Parenting 101: Setting your Baby’s Sleep Schedule (9-12 Months)
September 24, 2014
Remember that time when you saw your baby’s first ultrasound, and you saw the inception of a miracle. He or she is no longer a collection of cells, but a living organism. Remember that time when you first held your infant in your arms, cradling it with gentleness, taking every ounce of your strength and self-control to keep him or her safe and unhurt? It’s amazing.
Watching your baby grow throughout months and years is also rewarding. It’s almost a miracle to see how he or she starts growing slowly but surely, and how his or her activities start changing from mostly sleeping to exploring the world around – one small step at a time. However, before any baby-sized adventures can commence, you first have to establish a proper sleep schedule, since it’s during sleep that growth hormones are released the most.
If your baby is 9-12 months old, chances are, your baby is sleeping around 11 and 12 hours at night, and twice a day for approximately an hour each. Compared to the previous stages in development (Months 0-3, 3-6, and 6-9), your baby is requiring less and less sleep. However, the amount of sleep he or she still need is just as crucial.
Introduce Nap Time Early On
Just as setting a regular bedtime is important to establish your baby’s natural circadian rhythm, napping ought to be consistent as well. If you fail to give your baby consistent napping times, you will definitely find it harder to put him or her to sleep at night. Not only that, your baby will also wake up at random intervals, which is bad news for every member of the family.
To give your beloved child the best sleep possible, invest in a quality crib coupled with the comfiest foam mattress you can find. Top that all off with a set of cute crib toys and your baby should spend more time sound asleep than crying for his momma.
Encourage Healthy Sleeping Habits
The single most essential thing about keeping your baby’s night time slumbers peaceful and consistent is sticking to a bedtime routine. Believe it or not, you and your baby will both benefit from a nightly bedtime routine. We humans are designed to adapt to patterns. That’s why if we get used to a bedtime routine, we will find it easier to prepare our bodies physically, and mentally, for sleep.
As for the baby, a bedtime routine is simple. Once you give him or her a bath, dress him or her in pajamas, read him a bedtime story, and putting him down to bed with a kiss goodnight in that order every night, your baby is pretty much ready for a bedtime routine.
Follow a Practical Daily Routine
Circadian rhythm concerns both nighttime and daytime activities, and bedtime will go even more smoothly if your baby’s afternoon routine is just as consistent. It’s important to encourage and train your baby to follow a certain order of activities in between naps and waking up. Your baby’s restfulness and growth will flourish in consistency.
At this point, your baby is able to sleep through the night without being disturbed. It’s a win-win for both of you. Fewer interruptions mean more enjoyable and restful slumber. Have a good night’s rest – you and your baby.