SummaryRead the full fact sheet
- At this age, most babies sleep 10 to 14 hours in a 24-hour period. Their longest sleep period tends to be at night.
- Babies at 6 to 12 months are beginning to know the difference between night and day. They may not need to wake up as much at night because they do not need to be fed as often.
- By 6 to 12 months babies can become upset if you leave the room – they know you are the one who cares for them and keeps them safe.
- From 6 to 12 months, your baby may start to have two daytime naps for 1 to 2 hours – don’t worry if they aren’t as each baby is different and sleeping patterns can vary a lot.
Baby sleep patterns and behaviours (6 to 12 months)
From about the age of 6 months, your baby’s sleep patterns gradually become more developed.
They begin to recognise the difference between day and night.
They wake up less often during the night because they do not need to be fed as often.
Most babies sleep 10 to 14 hours in a 24-hour period.
Sleep rhythms at 6 to 12 months
From 6 to 12 months, babies tend to sleep for the longest period at night.
They may start to nap only about twice a day for 1 to 2 hours.
All babies are different, and your baby may sleep more or less.
Separation and your baby at 6 to 12 months
From 6 to 12 months, babies can become upset if you leave the room. During this stage, they may become distressed when you leave, even if it is for a short period of time. This is because they associate you as the person that cares for them and keeps them safe. This is known as person permanence.
This means it might take longer for babies to fall asleep.
Settling at 6 to 12 months
The number of times your 6 to 12-month-old baby wakes up during the night may temporarily increase.
- recognising and responding to tired signs
- using positive and consistent bedtime routines
- parental presence – using your presence as a safety signal to reduce your baby's anxiety by sleeping in their room
- camping out – by staying in their room until they fall asleep then leaving
- controlled comforting – also known as controlled crying and checking method which needs to be done correctly to be effective.
Every baby and family is different, and it is up to you to decide which strategy you are comfortable with and works for you and your baby.
If you are worried about your baby’s sleep and settling, track your baby’s sleep for a week or so.
This can give you a clear idea of what might be going on.
If you are still concerned after you have tried different approaches for 1 to 2 weeks, talk to your family’s maternal and child health nurse, call the Maternal and Child Health Line or your doctor.
Typical sleep behaviour information in community languages
This fact sheet is available for download in the following community languages:
Maternal and child health nurse visits are important
Victorian parents have free access to the , which is a great support after your baby is born.
Specially trained maternal and child health will work with your family to help you care for your child until they are ready to start school.
As part of this service, you will visit a maternal and child health nurse in your local area at 10 key ages and stages in your child’s development. These visits are important because they you an opportunity to identify and address any issues and concerns early in your child’s development.
Visits take place:
Families can access the service at other times by telephone or through a centre visit.
Where to get help
- Tel: – available 24 hours a day for the cost of a local call throughout Victoria
- Tel. – available (24 hours, 7 days a week) for callers who speak other languages
- (24 hours a day, every day) – Speak and listen Tel: , TTY Tel: , SMS relay Tel: . .
- Tel. – for expert health advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week