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Babies from 9-12 months of age require 11 hours of nighttime sleep and about 3 hours of daytime sleep. At 9 months, most babies have given up their third late-afternoon nap, so napping is usually divided into a 1.5-hour nap in the morning and another 1.5-hour nap in the late afternoon. By 12 months, napping has been reduced to one hour in the morning and about 1.5 hours in the afternoon.

Developmental Changes. With increasing mobility, most babies can pull themselves up and stand in a crib, creating some new twists at bedtime. Babies tend to learn how to get up before they can get back down, so practice during the day can help them learn to sit themselves back down. Increased activity can quickly tire out babies in this age range, so be sure to pay close attention to their sleep cues, or signs that they are sleepy. Missing these sleep cues can cause an overtired baby making bedtime more difficult.

Self-Soothing Skills. One of the main goals for babies at this age is to begin to build self-soothing skills so they can gently learn to fall asleep on their own without using sleep crutches such as rocking or nursing to sleep. In this age range, many babies are night weaning, which can also alter their bedtime routines. Many babies have associated food time with sleep time, and separating the two will help create a sleep-friendly plan. By feeding at recognizable mealtimes and allowing time between feedings and going into the crib, you can begin to transition from feeding all day (and all night) to a healthy sleep-friendly schedule.

Sample Schedule. The biggest differences between schedules with older and younger babies centers on their eating differences. Typically, healthy children from 9 to 12 months can go 11 to 12 hours at night without a feeding, but of course check first with your pediatrician. This sample schedule is meant to serve as a guideline to help create your sleep-friendly schedule.

  • 7-7:30 a.m. Wake up. Nurse/bottle/cup and breakfast.
  • 9-9:30 a.m. Start the morning nap. If your child is sleeping 11-12 hours uninterrupted at night, he or shee might be able to stay awake until 10 a.m., or three hours after waking up. Some children need a small morning snack after the nap.
  • Noon-12:30 p.m. Lunch with nurse/bottle/cup.
  • 1-2 p.m. Start the afternoon nap. Snack upon awakening.
  • 5-6 p.m. Dinner with nurse/bottle/cup.
  • 7-7:30 p.m. Nurse/bottle and bedtime.

This schedule applies to generally healthy children with no growth or developmental concerns. Sleep schedules are based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Remember, you should always consult with your child’s pediatrician.

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019

Takeaways

  • 9-12-month-old babies require 11 hours of nighttime sleep and about 3 hours of daytime sleep.
  • Consult with your pediatrician to determine if nighttime feedings are necessary.
  • Watch carefully for sleep cues to avoid an overly tired baby.

References

  1. Kim West, LCSW-C. The Sleep Lady’s Good Night Sleep Tight.

Comments

  1. My daughter has to be rocked to sleep n when I put her down she gets right back up n cries, n also she wakes up two n three times at night for a bottle n she is 11 months old. How can I get her to not drink has many bottles at night, she wakes up for a bottle n cries for one

    Reply
    1. The important thing to understand is that this is the pattern you two have set together. So she has no reason to change unless you set a new pattern. She also likes things this way, so you have to understand that she will be upset when you first change the rules. You have to think about what your goals are and then work on them. For example, if you want her to learn to fall asleep awake without rocking, then perhaps the first step is setting her down drowsy and then expecting her to become upset and allowing that to happen. If she is a healthy, thriving baby you may want to stop the nighttime feeds as your first step. Let her know that you will no longer feed her at night and then don’t! Give her the bedtime bottle, brush her little teeth and then do not feed her when she wakes in the middle of the night. Again, expect her to be mad. You are changing the rules! After a few consistent nights, she will understand the new pattern.

      Reply
  2. My daughter has to be rocked to sleep n when I put her down she gets right back up n cries, n also she wakes up two n three times at night for a bottle n she is 11 months old. How can I get her to not drink has many bottles at night, she wakes up for a bottle n cries for one.

    Reply
  3. Just started to simply put my daughter in her crib instead of rocking her to sleep. It’s been rough missing the cuddles, but nice that I’m getting more sleep now.

    Reply
    1. Sooo true on missing the cuddles. Add extra cuddles to the day! 😉

      Reply
  4. My daughter has 9 months ans so far she sleep with me and this article help me, thank you!

    Reply
  5. Our daughter goes to sleep nursing still and with a crazy traveling schedule my husband has it’s been hard to keep her on a schedule…. Next time we have a baby I will definanlty be doing things a little different !

    Reply
    1. Think of it as a flexible routine — not etched in stone!
      Follow your babies cues first and foremost.
      Enjoy- Kim

      Reply

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