Best Practices for an 11 Month Sleep Schedule

Dealing with sleep regression and difficult naps? Check out these best practices for an 11 month sleep schedule (includes examples, too!).

11 Month Sleep ScheduleAfter nearly a year of navigating sleep, you’d think things would settle for a little bit. Instead, you find yourself still modifying your 11 month old’s sleep schedule.

How long should naps be? What time should he go to bed? And how long should he be awake between naps? You wonder.

Sleep patterns get even trickier if you have an older child or toddler whose naps and bedtimes you’re also trying to sync with your little one. Daycare or work are other factors playing a role. And waking up at night or fighting naptime signal that something may be off with the schedule.

No doubt about it, having a structure to her sleep helps her stay better rested and alert during the day. A schedule allows you to better plan your day with less disruption and avoid keeping her overtired. You don’t have to wonder what’s next so much when you can follow a flow to your day.

Best practices for an 11 month sleep schedule

When my kids were this age, I could always rely on having a rhythm to our days so that I’d know when to put them down for a nap, and how long they should be awake. Any time we veered away from our schedule, someone was always bound to get overtired or cranky between their naps.

So, what can you expect at this age and stage when it comes to sleep? Take a look at a few best practices and tips to consider when creating your 11 month sleep schedule, as well as a few examples to try:

1. Base naps on wake times, not by the clock

An 11 month sleep schedule doesn’t mean you have to wake your baby up by a certain time, nor does it mean putting her down for a nap at set hours. For instance, you don’t always have to put her down for a nap at 10:30am and 3:30pm every single day.

Rather than following the clock, base her naps on how long she’d been awake. For my kids, I aimed for:

  • 3-3.25 hours between waking up and the first nap
  • 3.5-3.75 hours between the first and second naps
  • 3.5 hours between the second nap and bedtime

Sometimes, you may have to get her up by a certain time to go to work, or you may need to wake her from that afternoon nap so she isn’t asleep too close to your bedtime routine. But don’t fret if you find that she took a short morning nap, or an extended second one, for instance.

By basing naps on how long she’d been awake, you’re less concerned about what time of the day she naps and more on how long she’d been awake between them.

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2. Aim for 12-16 hours of sleep

How long your 11 month old naps can often depend on how long he tends to sleep at night. According to American Academy of Sleep Medicine, aim for 12-16 hours of total sleep, both for night sleep and naps.

Let’s say 14 hours is the optimal amount of sleep for your baby. If he sleeps 12 hours at night, that leaves him two hours to sleep during the daytime. If he sleeps 11 hours at night, that means he should sleep for three hours for his naps.

Similarly, if you know he has to nap for three hours, but he takes short naps in the mornings, you can expect him to sleep longer for the second one.

3. Watch the last wake time

That last wake window can get tricky. On one hand, you want to keep your baby awake long enough that she’s able to fall asleep come bedtime. An extended nap with only a brief time to be awake can make it difficult for her to actually sleep.

At the same time, you also don’t want to keep her awake too long that she becomes overtired. This is especially rough during those “witching hours” when we’re all that much more tired at the end of the day. Being overtired can make her fuss and cry instead of eager and ready to sleep.

Instead, aim for a good balance, perhaps around 3.5 hours of awake time, between the second nap and bedtime.

Sometimes you may have to adjust naps or bedtime to find this balance. For instance, you may need to cut the second nap short and wake her up if it’s running too long. Or you have to move bedtime earlier, especially if she hardly napped and is getting cranky.

Newborn Witching Hour

4. Adjust in 15-minute increments

How do you fiddle with your 11 month sleep schedule without a meltdown? Try to keep any adjustments you make within 15-minute increments.

For instance, if you want to increase your baby’s first wake time to 3.25 hours, but she’s currently only awake for 2.5 hours, don’t make a big leap just yet. Instead, that first day, aim for 2.75 hours of wake time. Then, once she has taken to that transition, increase it to 3 hours, and so forth.

By moving in 15-minute increments, you’re able to adjust gradually over time instead of springing a new schedule on her out of the blue.

Examples of an 11 month sleep schedule

Now that you have a few ideas and best practices, take a look at these sample schedules as well. Yours may differ, and even your day-to-day routines may fluctuate. But often, seeing examples of how a schedule works can give you more ideas and inspiration.

So, here are some examples to base your 11 month sleep schedule on:

Example 1:

  • 7:30am: wake up
  • 10:30am-12pm: nap 1
  • 3:30-4:30pm: nap 2
  • 8pm: bedtime

Example 2:

  • 6:30am: wake up
  • 9:30-10:45am: nap 1
  • 2:15-3:30pm: nap 2
  • 7pm: bedtime

Example 3:

  • 7am: wake up
  • 10-11am: nap 1
  • 2:30-3:30pm: nap 2
  • 7pm: bedtime

Example 4:

  • 6:30am: wake up
  • 9:30-11am: nap 1
  • 2:30-3:30pm: nap 2
  • 7pm: bedtime

Example 5:

  • 7:30am: wake up
  • 10:30-11:30am: nap 1
  • 3-4:30pm: nap 2
  • 8pm: bedtime

Example 6:

  • 7am: wake up
  • 10-11am: nap 1
  • 2:30-4pm: nap 2
  • 7:30pm: bedtime


Figuring out an 11 month sleep schedule can be the difference in solving sleep issues you may be having. Thankfully, you now have a few best practices on how to do just that.

Instead of following the clock, base nap times on how long your baby had been awake, aiming for 12-16 hours of total sleep. Watch that last wake time so that it’s not too short, nor too long. If needed, adjust your schedule in 15-minute increments.

And lastly, take a look at some of the examples I shared to give you a few ideas. Hopefully you now know how to adjust her schedule—and help your days settle even for a little bit!

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  1. Stephanie says:

    My 11 month old is so used to sleeping while being breastfed that he wakes up 3-6 times during night and won’t sleep if you try to rock him. Instead he cries frantically. So I end up feeding him almost every time. I need to change this, just not sure how.

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      It does sound like he’s gotten used to breastfeeding as a way to sleep. Thankfully you can replace that habit with a different one and help him learn how to soothe himself to sleep. You can also gradually wean him off of breastfeeding until eventually he doesn’t even need to feed anymore in the middle of the night.