How Often Should Baby Sleep
At around the age of 9 to 12 months you can expect that your baby will sleep several times per day — up to 14 hours per day. Naps can be one to two hours in length. At this point in time he should have a regular sleep pattern that fits your lifestyle and doesn’t cause too much stress, although of course there can always be the occasional nighttime awakening.
If you haven’t established a regular sleep pattern with your infant you should continue trying different sleep training methods to see what will work best for your family’s lifestyle. Sleep training will help your baby get to sleep during the times that you prefer and for longer periods of time.
Start night weaning if you haven’t already
Night weaning can begin as early as 5 months, but if your baby still has not been night weaned at 9 to 12 months you should definitely consider night weaning. Your baby should be eating mostly throughout the day, and there might be occasional night feedings but they should not be very common at this point.
Your baby may have separation anxiety
Around this age your baby will begin to experience separation anxiety as his personality continues to develop and may wake up just to have you around. If you are using a sleep training method you should follow the particular method’s recommendations for dealing with night time attention crying, but in many cases you can ease separation anxiety and stop the crying by greeting your baby. He might be able to soothe himself back to sleep if you have taught that skill through a “cry it out” sleep training method, but if you haven’t been practicing that skill then you’ll need to attend to him.
Stick to your routine as your baby gets older
If you have a pre-bedtime routine that you have been doing since your baby was born you should definitely stick to that routine, even though you might feel like it isn’t effective. Your baby will benefit from having a routine in place and will sleep longer hours, in spite of mid-evening wakeups. Just bear in mind that your baby is at an age where development is happening very quickly, so he will be excited to test out new skills like crawling and learning to walk in his crib in the middle of the night, and may become a bit of a night owl no matter what you do.
Let your baby fall asleep without your help
Eventually your baby will need to be able to fall asleep without your help, and this is the age where you can start letting him practice this skill, especially if he has become too dependent on you to fall back asleep again. Sleep is important for both you and your baby, and picking the right sleep training method will help you both out, so at this point if “no tears” sleep training methods have failed you might consider trying a “cry it out” sleep training method or another method that will help your baby learn how to fall asleep independently.
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