Nine to 12 month baby routine

Between 9 and 12 months your baby is very energetic and mobile, showing the first signs of independence.

Baby now has 3-4 meals a day, plus morning and afternoon tea with a drink from a cup. They also need 2-3 milk feeds a day, after meals. Give them slightly firmer finger food and/or minced (or finely chopped) protein and carbohydrates at each meal, and a spoon to try feeding themselves. Offer water at each meal and throughout the day.

Every child and every family is different and there is no ‘normal’ day. Below is a ‘typical’ day incorporating two sleeps and 3 milk feeds but don’t worry if your day doesn’t look like this! During this period solids are becoming an important part of you baby’s diet and by 12 months they may be less interested in milk.

Time Activity
7.00am Wake and have breakfast
8.00am Breast or bottle feed (180 – 240 mL)
8.30am Get dressed and ready for the day
9 to 9.30am Play
9.30 to 11.00am Sleep
11am Morning tea
11.30am Play, shopping, or social time
12.30pm Lunch
1.00 to 2.00pm Play, breast or bottle feed (180 – 240 mL)
2.00 to 3.30pm Sleep
3.30pm Afternoon tea
4.00pm Walk to the park
5.00pm Dinner
6.00pm Bath, pyjamas, and play. Breast or bottle feed (180 – 240 mL)
7.00pm Start settling for bedtime
7.30pm Sleep (approximately 11 hours)


Baby is now sleeping about 11 hours at night, with two sleeps during the day (1 – 2 hours each). Remember to approach sleep time in a quiet, soothing way (and playtime in an exciting way), so you cue them into knowing what’s expected. Giving these verbal and physical messages helps your child learn.

Your baby may now be more active in sleep. If they wake and cry out, wait to see if they resettle — if not, try to resettle them quickly in the cot.


Playtimes are now very busy — baby will be crawling, pulling to standing and cruising around the furniture. It may be a few more months before they actually walk independently, so don’t rush them. (Use soft soled shoes until they’re walking.) Their fine motor skills are now well developed — they can pick up and manipulate small objects.

Play ideas:

  • An activity board, with buttons to push and interesting sounds.
  • Give them a stable push along toy so they can use their legs and gain some independence.
  • Go along to a playgroup, as baby now likes being out and about and socialising.
  • Cut a slit in the lid of a plastic icecream container and give baby plastic pegs to deposit in it.
  • Stock a low kitchen cupboard or drawer with safe utensils so they can help themselves.
  • Buy baby his first books, if you haven’t already (stiff cardboard or plastic ones are best at first).
  • Read to baby every day. Point to the pictures and describe them.

Babyproofing the house:

  • Remove all breakables and sharp objects from baby’s reach.
  • Secure bookcases and curtain rods firmly to the wall.
  • Put detergents and chemicals in a high cupboard.
  • Buy childproof fasteners for cupboards, safety gates for stairs.
  • Use socket protectors or install safety power points.
  • Have an electrician install an earth leakage detector.

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