder to control. Okay, so maybe some of those numbers aren’t quite right. But, when you’re tired, things can get a little out of control quickly, right? It’s the same with our kids. That’s why it’s so important to help them learn to sleep – so they can process their day and learn how to handle things well. So, let’s help you get that overtired 11 month old to sleep already! Then, we can all go back to our normal days of parenting cute kids.
How to get an overtired 11 month old to sleep: focus on bedtimes first
Some sleep books I’ve read have said that you have to focus on the naps first – and then the bedtime will happen naturally. That never worked for our kids. So, if your kids’ naps aren’t working, don’t stress too much. Maybe your kids are more like mine.
Instead, focus on bedtimes. Make them early.
Our kids sometimes go to bed as early as 5:30 PM. Their usual bedtime is 6:30, though. Here’s how to set a sleep schedule that’s right for your family.
While we were focusing on that bedtime, though, it was usually 6 PM. We’d eat dinner, begin calming things down, start our bedtime routine, and then say goodnight.
Focusing on the bedtime first helps your child ease into the night – when they should be getting the longest, most restorative part of their sleep. In other words, it’ll cut back on the intensity of the crankiness. And, because your child isn’t as cranky (or overtired), naps become easier, longer, and more restful, too.
Follow your child’s sleep cues to initiate nap times
Once you get the nights figured out, then we can focus on naps. My children never fit into the traditional nap schedules. It was like trying to cram square little pegs into circular holes. Instead, I had to learn to spot my children’s sleep cues – and start nap times based on those.
What are some sleep cues? Well, there’s two levels of them. There’s the early sleep cues – and the “too late!” sleep cues. Here are some of my children’s early sleep cues:
- Becoming more cuddly
- Playing more quietly
- Occasional eye rub
Here are some of their “too late!” sleep cues:
If I initiated a nap right when I noticed the early sleep cues, naps actually happened. On the other hand, if I waited too long (or missed the early signs of sleepiness), then naps were awful – and that’s if they took. More often than not, the late signs meant no naps for my children. And the only way to fix the sudden, no-nap sleep deficit is with an early bedtime.
Be consistent and patient – and it’ll take
Now, this is the part where those sleep books and gurus assure you this will take overnight. Um, reality check: it won’t.
It’ll take several weeks (if not longer) of regular, consistent effort to make this work. Because, first off, it’s going to take you some regular time, effort, and close observation to figure out your child’s “early” and “too late!” sleep signs.Helping your child learn to love sleep takes time - often several weeks. Here's some steps to help get things going.Click To Tweet
That may take a few days – or if your kids are so overtired (like mine were!), it could take weeks.
But once you know the cues and signs that are specific to your child, then you can start the early bedtimes. And then you can focus on the naps, too. Then, you’ll finally start seeing a difference – and watch your 11 month old child turn into a much happier, well-rested, and better version of their cute little selves. It’s a lot of hard work – but it’s worth it, it’s doable, and you’ve got this.
More on Getting Kids to Sleep:
- Surviving Sleep Regressions and Sleep Disturbances
- Say Goodnight to Sleep Regressions: the Ultimate Bedtime Checklist
- Sample baby schedules for 11- and 12-month-olds
- Teach Baby to Sleep Through the Night (Again)
- Baby Sleep Tips from SAHM, plus
My Must-Have Sleep Resources:
Y’all, a quick heads up: affiliate links are headed your way. Learn what that means.
- Want help evaluating why your baby isn’t sleeping? Use this free sleep assessment to find out why.
- Need some extra support? Join my favorite Facebook group for parents just like you!
- Want one of the my favorite, classic books on sleep? This is a great one: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child