Your drooly, smiley baby is learning so many new things from nine to 12 months old, and they should be getting a lot of good sleep in their schedule to balance out those long wakeful stretches and process new skills. “Generally, babies at this age are having two naps, and hopefully those naps are at least an hour, if not two hours or more,” says Erin Neri, a certified paediatric sleep consultant in Sherwood Park, Alta. “They should be able to stay awake for three to four hours between naps.” She adds that there are a small percentage of kids who start to go down to one nap around 11 to 12 months, but dropping the morning nap typically happens around 15 months.
More teeth (the four lower incisors, if they haven’t poked through earlier, and four top incisors) are making an appearance in this age range, which can wreak havoc on sleep. Overall, though, they should be getting up to 12 hours of nighttime sleep—maybe straight through (yay!) or with one or two brief wakings. If nighttime sleep is chaotic, you haven’t missed the window for sleep training if that’s something your family wants to try.
Your baby: 9 months oldFoodwise, you can start to introduce cow’s milk with your healthcare provider’s go-ahead. Choose 3.25 percent homogenized milk because it has the fat content that babies need. If you’re breastfeeding, you may run into a nursing strike, which means that your baby is refusing the breast. Chances are, this doesn’t mean they want to wean but rather something else: They may be developing sore gums from teething or be startled by a loud noise while feeding (like if you yell when you’re accidentally bitten on the nipple).
Kiddos at this age love finger foods, so cut their food into tiny pieces (fingertip size) and always supervise them while eating because solid food can be a choking hazard. Softened and mashed foods, such as sweet potato and banana, are also some good go-tos.
9 to 12 months sleep schedule
Wake time length: About 3 to 4 hours
Sleep time length: 2 to 3 daytime naps of up to 3 hours in total; may sleep up to 12 hours overnight or wake once or twice
Total sleep time: 12 to 15 hours a day
9 to 12 months sample schedule (with 2 naps)
7 to 7:30 a.m. – Wake up (3 to 3.5 hours)
10:30 a.m. – 1st nap (45 minutes)
11:15 a.m. – Wake time (2 hours)
2:15 p.m. – 2nd nap (1.75 hours)
4 p.m. – Wake time (3 to 3.5 hours)
7:30 to 8 p.m. – Sleep (11+ hours, with or without nightly waking)
Total sleep time: 13+ hours
9 to 12 months feeding schedule
Breastfeeding: On demand, before offering other foods
Pumping: 15 to 20 minutes per breast, every 3 hours or 7 times a day
Formula: 180 to 230 mL (6 to 8 oz) per feeding, about 4 to 5 times a day
Solids: Continue to test new foods for allergies over several days; introduce more table foods and family meals, softened, mashed or cut into safe sizes; no honey until they’re at least 12 months old
Liquids: Continue with breastmilk or formula; introduce cow’s milk from 9 to 12 months; water or 100 percent fruit juice sparingly and in a cup only