Inside: Here is a great sample 9 to 12 month baby routine and schedule. I’m continuing my sample schedule series with our routine for the 9-12 month period. Updated: September 29, 2019
- Newborn Sample Routine
- Sample 6 Month Schedule
- 9 to 12 Month Sample Schedule
- 18 Month Sample Schedule
- 2 Year Old Sample Schedule
- 4 Kids (4 Years and Under)
- Ultimate Newborn Sleep Schedule: Week by Week
Y’all don’t even know.
We’re not supposed to say we have a favorite age, but I mean really…. this 9 to 12-month phase is my absolute favorite.
Okay fine, I said that at the 6 month age too…
Why? They are sweet, gushy and cuddly, and they laugh a lot. All smiles and no attitude.
Need I say more?
On This Page...
Notes about 9 to 12 month olds
- 9 to 12 month olds are less sleepy than they used to be, but should still be taking two naps a day. If your baby takes one super long nap and has an early bedtime they may still get along without being overtired, but if that one nap isn’t at least 3 hours try putting them down twice.
- Solids are super important at this stage. Not only for their nutritional needs, but for sleep. All 5 of my kiddos wouldn’t sleep well or would wake super early if they hadn’t had adequate food throughout the day. Also, I was able to discern my milk supply wasn’t what it should have been due to this very thing. 9 to 12 month old babies need to eat a good amount of solids in addition to milk.
- This 9 to 12 month period is when babies start crawling around, making huge messes, trying to empty the trash can, and want to shove everything in their mouths. While you may not need to “baby proof” in a very strict sense of the word, it is a time to practice more vigilance. But hey, you’re already used to being hyper-vigilant aren’t you?
A sample routine for 9 to 12 month old babies
Note: This is the routine I’ve used with all 5 of my babies, more or less at the same times. That’s not to say it’s the only way… there is probably not an “only way” for much in this life.
Here’s a sample 9 to 12 month routine.
- 7:30 am – milk and solids
- 9:30 am – morning nap
- 11:30 am – milk
- 12:00 pm or so – lunch with family
- 1:00 pm – afternoon nap
- 3:30 pm – milk and snack
- 5:00 to 5:30 pm – dinner with family and solids
- 6:30 pm – bedtime snack if desired
- 7:00 pm – milk and bedtime
Now, let’s break it down.
7:30 am – Milk and solids. If the baby hasn’t had a substantial bedtime snack he’ll wake earlier, but I don’t feed him milk or solids until this time because that encourages him to sleep later, which he will.
We’ll eat breakfast, then he will have some free play with is siblings.
9:30 am – Morning nap. My 4th doesn’t take a long nap at this point, maybe 45 minutes, but that’s enough to keep him content and rested until his afternoon nap.
11:30 am – Milk. I’d nurse him or give him a bottle at this time then let him play a bit more until noon, which is when we all have lunch at the table together.
If he’s particularly hungry I’ll give him some finger food in his high chair so he isn’t antsy.
12:00 pm – Lunch at the table with siblings.
4:00 pm – Most days the baby sleeps until at least this time or even 4:30.
Yes, this is what happens when you give them enough food! When he wakes up I’d nurse (though he is now 13 months and weaned… sob…) or give him the bottle.
5:00 – 5:15 pm – Dinner. This is a very early dinnertime, but it works for us. We’ll all sit and eat as a family.
I’d like to say it’s calm and peaceful but it’s loud and does my head in most nights. Let’s all be honest together. After dinner we’ll do the baths (though they don’t take one every single night), have free play, and generally get ready for bed.
We’ll often read this book after we’ve finished eating together.
6:30 pm – Bedtime snack. I forget this about half the time, but it’s what helps the baby sleep later in the morning. I’ll usually do something like applesauce or yogurt.
Just enough to top him off.
7:00 pm – Nurse/bottle and bed. My husband has always been “jealous” that I get to put the babies to bed. Mwahaha, mommy privileges. This is when the baby is calm and sweet and tired.
Eyes rubbing, singing, praying, and off to bed.
The Key to a Good Routine with 9 to 12 month old babies
This may be so simple it goes without saying… but the key to a good routine is keeping the routine. It can be tricky to remember everything in order when you’re beginning, but once you get the hang of it, routine will be second nature.
It can seem very difficult to get started doing or keeping a routine when you do not have one at all. Here are some ways you can learn to keep your routine.
Hang it up.
In my Rhythms, Routines, and Schedules ebook (see more below) I have 25+ sample routine printables from babies age 6 weeks to 5 years.
You can take these printables and hang them in your nursery, on the fridge, or keep them in your planner. Whatever works.
You can hang the routine cards as well and pretty soon you won’t need to reference anything, it’ll be second nature.
While you don’t need to live and die by the clock, setting your phone, watch, or a timer will help you keep aware of routine transitions.
We can often get so wrapped up in what we’re doing we forget we’ve let the baby sleep 4 hours. Why is that bad? Because 4 hours is a stretch littles ones should only sleep at night!
I set alarms on my phone that show on my watch and this works for us.
As with anything, if you want something to work then work it. Keep pushing what you’ve decided to do. If it doesn’t work then change it up a bit and keep going.
I assure you 100% that a routine will work if you keep at it.
Want Routine Printables to hang up?
If you want routines and schedules for not only the 9 to 12 month age, but 18 months, 2 years, and on and on I’ve got great news. I’ve created a book chock full of routines that work.
Routines that keep babies well rested, happy, and content. Routines that account for all the things you need to do and they are mom tested.
The best part?
The book comes with printable routines (3 choices for each age) that you can hang up and use! So instead of having to reinvent the wheel every few months, you’ll have tried and true mom tested routines right at your fingertips.
Get your own routine book and printables here!
9 to 12 Month FAQ
“How long is 9 month old awake between first wake up and first nap? I am really stuck with this.”
I think that this can vary slightly, but I’m going to say 2 hours is a solid rule of thumb you can go by. 7 am wake up then a 9 am nap. Then maybe up by 11 am and a 1 pm nap.
“Our 9 month old only takes a 45 minute nap in the afternoon (from 1:15-2:00) then he is EXHAUSTED by 6:00 pm causing him to wake at 5:00 am every day. Any advice? I know we need to adjust his bedtime but I’m not sure how!”
First, oh no! These 45 minute nap intruders are the worst. I need more info to help, but if baby has 3 naps at this point, I’d probably try dropping the third nap so that baby is taking a morning and an afternoon. If baby is only on 2 naps, I’d try tweaking the time of the afternoon nap. Perhaps baby isn’t quite tired enough to sleep a good nap at 1, but then is super overtired by his bedtime.
Also, if he has a bad nap I’d move bedtime up a good chunk. So if he normally sleeps at 7:30 pm, I’d probably go to 6:30 pm and see what happens. This, at least, will keep him well rested enough as you begin to tweak his routine. Sometimes the routine will get all out of whack, but ultimately if he’s well rested things will fall back into place!
“I’m struggling with a 8 1/2 month old and really feeling the conflict of being home bound with her 2 1/2 year old brother. At home, he tends to wake her very easily and his behavior is escalated when he is home all day, but when we are out and about she doesn’t get any sleep. How do you decide on priorities as a family?”
What an excellent question. First, I’d work on helping your newborn sleep even though the louder siblings are trying to wreck the nap. Ha. This isn’t easy, but with some good white noise and a little self-control training, it can be done.
Also, I’ve been there. It’s hard to feel like you are at home all day, but equally hard to run errands with baby. What I did was to sort of balance it. I’d give a day or two where I knew baby’s nap would be wrecked and go for it. Then the other days we’d stay at home. I’d try to remember the days are long (longgggggggg), but the years are short and that my older kids could also be okay and get out their hyper energy in other ways.
“How does this work if your child doesn’t eat solids? My son is almost 11 months and refusing any kind of food. He only wants his bottle- we are in feeding therapy. He has always been an awful sleeper- 20-30 minute naps 4 times a day until a few weeks ago when he started to take an hour-90 minutes and then a 45 minute and another 45 minute.
Once in awhile we would get a few nights where he would sleep well… he also is in daycare full time and has been since on and off from December to Now from colds, ear infection, hospital stay, ear tubes and chronic cough. *sigh* I just want to help him get enough rest so he thrives.”
This is a great question.
First, routines are supposed to serve you, not the other way around.
So, if a certain routine doesn’t work for your 11 month old then it doesn’t work for you and it can be thrown out. Your little one is likely very hungry since he isn’t yet able to take solids. Babies systems are made to take solids around 6 months (they used to say sooner!) so he’s likely extra hungry as he only wants his bottle.
I believe unless his tummy is well and truly full he’ll have trouble sleeping, but as soon as his feeding issues improve and he’s able to have as much nutrients as his body craves, then sleeping will fall into line.
“I have a 9 month old…i am struggling with her night routine…and hee day naps..she is breastfeed….I put her to sleep at 7-7.30 pm…she wakes at 10.30 ish for a feed, then 2.30 ish then 5.30/6.00 am then wakes up at 7.30 am….i try to let her cry it out at night but eventually have to feed her…
she does have good 3 meals at the moment…also her day naps are short 45 min to an hour in the morning….try to put her down early but is not interested…..afternoon naps are hit and miss and are 30 mins ish…she is sometimes overtired but just wont sleep…”
What a tough spot! You are wanting baby to stop waking as frequently at night and stop fighting sleep. First, here are 28 things you can try if baby won’t sleep. Next, I’d see how much food is she getting with her solids? Is she having the full servings as suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics?
Not saying we should live or die by that, but if she isn’t getting enough solids then she won’t sleep through the night at this age.
Also, when she wakes at night, does she want to feed or does she want comfort? If she wants food, then the best way to prevent more night wakings is to make sure she’s getting enough food during the day.
If she wakes up and wants to nurse for comfort, but isn’t hungry, then it’s time to wean her from that sleep prop and help her find another way to find comfort.
I’ve created a free email series just for you! If you struggle with creating an easy flowing routine or rhythm in your home… this is it. I’ve gathered all my easiest routine hacks into one free series and, best of all, you can get a big sneak peak into our book that has over 25+ routines for babies ages 6 weeks to 5 years. This series will help you:
- find a routine and rhythm for your child
- learn how to juggle multiple routines (for 2 or 3+ kids)
- know what is and isn’t working so you can make one tweak that’ll change your day
Click here to sign up for my free email series or simply click on the image below.
New to this community? Start here, friend.