There are two types of parents with 10 month old babies. Ones whose babies sleep great (because they were sleep trained or just fell into it.) And those who struggle daily because their 10 month old won’t sleep.
Sleep training young babies involves some guesswork and flexibility. But sleep training 10 month olds is more straight-forward. At 10 months old, your baby can learn to settle herself to sleep, wean off night feeds, sleep through the night and take long naps.
You may feel like you have a better chance of winning the lottery than you do getting your baby sleeping well. But I promise, a clear plan and some dedication will get you there!
So if your 10 month old is not sleeping through the night, and you’ve turned into a walking “Mombie” this guide is just for you! Here are the 6 essential steps to sleep training your 10 month old.
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Your 10 Month Old’s Sleep: What You Can Expect
Naps & Awake Times
- Your 10 month old baby should nap a total of 2-3 hours everyday. This is usually divided between 2 naps, but short nappers may still need 3 naps.
- Your baby will be ready to transition from 3 to 2 naps when she can nap longer than 1 hour.
- Your baby will nap best with awake times of 2.5 – 3.5 hours throughout the day.
- Bedtime should fall between 6:30-8 pm.
- This is the “normal” range for bedtime, but try to keep your baby’s bedtime within a 15 minute range each night. (Super consistent bedtimes lead to the best night sleep.)
- Most 10 month olds need 11-12 hours sleep at night. (Some can get by with 10 hours night sleep if they take long naps.)
- At 10 months old most babies can sleep through the night without any feedings!
- Your baby’s growth and weight gain will determine if he needs night feeds. Best to ask your baby’s doctor.
- If your baby has been cleared for night weaning, check out my Weaning Night Feedings Guide.
Total sleep in 24 hours
- 13-15 hours
*There may be a rough patch during the 8-10 month sleep regression.
Click below to download my 10 month old sleep guide!
Sleep Training Your 10 Month Old: 6 Essential Steps
Step 1: Create a sleep-inducing space
Your baby’s sleep environment will “make or break” his sleep. If your baby’s sleep space is too bright, stimulating or uncomfortable it will result in fighting bedtime, waking at night or waking early in the morning.
Sometimes it just takes adding or removing a few things to make your baby’s bedroom better suited for sleep. This is the easiest sleep training step for your 10 month old! So make sure your baby’s bedroom is blacked out with white noise playing. And have your baby sleep in a sleep sack in his crib. Let’s discuss each of these sleep-inducing elements.
Black out your baby’s bedroom
When our eyes sense light, it sends a signal to our brain to be awake. Sometimes, even the smallest rays of light can have a strong impact and wake your baby. (Especially at 5 am.)
For this reason, your baby’s bedroom should be darkened with blackout curtains. This little trick is a “game changer” with helping babies sleep later than 5 am.
You can DIY this and put cardboard on baby’s windows for naps and night sleep. There are also inexpensive blackout films you can put up and take down easily (see the link below.) Or you can invest in a nice, decorative pair of blackout curtains.
The Best Blackout Products
Play white noise all night long
White noise has been proven to help people of all ages sleep deeper and longer.
It works by preventing sudden noises from waking your baby- like a barking dog, older sibling or the garbage truck. Plus, it’s completely safe. Play white noise all night and during naps for the best quality sleep.
White Noise Favorites
Put your baby in a sleep sack
Don’t you sometimes wake at night searching for your duvet that was kicked off hours ago? Our body temperature is highest at bedtime, but drops during the night. We all cool off during the night and will wake to find a missing blanket. Your baby shouldn’t sleep with a loose blanket for two reasons.
First, it’s not safe. Loose blankets can be kicked onto your baby’s face. Although suffocation is more of a risk for young, immobile babies, it’s nothing you want keeping you up at night!
Second, I can guarantee that your baby will kick off her blanket 347 times each night, making YOU get up each time to replace.
Avoid the frustration of loose blankets by having your baby sleep in a sleep sack. Sleep sacks are wearable blankets and they’re amazing! They keep your baby warm, cosy and safe all night (and give parents peace of mind!)
Sleep sacks are safe to use long-term for babies that can roll, stand, crawl and walk.
Keep Your Baby Safe & Cosy with a Sleep Sack
Transition your baby to the crib
If your 10 month old sleeps in a DockaTot, Rock n Play or any other “lounger” it’s time to move him to the crib. At 10 months, most babies are rolling, sitting and starting to crawl. A cosy, nest-like pod may have helped your young baby sleep well, but your older baby needs space to move around and get himself into different sleep positions. Imagine if you had to sleep in one position all night! You’d wake with numb, tingling limbs!
As babies become mobile they need room to roll around and get themselves comfortable. This is vital for self-soothing (something your 10 month old baby is capable of.) Plus, the crib is the safest sleep space for little ones. So transition your baby to the crib now, where he’ll happily sleep for the next few years!
Here are my guides for transitioning out of the DockaTot and Rock n Play.
Step 2: Start a relaxing bedtime routine
The purpose of a bedtime routine is to calm your baby every evening, so that her body can relax and welcome sleep. In fact, research shows that a consistent bedtime routine helps children fall asleep quicker, wake less often at night and improves maternal mood. (A triple win!)
For this reason, a consistent and relaxing bedtime routine is an essential sleep training step. Because your baby’s bedtime routine helps her relax and fall asleep, it’s something you want to do everyday. It can calm and settle your baby when she’s sick, teething, going through a regression and even when you travel.
My free Exhausted Mom’s Survival Kit walks you through the steps of creating a peaceful bedtime routine. Doing just these steps alone often helps babies sleep longer at night right away!
RELATED: My 9 Month Old Won’t Sleep!
Step 3: Give your baby a consistent bedtime
Many parents think that it doesn’t matter what time their baby goes to bed. If only this were true! But the reality is that late or inconsistent bedtimes lead to worse sleep, higher aggression and attention problems in children.
Babies really do have a “sweet spot” for bedtime and when you get your baby to sleep at the right time she will settle easily, sleep longer stretches and sleep later in the morning. I’ve personally seen this work with hundreds of babies!
Your 10 month old’s bedtime should fall between 6:30-8 pm. This is the range for bedtime. But make sure your baby’s bedtime doesn’t vary by more than 15 minutes each night.
Inconsistency with your baby’s bedtime makes it harder for her to settle and fall asleep. Your baby will fight bedtime if it falls at different times each day.
Step 4: Remove any sleep props
“Sleep associations” are the props or conditions that we need in order to relax and fall asleep. If your baby is used to being rocked or nursed to sleep, then he associates these activities with falling asleep. He’s gotten used to you helping him fall asleep.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this! It’s just that he’ll also need your help each time he wakes at night or early from a nap. If this is the case for your little one, then it’s time to teach him how to fall asleep on his own. Babies develop this skill at 5-6 months, so your 10 month old is capable of it.
When your baby can go into his crib awake and settle himself to sleep on his own, he’ll be able to resettle himself each time he stirs at night. (Most babies stir at least 4 times each night.)
We always begin sleep training at bedtime. Once your get your baby falling asleep on his own at bedtime, he’ll naturally extend his nighttime sleep stretches. And he’ll only wake and call out for you when he’s hungry.
My program, 21 Days to Peace & Quiet, guides you through teaching your baby to fall asleep independently. It’s a proven, step-by-step program that has several sleep training methods you can choose from.
Step 5: Wake your baby at the same time every morning
It may sound insane to wake your baby up in the morning, especially if she doesn’t sleep well at night. But believe me, it works! It’s a simple sleep training trick that leads to more predictable days, which helps moms and babies thrive. Moms can better plan their days and know what to expect. And babies sleep better with consistent sleep times.
If your baby’s morning wake time varies by 1-2 hours everyday, then nap times and bedtime will too. This makes it hard to make plans, run errands and settle into a peaceful evening routine. So if you’re desperate for a more consistent sleep schedule for your 10 month old, do yourself a favor and set your alarm each morning.
The best time to wake your baby each morning should fall right in the middle of her typical wake times. Write down the time your baby naturally wakes in the morning for the next week. Then pick the time that falls right in the middle of this range. That’s your new wake up time!
Step 6. Keep an eye on baby’s awake times
“Awake times” are simply the periods of time that your baby is awake throughout the day. Recommended awake times for your 10 month old are 2.5 – 3.5 hours.
If awake times are too short, your baby may not be tired enough and ready to sleep. If awake times are too long, your baby may become overtired or overstimulated, which makes it very hard to settle for sleep.
If your 10 month old has 3 short naps you’ll need shorter awake times, like 2-3 hours. If your baby takes 2 long naps, you’ll need longer awake times of 2.5 – 3.5 hours. Some babies can even handle being awake 4 hours before bedtime.
Here are some example 10 month old sleep schedules
If baby wakes at 6 am
6:00 Wake, milk*
8:30 Morning nap*
10:00 Wake, milk*
1:00 Afternoon nap
2:30 Wake, milk, snack
4:30 Set the scene for relaxation*
5:00 Dinner, bath*
5:45 Peaceful Nightly Ritual, top-up feed*
6 – 6:30 Asleep*
If baby wakes at 7 am
7:00 Wake, milk*
9:30 Morning nap*
11:00 Wake, milk*
2:00 Afternoon nap
3:30 – 4 Wake, milk, solids
5:30 Set the scene for relaxation*
6:00 Dinner, bath*
6:45 Peaceful Nightly Ritual, top-up feed*
7 – 7:30 Asleep*
* These are by-the-clock events, so try to keep them on a fixed schedule. This sets your baby’s body clock, making sleep come easier over time.
If your baby wakes at a different time in the morning, move your schedule accordingly.
Sleep training your 10 month old doesn’t have to be big and scary. It’s all about recognizing the importance of a consistent sleep routine and trying your best to keep it up everyday.
These 6 sleep training steps will help your 10 month old become a champion sleeper. So make you create a sleep-inducing space, start a consistent bedtime routine and make sure your little one goes to bed at the same time each night. Removing yourself as a sleep prop and getting your baby falling asleep on his own will get your baby sleeping long, beautiful stretches. Then you just need to wake baby at the same time each morning and stick to the recommended awake times. A few days or weeks of this, and you’ll be amazed at how well your baby sleeps. Good luck!
Got a question about your 10 month old’s sleep? Ask Jilly in the comments below.