Inside: Wondering what your 12-18 month old baby schedule should look like? Don’t worry! Read on to find out all of the 12-18 month old transitions and milestones!
In the blink of an eye, my little squirt went from crawling around the house to sprinting up and down my hallways, wreaking havoc on anything that got in her way. I chaotically entered the 12-18 month stage!
Is your sweet baby 12-18 months old already? So exciting! You may have noticed how much your little one has grown and changed over the past year. Watching your baby grow from a newborn to the beginning toddler stages is so precious.
It’s important to know as your baby continues to grow, their everyday schedule will begin to shift and change.
Having a sample 12-18 month old baby schedule can help you follow a schedule that not only works for you but is tailored to your baby’s growth and enhances their milestones and transitions.
Your baby’s schedule will go through several changes as your baby completes different transitions. There are 2 pertinent transitions:
- feeding transitions: when your baby eats more or less of a type of food or liquids
- nap transitions: when your baby starts to sleep longer during certain naps and begins to drop another nap
This sample 12-18 month old baby schedule has tremendously helped me when my daughter was in transition stages because it allowed me to see what stage of growth she was in so I could assist her and make those transitions easier for her.
Having this schedule also helped me track her milestones because as the schedule slightly changed, I was able to see her growth based on the changes she made in her daily schedule.
(If you are thinking to yourself, “why does my baby even need a schedule?” then be sure to check out this post that will explain the importance and benefits of a schedule for your baby: “Why a Schedule For Your Baby Is So Important”).
Okay so let’s get down to the 12-18 month old baby schedule!
12-18 Month Old Baby Schedule
Please know that I am not a doctor or physician and I am not medically trained. All tips and advice given is based on my own experience and given to me by my own pediatrician. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your doctor. This post is solely to offer encouragement from my experience and not designed to offer medical advice or treatment. You can read Mastering Mom Life’s full disclosure, disclaimer, and terms here.
7:15-8:00 am Wake
- Your day will start at the time your baby normally wakes. My daughter sleeps 11-12 hours through the night depending on the day so this is around the time that she normally wakes up.
- As soon as she wakes up I sing her a little good morning song to get her smiling and then change her diaper.
7:45-8:15 am First Feeding
- At the one year mark, your baby can start drinking cow’s milk (see your pediatrician before making the switch) so at 12 months old we began to introduce cow’s milk. We started in increments and began with 25% cow’s milk/75% formula then 50%/50%.
- At 13 months she drank a 6-ounce bottle with 75% cow’s milk/25% formula and by the end of 13 months, she was fully on cow’s milk.
- At 15 months this first feeding was considered Baby L’s breakfast. I would feed her a bowl of plain Cheerios with a side of fruit. Then she would have a 4-ounce bottle. (After 18 months she should be weaned from this morning bottle)
I know some parents have their baby completely weaned from the bottle by 12 months. This is personally not my approach and taking the bottle away from my daughter that soon was not something that worked well.
Be sure to do what works best for YOU and YOUR BABY! Work on weaning as it flows best for you and remember to talk to your pediatrician if you are unsure of what to do or when.
8:45-11:00 am Playtime
- At 12 months old after breakfast, I began to sit with Baby L and read her 2 books. I would read with her every morning before she turned 1 but as she is getting older she is getting more involved with reading my turning pages and running her finger along with words and pictures. I continue to read with her every morning. I usually read from 9-9:30 am.
- At 13 months old I began to teach her “blanket time”. This is where I sit down on the floor with her on a blanket and we play together. This is teaching her to stay on the blanket as she plays so eventually I can teach her to independently play while she is on the blanket and I know she won’t run and get into something she isn’t supposed to.
“Blanket time” comes in handy when you need to do the dishes or fold clothes and you know your baby will be playing on his/her blanket.
- At 15 months old she was successfully playing at “blanket time” by herself and would stay on her blanket for about 15 minutes!
- At 16 months old Baby L would play with me, then independently, then in the living, then in her room. By 18 months she was fully playing with blocks, books, building boxes and so much more! Having this playtime really allowed her to grow and teach herself new things!
10:00 am Morning Nap
- At 13 months old, Baby L transitioned out of her morning nap. When she did take this nap, she did not have any food before she went down to nap and slept for about 45 minutes.
- If your baby is still showing tired cues at morning playtime then your baby may still be taking the morning nap. That is perfectly fine!
- Some signs to look for that your baby is transitioning out of this nap: sleeping longer in the night and waking up a little later, starts crying when you put them down and they did not do this before, they do not show tired cues.
11:00 am Second Feeding
- At 12 months old I made “breakfast” foods at this time for Baby L since she was eating only her milk at the first feeding. I would make a meal schedule at the beginning of the week and just follow the plan. It was easier for me to make a meal plan so every day I didn’t have to think “umm what should she eat today?”.
Organizing her meals made life easier for me! Some foods she ate included: eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, French toast, peanut butter toast, etc.
- At 15 months old when she started eating food for her first feeding, this feeding was heartier and was more of a Brunch than just a straight up lunch. I always started this feeding with fruit, usually bananas, strawberries, blueberries, or cantaloupe.
If you’re having trouble knowing if your baby is full be sure to check out my post “Feeding to Get Your Baby Full” so you can know your baby’s hunger cues. A full feeding is vital for a good nap!
11:30 am/12:00 pm Nap
- At 12 months old, Baby L was drinking a 6-ounce bottle with her second feeding before this nap.
- At 13 months old, this nap became her only nap of the “morning”. I call it morning because it’s easy to get confused if you call it afternoon if your baby is still taking an afternoon nap.
- When Baby L was taking an early morning nap at 10am this nap started at 12:30/1:00pm and was not too long (maybe 1 hour).
- After about 14 months old, if your baby has dropped the 10am nap then this nap will get longer and your baby will sleep for about 1.5-2 hours.
- Around 16 months old is when I started to wean and begin to drop this 4-ounce bottle.
- Remember to do your nap routine for each nap that your baby has!
2:30 pm Third Feeding
- At 12 months old, your baby will wake up from the nap and want to eat. Baby L would normally eat a 4-ounce bottle at this time.
- At 13 months old, when your baby is drinking a full bottle in the first feeding and the second feeding is breakfast, then this feeding is lunch.
- At 14/15 months old when your baby has transitioned out of the full morning bottle and is eating solids for the first and second feedings, then this feeding becomes a snack.
- After 15 months old this feeding is just a snack, like fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, etc.
3:30-5:00 pm Playtime
- This is more downtime and activity time for your baby to be developing their senses and activities! Sometimes I take a long walk to get Baby L outside.
Or if you have a yard then you can play outside. Or if you have to run an errand you can take your baby out for a drive. The sky is the limit for things to do with your baby!
The beauty about knowing your baby’s schedule is that you can anticipate what they need and when so if you have a few hours that you know your baby is content, fed and well rested then use those hours and do something that YOU need or want to do!
After all, it’s so important to still focus on yourself as a mom!
5:30 pm Fourth Feeding
- At 12/13 months old this feeding is a light dinner.
- After about 14 months old and your baby is eating a full breakfast, lunch, with a snack in the afternoon, this meal becomes full dinner!
6:00 pm Cat Nap
- At 12 months old, your baby may still be taking the late afternoon/early evening nap. Depending on what time your baby’s bedtime is, this nap will be very short.
But some babies still need this nap because it would be 4 hours after they woke up from their last nap. One of my baby schedule principles was for my baby to be up for no longer than 4 hours at a time.
But now that your baby is getting older, they will be up for longer stretches of time but also sleep for a longer amount of time.
- Around 15 months old, Baby L started dropping this nap. This nap was the last to be dropped, followed by the first morning nap. After this nap is dropped, your baby will only be napping that once after the second feeding.
- Even at 18 months old, if your baby had a long, busy day your baby may need a nap around this time! Just because a nap may be “dropped doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for your baby to take this nap every once in a blue moon.
Be sure to look for tired cues and follow your baby’s lead!
7:30-8:30 pm Bedtime/Last Feeding
- Remember to have your bedtime routine before every nighttime sleep!
- If your baby is still taking that last cat nap then your baby’s bedtime will be more towards 8:30ish. At 12 months, I started Baby L’s bedtime routine around 7:45pm and she had her last 8-ounce bottle at 8:30pm.
- If your baby had dropped that last nap then your baby will be ready for bed around 7:30pm. At 16 months when that last nap was dropped, I started Baby L’s nap routine around 6:45 and she had her last 8-ounce bottle at 7:30pm.
- Baby L started to sleep 7-8 hours through the night at 8 weeks old! This was made possible because started her on a daily schedule at 6 weeks and began a nap routine and bedtime routine at 6 weeks as well.
By 6 months Baby L was sleeping about 10-11 hours through the night!
Tip About Night Time Sleep
Remember, the length of time your baby sleeps at night will be affected by how long their naps are and the overall daily schedule they have. To ensure the best long lasting sleep effects, be sure to have your baby on a daily schedule that is working for you and your baby, and that they are accomplishing full feedings and full naps.
These factors will greatly increase the consistency of your baby’s nighttime sleep!
And there you have it! This is a sample 12-18 month baby schedule!
Free 12-18 Month Old Baby Schedule
I created this Ultimate 12-18 Month Sample Schedule in an accessible format for you to print out and follow daily!
This Ultimate Schedule has extra details about when to start nap transitioning and bottle weaning in these 6 months as well. Instead of worrying about all the different schedules, transitions and weaning’s, spend more time focusing on playing with your baby because you have this master schedule!
As a bonus for downloading the ultimate schedule, you also get a free Create Your Own Daily Schedule Template.
That way, you can “follow” the sample schedule but also have somewhere to track your baby’s individual, unique schedule that will be specifically for your baby! After all, that’s what you REALLY want to accomplish- creating a schedule with and for your baby that works best for them and enhances their growth.
You won’t want to miss these 2 awesome resources!
Get Your Free Ultimate 12-18 Month Baby Schedule and Schedule Template Now!
Remember, having a schedule for your baby doesn’t mean that you are confined in every minute of the day. Having a schedule allows you to anticipate your baby’s needs and know what they need and when!
Don’t let a schedule box you in and make you feel like you have to be at home all day. As long as your baby is getting full feedings, is napping well and is playing productively that you are going to have a good day!
I hope I was able to help you see the stages of growth and transitions that your baby will be experiencing in this new stage of life by showing you my sample 12-18 month old baby schedule.
Don’t chaotically enter the 12-18 month stage– embrace this new season with expectation knowing that you prepared!
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