18 Month Old Sleep Schedule: A Guide for Parents

At 18 months, your little one is stepping into the toddler world. This phase is full of adventure and play. But, it also has some challenges with sleep. Your child might start showing more independence and getting anxious when you’re not around. This can make the 18 month sleep schedule tougher to manage.

In our guide, we cover all you need to know for a healthy sleep routine. You’ll learn about nap times, bedtime habits, and how to train them gently to sleep better. If your toddler is skipping naps, waking up a lot at night, or finds it hard to rest, we have tools and tips for you. Our aim is to help your 18 month old get the sleep they deserve.

Key Takeaways

  • 18 month olds need 12-14 hours of total sleep per day, with 10-12 hours at night and 2-3 hours during the day.
  • Transitioning to a single, 2-3 hour nap around 11 AM is typical for this age.
  • The ideal bedtime for an 18 month old is between 7-8 PM to establish healthy sleep patterns.
  • Maintaining a consistent bedtime routine is crucial for helping your toddler wind down and prepare for sleep.
  • The 18 month sleep regression is normal and can be managed through patience and consistency.

Understanding the Sleep Needs of 18 Month Olds

Your 18-month-old is starting to need less sleep at night but more during the day. They still need about 13 to 14 hours of sleep daily. Most of this sleep should be at night. They should also take a 2 to 3-hour nap during the day.

Sleep is very important for your child’s health and growth. It helps with their learning, memory, and how they act.

Total Sleep Requirements

Every child is different. So, some may need more sleep or less sleep than others. Paying attention to your toddler’s energy and mood can tell you if they are getting enough rest.

Daylight vs. Nighttime Sleep

Children this age should sleep at least 11 hours at night and have a 2 to 3-hour nap. A common schedule for naps is one during the day. It should last 2 to 3 hours. It’s important to balance nighttime and daytime sleep for your toddler’s health.

18 Month Old Sleep Schedule

At 18 months, toddlers usually wake up around 6:00 AM. They take a long nap from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Then, bedtime is set between 6:00-8:00 PM. This way, they get 5-6 hours of play before the nap. They also enjoy 4-5 hours of fun before going to bed at night. Remember, every kid is different. Your child’s sleep routine might change a bit. They might like going to bed earlier or later. Or they might need a nap that’s shorter or longer. So, it’s okay to adjust to what works best for them.

Sample Schedules

Here’s a common sleep schedule for an 18 month old:

TimeActivity
6:00 AMWake up
11:00 AM – 1:00 PMNap (2-3 hours)
6:30 PM – 7:30 PMBedtime

Adjusting for Individual Differences

Every child is unique, so this schedule is just a starting point. Your 18 month old might do best with a different bedtime or nap. It’s vital to be flexible. Adjust the schedule to meet their personal sleep needs. This ensures your child gets the right amount of sleep. Plus, it helps keep their days and nights strong and healthy.

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Napping Strategies for 18 Month Olds

Nap Duration and Timing

At 18 months, most kids only need one nap a day. This nap usually lasts 2-3 hours. Try to have this nap start about 5 hours after your child wakes up in the morning. Doing this each day can make naps better and help your child sleep well at night too.

Creating a Conducive Environment for Napping

Make a peaceful place for your 18 month old to nap. Use blackout curtains to keep light out. Play soft white noise to drown out other sounds. Also, make sure the room isn’t too warm, aiming for temperatures between 68-72°F. If your child doesn’t nap well, check if hunger, too much activity, or the room’s temperature is bothering them.

Establishing a Bedtime Routine

Having a 18 month old bedtime routine is very important. It helps your little one know it’s time to sleep. The hour before bed should be quiet and easy. Try things like taking a bath, reading, or cuddling. Try to stay away from games and screens. They can stop the body from making sleep hormones.

Benefits of a Consistent Routine

Doing the same things in order every night helps your 18 month old know what to expect. This repeating the same steps helps them sleep better and wake up less at night.

Components of an Effective Bedtime Routine

Experts say there are key things to do in a calming pre-bed activities routine. For 18 month olds, this may include brushing teeth, reading, or singing. They should also have time to cuddle. It’s best to stay away from screens before bed. Screens give off light that stops the body from making sleep hormones.

Creating a steady, calming bedtime plan helps your 18 month old sleep deeply all night. Be ready to change things to fit what works best for your child. Their needs and likes should be part of your routine.

Dealing with the 18 Month Sleep Regression

Your 18 month old might start to not sleep well. This could show as trouble taking naps, waking up a lot at night, or difficulty falling asleep on their own. Don’t worry. This is normal. It is called the 18-month sleep regression. It happens because your child is growing.

This change is often due to wanting more independence, teething pain, and fear of being away from you.

Understanding the Causes

The 18-month sleep regression is usual for kids between 16 and 20 months old. At this stage, kids start to worry more when they are not with you. This can make it hard for them to sleep. Also, their growing minds and bodies can mess up their sleeping.

Strategies for Managing the Regression

Handling the 18-month sleep regression can be tough, but sticking to bedtime routines can help. Try not to adopt short-term sleep tricks. These can make things worse. Remember, a consistent sleep schedule and a cozy sleep place are important.

This stage usually lasts 1 to 2 weeks. Being patient and keeping to good sleep practices will help. Soon, your child’s sleep will improve.

Transitioning to One Nap

Around 18 months, most toddlers are ready to transition from two naps to one. This change usually happens between 13-18 months, but some kids keep two naps a little longer. Look for signs your 18 month old is ready. These signs could be not wanting the second nap or having trouble at bedtime.

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When transitioning 18 month old to one nap, try for a single midday nap of 2-3 hours. Be ready to change bedtime to make sure your toddler sleeps enough. It might take a few weeks to get this down. Managing the nap transition needs patience and an eye for what’s best for your child.

Typical Age for Transitioning from 2 to 1 NapDesired Wake Windows During TransitionTiming of Single Nap
13-18 months4-6 hours5-6 hours after waking in the morning

Every child is different, so you might need to change the plan. This is to make sure your 18 month old gets enough rest during this big change.

18 month old sleep schedule

A sample schedule for an 18-month-old might look like this. They wake at 6 AM. Then, they take a 2-3 hour nap from 11 AM to 1 PM. Bedtime is between 6:30-7:30 PM. But, each child is different. They may need changes to their sleep schedule.

Some toddlers might nap and go to bed earlier or later than this. They could need more or less sleep during the day. It’s all about what suits your child best. Being flexible is key.

Sleep Training Tips for 18 Month Olds

As your 18 month old grows, they might need help with sleep training. This can teach them to sleep on their own. Using gentle methods like the chair technique or sleep fading is good now. You get to be close and help them feel safe as they learn to sleep by themselves.

Gentle Sleep Training Methods

For 18 month olds, gentle sleep training techniques are key. The chair method means you sit by your child’s bed as they sleep. You slowly move away. Sleep fading teaches them to fall asleep alone. You leave the room for longer periods before they sleep.

Creating a Positive Sleep Association

Positive sleep associations are important for your 18 month old. This means making connections between sleep and things like a special stuffed animal or calming music. Having a regular bedtime routine also helps. These steps make your child feel safe and happy as they learn to sleep on their own.

It’s important to stay patient and keep at it. Your child is learning a new skill. With your help and time, they will develop good sleep habits. These habits will be good for them now and in the future.

Addressing Common Sleep Issues

Even with a consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine, 18 month olds may still have sleep troubles. Issues such as waking in the night or putting up a fight at bedtime are common. These happen because they might be hungry, uncomfortable, or just want more of your attention. Make sure to meet your toddler’s needs before sleep. You can also think about using sleep training methods to teach them how to comfort themselves.

Night Wakings

Night wakings are often seen with 18 month olds and can be a challenge for parents. Your little one might wake up because they’re hungry, not comfy, or need you. Make sure to take care of their needs before bedtime. This might mean giving them a healthy snack or ensuring the room is the right temperature. Tactics like the chair technique or sleep fading can encourage them to soothe themselves back to sleep.

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Bedtime Battles

Heading to bed can also be tough for 18 month olds. They may not be ready to settle down and might try to stretch bedtime out. To tackle this issue, stick to a steady and soothing bedtime routine. Cut down on exciting activities an hour before sleep. Try not to give in to asking for more stories or playtime, as it might make things harder. Stay calm but firm, offering comfort when necessary as they drift off to sleep.

FAQ

What are the total sleep requirements for an 18 month old?

An 18 month old usually sleeps 13-14 hours a day. Most of this time is at night (11-12 hours). They also take a nap that lasts 2-3 hours.

What does a typical daily schedule look like for an 18 month old?

An 18 month old might wake up at 6:00 AM. They usually nap for 2-3 hours around 11:00 AM. Bedtime is between 6:00-8:00 PM. Every child is different, so schedules can vary.

How long should an 18 month old nap?

Most 18-month-olds take one nap a day. This nap is usually 2-3 hours long. Try to start their nap about 5 hours after they wake up.

What should an effective bedtime routine for an 18 month old include?

A good bedtime routine for 18 month olds is important. The hour before bed should be quiet and relaxed. Activities like bath time, reading, and cuddling are great. Avoid games or screens that might make them too excited to sleep.

What is the 18 month sleep regression and how can it be managed?

The 18-month sleep regression can make your child start fighting sleep. They might not want to nap, wake up a lot at night, or have trouble sleeping alone. This phase is normal and happens because your child is growing and learning a lot. Stick to your usual sleep routine to help them get through it.

When should an 18 month old transition from two naps to one?

Most toddlers are ready for one nap a day by 18 months. But, some children are okay with two naps until they are a little older. Look for signs your child is ready to move from two naps to one. Signs can include fighting the second nap or not being able to sleep at night. This change might mean they’re ready for a new sleep schedule.

What sleep training methods work best for 18 month olds?

For 18 month olds, gentle sleep training can work well. The chair technique and sleep fading are good methods. These methods let you be there for your child while also teaching them to fall asleep on their own. It’s also helpful to have things like a favorite stuffed animal and a calming bedtime routine. These can help your child learn to connect certain things with sleep time.

How can parents address common sleep issues like night wakings and bedtime battles with an 18 month old?

Night wakings might be due to hunger, discomfort, or wanting to see you. Make sure your child’s needs are met before bedtime. Use sleep training to help them calm themselves at night. To avoid bedtime battles, keep your bedtime routine regular and calm. It’s also a good idea to give your child reassurance as they learn to fall asleep.