From 12 months old, babies tend to sleep better. As they approach their first birthday, babies tend to sleep longer, wake up less often, take a nap once or twice during the day and sleep more at night.
By the time they turn one year old, babies are likely to be sleeping 8 to 12 hours a night. Once asleep, most toddlers sleep through most nights without waking mum or dad. But toddlers love to test their independence, so getting them to bed in the first place can be a challenge.
If your toddler’s daytime nap is too long or too late in the day, your child might not be ready for bed until late at night. Make sure they are awake before 15.30 so they are ready to sleep at bedtime.
Babies and young children are comforted by routines and familiarity. Implementing a bedtime routine means babies can associate this with the onset of sleep. Research has shown that bedtime routines, especially those which are multisensory, using element of touch, smell and taste, improves sleep quality and duration.
Begin the bedtime routine with a warm bath (smell and touch), followed by a cuddle (touch) and a feed or glass of milk for toddlers (taste) and some quiet time, such as reading a book or singing a lullaby. Aim to have lights out within 30 minutes after the end of the bath.