Leo turned one a couple of weeks ago so I thought now would be a good time to talk about his one year old schedule. If you can even call it that, schedule? Haha! My parenting style is quite baby-led. Which means I don’t force a routine on Leo. I follow his cues. It’s something I did through maternity leave and now that I work from home, I am able to continue to parent this way. I do understand that his schedule at one-year-old may be different if I had to work at a set time each day.
Leo’s sleep schedule at one year old
I say schedule, but really his sleep isn’t a schedule at all. Leo has always been a poor sleeper. Some babies sleep a lot and well. Some don’t. There’s nothing you can really do to change that. He’s always needed to sleep on me, or close to me. He cries when I try to put him down. When Leo was first born, I tried so hard to get him to sleep in his Next2me. I wish I knew more about bedsharing then as I could have saved myself a lot of sleepless nights if I had just learnt about how to safely bedshare.
At one year old, Leo still sleeps in my bed with me. He also still contact naps and I’ve come to love this. As he gets older, I realise he’s growing fast and I enjoy every single nap he has in my arms. I get comfy, make sure I’ve got a drink next to me and just try to chill out and watch TV or play on my phone while looking at his little sleepy face.
If you have a baby that does this and get frustrated, please just accepted it what it is and make the most of it. I love the cuddles!
Leos wake time varies. He typically wakes between 8 am – 9 am, but this can be later if he’s not slept well in the night and sometimes it can be a little bit early. I don’t think he’s even woken before 7:30am.
Leo naps once a day. He dropped down to one nap at about 9-months. He started being hit and miss with his second nap and now, he usually starts his nap at some time between 12 pm – 1 pm. He sleeps anywhere from 30 minutes – 2 hours.
Ideally, he would go to sleep at 8 pm. But this doesn’t always happen. His sleep is really disrupted by teething or leaps and it can be later. I try not to stress and force it. If he is wide awake and not showing signs of sleep, we go downstairs and try again once he shows sleep cues.
I still breastfeed Leo and I hope he will self-wean. I don’t see the point in weaning him off now, to then introduce cows milk. I make milk that is PERFECT for him and contains antibodies to help fight any illness. This is so important right now as there’s lots of colds and other bugs going around.
He typically feeds before his naps, unless he falls to sleep in the car. In that case, he can go all day without feeding. I mostly just feed him if he hurts himself and needs comfort, or sometimes if he’s crying a lot I will see if a feel will help. He feeds most at night Every time he wakes up, he breastfeeds back to sleep.
The WHO actually recommends babies are breastfed until they are two years old. I feel a bit of outside pressure about him being a year old now, but I am happy with my choice to carry on and give him the best nutrition I can.
Leo has three meals a day and I’ve just introduced a snack. He has breakfast somewhere between 9 am – 10 am, dinner around 12 pm – 2 pm, a snack around 3 pm – 4 pm and we have tea between 6-7 pm.
In an ideal world, he would have tea earlier but my partner doesn’t get home until after 6 pm both days and I like us to all eat together as a family at the table.
One year old nighttime routine
It’s simple really. After tea, his Dad baths him while I wash up. Then we have a bit of time downstairs playing until he shows he’s tired, which is usually around 8ish. We go to bed, I feed him and if he doesn’t sleep, we read a book and try again.
Hopefully, he sleeps, if not, we go back downstairs.
If his Dad got home early, we probably would do this earlier and go for a 7pm bed time. But we do 8pm as it means thy can spend a bit of time together.
So that’s our schedule for my one year. As you can see, I totally wing it. I don’t like to impose a strict schedule as it’s just not realistic for us and I’m fine with having flexibility around when we do things.
I’ve tried to stick to a strict 8pm bedtime, for example, and it just doesn’t work every night. He goes to sleep when he’s tired, there’s no point in forcing it. He just tries to climb off the bed anyway and gets frustrated if I don’t let him. He also naps when he’s tired, there’s no point in waking him up if he has a long nap because then he’s mardy for the rest of the day.
I truly believe the best thing is to just follow their lead. Babies are biologically programmed to do certain things. Trying to get them into schedules, or getting them to sleep through the night or independently when they’re not ready can cause distress. There’s a lot of studies that show sleep training or letting babies cry themselves to sleep causes issues in later life with their relationships and trust. They don’t feel secure and can struggle to deal with anger. So I have never let Leo cry and always comfort him.
There’s often a stereotype that babies manipulate you to get their own way by crying. Really, babies cry because they need something. And that’s usually love and comfort.
What’s your one year old schedule?