Most babies between six months and a year are sleeping 10 to 12 hours a night and one to two day naps. Now when we say 10 to 12 hours a night, often at this age most babies are still waking at least once in the night, which a lot of parents don’t realise because everyone else’s babies are sleeping through the night. It pays not to compare with other people’s babies and as a rule of thumb most babies are waking at least once in the night at this age.
1. Avoid over-stimulating your baby before bedtime.
2. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the longer you keep them up, the more tired they will be and the easier they will be to settle. The opposite is true – an overtired baby is much harder to settle. Be aware of age appropriate wake windows.
3. A bedtime routine can help. This can be whatever you like, maybe a bath, a book and a song to settle them off to sleep.
4. By six to 10 months babies typically try to pull themselves up to stand, and often do this in their cot. This means it may take them longer to lie down to go to sleep.
5. Make sure their cot is a safe place for them to be, with no bumper pads or big toys. Ensure toys don’t have cords and that there are no curtain or power cords that they can reach through the bars and grab.
6. Around eight months of age, many babies become attached to a favorite snuggly toy which can help them settle. It helps even more if the toy has your smell on it to start with so your baby associates the object with you. It could even be one of your worn (smelly is fine!) t-shirts.
7. Ensure bedding is set up safely and they are dressed appropriately in a tog rated sleep sack.
8. If your baby is unwell, teething or away from home they may be harder to settle. Give them extra cuddles and care during this time and once they’re well again or home, you can try settling them back to their normal routine.
9. Babies who eat and drink well during the day are more likely to sleep well at night. Think about how much protein is in your babies diet as this can help them sleep well through the night.
10. It pays not to compare your baby with other babies. Every baby is different.
Wake window/sleep guide –
6 months – 2.25hrs up to 2.5hrs aiming for 2.5-3hrs total day sleep over 3 naps.
Overnight broken for 1-2 feeds
7-8 months – 2.5hrs up to 3.5hrs aiming for 2.5-3hrs total day sleep over 2 – 3 naps
Overnight 0-2 feeds as needed/you’re comfortable.
9-12 months – 2.5hrs up to 4hrs. Aiming towards 2-2.5hrs total day sleep over 2 nap pattern.
Overnight single feed or night weaned as you are comfortable.
Safe bedding –
Fitted sheet securely fitted, no soft surfaces or bulky bedding including cot bumpers, pillows and soft toys
Dress baby appropriately, use tog rated sleeping bag, avoid blankets, beanies.
Ensure to transition baby from bassinet to cot when the baby is showing signs of rolling or has outgrown the suggest limits of the bassinet
Use a snug swaddle/sleeping bag that is loose around their hips & ensure arms unswaddle once showing signs of rolling.
Ensure cot is away from any hanging cords
Always place baby on their back for sleep.