1-2 Year Old Sleep Schedule

image001As your toddler develops skills and independence, bedtime and sleep schedules may suffer. The consistent schedules developed at earlier ages will change some but the routines should carry over into this age range. Sticking with a consistent routine will ensure that your toddler – and you – get the sleep you need! That’s why it is important to learn all about the sleep pattern and nap pattern for you 1-2 year old so that a better sleep routine can be established.

1-2 Year Old Sleep Schedule

1. Sleep Pattern

By the age of 1-2 years old, you and your child will have developed some patterns that ensure you are both sleeping. At this age, sleep requirements will not have changed too much. Toddlers will still require about 11-13 hours each day. The difference in this age range is that most toddlers of this age will have given up the morning nap. Many toddlers will still take an afternoon nap, but you may find that the 1-2 year old can safely skip the afternoon nap, too. Begin to experiment with when the child gets his sleep and be aware that some toddlers will continue to insist on a day time nap. If your child is not getting enough sleep, it will become apparent in his behavior during waking hours. If behavior starts to deteriorate, the toddler probably needs a nap!

Warning: Although bad dreams may be entirely normal, if your child constantly wakes up from nightmares, it may be time to see the doctor. In fact, if there are any reasons that your toddler is missing sleep, your healthcare provider will want to kno

2. Nap Pattern

Most toddlers will take one long nap in the middle of the day, although an additional nap in the morning may sometimes be necessary. By the time the toddler is 3 years old, many will have given up naps totally.

3. Sample Sleep Schedule

By the age of 1-2 years old, your toddler may take one or two naps each day and a consistent sleep schedule is extremely important. Your child’s day should start to coincide with your sleep/wake schedule. Listed below is an example:

  • The toddler’s day may start at 7:00AM – and he will probably want breakfast very soon after getting up.
  • Mid morning, offer your child a snack – and a short nap if he seems to need one.
  • Have lunch at mid day.
  • At around 2:00PM, put the toddler down for a nap. If he did not have a morning nap, he may sleep for 2-3 hours in the afternoon.
  • When he gets up from his nap, feed him a light snack.
  • Dinner should be in the evening with the rest of the family followed shortly by the beginning of the bedtime routine.
  • Bed time should be at a consistent time for the toddler – usually around 7-8:00 PM.

Tips on Better 1-2 Year Old Sleep Schedule

1. Find the Right Time and Place

Keep your toddler in a crib as long as she is not trying to climb out. If there are lots of toys and pillows in the crib, she will soon figure out that she can pile up these things to make a staircase out of bed. If you remove everything and the toddler is still climbing out of the crib, it is probably time to put her into a bed. Be sure the things in and over the crib are safe – no small parts or strings that can cause strangulation. Remember, safety first!

2. Set a Bedtime Routine

A consistent and relaxing bed time routine will help your toddler sleep. Your child is old enough now to understand rules and you should gently enforce bed time rules. If you must calm him during the night, be sure to keep your visit short and boring. The middle of the night is not the time for games.

3. Deal with Sleep Problems

Unfortunately, the 1-2 year old age range is a time when a number of normal developments can conspire to create sleep problems. Separation anxiety and teething pain are normal at this age. This is also the age when nightmares can begin to affect sleep so be sure bed time stories are gentle. Keep environmental noise and light to a minimum; if you would be affected by the environment, chances are your toddler will be, too!

For more tips and tricks on how to get a healthy 1-2 year old sleep schedule, watch this video:

Tips on Better Nap Schedule for 1-2 Year Old

Most toddlers will help you to establish a good sleep routine and schedule. Naps at this age can be tricky since this is usually the age when most children drop a nap from the schedule. There are a few tips that will help you get the child on a better nap schedule:

  • Be aware of your toddler’s unique “I’m sleepy” signs. Staring, fussing, crying, and yawning are all signs that your toddler may need a nap.
  • Create a consistent napping environment. Try to put the child down in the same place for a nap with instructions that this is quiet time. As much as possible, control the light and noise in the environment.
  • Although it is a temptation to let sleeping babies lie, take a sleeping toddler out of a car seat or stroller. These seats are not meant for sleeping and can cause injury or death to a toddler.
  • Encourage your toddler to continue the morning nap until it becomes obvious that he is not going to sleep. Be flexible and do not be concerned if your toddler’s nap schedule is variable.
  • At this age, a nap of 1 to 1½ hours is plenty. More than that especially in the afternoon may interfere with night time sleeping.