Congratulations- you’ve made it through the first year with your child! That first year is FULL of changes; I like to say the only consistent thing IS change. (Tell me it isn’t true).
With 12 months under your belt, you may find that things start to settle in a bit. Physically, they slow down a little bit but mentally, things really pick up as their language and/or communication abilities explode which can be a lot of fun to watch!
In this blog, we will cover:
- What night sleep looks like for your one year old
- 12 month old sleep schedule
- 12 month old nap schedule
- 12 month old feeding schedule
- Sample schedule for a 12 month old
- Activities to do with your 12 month old
Have a child younger than a year? Check out these other schedule blogs:
- Newborn Sleep Schedules
- 3 month old sleep schedule
- 5 month old sleep schedule
- 6 month old sleep schedule
WHAT NIGHTS LOOK LIKE FOR A 12 MONTH OLD SLEEP SCHEDULE
For the a lot of families, sleep will feel like it’s starting to become more consistent by one year meaning you can count on them sleeping a certain way through the night (barring teething, illness, etc).
Here’s what research says:
- 6-12 months: most parents report at least one night time waking (though many claim their babies sleep for more than 10 hours at night) (Also, more than 15% of parents reported that their 12 month old babies hadn’t yet slept 5+ hours)
- 12-24 months: most parents report 5 night wakings in a week
Fun fact: one study found that babies 6-12 months woke up, on average, about 3 times during the night. Yet many parents with babies this age report only one waking per night.
This study found it’s normal for infants this age to awaken 3-4 times each night. But many babies have learned to fall back to sleep quietly on their own, so that their parents aren’t even aware that their infants had awakened.
If you’re still really struggling with inconsistent night time sleep, it is possible to improve that when/if you’re ready to.
12 MONTH OLD SLEEP SCHEDULE
A sleep schedule for a 12 month ol (and beyond) is usually fairly predictable! They may wake around the same time each day, nap around the same time for the same general length of time and go to bed around the same time each night.
A 30-60 minute variation could also be normal (or you could feel like it’s still chaotic)!
I would expect morning wake up time to be between 6-8am and bedtime to fall between 6-8pm. This is what is considered normal for their circadian rhythm. I would also expect 10-12 hours of nighttime sleep (in their bed, but perhaps not a continuous stretch).
If you find that their day to day sleep schedule is really erratic, don’t be afraid to wake them up in the morning around the same time (consider a 30 minute window, like 7-7:30am). This will help to stabilize their day, their naps, and their bedtime!
Pretty soon, they will wake themselves up during that time in the morning and you won’t have to.
A gentle way to wake your little one up would be to open their door, wait a minute or two then turn off their sound, wait again, then open up the blinds before gently rubbing their back and speaking softly to wake them up.
Most babies are still in a Kyte BABY sleep bag at this age for naps and night sleep!
12 MONTH OLD NAP SCHEDULE
At 12 months, your child is likely on a solid 2 nap schedule (though so may show signs of the 2-1 transition which you can reference here).
Awake time between naps can range from 3-4 hours.
Typical day sleep is going to range between 2-3 hours (but of course, some babies will sleep more and some will sleep less! If you want to learn more about determining sleep needs, you can check out this blog for an evidence based review).
Don’t be afraid to log sleep and see what wake times result in the best naps or overnight sleep. This doesn’t have to be forever– it just gives you data in order to make objective decisions around sleep and what works best for your child!
12 MONTH OLD FEEDING SCHEDULE
When we discuss feeding schedules for 12 month olds, it can still vary quite a bit, but the AAP’s goal for this age group is around “1,000 calories per day divided between 3 meals and 2 snacks.”
If you’re transitioning from breastmilk or formula to a different type of milk, then the recommendation is about 16-24 ounces a day of milk.
At this age, you can begin weaning from bottles and offering milk in a cup with meals if you would like!
SAMPLE SCHEDULE FOR 12 MONTH OLD
A SAMPLE SCHEDULE FOR 12 MONTH OLDS MAY LOOK SOMETHING LIKE:
7:00am wake up
10-11:15am nap 1
2:45-4:00pm nap 2
If naps are short, it’s best to move their bedtime earlier instead of adding an extra nap. Extra naps take away from sleep by introducing even more awake time into their day. This makes them overtired!
You can also move their bedtime up to 6pm in order for them to make up sleep from their short naps during the day! If you have a chronic catnapper, check out this blog to see how to improve naps.
Important note: you do want to limit any single nap to 2 hours maximum and again no more than 3 hours of daytime sleep.
If you’re really struggling with sleep, you can try to incorporate a bedtime routine for your baby if you have not!
And parents, infant sleep is a predictor in maternal mental health disorders postpartum so do not feel guilty for wanting to improve sleep for your little one since it affects you too!
ACTIVITIES YOU CAN DO DURING AWAKE TIME AT 12 MONTHS OLD
Now that your child is older and active, you might be wondering what you can possibly do to fill that time so that they (and you) don’t get bored if you’re at home a lot.
According to Happy Toddler Playtime, you can do simple things throughout the day that keep them occupied and also challenge their development!, ,
Some fun activities you can do with your little one at this age includes:
- Playing with a ball
- Supervised sensory bins
- Build with blocks
- Age appropriate puzzles
- Read books (poke-a-dot books are a lot of fun)
- Singing songs
- Climb over cushions
- Use a push walker if they’re not walking independently
TAKEAWAYS ABOUT SAMPLE SCHEDULE FOR 12 MONTH OLD:
At this age, hopefully sleep is a lot less stressful and you’re able to enjoy the days with some predictability. But if it isn’t, It is definitely okay to want to improve sleep, especially during the night when it is affecting you as well, but also tune into your child and as long as they’re happy, eating well, gaining weight well, and you’re getting in some great bonding times, then you’re raising a happy, healthy kid.
Ashley Olson is a certified pediatric sleep consultant, owner of Heaven Sent Sleep and The Collective for Family Rest and Wellness, and passionate about helping new parents, experienced parents, desperate and sleep deprived parents form healthy sleep habits for their children.
She has over 4 years of experience in working with families and has completed over 150 hours of coursework plus continuing education related to infant and toddler sleep. The focus of her work is on fostering a routine that grows your bond with your child while improving their sleep habits. She specializes in custom sleep plans and one on one support in changing sleep practices!