Your 11-month-old baby is quickly approaching their first birthday — how exciting is that? While 11-month-olds are still considered babies, some will start walking before their first birthdays, when they officially wobble over the threshold to toddlerhood. Of course, all babies develop on their own timeline, so if your little one isn’t walking yet, don’t worry — for most 11-month-old babies, the time to terrorize the house as a toddler is coming (soon!).
As you may have guessed, there can be some considerable differences between 11-month-olds. Some will be walking, while others will need more time for that particular milestone. Some 11-month-olds may be nursing, while others may have moved on to other nutritional adventures. Here are some helpful tips on sleep, milestones, and feeding, for your 11-month-old.
11-month-old baby milestones for sleep
Around the time your baby is 11 months old, they’ll make a big developmental leap, which can impact their sleep.
The 11-month-old leap is another step in the direction of independence and self-expression for your little one. Your baby is learning to think for themselves, develop their own preferences, express emotions, and communicate their own wishes.
There’s a lot happening at this age, both physically and mentally — and all that increased activity can impact your baby’s sleep. You may find that for the first time, your baby is resisting naps or bedtime, or displaying separation anxiety and not wanting to be apart from you, even at bedtime.
Here’s the good news: If your baby seems to be changing this month, displaying some new challenging behaviors, or testing boundaries in different ways, it’s a positive sign that they are growing and developing appropriately. Like all developmental stages, staying as consistent as possible with the routines and rhythms you already have in place will help you and your baby navigate these changes.
What’s going on in your baby’s brain?
Think of the 11-month-old stage as a transition time between baby and toddler. In some ways, your child will still be very much a baby—needing to be held, fed, and comforted—and in other ways, they will be leaning more towards exploring their independence as a toddler.
All the big changes happening in your baby’s brain and body will lead to some big emotions. You might see the baby’s first tantrum, more tears, and frustration, or even bigger happy emotions too. Some babies may cruise right to toddler milestones like walking, drinking from a cup without a lid, and saying words like “dada” or “mama.”
At this age, your baby’s brain is learning new things every day. Help your little adventurer test boundaries safely by offering space for them to physically explore, staying nearby as they test out new experiences, and baby-proofing spaces you’re in often. At this age, babies love the element of surprise and discovery, so you might do things like hide toys for them to find, play music, and “dance” together, or offer toys that tap into your baby’s love of “hide and seek.”
If you have any concerns at all about your baby at this age (for example, if your baby suddenly can’t do skills they once could, or your baby is not able to sit up on their own), be sure to talk to a doctor at your baby’s checkup. If there are any concerns with your baby’s development, early intervention is always best, so don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and observations with your baby’s pediatrician.
How much should an 11-month-old sleep?
Wondering how much an 11-month-old baby should sleep? Here’s a quick look:
- Total hours of sleep: 12 to 15 hours
- Wake windows: 3 to 3.5 hours
- Number of naps: 2
Sample 11-month-old sleep schedule
11 months old can be a tough time for sleep because some babies have discovered just how much fun it can be to stay awake—so they may put up some resistance at naptime and bedtime.
It might be tempting to let your little one stay up (especially in the hopes of trading for an earlier bedtime or later wake time!), but in most cases, sleep begets sleep for babies at this age, so stick to scheduled naps and bedtimes as a general rule.
11-month-old babies will still be napping twice a day, once in the morning, and once in the afternoon, and are capable of sleeping through the night without needing to wake up to eat.
11-month-old feeding tips
Last month, your baby began the transition to taking in slightly more solids over formula or breast milk, and that trend continues this month. However, your 11-month-old should still continue with formula, and if possible, breast milk, as these fluids provide necessary vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats.
If you’re ready to make the switch to dairy milk, talk to your doctor—most pediatricians recommend waiting until your baby is 12 months old before switching. In the meantime, however, your baby can take in plenty of other calcium-rich foods like yogurt, chopped-up cheese, oranges, or tofu.
If you’re nursing, you can continue to feed your baby on demand. There is no set time you have to continue breast or chestfeeding, and the World Health Organization recommends nursing for as long as mutually desired by both parent and child.
- How much should an 11-month-old eat? At 11 months old, your baby will drink breast milk or formula 3 to 4 times a day for a total of 24 to 30 ounces per day.
- How much should an 11-month-old weigh? The average 11-month-old weighs between 16 and 24 pounds, according to data from the World Health Organization.
- How often should an 11-month-old eat? From 6 until 12 months of age, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that babies eat every 2-3 hours, which amounts to 3 meals and 2 snack times per day. At 11 months old, babies can also drink from cups, so it’s a good time to start offering water with meals and snacks as well.
- Tip: At this age, there might be a lot of mess and mayhem at meals. Every baby is different, but if your little one is throwing utensils, plates, or cups off the table or high chair at mealtime, just know it’s normal and part of their development.
- Tip: Your baby’s stomach is still pretty small at this stage, so offer appropriately sized snacks and meals. Even a few bites count at this age.
How to help support your baby’s sleep during the 11th month
During your baby’s 11th month, it can be helpful to keep the following sleep tips in mind:
Sleep regression is real.
Because your baby is going through a lot of physical and mental development around the 11-month mark, your baby might also experience sleep regression. So if you notice that your baby is suddenly refusing to sleep at nap time or bedtime, or being especially resistant about going to bed, know that you’re not imagining it: sleep regression is real, and a sign of your baby’s growth. Sleep regressions are hard to get through, but the best thing you can do is stay consistent and firm with naptime and bedtime routines as much as you can.
Don’t start something new right now.
If your baby is experiencing sleep regression now, try to avoid introducing any surprises or changes to your baby’s sleep routine. For instance, if you want to try sleep training but your baby is going through a major growth spurt or is super fussy at bedtime, now might not be the best time to start something brand-new. Get through the regression with your current routines first, and then consider implementing any changes you need.
Two naps per day are still important.
Don’t let that sleep regression or your baby’s newfound love of activity fool you — most babies this age still require two naps per day, so don’t drop the second nap too early. Most babies will need two daily naps well into toddlerhood, and these daytime rest periods are important to help your baby grow and develop.
Baby proofing can help with sleep.
Confused? There’s a connection, promise. Your baby wants to explore at this age, and you can help support all that fun and adventure by making sure your living space is baby proofed appropriately. Make sure dangerous substances like laundry detergent and cleaning supplies are locked up, stairs are gated, and outlets are covered so your baby can safely explore. Then, when it’s time for sleep, they will hopefully be tired out from all that super-safe play time!
- Important milestones: Your baby by 9 months. 2022. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Important Milestones: Your Baby By 9 Months.
- Important milestones: Your baby by 12 months. 2022. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Important Milestones: Your Baby By One Year.
- Feeding milestones. n.d. Stanford Health. Feeding Guide for the First Year.
- Growth charts. 2022. World Health Organization. WHO Growth Standards Are Recommended for Use in the U.S. for Infants and Children 0 to 2 Years of Age.
- How much to feed your baby. 2022. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How Much and How Often To Feed.
- Feeding serving sizes. 2022. American Academy of Pediatrics. Serving Sizes for Toddlers.
- Sleep recommendations for infants and toddlers. 2022. National Sleep Foundation. How Much Sleep Do Babies and Toddlers Need?
- 11-month-old baby leap. 2020. The Wonder Weeks. Milestone: Wonder Weeks Leap 7.
- Calcium-rich foods for toddlers. 2021. Verywell Family. Non-Milk Sources of Nutrients for Toddlers.
- Breastfeeding recommendations. 2022. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facts: Breastfeeding.