How Much Sleep Does Your Toddler Need?

sleeping child

Children will also eventually drop their afternoon nap. While some children nap until they are five, others stop napping at two or three years old. You can expect the same transitional phase and necessary accommodations when your child drops his afternoon nap.

Establish a consistent 15-30 minute bedtime routine of reading or listening to soft music to help your toddler relax and get ready to sleep.

If your child doesn't nap, have a half hour of quiet time instead. Read to him or let him read to himself or play quietly. This quiet time allows your child to refuel for the afternoon. Children also often end up falling asleep during quiet time. When your child stops napping, try to make sure he gets at least 11 hours of sleep at night.

Many toddlers only get about 10 hours of sleep a day, which falls short of the 12-14 hours they require. Many toddlers resist going to bed or wake up frequently during the night due to separation anxiety, the ability to get out of bed, teething, and the development of imagination and resulting nighttime fears and nightmares.

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Night waking is also common because their drive for independence and the increase in motor, cognitive, and social abilities can interfere with sleep. Inadequate sleep can lead to daytime sleepiness and behavior problems. While adults become sluggish and tired without adequate sleep, toddlers can become overactive when they are overtired.

When your child stops napping, try to make sure he gets at least 11 hours of sleep at night.

 This mistakenly leads some parents to believe that their children are sleeping enough when they are not. Parents sometimes try to prevent toddlers from napping to make them sleepy for bedtime. This is counterproductive because children have a harder time sleeping when they are overtired.

The best way to ensure your child is getting enough sleep is to encourage regular bedtimes and nap times. Establish a consistent 15-30 minute bedtime routine of reading or listening to soft music to help your toddler relax and get ready to sleep.

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How Much Sleep Does Your Toddler Need?

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28 comments

  1. Theresa says:

    My 20-month old is finally settling into a sleep routine. She started sleeping through the night at 18 months (around the time I weaned her from the breast). She wakes up around 9:30-10:30 every morning. Her nap can occur anywhere from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm and she’ll sleep about 2 hours. If she stays up past 6:30 and no nap has occurred, we try to keep her awake until at least 8:00 pm, because then she sleeps all night. If has had a nap, her usual bedtime is 1 am. She’s a night owl just like her daddy.

  2. Olga says:

    Help!!! I know they’ve been sick, but need to get my twins back into routine. How can i have them sleep 11-12 hours straight though the night…they nap twice a day, i have a good sleeper which will nap 1-1.5 hours each nap, and another one who does about 45min each nap. I’m going nuts with sleep, it’s been about a year or so since I’ve had a good night. any twin mommies that can help?

  3. Leah says:

    Our 18 month old has never been a big naper, I would get lucky for 2 20 min naps a day from about 6 months on, but the past month or so she has really settled into a nap routine, around the same time everyday and around the same length and it is getting easier to put her down, and she still, as always, sleeps about 11-12 hours straight at night

  4. Jennifer says:

    I have a 2 year old daughter that hasn’t slept all night since she was 3 months old. Since then she only sleeps maybe 4 to 6 hours out of 24 and that is counting her nap time. She’s my first child. Everyone I know that I’ve asked about it has no idea because they’ve never heard of it happening. Can someone please give me some advice if you can. Is it normal for 2 year olds to barely sleep??

  5. Theresa says:

    I have a 3 yr old and she never takes a nap anymore. But my 6month old sleeps whenever he can. He also sleeps through the night which I am so grateful for, since my husband got a new job and gets up at 4:30 in the morning. I am so lucky that my daughter is finally on a sleeping routine, she now knows that when it gets dark that it is bedtime. Which he in Florida is about 8pm.

  6. mommy nhoj says:

    I better watch out for any pattern changes as soon as she turns 1. She’s been a late sleeper lately

  7. damion says:

    Not much when she says that she is an owl…

  8. MAMASEXXY says:

    WHEN OTHER PEOPLE WATCH YOUR CHILDREN THE ROUTINE THING GETS A LITTLE HARDER. THEY MAY NOT BE ONE THE SAME PAGE AS YOU WITH BEDTIMES AND THIS IS WHERE YOU FIND YOURSELF FIGHTING TO GET THE CHILDREN BACK ON TRACK OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

  9. MAMASEXXY says:

    MY LITTLE GIRL AWAYS GOT NO LESS THEN 12 HOURS OF SLEEP.

  10. My 4 year old and 7 year old step-sons are like this too. You can see it in their eyes if they have not napped, their eyes get so purple and sick like. And moody attitudes. I tell them it is a privilege to get extra sleep and they need to enjoy it. 😉

  11. Bed time for my children is 8pm, my one year old daughter has decided 930pm is her time to sleep. Everyone gets up at 6am, she still gets up at 12am, 2am, 430am, and 6am. Her nap time, one that she has decided is 10am. She’ll sleep between 30 min to an hour and then is awake till after diner when she naps for 15 mins and we start all over again. Im exhausted and have tried to regulate her pattern, but she sleeps when she is tired and I dont like waking a sleeping baby.

  12. monica says:

    my daughter goes to bed at 9 30 and wont want to wake up till 10 30 in the morning and then wants her nap at 2 30 to 4 is that okay??

  13. lovingit says:

    you r so luckieeeeee. I only wish!!!!!! LOL

  14. lovingit says:

    It is do true, I known my baby needs the rest because sometimes he is so winney. He will sleep maybe 7 to 9 hrs a night and take a nap the next day for a hour or hour and a half.

  15. good to know my baby is not sleeping too much.

  16. chelsey says:

    my son sleeps 13-14 hours. he is 21 months old

  17. Courtney says:

    I wonder how easy this routine is to set up when your child is being watched by people other than yourself?

  18. sandra says:

    about two hr day

  19. JoDo says:

    yeah my son sleeps half the day away lol

  20. heidi says:

    ahhh, for the longest time,my son would wake during the nite and want a bottle,he wouldn’t even be fully awake! but the faster i got the bottle for him the faster he was back to sleep! it was so hard to break this habit….finally i let him not take such long naps during the day and i also kept him very active during the day…to ensure that he would sleep the whole night….took a few weeks but in the end it payed off….it was never about him being ”hungry” it was more of a comfort thing with him….now he also has a fav blankie that helps took the place of his bottle…thank goodness <3

  21. natalie says:

    my baby takes just morning naps but sleeps through the night with sometimes wakes of crying or whinning for a binky or bottle.

  22. Brenda says:

    my baby takes a nap during the day and sleep all the night!!!

  23. my 21month old used to sleep all night and a pretty long nap durin the day,now i find him starting to wake up every so often and i dont know wht to do , my older son once he had his pattern down , it never change.

  24. Seity says:

    I’ve decided kids don’t sleep. At least mine never has. Nearly 26 months and he still wakes twice a night. At least it’s not every 2 hours like the first year.

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