Infant Sleep Tips
for the First Year

Hey ff fam,

Below you will find some of our favorite sleep tips for your baby’s first year. 

It’s important to keep in mind that we always want to be flexible with our babies sleep and maintain a “routine” rather than a schedule. We find that being flexible leads to more consistent sleep at a younger age, while rigid schedules can cause babies to get overtired. 

Every day may look different but the goal of the Full Feedings Method is to work with your baby to meet their needs in the daytime, so the nighttime comes together naturally. 

0-3 Months

  • Keep the swaddle until they’re rolling. Their Moro reflex is really strong at this age and dropping it too early can cause them to wake up more often. 
  • Help them to sleep by their OWT. We don’t want self-soothing to cause them to compromise their OWT, because that can lead to overtiredness. Help them to sleep by their OWT and work on self-soothing once they’re sleeping through the night. 
  • Use a catnap if needed. If you have an early start of day and/or short naps, you can add in an ultra-short catnap at the end of the day to help them get to bedtime without becoming overtired. 
  • Keep the dreamfeed. You’re naturally feeding at this time when they come home from the hospital anyway, so just keep the dreamfeed in place to help them get in an extra feeding before their longer stretch of sleep overnight. 
  • Limit daytime sleep to what’s called for on the guide. If you have a short nap, you can add 15 minutes to a later nap but we don’t want to let them sleep longer than what’s called for on the guide. This is to help ensure they have enough sleep drive to take all of their naps, and to make sure they don’t get too much daytime sleep, which can lead to overnight wakings. 
  • Total daytime sleep is more important than the number of naps per day. It’s okay to add in an extra nap as long as you don’t exceed total daytime sleep on the guide. Many newborns have short naps so adding in an extra nap helps keep them from becoming overtired. 

3-6 months

  • Move bedtime earlier or use a catnap as needed. When bedtime moves to around 7pm, we can offer bedtime as early as 6:30 if they have short naps or an early start of day. Otherwise, you can add in a catnap as long as they won’t exceed the total amount of sleep on their monthly guide. 
  • Keep the dreamfeed. Many babies are not ready to get rid of the dreamfeed yet, because they haven’t moved the milk to the daytime. If you think your baby is ready, go slow and go back to using it if you notice any sleep disruption while you work to move the milk. 
  • Limiting daytime sleep is more important than the exact number of naps each day. If you have a short nap, it’s okay to add a catnap as long as you don’t exceed total daytime sleep. It’s less important to follow the exact number of naps each day and more important to follow OWT and limit daytime sleep.
  • Keep the period between last nap and bedtime 60 min. I know it’s tempting to keep them up longer before bed because it may seem like they’re ready for it, but babies still get overtired really quickly at the end of the day at this age. 

6-9 months

  • Limit nap length to what’s called for on the guide. Limit early naps to what’s called for on the guide, so they have enough sleep drive to take all of their naps. A two hour nap in the morning, will often cause them to refuse later naps, which can lead to too long of an awake window before bed. 
  • Increase the last awake window according to the guide. This is the time when the awake window between the last nap and bedtime becomes the longest part of your day, so make sure to follow your monthly guide for this. 
  • Use the dreamfeed as needed. Solids, sickness and teething can cause them to take in less milk. If this is the case for you, use the dreamfeed to help keep their intake up while you work to move the milk to the daytime, even if you had previously not been using it. 
  • Slowly introduce solids. Solids are an important part of development for your baby (and a really exciting time too), but they can often cause your baby to feel full yet they lack the caloric value needed to meet baby's needs fully. Sometimes when parents introduce solids too quickly, it can compromise milk intake, and this can compromise sleep (something we don't want). Follow your guide for introducing solids and you should be a-okay… If you see a new sleep disruption after increasing solids, you can temporarily pull back on them to reestablish sleep, and then work to continue offering to your baby.

9-12 months 

  • You may need to stay on a previous month's OWT. Some babies don’t increase OWT each month at this age. As long as you continue to limit total daytime sleep, it’s okay to use a previous months OWT, if your baby needs it. 
  • Move bedtime earlier as needed, getting an extra nap can be challenging at this age.  As your baby has fewer naps, it may be harder to get them to take a third nap. Instead, we want to use a 6:30pm bedtime when they have short naps or an early start of day. If you need to use three naps, make sure naps #1 and #2 are very short (30-45min) to help them have enough sleep drive to take another nap. 
  • Use the dreamfeed if you need it. It’s okay to add back in the dreamfeed, or continue using it, if your baby is having trouble remaining full. 
  • Your baby may need longer to fall asleep than they used to. Toddlers often take longer to fall asleep than babies do, so as your little one gets closer to a year you may notice they need more time to fall asleep. It’s okay to put them in the crib 20-30 min before the end of their OWT if they need it. Their brains are more active now, so they just need more time to wind down. 

MEMBER PRO TIP: Read the extra information page on the MONTH THREE, MONTH SIX, and MONTH NINE GUIDES for additional tips on how to handle these transitional phases. 

If you are a member and experiencing sleep struggles, reach out to for email support.

If you are not yet a member, check out our NO CRY IT OUT sleep method HERE! We have super affordable online programs that will teach you an easy 3-step method to get your little one to sleep!

To eating & sleeping well,