Can you believe a whole year has gone by since you first welcomed your baby into the world? And now they’re not a baby anymore—they’re a toddler! But, with all that zooming around, they’ll still benefit from a balanced 12-month-old sleep schedule to keep them well-rested.
In fact, even though your little one has officially reached toddlerhood, their sleep needs are very similar to what they have been over the last couple of months.
So, rather than thinking of a one-year-old sleep schedule as a completely new start, think of it as a continuation of your existing routine.
Let’s take a closer look.
In this article 📝
- What does a 12-month-old sleep schedule look like?
- How much awake time in a 1-year-old schedule?
- How much sleep does a 1-year-old need?
- How many naps should a 1-year-old take?
- What time should 12-month-old go to bed?
- Sleep tips for 1-year-olds
What does a 12-month-old sleep schedule look like?
Early to bed and early to rise is still your new toddler’s mantra.
They’ll have you up at the crack of dawn for another exciting day of exploration, so they need an early night to allow for their ideal 11 to 12 hours of nighttime sleep.
Keeping a morning and an afternoon nap as part of your 12-month-old daily schedule is also recommended. At some point over the coming year, they’ll be ready to transition to a one-nap schedule, but usually, that’s not until they’re 15 months or older.
How much awake time in a 1-year-old schedule?
Your toddler may need a little more awake time now.
To help them sleep soundly during their naps and at night, they need plenty of opportunities to burn off energy.
So, while before you might have been aiming for wakeful periods of 3 to 3.75 hours (between naps and before bedtime), now you could aim for 3.25 to 4 hours.
Typically, your toddler’s shortest awake time will be before their morning nap, and then they’ll be awake for progressively longer periods as the day goes on.
(You can find loads of ideas for fun activities to fill those waking hours here.)
How much sleep does a 1-year-old need?
Your little one’s first birthday is a special milestone, but it doesn’t affect their sleep needs all that much.
As we saw above, they might be awake for a little longer at any one time, but they still need a similar amount of sleep to what they were getting at 10 and 11 months old.
Ideally, your baby will be snoozing for 14 hours per day in total. That’s 11 to 12 hours at night and 2 to 3 hours during the day (over two nap times).
If you’ve taken the route of extending awake times between naps, you might find that bedtime is pushed back slightly later, leading to a shorter night’s sleep. But if your toddler is getting at least 10 hours at night, they should be fine.
How many naps should a 1-year-old take?
A typical 1-year-old nap schedule has two naps: one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Even if your toddler is starting to resist the two-nap routine, it’s important to stick with it. They probably won’t be fully ready to go down to one nap until they’re 15 months old.
That said, if your little one goes to daycare, they might be moved to the toddler room after their first birthday, which may well involve transitioning to one nap.
Some one-year-olds find this change a challenge, but most do adjust to it after a couple of weeks.
And how long should a 1-year-old nap for? Ideally, 1 hour to 1.5 hours for each nap.
If your toddler is resisting one of their naps, it might help to lengthen their periods of wakefulness between naps (as we talk about above). That will give them longer to burn off extra energy so they feel ready for their naptime when it arrives.
Here’s what a 12-month-old nap schedule might look like with these longer awake times:
- 6:00am Wake up from night-time sleep
- 9:30 to 10:30am Morning nap
- 2:15 to 3:45pm Afternoon nap
- 7:15pm Bedtime routine
- 7:45pm Sleep
What time should 12-month-old go to bed?
The best bedtime for a 12-month-old will depend on what time they get up in the morning.
Essentially, the earlier they get up, the earlier they’ll need to go to bed to get their recommended 11 to 12 hours’ sleep.
So, to work out what time you should be tucking them in, take their morning waking up time and count forward 12 to 13 hours.
For example, a toddler who’s up and about at 6:30am will need to go to bed at 6:30 to 7:30pm to get the ideal amount of sleep.
Sleep tips for 1-year-olds
Many 1-year-olds can sleep through the night now, without the need for soothing or an early morning feed.
But if your toddler hasn’t quite managed to go it alone yet, or they’re going through a sleep regression, you might wonder if there’s anything you can do to help.
Try these tips for a good night’s sleep:
- Don’t drop the second nap from your toddler’s sleep schedule. This can lead to overtiredness and trouble sleeping at night. Try longer awake times between naps instead.
- Keep up the bedtime routine—predictability is definitely your toddler’s friend. Even if they’re going through a sleep regression and the nighttime is a struggle for both of you, try to continue your usual calming pre-bed activities.
- Put away screens before bed. The electronic light from your tablet or phone works like a wake-up call for your baby’s brain, so they’re best avoided in the run-up to bedtime.
- Create a restful environment where your baby sleeps. Make sure it’s dark enough and that the temperature is right. You could also play some soothing sounds, such as white noise or gentle music.
- Consider sleep training. It’s not too late to try sleep training with your toddler (or to have another go at it if you already tried when they were younger). There are various methods out there, so you can choose one that feels right for you and your little one.
And you can always ask the other mamas on Peanut for their own sleep tips! Wishing you and your toddler a peaceful night. 😴
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