9-12 Month Old Sleep Schedule

image001If you are like most parents, by the time your baby is 9 months to a year old, you are more than ready to sleep through the night! Unfortunately, your baby may not be on a consistent sleep schedule. It’s important for you to know the basics of 9 month old sleep schedule up to 1 year old and learn tricks to help develop a normal sleep schedule that will fit with your schedule.

9-12 Month Old Sleep Schedule

What to Expect

By 9-12 months old, your baby will need about 14 hours sleep each day. A typical child of this age will sleep about 11 to 12 hours at night with two naps during the day. Each nap will be about one to two hours long. You may find that by the time your baby is a year old, her morning nap is shorter – and she may give up that morning nap!

Characteristics of 9-12 Month Old Sleep Schedule

1. Sleep Through the Night

Most children at this age will sleep through the night. If your baby is not sleeping through the night, be sure she is clean and dry. If she seems to be hungry, it is probably time to begin to wean from the nighttime feeding. Be sure to feed her right before bed and then ignore her crying during the night.

2. If Necessary, More Sleep Training Is Needed

By nine months of age, most babies are regularly sleeping through the night. If not, it is a good time to work on intensive sleep training. Of course, if your baby was premature or has health problems, he may not be ready to sleep through the night. Once you begin sleep training techniques, be consistent.

Research indicates that most sleep training methods will work if they are used consistently. There are three primary sleep training methods: “cry it out”, “no tears” and the “five S’s”.

  • In the cry it out technique, ensure that your baby is dry and well-fed, put him in his crib, and allow him to cry. In this CIO method, the baby soon learns to soothe himself and will soon learn to fall asleep with minimal tears.
  • In the no tears technique, you will comfort the baby as soon as he begins to cry. Gradually, let him cry a little more before soothing.
  • In the five S approach, you will swaddle, shush, swing, allow him to suck, and put him on his side for a few minutes before moving him to his back position for sleeping. Of course, some moms might not want to do this if they think this method is for younger babies. 

3. Wake Up Again at Night

Most people, children and adults, wake up several times during the night. Your baby will likely do this, too. As the 9-12 month old becomes more mobile, he may want to practice his new skills during the night, too. Typically, you can allow the baby to play and put himself back to sleep. At this age, he may also start to exhibit separation anxiety both during the day and when he awakens at night. If you know this is a problem for your baby, simply walking in the room and quietly shushing him may help your baby go back to sleep.

Sample Sleep Schedule for 9-12 Month Old

Babies from 9-12 months old will sleep better if they are on a schedule – and preferably on a schedule that works with yours. Below is a sample schedule for your reference:

  • If your baby awakens at 7:00 AM, feed her then.
  • Typically, she will be ready for a nap at about 10:00 AM; if she begins to get fussy earlier, start the nap before 10.
  • Plan lunch for about noon with an afternoon nap at about 2:00 PM. Most babies will need a snack after the nap.
  • Dinner should be with the family at your regular dinner time.
  • If you follow this schedule, your 9-12 month old will be ready for bed by 8:00 PM after a bath and snack.

This video will give you additional tips about feeding and sleeping for 9-12 month olds:

How to Establish Good 9-12 Month Old Sleep Schedule

By 9-12 months, most babies are beginning to sleep through the night. However, if you have a night owl, be sure you are working on sleep training and be aware that changing his sleep habits can take time – often as long as two weeks! Don’t despair. There are some ways to establish good sleep habits for children of this age:

  • Be sure the daytime schedule is consistent. If you do something special during the day that disrupts the baby’s schedule, you may find that his sleep is disrupted.
  • Develop consistent bedtime routines that begin early enough in the evening so that the routines are relaxing. The routine might include a bath if your baby enjoys bath time, reading a bedtime story, and a ritual “tuck in”.
  • Let your baby practice putting herself to sleep. Put her in the crib when she is sleepy, but not asleep.
  • Know how to cope with the crying. You can respond to crying with comforting that decreases over several days, or you can camp out in the baby’s room for several days gradually moving your bed out of the room. Although comforting the baby will result in less crying, it is a slower method, while camping out means discomfort for the mom since it may mean a parent sleeps on the floor in the baby’s room! Try one or both of these methods if your 9-12 month old is still not sleeping through the night.