First and foremost, welcome to toddlerhood. Can you believe that your baby is already 12-months-old? Time flies, so cherish every moment whether it’s easy or hard. As your baby gets older their brain and body continues developing and sleep schedules can start to change. So what should a 12-month-old sleep schedule entail? And, how do you overcome 12-month sleep regression? Keep reading to find out.
What is the best sleep schedule for a 12-month-old?
As a growing toddler, your 12-month-old should be sleeping about 13.25 hours per day. In terms of a schedule, the 13.25 hours should be split into 11-12 hours during the night and 2-3 hours worth of nap time during the course of two naps per day. A 12-month-old should have wake times of 3.25 to 4 hours between periods of sleep.
How do you get a 12-month-old baby on a sleep schedule?
The key to getting a baby on a sleep schedule for 12 months old is to put them down at the same time every day. If they are resistant to sleep, there are things you can do to relax them which we will go into in further detail later in the article. Once they get used to their schedule, they should start feeling tired at certain times of the day making it easier to maintain a routine. Consistency is key for schedules for both babies and adults.
Is there a 12-month sleep regression?
Sleep regression can occur at any age starting around 4 months going to the 2-year mark and it can greatly interfere with a 12-month-old sleep schedule. The condition occurs when the baby starts to hit developmental milestones. At 12 months, sleep regression is often associated with:
- The baby starting to walk and talk
- Changing sleep needs
- Greater awareness of the world around them
- Separation anxiety
Babies going through sleep regression will likely fuss and cry resisting sleep during naptime and bedtime.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce sleep regression, such as:
#1. Stay on schedule: If your baby is not going down for naps and bedtimes, you may consider switching up sleep times. However, this is not recommended. While you can shift your timing, anything too dramatic is not advisable. It’s best to stick to the plan and allow your baby to adjust.
#2. Leave the baby in its crib: Parents may be tempted to pick their child up if it is crying. However, most experts recommend moving towards the self-soothing, cry it out method. Not only will this get the baby used to quieting itself at bedtime, but it also will keep them from encountering distractions that promote wakefulness and interfere with a sleep schedule for a 12-month-old.
#3. Take action to soothe teething pain: If you think your child may be wakeful due to teething, you can relieve pain by giving him or her a cold toy to chew on or by administering a gel or medication.
#4. Promote a soothing atmosphere in the bedroom: Make your child’s bedroom environment relaxing by keeping it dark. White noise machines can also help soothe your baby to sleep.
#5. Use a weighted sleep sack or swaddle: Weighted sleep sacks and swaddles can help calm your baby before bed. It can also let them know bedtime is coming. They will feel comforted from the sleep sack or swaddle which can help you overcome regression and get your baby to sleep.
What time should a 12-month-old go to bed?
The bedtime you set for your baby may vary according to what works for your family, but you should aim for something in the ballpark of 7:00 PM.
Here’s an example of a sleep schedule 12-month-old that may work for parents:
- Baby wakes up at 6:30 AM
- Baby’s first nap from 9:45 – 10:45 AM
- Baby’s second nap from 2:15 – 3:15 PM
- Baby goes to sleep at 7:15 PM
How many naps should a 12-month-old take?
A 12-month-old should take two naps each day in accordance with the schedule listed above.
What are the signs that a 12-month-old is ready to transition to 1 nap?
Most babies transition to a one nap schedule at around 14 -18 months of age. However, some will begin needing less sleep around the 12-month mark.
You can tell your baby is ready to transition if he or she is:
- Resisting naps
- Skipping naps
- Taking shorter naps
- Waking early, going to sleep later, or waking up during the night
If your baby is exhibiting this behavior and seems well rested throughout the day, you should begin transitioning to a one nap schedule.
What should parents expect in the next stage of sleep?
While it’s difficult to target the exact age when children will need less sleep, you should see signs of increased wakefulness between the 1- and 2-year mark. Parents are advised to adjust to their child’s behaviors when it comes to creating a new sleep schedule. Eventually, you will be able to rework your routine accordingly.
Tips for 12-month-old sleep schedules:
Here are some tips for keeping your child on their sleep schedule 12-month-old:
Stick to your routine:
- Avoid feeding your child too close to bedtimes
- Engage your baby in relaxing activities before bedtime such as reading or bathing
- Keep your child active throughout the day so they are tired when it’s time to sleep
- Give them a stuffed toy at bedtime
- Use a weighted sleep sack, swaddle, or blanket
Some babies are fussier than others. Whether your baby has been fussy since the beginning or is showing signs of new behavior, trust us when we say a weighted sleep sack, swaddle, or blanket can be your saving grace. Ensuring your baby gets a full night of sleep (and goes down easy) is important for their health, and yours too. It wasn’t until baby #4 that Tara Williams struggled with getting her baby to sleep and keeping him asleep. After trying what felt like everything, she took matters into her own hands and Dreamland was born.
Dreamland’s mission is to use the highest quality materials and adhere to stringent safety standards to craft weighted sleep solutions that help babies feel calm, fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Dreamland offers a Weighted Sleep Sack, Weighted Swaddle, and Weighted Blanket, all featuring our CoverCalm Technology that evenly distributes weight from your baby’s shoulders to toes to naturally reduce stress and increase relaxation. Dreamland can make putting your baby to sleep a breeze, thus making it easier to get on a consistent schedule.