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12 Month Old Sleep Schedule

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Cara Dumaplin

RN, BSN, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant

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Congratulations, you have a one year old! Celebrating a first birthday is such an exciting milestone. At 12 months old, your little one’s personality is shining, and they are keeping you on your toes. Let’s talk about some of the most common questions I get about 12 month old sleep schedules, regressions, naps, and more. 

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If you need help with your 12 month old’s sleep, my 5-24 Month Collection is here for you. I’ll teach you a customizable step-by-step plan to achieve independent sleep for 10-12 hours overnight, conquer naps, and handle all the bumps along the way. You’ll remain emotionally connected during the entire process.

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12 Month Old Sleep Schedules and Wake Windowsanchor

What are the wake windows for a 12 month old baby?anchor

Around 12 months old, wake windows are between 3-4 hours. Morning wake windows are generally on the shorter end of the range, and the last wake window of the day is towards the longer end of the range.

Here’s a general daily routine for your one year old:

  • About 3 hours after Wake Time = Nap 1

  • About 3-3.5 hours after the end of Nap 1 = Nap 2

  • About 3.5-4 hours after the end of Nap 2 = Bedtime

12 Month Sleep Schedule Guidelinesanchor

Every baby is unique and your little one’s day will depend on when your baby wakes, how long your baby naps, and individual cues. These age-appropriate guidelines are not intended to be a rigid schedule, simply a guide for setting up a flexible routine. 

Daytime Feedings: Every 2.5-3.5 hours

Goal Daytime Sleep: 2.5-3 hours

Sweet Spot Bedtime: 7:00-8:00 pm

Number of Naps: 2

Wake Windows: 3-4 hours

For more details on these recommendations, keep reading.

What is a sample sleep schedule for a 12 month old? anchor

I’d like to share some sample schedules with you. It’s important to remember these schedules are only samples of what a day could look like and may vary depending on when you start your day, how long your baby naps, and your baby’s individual wake window and feeding needs.

12 Month Old sample sleep and feeding Schedule on Bottle/Nursing and Solids
Text version of 12 Month Old Schedule on Bottle/Nursing and Solids table
Time Activity
6:15 am Wake
6:25 am Feeding (breast/bottle)
7:30 am Breakfast (solids)
9:05 am Feeding (breast/bottle)
9:15-10:45 am Nap 1
12:15 pm Feeding (breast/bottle)
1:00 pm Lunch (solids)
2:15-3:30 pm Nap 2
3:30 pm Feeding (breast/bottle)
5:00 pm Dinner (solids)
6:45pm Feeding (breast/bottle)
7:20 pm Bedtime

Here is an example of a 2 nap schedule for a 12 month old who has been weaned from breast or bottle feedings. Notice we are still offering food and drink about every 2.5-3.5 hours. Again, this is just one possible way a day could play out based on appropriate wake windows, nap lengths, and your baby’s caloric needs.  

12 Month Old Sample sleep and feeding schedule on solids only
Text version of 12 Month Old Sample Schedule on Solids table
Time Activity
6:15 am Wake
6:30 am Breakfast (solids)
8:45 am Snack (optional)
9:15-10:45 am Nap 1
11:00 am Lunch (solids)
2:00 pm Snack (optional)
2:15-3:30 pm Nap 2
4:00 pm Snack (optional)
5:00 pm Dinner (solids)
6:45pm Bedtime Snack (optional) *milk in a sippy cup or other snack of your choice
7:20 pm Bedtime

How much sleep does a 12 month old need?  anchor

A 12 month old needs about 13-15 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. Our goal for this total looks like 2.5-3 hours of daytime sleep and 10-12 hours of overnight sleep. I find that babies who are on the higher end of the range for night sleep are often on the lower end of the range for daytime sleep and vice versa. 

What time should my 12 month old go to bed?anchor

A bedtime between 7:00-8:00 pm can help your 12 month old fall asleep and stay asleep during the night. If your one year old’s bedtime is currently outside of this range and sleep is going well, don’t worry about making any changes. 

On the other hand, if bedtime is after 8:00 pm and your little one is taking longer than 20 minutes to fall asleep, having false start bedtimes, not sleeping through the night, or waking earlier than 6:00 am, consider shifting bedtime just a bit earlier for a couple of weeks to see if it helps. 

You may also have some days when things don’t go as you planned. Consider shifting bedtime earlier than 7:00 pm if:

  • Daytime sleep was less than 2-2.5 hours total.

  • A nap was short or refused.

  • Your 12 month old has been awake at least 3 hours and is really struggling to make it to bedtime, especially if they’re sick.

If bedtime is a struggle and you’re not sure where to start, see my blog all about bedtime routines for some helpful tips.  

12 Month Old Napsanchor

How many naps should a 12 month old take? Is 12 months old too early for one nap?anchor

I often see babies at 12 months suddenly fight naps or struggle to fall asleep, causing parents to wonder if it’s time to transition to one nap. In most of these cases, dropping a nap is not the solution. Instead, sudden changes in sleep are typically caused by illness, teething, new skills, or the 12 month sleep regression

When your baby is truly ready to make the 2 to 1 nap transition, you’ll see that they’re able to handle much longer wake windows. This is necessary in order to get that one restorative nap and have consolidated night sleep. Most 12 month olds are not yet able to handle these longer wake windows without being overtired at naptime and bedtime. Before deciding to make any changes to your baby’s routine, we want to make sure your baby is consistently showing signs that it’s time to drop a nap for at least one week, ideally two. Transitioning to one nap too early can lead to other sleep issues, like short naps, early morning wakings, or night wakings.  Making this nap transition when your baby is truly ready for it will make the process much smoother. 

A Note for Daycare Parents: Please hear me, I know you may not have control over when your baby transitions to one nap at daycare, or daycare naps in general. Be assured that your baby’s daycare provider can handle it! Even if your little one is on a one-nap schedule at daycare, it may help to maintain two naps on non-daycare days to prevent overtiredness. For more help with daycare naps, the blog Daycare and Baby Sleep has you covered.

How long should a 12 month old nap?anchor

For a one year old, we are aiming for 2.5-3 hours of daytime sleep, divided between two naps. On a two nap schedule, the goal is to have each nap last at least one hour, but no longer than two hours. This allows for restorative sleep during the day, keeps bedtime between the sweet spot of 7:00-8:00 pm, and provides enough active awake time to be tired for naps and night sleep. 

Expert Tip: If it seems like a dream for your 12 month old to get enough daytime sleep, it may be time to explore why your baby is taking short naps

What time should my 12 month old wake up from their afternoon nap? anchor

In order to maintain that sweet spot bedtime between 7:00-8:00 pm, your 12 month old should wake between 3:00-4:00 pm. This will allow them to have a 3.5-4 hour wake window from the end of the nap until bedtime. Having a full wake window before bed makes it easier for your baby to fall asleep and sleep through the night.

If nights are going well but naps are a struggle or you’re looking for more guidance for nap transitions, my Conquering Naps class can help.

12 Month Old Development and Milestonesanchor

What are some 12 month old milestones? anchor

Here are a few milestones that you may notice around 12 months :

  • Standing unsupported

  • Taking a few steps without assistance

  • Going from standing to sitting independently 

  • Flipping through pages of a book 

  • Responding to their name

  • Following simple commands

  • Showing an attachment to a certain object or toy 

Each new milestone your baby achieves is so exciting, but please know these milestones are based on age ranges and every baby develops at their own pace. Make sure to speak with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s development.

What are some activities I can do with my 12 month old?anchor

Here are some ideas to entertain and engage with your one year old: 

  • Try stacking activities with objects around the house or a block set.  Stacking helps build cognitive and fine motor skills. 

  • Explore sensory play together. Make taste-safe play dough together, dump a cup of Cheerios into a small bin and add some spoons and scoops, or simply fill up the bath and let your little one play.

  • Play with a busy board. Little ones at this age love zippers, strings, buttons, and snaps. Don’t have a busy board? Try letting your little one flip the light switch on and off.

  • Encourage some role-play with toys or household items that allow your baby to mimic everyday life (They love this!). Things like a toy stethoscope, a hairbrush to brush their doll’s hair, measuring cups to “make recipes,” a small broom to "help with cleaning."

  • Make music! Music is always a good idea (and a great way to stretch a wake window). Create a homemade band with pots and pans or something like a xylophone.

I have some favorite toys for twelve month olds here.

12 Month Old Sleep Regressionanchor

Is there a 12 month sleep regression? anchor

Yes, I often see sudden changes in sleep around a baby’s first birthday. Your one year old is experiencing major strides in physical, cognitive, and emotional development, and these can often impact sleep. My best advice for dealing with the 12 month sleep regression is to be consistent. Often, making changes to your baby’s healthy sleep habits during a sleep regression can turn a little bump in the road into an ongoing sleep struggle. 

If you’ve been struggling for more than a short time, please know that I can help you with a holistic and fully customizable approach to sleep so you can establish great sleep, even in the midst of a regression.  

Can you sleep train a 12 month old? anchor

Yes! It’s never too late to have a great little sleeper! If you decide you’re ready to sleep train, the 5–24 Month Collection can help. It’s a holistic plan that allows you to remain emotionally connected to your little one throughout the process. The classes are completely customizable with a step-by-step plan for consolidated nights, solid naps, and managing all the bumps along the way. 

12 Month Old Feedinganchor

How much should a 1 year old eat?anchor

After 12 months of age, solids become a little one's primary source of nutrition. Please know it’s normal to see growth and weight gain slow after a child’s first birthday. If you feel like this transition is causing sleep disruptions, my blog on solids and baby sleep can help!

Please speak with your pediatrician about any concerns you have regarding how much your one year old is eating.

How much milk should a 12 month old drink?anchor

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies at this age should drink about 16 ounces of whole milk per day. Keep in mind, the AAP does not recommend introducing whole milk until a baby is at least 12 months old. 

For some babies and families, cow's milk is not the best option. If you have questions about milk alternatives and ensuring your baby gets the nutrition they need for healthy growth and development, please speak with your pediatrician.

How do we make the transition from breastmilk or formula to whole milk? How do we transition to whole milk for a 1 year old?anchor

How exactly this transition works is a matter of preference (usually your baby’s preference). Some families find that a cold turkey approach works well, where they simply switch milk for formula or breastmilk. If a baby is willing to drink whole milk, this can work perfectly. 

Other babies prefer a more gradual approach. Here’s how that can work: Start by mixing one ounce of whole milk in with breastmilk or prepared formula. Every few days, gradually increase the amount of whole milk and decrease the amount of formula or breastmilk in each offering. You can go as fast or slow as your little one needs.

For nursing families, please know that if nursing continues to work for your family, there is no pressure to stop nursing and transition to whole milk just because your baby turned one. 

If your one year old will not drink whole milk, you have any questions or concerns about their intake, or you aren’t sure if milk or a milk alternative would be best for your baby, be sure to check with your pediatrician. 

When should my baby transition from a bottle to a sippy cup? How do I wean the bottle or transition from a bottle to a cup?anchor

According to the AAP, children should be fully transitioned from a bottle to a cup between 12 and 24 months. By about 12 months, most babies have the physical and developmental skills they need to hold and drink from a cup, so now is a great time to introduce a cup if you haven’t already. 

How you transition from a bottle to a cup depends on your baby and your comfort. Here are 2 options:

  1. Cold Turkey: Simply throw out your bottles and use a cup for all milk and water. For some, this is a perfect approach because it’s a clear transitional point. To your baby, bottles are just not an option any longer. “Bottles are all gone. You’re so big! You can use a cup.”

  2. Gradual Transition: Try switching from a bottle to a cup for one feeding. Instead of offering the bottle cuddled up on the couch, offer a cup of milk at the table with a snack or meal. Every few days, do this with one more bottle feeding. Don’t worry: this doesn’t mean cuddles are a thing of the past, but rather that cuddles aren’t connected with bottle feedings anymore. If you’re trying this gradual approach, it’s often best to start with midday feedings.

Expert Tip: When choosing a cup, you may need to experiment with different cup options to find what works best for your baby. Some babies love straw cups while others prefer open cups. Some may love the comfort of their already familiar “water cup” for milk, while others may do best with a brand new style of cup (like a straw cup instead of an open cup) for their milk. Keep in mind, it’s best to avoid cups with hard spouts.

How do I stop bottle feeding or breastfeeding my 12 month old at bedtime? How do I wean the bedtime bottle?anchor

First, please know you don't have to stop bottle feeding or breastfeeding at bedtime simply because your little one reaches 12 months. The exact timing of dropping a bedtime feeding is a personal decision. Some families decide that they're ready to drop the bottle itself and simply trade the bottle for a cup so they can keep a feeding as part of the bedtime routine.

When you're ready to drop your baby's bedtime bottle or nursing session, you'll want to start by shifting the timing of the bedtime feeding. It might look like this:

Expert Tip: Be sure to brush your little one’s teeth between the last feeding of the day and bedtime.

If your baby is used to nursing or being fed to sleep and you’re wondering how they’ll be able to fall asleep after weaning, the 5-24 Month Collection is a fully customizable step-by-step plan that will keep you emotionally connected to your baby while helping them learn to fall asleep and go back to sleep without being fed to sleep.

12 Month Old Sleep FAQanchor

A sleep sack is a great option for your 12 month old! A sleep sack cues your baby’s brain to switch to sleepytime mode for naptime or bedtime, moves with your baby throughout the night (unlike a blanket), and can help deter practicing new skills (like standing, climbing, or walking) while in the crib.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until your baby is 12 months old before introducing a blanket or lovey for sleep. Please check with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about introducing a lovey.

Your baby can sleep with a blanket or lovey after they turn one year old. When introducing a lovey, make sure it’s soft, free of loose parts and choking hazards, and an appropriate size (be sure to get 2-3 of the same object and rotate them to maintain the same look and feel). Make the lovey a part of your nap and bedtime routines: read books, snuggle, kiss it goodnight and encourage your baby to do the same. Know that your little one may need some time to form an emotional connection to a lovey or comfort object.

I find most 12 month olds sleep best in a crib. Little ones at this age are simply not yet developmentally capable of understanding the need to stay in bed or resisting any urges they may have to leave a bed. My Ultimate Guide to Transitioning to a Toddler Bed will walk you through how to safely keep your little one in the crib, know the signs that your toddler is ready to transition out of the crib, and how to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Yes! It’s never too late to have a great little sleeper! If you decide you’re ready to sleep train, the 5–24 Month Collection can help. It’s a holistic plan that allows you to remain emotionally connected to your little one while they learn to sleep 10-12 hours at night. The classes are completely customizable with a step-by-step plan for consolidated nights, solid naps, and managing all the bumps along the way.

Still have a 11 month old? Check out 11 month sleep schedules. Already have a 13 month old? I've got you covered with my 13 month old sleep schedules

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