Before my son turned one, I didn’t really care about bedtimes or naps. He’ll sleep when he’s tired, right? Every night was a struggle. He’d never want to sleep. Most nights he wouldn’t get to bed until midnight. I finally said enough. I set a bedtime. I make sure he doesn’t take a nap within three hours of that bedtime and now we are both getting a lot more sleep.
After doing some studying, I found out that 12 month olds should be getting between 13-15 hours of sleep every day. split between bedtime and naps. I also found out that they should nap about 3 – 3.5 hours after wake up and naps.
Now this is just a rough estimate of times that we do everything. I would give or take a half hour for each time depending on when he wakes up or gets to sleep the night before. Most of it is repetitive, like meals and playtime.
My 12 Month Old's Daily Schedule
8:00 am - Wake Up
Just around this time, he wakes up for the day. Sometimes it’s as early as 7:30 am or as late as 8:30 am, but it’s normally closer to 8 am. After he wakes up, the first thing I always do is change his diaper. Then depending on what we have to do for the day, I will get him a new change of clothes, but sometimes I will just wait until after breakfast for that.
Speaking of breakfast, that is the next thing we do. Normally I’ll give the little dude some yogurt, eggs, or cereal for breakfast. He really loves to eat. After breakfast I clean up our mess, then it’s time to play. Normally we will play until his next nap time (and by play, I actually mean chase him around the house trying to catch him so that he won’t get into everything).
11:00 am - First Nap
His first nap of the day is normally 3 hours after he wakes up and lasts about an hour and a half long. I am actually writing this blog post during this nap. When he wakes up from his nap, it means it is lunch time.He just eats whatever I eat for lunch that day. I usually start cooking lunch while he’s still napping so that I can eat a little before he gets up. I feel like I can never eat when he’s awake. He steals all my food. Then like earlier, we play until his next nap.
Sometimes during the play time before his second nap, I give him a snack like fruits, biscuits, or some cereal. You can’t go wrong with some Cheerios and bananas.
3:30 pm - Second nap
He usually takes this nap about three hours after the first one ends and normally lasts between 1 hour and 1.5 hours. This I feel like is the most important nap of the day because if he takes this nap too late in the day, he won’t sleep until later. I try not to let him start a nap later than 4 pm for this reason.
After this nap we get a snack if we didn’t have one before the nap then we play until Dad gets home from work. I try to have dinner ready by 7 pm because that is around the time my husband gets home. We eat around that time and then play some more before it is time to start our night routine and get ready for bed. On the weekends, it is still the same for dinner time. We try to stay a little consistent with our schedules, even when we don’t mean to do it.
8:00 pm - Preparing for Bed
At this time, we try to start getting settled for bed. He gets a bath. We brush our teeth. I get him a new diaper and into pajamas. Then we play a little bit before he finally is down for the night. Sometimes I get him into bed sooner than bedtime if he gets worn out from playing or didn’t get good naps earlier in the day.
9:00 pm - Bedtime
I decided 9 pm to be the bedtime and he had a hard time with it the first few days, but he got used to it before the end of the first week of enforcing it. If he isn’t lying in bed by this time, I lay him down with his lovey and binky. Sometimes he still makes a fuss, but it isn’t too long before he finally passes out for the night.
Then once he’s asleep, it’s time for Mama to relax.