By Kim West, LCSW-C, The Sleep Lady®
Most parents ask me what a “typical day” of feedings, naps, and bedtime would look like for their child. Because I get so many questions about this, I decided to dedicate this post to just that. What follows are typical baby and toddler sleep schedules for specific ages and stages.
Please note that “typical stages” apply to generally healthy children with no growth or developmental concerns. These sleep schedules are based upon recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, the guidelines are very flexible, so you don’t need to adhere to them too rigidly.
Your own child’s routine should be based on careful observation of his eating and sleep cues.
Remember, you should consult with your pediatrician with questions about your toddler’s sleep as well.
Typical Schedule for a 6-8 Month Old
At this age, babies need an average of 11 hours of uninterrupted nighttime sleep and 3 1/2 hours of daytime sleep spread over two or three naps. You will notice your baby becoming more mobile, as she learns to roll over, crawl, and for some even walk. See a sample schedule for this age group HERE.
Typical Schedule for 9 -12 Month Old
Babies at this age on average need 11 hours of sleep at night and 3 1/2 hours of sleep during the day. At nine months, babies should nap for about an hour and a half in the morning and about 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the afternoon. Most have given up that brief, third late-afternoon nap. By twelve months, the morning nap is about an hour, and the afternoon nap is about 1 1/2 hours. See a sample schedule for this age group HERE.
Typical Schedule for 13-18 Month Old
At this age toddlers need an average of 11 1/4 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night and 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours of sleep during the day. Children at the younger end of this age group take two naps, a morning and an afternoon nap, but by eighteen months most children consolidate their naps to one midday or afternoon nap. See a sample schedule for this age group HERE.
Typical Schedule for 18 Month Old – 2.5 Year Old
An eighteen-month-old on average sleeps 11 1/4 hours at night and 2 1/4 hours during one midday or afternoon nap. At age two, sleep requirements drop to 11 hours at night and 2 hours during the day. Over the next year, that will drop to 10 1/2 hours at night and 1 1/2 hours during he day. Remember that these are averages, but variations should not be huge. Watch your child’s daytime behavior for clues to whether he needs more sleep. See a sample schedule for this age group HERE.
Typical Schedule for 2.5 Year Old – 5 Year Old
Between ages two and three, average sleep needs drop to about 10 1/2 hours at night and 1 1/2 hours during the afternoon nap. Four-year-olds need 11 1/2 hours at night, and most no longer nap daily, although they do need approximately 45-minutes of quiet time each afternoon and possibly an occasional nap. Five-year-olds sleep about 11 hours at night, and afternoon quiet time is still very beneficial. See a sample schedule for this age group HERE.