Your 11- to 13-month-old baby’s sleep routine


By Jolandi Becker – MD of Good Night

The wonderful transition from baby to toddler can be a trying and emotional experience, not only for your baby, for you too. We often forget to make the mind shift from baby to toddler and underestimate what they can do and understand. Luckily, at this age sleep should be more consistent and predictable.

How much sleep do they need?

At this age, babies require approximately 14 hours’ sleep in total. This is divided into 2 naps during the day and 11–12 hours’ sleep at night.  Yes, this amount of night-time sleep is needed up until the age of 5 years old.

What is normal sleep?

The good news is that your healthy, growing baby should be able to sleep throughout the night without a feed. All of you should get a full night’s rest!

At this age, your baby/toddler still needs 2 naps, a longer one and a shorter one. 

Top tips for setting up a schedule for your 11 – 13 months old

Remember that babies, especially at this age, are quite noisy sleepers. If you hear them at night, don’t rush over; give them time to settle down on their own.

It is possible to set up a stricter time bound schedule at this age, but it is not a necessity. We advise that you keep the following three things in mind while setting up a daily schedule. This should assist with your baby’s sleeping routine becoming more predictable:

  1. Split the day into 12 day-time hours and 12 night-time hours but include some flexibility.
    Let your day start between 06h00 and 07h00, and end between 18h00 and 19h00. You may adjust these times but be aware that 06h00 is already pushing it because in South Africa the sun rises around 05h00 in the summer. If your little one regularly wakes up earlier in the morning, it might be a sign that you need to adjust your bedtime to an earlier time.
  2. Keep an eye on the length of your baby’s awake time:
    11–13 months: 3h30
  3. Follow what we call a SLEEP, FEED and PLAY routine during the day. This means feeding your baby when they wake up from a nap and not before they take the nap. The SLEEP, FEED and PLAY routine is the best way to teach your baby to fall asleep without sleep associated behaviour like feeding, rocking or holding. This type of routine also helps your baby to digest the food while upright, helping them with cramps, pooping and even reflux!

Remember that sleep is not a luxury but a necessity and if you are feeling tired because your baby is waking up at night, your little one is also probably feeling tired. They need almost double the amount of sleep than you do!