Menu

9-12 Month Baby Sleep Guide

sleep guide for older babiesThis is it parenting peeps, the last few legs of the race. Enjoy these last days of being a parent of a BABY because in mere seconds you will be the proud parent of a TODDLER. Your older baby is no longer a screaming mess of short naps and blowout poops. Your baby is NOW a delightful smiling, laughing, ball of cute baby chub and tickle toes. Seriously, there is nothing better than a 9 month old baby. Absolutely nothing.

Things That Are Normal for 9-12 Month Old Babies

  • Bedtime is pleasant and happening at a reasonably consistent time each day somewhere near(ish) to 7:30 PM.
  • Baby is taking 2 consistent long(ish) naps a day.
  • Baby may still need a 3rd nap although this may vary from day to day. It’s generally short, maybe as little as 10-20 minutes. Also the 3rd nap is unlikely to happen in the crib so you may need a stroller walk/baby wearing/car ride to make it happen.
  • Baby is enjoying solid food and finger foods – YAY!
  • Baby is sleeping ~11 hours a night – YAY!
  • Baby is eating 0-1 times at night.
  • Baby is falling asleep on their own at bedtime and naptime.
  • Baby is sleeping where you would like them to sleep (crib or co-sleeping).
  • Baby is done with most sleep aids (swing, swaddle, pacifier) but is still happy with a dark room, loud white noise, and possibly a lovey.

This may not describe your baby which is OK. Baby sleep is not like a race. What matters is that you DO cross the finish line, not WHEN you cross the finish line.

If your older baby is still up all night, taking short crappy naps, and struggles to go to sleep at bedtime, then start reading here:
How to Get Baby to Sleep Through the Night – Part 1
How to Get Baby to Sleep Through the Night – Part 2
How to Get Baby to Sleep Through the Night – Part 3

If your baby is 9-12 months old and sleep is still a misery (20 minute naps, bedtime battles, baby up all night, unwilling co-sleeping, only sleeps on Mom’s boob, etc.) then it may be time to consider sleep training. If you’re curious and want to learn more you can find everything I’ve written about cry it out here.

Further Reading

Why Bedtime Is Critical and How to Rock It
How and Why to Use and Lose the Paci
Weaning Baby OFF the Swing
When Night Weaning isn’t Working
Bedtime What Time?
Why Your Baby Hates the Crib
Monumental Guide to Vanquishing Short Naps
Are You Keeping Baby Awake Too Long?
Why You Need White Noise
When Babies Drop Naps and What to Do About It
The Secret to the 12 Hour Night
And of course the ever popular – Baby Sleep What is Normal?
{Photo credit: Lisa Stout}

 

190 Comments


  1. I’ve read a lot about having a baby go to bed at the same time each night, but less on whether I should wake the baby at the same time each morning. My son is approaching 12 months and i was wondering if a consistent wake-up time might be helpful.

    • I’m wondering the same thing. My girl is a couple weeks away from her first birthday and she has been sleeping later and later in the mornings even though her bedtime has remained constant.

      • im trying to see how i can train my 11 month old baby boy how to fall asleep on his own when its nap time

        • Ashley,

          How successful were you with this? Any suggestions? My 11 month old will go down at school for naps with very little issues, but I feel like unless she falls asleep on me at night, it’s a nightmare trying to get her to settle down.

      • Jennifer and maren- while I know it is a few months after your post, it seems that the wake up time is most important and should be more consistent than the bedtime. Bedtimes shift depending on the naps for the day, but wake up times give consistency. I don’t know why almost all articles out there focus on bedtimes when they can shift so much (we work with a sleep consultant and have been thru a lot). Hope that helps!

    • I wake my daughter up at 8 am every morning so that she doesn’t sleep in too late. It keeps the rest of her day on a consistent schedule, which I really like. However, when she was smaller, I would let her sleep as long as she wanted and then I would just adjust her schedule each day to meet her needs of being awake and being asleep. It made it hard to make plans ahead of time, but my schedule was flexible when she was little. I’m no expert, but I would think that either way works. It just depends on what you want her schedule to look like. Do you go by a baby-led schedule, or an adult-led schedule.

    • Jennifer and maren- while I know it is a few months after your post, it seems that the wake up time is most important and should be more consistent than the bedtime. Bedtimes shift depending on the naps for the day, but wake up times give consistency. I don’t know why almost all articles out there focus on bedtimes when they can shift so much (we work with a sleep consultant and have been thru a lot). Hope that helps!

  2. Hi,
    My daughter is 10 months old and she wakes up between 5-15 times at night since birth. She can’t fall a sleep on her own, she needs to be pat on her back by me or my husband to fall asleep.
    She has two sisters that were similar to her and I did the COL method and it worked on them but not on her. She take between 1-5 bottles at night and it’s make life very difficult during the day:(
    I really hope that you can give me any idea how to change this habit of hers.

    She also take two naps a day, about 1.5-2 hours each.

    Thank you so much,
    Michal byrd

  3. Hi Alexis and everyone

    This might be a stupid question but I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere – why is it important that babies go to bed early (e.g. 7.30pm), if they are getting enough sleep? My daughter is ten months old and normally sleeps around 9pm – 8am (with one feed at 5am), so is getting the recommended 11 hours.

    On a separate note – any tips for getting them to sleep on their own once they’re able to get up out of sleeping position?! Before she became so mobile my daughter would often go to sleep by herself, but now she just gets up and stands holding the side of the cot, so I can spend an hour holding her in position and trying to soothe her before she gets to sleep!

    Thanks everyone

    Emily

  4. My 9 month old goes to bed at 6pm. We recently tackled night weening and he does a good job not nursing in the night. We are even seeing less night wakes (where he is up for a few minutes and puts himself back to sleep). However, he is consistently waking up between 3 and 3:30. Our day was starting at 4:30 so we can all get to daycare/work on time but now it seems like 9-10 hours is apparently not enough? How do I get my baby to sleep later? Do I treat the 3 am wake up call as a night wake and let him cry through it hoping he goes back to sleep? I think 5 is the latest I can get him up so we can all get out the door on time — and to be honest 6-5 would be ideal. Naps are on no schedule as he is in daycare. Mostly he takes 2 20-30 minute naps at daycare and a 30-40 minute nap on the way home around 3. Nothing can really be done about the naps given the rules of the daycare but there has to be something I can do to get him to sleep longer at night.

  5. My daughter is not a great sleeper and I’m looking for any advice. I put her down awake for all sleep, and she puts herself to sleep generally without any fussing, sometimes minimal fussing for less than 5 minutes. She was always been an awful napper. She will nap for 30 minutes at a time. Every once and awhile she’ll sleep for an hour or two but generally she only take 2 30 minute naps a day. She’s exhausted by 6:30pm, and that is when I put her down for the night. Then she generally wakes up once between 4-5am for a feeding and will usually go back to sleep for around an hour. So she wakes up for the day sometimes at 5:15am. Any tips?

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply