A Day in the Life of a 9-12 Month Old

A Day in the Life of a 9-12 Month Old Oh, the joys of being 10 months old!

You get to discover all kinds of new ways to drive Mom crazy.  

Things like:

  • emptying every cabinet, basket, and drawer that’s not already baby proofed.
  • holding the spoon by himself, and watching the food fly, and fly, and fly…
  • pulling off his socks at every opportunity

And plenty of other fun (video-worthy) milestones you’ll definitely want to watch out for.

Appointments vs. Rhythms

I don’t encourage parents to make rigid schedules for their babies.  You should never push back a feeding, for example, just because the “schedule” says lunch is at noon.

Instead, I always encourage parents to see these schedules as more of a daily rhythm, and with the times as a “clue” to see what your baby’s cues may be trying to tell you.

If you’re new to the Incredible Infant Universe *highfive* you should know that I have done similar “Day in the Life” posts for…

I know I’m missing the 4-5 month age range in this series.  That age is very special, there’s a TON of things going on in those months.  It’s coming, I just need to finish up some reading and research first.

In the meantime, I would encourage you to attend a Napping Know-How webinar class– it’s 1 hour 45 minutes, and it outlines how to establish a good daily rhythm.

I have got give a shout-out to Naomi C., who emailed me last week asking if I could do a rock-out-the-rhythm post for 9-12 month olds.  Thanks Naomi, for the gentle nudge!

A Sample Schedule for 9-12 Month Olds

The “Ned Normal” 9-month old baby will sleep…

  • 11 hours at night
  • 3 hours during the day (2 naps)

The “Sue Standard” 12-month old baby will sleep…

  • 11 – 11.5 hours at night
  • 2.5 hours during the day (2 naps)

A Day in the Life of a 9-12 Month Old ~ IncredibleInfant.com

Make Your Baby's Naps Longer

Nutrition for 9-12 Month Olds

It’s usually a good idea to start introducing your baby to a cup during mealtimes around 9 months old, so that by the time she’s 12 months old she’ll be ready to ditch the bottle completely.

Obviously, if you’re still breastfeeding, you’ll want to stick with that.  But if you’re pumping, 12-months is a good time to start putting that expressed milk in a sippy cup.

I’ve written several posts about nutrition and your baby’s health, here are a few that can help you double-check that your baby is getting the right nutrition:

Brain-Boosting Toys for 9-12 Month Olds

Now that your baby’s awake so much during the day, how can you stimulate that brain into becoming a Megamind?

By giving him toys that are perfectly matched with the skills he’ll be working to conquer.

Last December I shared an article with readers that did just that.  See the most innovative and brain-boosting toys of 2013.

A Birthday Party is Coming!

Can you believe how fast this year is going?

In just a little while you’re going to have a toddler terrorizing your home!  

Every month I scour the internet for fantastic first-birthday party themes and ideas to celebrate your baby’s first year!

True, she won’t remember it.

But by showing my girls the photos and watching the videos years later (they LOVE watching their baby videos), I’m letting them know that they were worth celebrating before they even new what a celebration was. 

That doesn’t mean I go Martha-Stewart crazy every year.  You can make memories without petit fours. (Although if you enjoy throwing parties, these are pretty darn cool!)

Some years, I only had the energy for a quick-bake-cake and a tablecloth.

That’s okay.  It’s the memories that matter.

These little love-deposits are going to be great to have in the bank as “Teen Insurance” in the years to come:  See honey?  We do love you!  Just look at that party we threw you when you were a baby!  Now go back upstairs and change your clothes…


  1. Hello,

    I have a 10 month old girl and she doesn’t sleep through the night!! She has slept through the night only a handful of times and that was early on. I have tried everything it seems. She tends to wake up when she cannot find her pacifer but we keep multiple in her crib. A number of people have suggested crying out method but I feel bad.

    Please any suggestions!!!

    • Vanessa, there are lots of reasons why an older baby may be waking at night. Some are behavioral, some are medical. I would encourage you to consider signing up for a Sleep Session so Amy and I can look over the details of your case and give you some solid recommendations.

      Or, if you have more than just nighttime wakings, perhaps if you’re also struggling with naps, I would instead look at our complete Super Sleeper Coaching packages here. In those packages, we work through EVERYTHING over a period of a few weeks with you. It also comes with a 110% Money Back Sleeping Guarantee, so you know we are as committed to your long-term success as you are.

      Either of these will help us ask the right questions and really get to know your baby’s personality and your parenting style – then make solid recommendations you can consistently implement that will get everyone sleeping better – without using Cry It Out. 🙂

    • Hi Vanessa,

      We had a good sleeper until about 6 months old and then she started waking every hour or two all night long!  We also became slaves to the replacing-the-pacifier-in-the-middle-of-the-night routine (for about 6 weeks).  Then that stopped helping once she learned to pull herself up in her crib and realized she just wanted out every time she woke up.  I began giving in and getting her out almost every time, nursing her to sleep and sneaking her back in the crib, with about a 75% success rate of her staying asleep (the other 25% I rocked or nursed her more and tried again).  This went on for about another month.

      I became desperate for us both to sleep at night and realized I needed to try cry-it-out methods or I was going to go crazy.  I always thought I could handle it until I tried.  I gave in so many times and fell back into old habits.

      I finally got more of a backbone and let her cry-it-out for a few days (for over an hour at times). After the first few days, it did eventually get less and less and now she knows when she goes in that crib at night, she’s not seeing me until morning and she has learned to put herself back to sleep.  She occasionally still wakes and cries but I watch her on the monitor for a few minutes and she usually will go back to sleep.  There are only a few times where I have to go and give her meds for teething if I can see her grabbing at her mouth on the monitor but then I will put her back to bed after and she seems to understand now.  They aren’t kidding when they say consistency is key!

      For us, the better method was to not do checks (unless you think there’s something truly wrong) rather than the Ferber method of checking.  She just got more upset with the checks and I think it stimulated her more to see one of us.

      Trust me, it is really hard to talk yourself out of giving in sometimes, but so worth it in the end for everyone to get some sleep and it’s a great skill for her to learn to self-soothe.

      Good luck Momma!

  2. Alejandra says:

    I have a 9 month old and we are still trying to transition to 2 naps. Her awake time is not there yet so she gets over tired. I have tried to increase awake time by 15 min but I get the 30 min nap a d she wakes up crying from it. I have to wake her up from second nap so she can get a cat nap in the afternoon but sometimes bed time is 730 or 8pm. I have tried two naps but bed time happens around 530 pm which is too early. Her awake time is as follows: 2.15 putting her to bed for first nap; 2.30 putting her to bed for second nap; and cat nap around 2.30 only napping for 20 to 30min; bed time putting her at 2.30 in bed. Her naps are 1.10 to 1.20 lenght.
    I dont know what to do to transition to two naps!!! Please help

    • Alejandra, transitions are the WORST, aren’t they?!! I would recommend sliding in a third emergency nap on those days that she feels like she’s really just too exhausted. Some days she’ll be able to go just fine with just two…but the next day she may need a little catnap in the late afternoon, so she’s ready for bed at 7 to 7:30.

      I’ll admit, the times you wrote down confused me a little. The best advice will come by looking through your sleep log, learning how you put her to bed and the rest of her daily routine. I would recommend talking with Gentle Sleep Coach Amy Potts about all this. She can help you create a workable plan that can help you not only get this fixed, but teach you what to do in the future when you have to transition to ONE nap. 🙂

  3. Help.
    I have a 10 month old baby boy who for the last 2-3 months has decided that bedtime is 5.30pm. This then means that our days start anywhere between 4.30am and 5.30am. He still has a night time bottle too and this varies in time, last night it was midnight but the night before 3.30am. Both my husband and I are shattered from the early starts. We go to bed early resulting in is spending no quality time together at all.

    Myou baby will have a nap at approx 8.30am for 1-1.5hrs and an hour again at 1.30pm. He will only sleep in my arms, in the car or in the pushchair as long as its moving. This then means that he wakes at 2.30pm and unable to stay awake in the evening.

    Whilst he sleeps between 11-12hrs at night I need to push his bedtime back.

    • Jenny Blake says:

      Hello Lesley,

      Taking the sleeping cues from your baby and at the same time deciding what schedule works best for your family and then trying to move the infant to THAT schedule can be tough. If your son is really tired at 5:30, I would go ahead and put him down and let him sleep for an hour. Then I would wake him up and keep him up until 7:30ish to see if that helps with the early mornings. It may take a few days for his little body to adjust, an early evening nap may be just what he needs. Also, in regards to the napping, a couple sleep crutches may have been developed and our Certified Sleep Coach, Amy, can definitely help you with that. She has helped MANY families establish better napping/sleep habits. She has a 1 time sleep session available for a specific sleep struggle, or she’d be able to offer you a full coaching package where you could get help with both the napping and the night time sleeping. Here is her page.

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