Hello again, everyone! I’m back to talk about daily schedules for babies, and today I’m going to tackle meal and sleep tips for babies aged 9-12 months. At this stage your baby is (hopefully) doing a really long stint at night, and some babies are probably even sleeping the entire night without waking up—LOVE THAT! Your baby has probably made the transition from three naps to two naps, so your day is likely structured around two naps now.
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Now that your baby is a little older, when exactly should these naps be happening?
Babies at 9 months-12 months should generally be waking up at 7 a.m. and going back down around 9:30 a.m. for their morning nap. Some babies go down at 9 a.m. (or earlier) if your baby is an early riser, so say that a baby who wakes up early may nap from 8-10 a.m. instead of 9-11 a.m. So once they’re awake from their morning nap, they will go back down at around 2 p.m. and sleep until 3:30 p.m. (for normal wakers) or go down at 12 p.m. and sleep until 2 p.m. (for early risers). If you find yourself struggling with early risers, you can watch another video I made on how to get your baby to adjust to a more normal waking hour.
My doctor suggested that it was healthiest for babies not to sleep past 3 p.m. in the afternoon or four hours prior to their bedtime. I found these kind of sleep tips for babies very helpful because, in my own experience, when my babies slept past three I had a very hard time getting them to bed.
So now that we’ve covered sleeping, what does the feeding schedule for 9-12 month olds look like? At this point, your baby needs milk about four times per day, as you can see here:
- 7 a.m. after they wake up
- 11 a.m. after their nap (10 a.m. for early risers)
- 3:30 p.m. after their afternoon nap (2 p.m. for early risers)
- 7 p.m. at bedtime
Also, we can’t forget about solids! Hopefully your baby is eating solids three times a day at this age. This is based on my own doctor’s recommendation, but as always, check with yours to see what they say! Milk is still the most important source of nutrition in this stage, so I would still stick with giving milk first and then solids after, like this:
- Solids breakfast at 7:30 a.m. after milk
- Solids lunch after nap at around 11:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. for early risers)
- Solids dinner at 6 p.m. For this, I would give food first so that your baby has milk as a final feeding before bedtime.
If your baby is too full after milk for solids, try waiting for 20 minutes and then try again—but first, check with your doctor to make sure that this is OK. I’ve put together the full schedule for you, so hopefully it makes plenty of sense once you see the day as a whole!
We’ve covered all of the bases for this age group so now I want to hear from you! Parents, what experience do you have with getting your 9-12 month old to stay on a consistent feeding and sleeping schedule? Do you have a tried and true method that worked for you? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!