1 year old sleep: what to expect

1 year old sleep: what to expect

The one-year mark comes with a lot of developmental changes, which means changing sleep habits, too. What was once a sure-fire way to get your baby to sleep, might not be working anymore. But with a few adjustments and some new sleep tips up your sleeve, your 12-month-old will be a pro-sleeper in no time.

What’s happening?

At 12 months, your baby is getting more independent and learning new skills, which might mess with their usual sleep schedule.

The good news? Your baby is ready to be sleeping through the night, if they’re not already. With some schedule adjustments, you’ll both be getting plenty of Zzz’s.

The challenge? Even though they’re becoming more independent, separation anxiety peaks—leading to the common 12-month sleep regression.

Is it normal?

Very normal—although it can be trying for mom and dad. Your little smarty pants now knows that more mid-night wake-ups mean more time and attention from you. Not to mention he’s learning to stand, walk, and talk on his own—all of which distracts from bedtime.

Your 12-month old’s sleep needs have also changed. He should be sleeping more at night and less during the day, so you may need to tweak your sleep schedule.

What can I do about it?

It’s going to take your baby some time to adjust. But in the meantime, here’s what you can do to get some sleep.

1. Drop the second nap

At 1 year old, your baby should get 11 to 12 hours of sleep at night. Too much sleep during the day will leave them wide awake at bedtime—which means it’s time to ditch the second nap.

How to do it: Gradually shift their first nap time later in the day until baby is up for 4 to 5 hours after waking. Learn how to make the 2 to 1 nap transition from an expert.


2. Adjust baby’s bedtime

To compensate for fewer naps during the day, try moving bedtime ahead. Not getting enough sleep will make baby overtired, only adding to the fussiness of the 12-month sleep regression.

How to do it: Depending on their daytime sleep schedule, move bedtime up by an hour or more so they can get the right amount of Zzz’s.


3. Use lightly weighted sleepwear

During the 12-month sleep regression, separation anxiety is at an all-time high—a little extra comfort can go a long way. A lightly weighted sleeping bag will help him stay calm and cozy.

How to do it: Start with some extra cuddles as part of your bedtime routine, then dress baby in their gently weighted Zen Sack™ to help them self-soothe through the night.


4. Stick to your routine

Your schedule may change, but your routine shouldn’t. With all these other major developmental changes going on (learning to stand, walk, talk, etc.) your baby will appreciate the consistency of your normal routine.

How to do it: The timing may change but keep your sleep routine activities the same—as long as they still seem to help baby relax before bed. Don’t have a routine yet? Now’s a great time to start one.


5. Give them time to practice

Your baby’s going to want to test their independence and new skillset. And now that you’re transitioning to one nap, you’ve got more free time during the day to let them practice.

How to do it: Keep baby active during the day so they won’t be distracted when you’re trying to get them to sleep come bedtime.


12 to 18 month old sleep schedule

Time

Notes

Wakeup

Between 7-7:30 AM

Wake, feed, then play (in that order)

Nap #1

Between 12-12:30 PM

2-3 hours long

Start Bedtime Routine

Between 7-7:30 PM

Incorporate a full feed and Zen Sleepwear into your bedtime routine

Bedtime

Between 7:30-8 PM

Put baby in the crib drowsy, but awake

Common questions from tired parents 

  • How do I know if my baby is ready to drop to one nap?

  • What is a sleep regression?

  • Does every baby go through the 12-month sleep regression?

You might also like

8 solutions to get your baby to sleep through the night

Your baby’s nap schedule: nail it!

Sleep regression survival guide

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