Baby Bedtime Routine: 10 to 12 Months

From crawling to improved hand-eye coordination, your baby is advancing in leaps and bounds during the last legs of his first year, and sleep is no exception. By now, he’s probably been weaned off his nighttime feeding routine, and you may notice that his sleep pattern is changing, too. These baby sleep solutions will help ensure that your little one gets the rest he needs during the last few months of his first year.

Put in the hours
Your older baby requires less sleep than he did as a newborn -- about 14 hours in a 24-hour period. However, he’ll still be taking his usual two naps per day, which are important for growth and development.

Keep it consistent
A regular bedtime routine is a big step toward no-fuss nights. However, you may notice that as your baby gets older, his interests change. If your routine isn’t working as well as it used to, consider switching one of the activities in your bedtime routine (say, read a book instead of singing lullabies). Just remember to keep the activities quiet and calming, and do them in the same order every evening so your baby knows to expect bedtime at the end of the nightly ritual.

Don’t linger in your baby’s room
At this age, one developmental milestone is that your baby starts understanding object permanence, or the fact that people and things still exist even when they can’t be seen. Knowing that you’re somewhere else in the house, your baby may make a fuss when you leave the room in an attempt to get you to come back. If you do hear your baby cry out, poke your head back into the room but avoid turning on the light, picking him up, or staying too long. This will help teach your baby to soothe himself back to sleep on his own.

Ensure your baby’s room is safe
At around 12 months, another developmental milestone your baby may reach is the ability to pull himself up to a standing position without help. Be aware of this when evaluating the area around your child’s crib. Remove any artwork or decorations that he may be able to reach.

For older babies (and babies of any age), consistency is key, so aim to keep your child’s bedtime routine constant each day of the week -- even when away from home. A well-rested baby will make for a happy, well-rested mom!