10 Month Old Sleep Schedule Tips
A 10 month old sleep schedule is an important factor in your family’s overall comfort and health. The age of 10 months is somewhat of a delicate time, hovering between the infant stage and the developmental milestones that will be more consistent through the toddler years.
If your baby does not yet have a good, healthy sleep schedule that allows your family to be well-rested, do not worry. There is still plenty of time to establish a firm, healthy, comfortable pattern of naps and nighttime sleep that allows you and your family to live your best life during the waking hours.
It is best to think of the 10 month old sleep schedule in terms of a 24-hour cycle. The most important part of that cycle is, without a doubt, the long stretch of nighttime sleep. Nighttime sleep is not only the foundation for a healthy sleep pattern throughout the rest of the day, but it allows parents to get their own rest, which is essential for clarity, intentional parenting, and a healthy overall lifestyle.
Prioritize good, appropriately-long night time sleep for all members of your family, not just infants. Adults, teenagers, older children, and toddlers in your home should be getting the appropriate amount of rest for their developmental stages, as well.
When it comes to appropriate nighttime sleep, the importance of a predictable, regular, enjoyable bedtime routine cannot be overemphasized. Children, and especially babies, need to know what to expect when it is time for them to go to bed. This can be one of the happiest rituals in your family life if you take the time and effort to show your baby that they are loved, safe, and tenderly governed during this time.
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A healthy nighttime routine to lay the foundation of your 10 month old sleep schedule may include any or all of the following:
- A change of diaper and clothing
- A warm bath
- A massage or simple rub down with lotion (Lavender scent is very soothing and can invoke a sense of calm.)
- Reading a favorite story
- Singing a familiar song
- Prayers or meditations
- Dim lighting
- Snuggles with a favorite blanket and plush toy
- Nursing or bottle feeding (Note: cow’s milk and juice have been known to cause tooth decay in infants and toddlers when offered in a bottle at bedtime. If your baby is bottle fed, only give water to drink at bedtime.)
Leading experts report that ending the bedtime routine in the place where the baby will be sleeping is essential to ensure that the crib is associated with positive feelings and not just a place where the baby worries about being left alone. For older children, much of the routine should take place within the child’s own bed. However, for establishing (or maintaining) a 10 month old sleep schedule it is sufficient to end the bedtime routine in the same room with the crib in sight. A rocking chair (or any comfortable seat) within view of the crib is a nice place to snuggle with baby and give them the cues that they will soon be left to go to sleep.
As the bedtime routine may be the single most important facet of establishing a good 10 month old sleep schedule, be patient and flexible while trying to iron out the details of how this evening ritual will go for your family. Pay attention to how your baby reacts to various aspects of the features you are trying to implement, and be willing to adjust as necessary. Give constant physical affection and tenderness, and try to ease your baby soothingly into the different pace and feelings associated with nighttime.
By the time you are developing a 10 month old sleep schedule, the vast majority of babies this age are more than capable of sleeping through the night without waking to feed. If your baby is still waking during the night, choose the method that makes you most comfortable to encourage your little one to get back to sleep.
Talking to your baby soothingly through a baby monitor, entering the nursery to give the baby a quick, reassuring back rub, or even just letting the baby put itself back to sleep without your help are all acceptable methods. As tempting as it may seem, it is not recommended that you pick up your baby to rock, nurse, or come into bed with you during night wakings at this age, as your baby is likely to prefer your company to sleeping alone and might, therefore, fight sleep on purpose, just to get to visit with you.
Generally speaking, a healthy 10 month old sleep schedule would dictate that baby be put to bed for the night sometime between 7:00 and 9:00 pm. Any time before or after that window will interfere with a balanced 24 hour sleep cycle.
In a 10 month old sleep schedule, you can plan for your baby to take three regular naps during the day. Soon after this stage, the third nap will disappear, but the baby is young enough as a 10 month old to still benefit from three naps. The morning nap will probably start later than it did in the earlier months (Newborns often cannot stay awake for more than 30 minutes.), as babies increase in stamina and can stay awake for longer periods after their initial morning waking. Ideally, a day will consist of a 9:00 nap in the morning, a 1:00 nap in the afternoon, and a small nap around 4:30 in the afternoon, as well.
When baby first wakes in the morning, you can generally expect that there will be enough time to do the day’s morning rituals, such as eating breakfast, getting dressed or otherwise prepared for the day, and perhaps some short play time or reading time before your 10 month old is ready to go to sleep again for a morning nap.
Preparing for a daytime nap should be an abbreviated version of the nighttime ritual. A telltale sign of fatigue in babies at this age is rubbing their eyes during play. Usually, a baby exhibiting this behavior will welcome the transition into the crib for nap time. A short period of rocking or nursing will probably be sufficient to help them get to sleep, and you can expect the morning nap to last between 45 and 90 minutes, in most cases. Some babies are naturally short nappers, while other babies snooze for longer periods of time. There is no known way to get a baby to nap longer than he or she is naturally inclined to do. Again, the morning nap will tend to start later and later as baby develops during the time around the 10 month old sleep schedule, until it disappears altogether at a later stage.
The afternoon nap will be the baby’s most consistent nap until they outgrow napping completely. The afternoon nap should be the longest and most regularly anticipated of their infancy, and ideally will begin around 1:00 p.m., assuming that your 10 month old sleep schedule has your baby beginning their nighttime rest at 7:00 p.m.
The third nap in the 10 month old sleep schedule is more of a light snooze and should happen around 4:30 in the afternoon. If you have errands to run with baby in the car seat or like to put your baby in the stroller for a walk or run, this is an excellent time to do so and let them nod off a bit, just to carry them over through the evening without being overtired.
Remember, the 10 month old sleep schedule is just one piece in a larger picture of having a healthy, well-rested family. If trying to implement a better sleep schedule for your baby feels daunting or frustrating, try to think of yourself as your baby’s coach, encouraging them with love and tenderness toward a goal that will help you all attain a better quality of life. As with everything else your precious child will experience over the next few decades, you are the primary source of support and their biggest fan. Best wishes and rest well!