Why does my one year old sleep for 14 hours?

Why does my one year old sleep for 14 hours?
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Your toddler will be getting around now, crawling or toddling. This can use up a lot of energy, so could be a reason why she is sleeping so well.

However, it may be worth just thinking about her diet, particularly her iron intake. Iron is essential for a child’s growth. A baby is born with a natural supply of iron, but by the age of six months old, the store will have run down. Usually, by this time, babies are onto weaning and so can rebuild the stock through their diet. Iron-deficiency anaemia can be quite common in toddlers.

This is the reason you are advised to continue with breast-milk or formula milk until your baby is a year old, rather than give pasteurised milk which does not contain iron. A lack of iron can cause tiredness, although this is not necessarily the cause of your child’s sleepiness. Try to ensure that she has a diet with sufficient iron. All fortified breakfast cereals contain iron, as do wholemeal bread, all red meat, oily fish, dried fruit, green vegetables, beans and pulses.

Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron, so at mealtimes include a drink of diluted orange juice, salad, green vegetables or fresh fruit. The tannin in tea prevents iron being absorbed by the body so it is best not to give tea to children at mealtimes. It would be a good idea to have your daughter’s weight checked, if you have not done so recently.

Any problem with a child’s health can present as a loss of weight. If all of this checks out well, just enjoy it while you can. Some children do sleep a lot at this age. Twelve hours at night plus a couple of hours in the day is fairly normal, but then they are very busy whilst they are awake.

Debbie Honer