12 Month Old Sleep Schedule: Your Invaluable Guide To Zzz

Author Image By Paula McLaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH •  Updated: 09/19/23 •  Sleep / Sleep Schedules

Healthy sleep patterns start with a schedule. Here’s how to get your baby onto a regular 12 month old sleep schedule with top tricks to make creating and maintaining it as easy as possible.

How Much Should A 12 Month Old Sleep?

Sample 12 Month Old Sleep Schedule

By 12 months old, your baby will be sleeping through the night and they will be having 2 naps a day.

The afternoon nap will typically be longer than the morning nap, but that will depend on how busy your child’s day has been.

Here’s a sample 12 month old sleep schedule to give you a guideline for how your baby’s day may flow:

12 Month Old Sleep Schedule Sample

Nap Schedule For 12 Month Old Baby

Here’s a quick reference for a 12 month old nap schedule to help you visualise your baby’s daytime sleep habits:

Nap Schedule For A 12 Month Old Baby

How Often Should 12 Month Old Sleep?

Your 12 month old will sleep every 3 to 4 hours. Depending on when your baby wakes up and goes to bed, this usually means your child’s nap schedule will contain 2 naps per day.

Is 12 Months Too Early For One Nap?

Typically… Yes, 12 months is too early for one nap. While some 1 year olds can get by on one nap a day… most will not transition to a one nap schedule until they are 14 to 16 months of age. 

How Long Should A 12 Month Old Nap?

Your 12 month old will require between 2 to 3 hours of nap time during the day split between two naps… A shorter morning nap and a longer afternoon one. 

I would not recommend letting your 12 month old sleep for longer than 2 hours in the afternoon as you run the risk of it impacting their bedtime. 

Equally, the morning nap should not be longer than 1½ hours to ensure that your little one is ready for their afternoon nap. 

Bedtime For 12 Month Old

For a 12 month old schedule, your baby’s bedtime routine should now be firmly in place and it will not change much from now on. A simple bedtime routine will consist of:

The entire bedtime routine should start between 6pm and 6.30pm and take no longer than 30 minutes.

REMEMBER: The bedtime routine should follow the same steps and be repeated at the same time every evening to ensure your 12 month old can recognise the signs that bedtime is coming to help them settle and fall asleep more easily.

Looking to get your little one to sleep quickly and effortlessly? Check out my Bedtime and Nap Cheat Sheet and master the art of making daytime naps and bedtimes as seamless as possible.

12 Month Old Sleep Regression

At 12 months old, you may notice your baby goes through a sleep regression…

This is not uncommon as many children will go through a 12 month old sleep regression due to it being a time in your baby’s life when lots of important developmental milestones are being reached. 

The combination of learning to walk, starting to talk and a whole host of other emotional and cognitive developments can make this a tricky time for managing sleep both in the day and at night.

If your little one’s well-established sleep schedule no longer gets your baby to sleep then it is very likely that they are experiencing a 12 month sleep regression. 

Take a look at my post The 12 Month Old Sleep Regression for lots of helpful information on how to survive this common sleep problem without undoing all of your hard work to get your little one on a sleep schedule!

12 Month Old Sleep Tips

Establishing and maintaining a 12 month old sleep schedule will make your day much easier to manage because after all… Everything starts and ends with sleep!

Here are some of my top sleep tips to make creating and maintaining a 12 month old sleep schedule as simple as possible:

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Common 12 Month Old Sleep Problems

The most common sleep problems that your baby may encounter when establishing and maintaining a 12 month old sleep schedule are:

Frequently Asked Questions About A 12 Month Old Sleep Schedule

Looking for more help with creating your baby’s 12 month sleep schedule? Find answers to the most common questions here.

What Time Should A 12 Month Old Go To Bed?

Bedtime for babies, toddlers and preschoolers does not really change. For a 1 year old sleep schedule, your baby should be in bed with the lights out by 7pm.

If you want to adjust your schedule to make bedtime a little later you must change your daily nap times accordingly. But no matter what… your baby should not be in bed any later than 8pm.

What Time Do Most 1 Year Olds Wake Up?

Depending on what time you’re putting your 1 year old to bed, they will normally wake after 10 to 12 hours of sleep.

For example: If your little one is in bed by 7pm, I would anticipate them waking between 6am and 7am the following morning.

Is a 3 Hour Nap Too Long For A 1 Year Old?

If your 1 year old is only having one nap a day then a 3 hour long nap is absolutely fine. However, most 1 year old nap schedules contain 2 naps to help your little one get through the day and to split up their sleep requirements.

I would recommend that they sleep for no longer than 1 hour in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.

Sleep Schedules Further Reading

Here are some more sleep schedules to help you get the most out of helping your little one sleep as best they can.

After all…

Sleep breeds sleep!

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Author Image Bio
Paula McLaren is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and a highly qualified childcare expert with over 40 years of experience as a Norland Nanny. She holds a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development & Learning (0-6 Years) and the prestigious Norland Diploma. Paula has worked as a night nanny, run a successful daycare center in London, and helped raise countless children using her tried and tested developmental and guidance methods.

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