When you think you’re beginning to get a handle on sleep, your baby hits a sleep regression, and everything is again thrown into disarray. The 10-month sleep regression is one of the worst, but it can be the perfect time to look at your routines and build a fantastic sleep schedule for your 10-month old baby.
How Much Sleep Does a 10-Month-Old Baby Need?
A ten-month-old baby will sleep between 12 to 16 hours a day. This total will be split between 9 to 12 hours of nighttime sleep, with the remaining hours divided between two or three naps.
Those naps can be anywhere from a quick 30 minutes, often in the car or on the sofa, to two or more hours at a time. How long will depend on how much your baby sleeps at night and what they have been up to during the day.
Remember, your little one may not appear to be expending vast amounts of physical energy just yet, but their bodies are constantly working on growing. Also, mental activity is exhausting, and your child is experiencing phenomenal brain development at this age.
Can A 10-Month-Old-Baby Sleep Through the Night?
Before answering this question, we must establish what “sleeping through the night” means. People have various ideas about what counts as sleeping through the night. Some parents consider a solid block of sleep between midnight and six a.m. sleeping through the night, while others see it as more like a stretch between 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. or something similar.
In reality, the average is somewhere in between.
Roughly 75% of babies sleep through the night at this age, and by “sleeping through the night,” we mean somewhere between nine and 12 hours in one block. However, they do not always stay asleep for the entire time.
It is reasonable to expect your 10-month-old baby to sleep between six and ten hours at a stretch through the night, but this is not a guarantee. One of our children didn’t sleep more than four hours at a time until he was 18 months old – but don’t worry, he is the exception.
Sample Sleep Schedule for a 10-Month-Old Baby
A typical, two-nap sleep schedule for a 10-month-old child might look like this:
6:00 a.m. Time to get up
9:00 a.m. First nap time
10:30 a.m. Wake up from nap
1:30 p.m. Second nap time
3:00 p.m. Wake up from nap
6:30 p.m. Begin your sleep routine
7:00 p.m. Bedtime
Alternatively, a three-nap schedule might look like this:
6:00 a.m. Time to get up
9:00 a.m. First nap time
10:00 a.m. Wake from nap
1:00 p.m. Second nap time
2:00 p.m. Wake up from nap
4:00 p.m. Third nap
4:45 p.m. Wake up from nap
7:30 p.m. Begin your bedtime routine
8:00 p.m. Bedtime
There are no hard and fast rules about when your child should get up in the morning or go to sleep at night, and most parents opt for a schedule that fits with their family routine. The only important thing is to ensure your child gets enough sleep and has the opportunity to sleep for a more extended block of time.
Common Sleep Issues for a 10-Month-Old Child
While some ten-month-old babies fall into a steady sleep routine, most will need a little help learning to fall asleep and stay asleep on their own. However, that isn’t always the case, so let’s look at some of the more common sleep issues in this age range and find out what you can do about them.
The Problem: Separation Anxiety
Your cute little bundle of fun has learned a lot in the last ten months, but they may not have a clear idea of “object permanence” just yet. When we understand object permanence, we know something exists even though we cannot see it, and babies need to learn this concept.
If your little one isn’t there just yet, they may cry when separated.
When you lay your child down for a nap, let them hear or see you. Singing along to the radio was always a good solution in our home as it allowed me to get things done while the little ones understood I was still around. They could then fall asleep more easily.
Alternatively, when you lay them down for a slip in the crib, come back to the doorway every ten or fifteen minutes and let them see you’re there.
The Problem: Growth Spurts
None of us sleep well when hungry, and toddlers are no exception. However, it can be tricky to tell what is genuine hunger and what’s an attempt to delay sleep.
Try giving your baby an extra snack before bed. Bananas, wholemeal toast, and cereals, such as Cheerios, are all good options as they fill and release their energy slowly. Just be sure to avoid sugary cereals as they may cause a spike, then a sudden dip in energy levels, making the problem of waking even worse.
The Problem: Feeding Issues
There are many kinds of feeding issues, but here we’ll look at the two that occur most often:
Your baby has their last feed at around 7:30 p.m. and then wakes very early (before 6 a.m.) the following day.
Your little one still needs a feed in the middle of the night, breaking up their block of sleep.
Try encouraging your child to have the last feed a little later in situation one. So, for example, if your little one has a feed at 7:30 p.m., try moving that 7:30 p.m. feed forward by five or ten minutes every other night.
Once you have a morning wake time you can live with, you can stop moving the feed time forward.
In situation two, start making your little one wait ten minutes longer for that middle-of-the-night feed and move the feeding time forward in the same way as situation one.
Don’t try waking your child earlier for their feed, as you’ll reinforce the waking habit and may even prevent them from settling for the night.
The Problem: The Environment
A 14-mont-old might experience disturbed sleep if they have a dirty diaper, are too hot or too cold, get their night clothes or bedding twisted, etc.
Keep your baby’s room between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 to 22 degrees Celsius. If it’s warmer and you cannot cool the room down, peel off a layer or ensure your child is wearing light, breathable cotton bedclothes.
Alternatively, if you cannot keep the room warm enough, two or three light layers, such as a vest, a thin tee-shirt, and pajamas, are better than a single thick onesie.
The Problem: Your Baby Hasn’t Reached Developmental Milestones
All babies develop at different speeds; by ten months, some babies have a larger stomach capacity than others. If your little one doesn’t have the belly room to hold enough food to take them through the night, they won’t sleep soundly.
This issue is tricky because you cannot help your child increase their stomach capacity. You can, however, ensure they have a dinner with nutritious foods that are digested more slowly. This slow release of energy is more likely to get them, and you, through the night than a significant hit of bedtime milk.
The Problem: Unhelpful Sleep Associations
One day, you don’t want to put your newborn down, and you’re happy to rock them off to sleep, then before you know it, they’re ten months old and cannot fall asleep unless a specific person is rocking them at precisely the right rhythm and speed!
Then, when a micro-awakening happens in the night, your child can’t turn over and get back to sleep themselves; they need you to perform THE SLEEP RITUAL.
There are two ways of dealing with this – cold turkey or slow and steady.
Cold turkey is not as bad as it sounds. What you do is help your child wind down with a bath, a book, and a quiet but still cuddle. Then you gently lay them down in their crib, say goodnight, and leave.
Your baby will probably scream, cry, shake the crib, and otherwise protest. Wait a couple of minutes, go in, let your little one know it’s ok, and gently but firmly lay them down again and leave.
The key to this method is consistency. If you cave in and lift them out, your child will learn that all they have to do is a protest for long enough, and they’ll get picked up.
The slow and steady method is similar but more gentle. You begin by cutting out one step of the unhelpful routine at a time. Then, once they can go to bed with one step removed, you can do the same with the next step.
So, for example, if you rock your baby to sleep in your arms while humming a song, you begin by not rocking your child before putting them down to sleep. Then, when they can cope with this, cut out the humming. Then you can move on to laying your baby in their crib before they fall asleep in your arms.
Why are sleep schedules important?
Babies who have a more consistent sleep routine fall asleep faster and sleep for more extended periods of time