Babywise Sample Schedule For 6 Month Old Through 12 Month Old
If you’re struggling to get your 6-12 month old baby to take good naps or sleep well at night, it’s a miserable battle. You’re exhausted, they’re exhausted, and nobody is doing well.
Getting your baby on a routine may be just what they need to help their sleeping habits! Both of our daughters took two long naps each day and slept 11-12 hours straight at night at 6 months old. I credit that to consistent sleep training (you can read some of my tips about that here) and keeping them on a regular daily routine.
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In this post I’m going to break down the details of our oldest daughter’s babywise 6 month schedule through 12 month schedule. If you’re not familiar with babywise, it’s a book that guides parents through structuring their baby’s days and sleeping habits. (If you’re struggling to get your baby to nap well or sleep through the night I highly recommend it! You can purchase a copy on Amazon here.) I don’t feel that the principles from the babywise book are the only ones that work, but they are what worked for us. The book helped us to sleep train our children and to build the sample schedule that is outlined below.
Our daughter’s 6 month old schedule did become less babywise adherent, as I shifted her eating times to where they weren’t necessarily right after naps – especially after she transitioned to having table foods and ate meals with us around nine months old. She also became increasingly distracted with getting her formula in from 9-12 months old and therefore often ended up needing to drink it in her quiet bedroom right before naps (and thus straying from the babywise eat-wake-sleep routine even further). However, the underlying methods in the book are what guided our schedule for her and helped us to develop her sleeping habits.
(Note: If you’re not a fan of babywise principles but you’re realizing that you need help getting your baby to sleep you can get a free sleep assessment here from infant and child sleep consultant Dana Obleman.)
A few notes on our daughter’s schedule before I dive into the details:
At 6 months her feeding schedule moved to more of a normal “meal” schedule which was a welcome change. Her naps also got longer and more consistent. (Once we hit 6 months old with each baby I breathed a sigh of relief that we had made it to an easier season!) It was much easier to be out for evening activities without disrupting her sleep and it was nice to have her eat meals alongside us.
I also began to slowly wean our daughter to a sippy cup at about 7 months old, so the below routine included nursing for milk feedings from 6-8ish months old and then transitioned to 8 oz. learner cup servings of formula after 7-8 months.
Below is our daughter’s babywise sample schedule for 6-12 months:
7:30am – wake & formula cup
7:30-9am – play time (although often she was so distracted trying to drink her cup that I would try throughout entire play periods to slowly get it into her.)
9-11:15am – nap (I found that letting her sleep any longer than this started to prevent her from being able to settle for her afternoon nap so I held to the 11:15 end time pretty strictly.)
11:30am – formula cup
12:00pm – lunch (from 6-9 months this was a stage 2 serving of fruit baby food, but at 9 months we started with table foods like cheese, fruit pieces, peanut butter bread, etc.)
12-1pm – play time
1-3:30pm – nap (occasionally this would be a little bit shorter or longer.)
3:30pm – formula cup
3:30-5:30pm – play time
5:30pm – dinner (from 6-9 months this was a stage 2 serving of veggie baby food and a yogurt, but at 9 months we started with table/finger foods and she pretty much had whatever we were eating for dinner.)
6-7pm – play time
7pm – formula cup and bed (we moved this time up from the previous schedules due to the fact that our daughter no longer took an evening nap. By 7pm she was usually getting quite fussy and ready to go down, though as she got closer to 12 months this became easier and easier to stretch on occasion.
I should also note that the transition to drop the evening nap was a bit rough at the 6 month mark. Looking back I probably should have waited a little bit longer until our daughter was fully ready to function without the evening sleep (I was a little bit eager for the flexibility!) However, by 7 months or so she did quite well without the evening nap in her schedule.
Our daughter slept through the night pretty consistently from 6-12 months, but would hit phases where she would wake multiple times. Sometimes it was due to hunger, but most of the time it seemed to be the result of developmental leaps (you can read more about how to track developmental leaps here). Even when the overnight interruptions lasted several weeks, she always returned back to making it through the night well at some point. When the interruptions happened we did our best to maintain the no play, no talking, and lights off approach to feeding and/or resettling her.
All in all, our daughter’s 6 month feeding schedule was a welcome change to her earlier routines of more frequent feedings (and therefore naps). It was also nice to maintain one schedule for a longer period of time since she stayed on the essentially the same routine all the way from 6 months to 12 months old.