Toddler sleep and nap schedules

Child Sleep Expert Kim West, LCSW-C, shares advice for parents on what the ideal daily sleep and nap schedule is for toddlers
Toddler Sleep and Nap Schedule Guide
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Toddler sleep and nap schedules

Here is the typical schedule for an 18 month to 2 ½ year old. They need about 11-11.5-11.75 hours of sleep per night, and about 2-2.5 hours of nap, so usually they're only on one nap at this point. So the nap usually starts between 12 and 1 p.m., so hopefully it's like a 1-3 p.m. nap. And then bedtime is somewhere in between 7 and 8 p.m. Again an 18-month old would be somewhere between 7 and 7:30. A 2 ½ year old would be closer to 8. I usually tell parents to look at what time the child has to wake up. If they have to go to daycare or preschool. And they tend to have to wake up at 7 a.m., and they need 11 hours of sleep, that means they need to be asleep by 8 p.m. So that's a great way to figure out when their bedtime should be. And of course watching their cues and make sure you get that magical bedtime window.

Child Sleep Expert Kim West, LCSW-C, shares advice for parents on what the ideal daily sleep and nap schedule is for toddlers


Expert Bio

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Kim West, LCSW-C

Psychotherapist & Author, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight

Kim West is a mother of two and a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C) who has been a practicing child and family social worker for more than 19 years. Known as The Sleep Lady by her clients, over the past 12 years she has helped thousands of tired parents all over the world learn to listen to their intuition, recognize their child’s important cues and behaviors, and gently create changes that promote and preserve his or her healthy sleep habits. 

West has appeared on the Dr. Phil, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, TLC’s Bringing Home Baby  and CNN, and has been written about in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Baby Talk,  Parenting, The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Irish Independent and the Washington Post. West hosts the sleep section of The Newborn Channel, played in maternity wards in hospitals across the country. West is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy with Joanne Kenen. She is also the author of 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies and The Good Night, Sleep Tight Workbook.

Kim received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Annapolis, Maryland.

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