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Sample Schedules: One Year and Up

Something I love about once you get to the four hour schedule is that your schedule doesn't change a lot after that. Here are sample schedules as they changed for Brayden. As Kaitlyn reaches the ages discussed, I add her schedules:

12 Months
I still did 4 liquid feedings a day once both turned a year. We weaned from the breast at a year, but neither would drink more than 6 ounces per meal, and I knew they should have about 24 ounces of milk in a day. Kaitlyn will sporadically drink 8 ounces at some meals, then less than 2 at others. She is less predictable in what she drinks, though it does seem to be evening out as time passes.

7:15: Wake, drink milk, eat breakfast
9:30: nap
11:30: Wake, drink milk, eat lunch
2:00: nap
4:00: Wake, drink milk
8:00: drink milk, eat dinner
8:30: in bed

7:30: Wake, drink milk, eat breakfast
Between: the time here includes bath, getting ready, and solo playtime each day. It also many times includes sibling playtime.
9:30: nap
11:30: wake, drink milk, eat lunch
Between: the time here includes free time and often sibling playtime. As the weather is getting nicer, we also spend a lot of time outside at this time.
1:30-1:45: nap
3:45-4:00: wake, drink milk
4:00ish: solo playtime
4:40: the activities for this time of day vary from day to day. We run errands at this time when needed. We to to the library. We will go on family walks. We will go outside and play. We have free time inside.
5:30: dinner. Kaitlyn is moving from Babyfood and pretty much only eats what we are eating.
7:00: drink milk and then I try to get some babyfood in her, though she usually only has a couple of bites. This is just my last effort to try to control the food going in directly :) I feel this step phasing out. After food, she gets ready for bed and we read a story.
7:45: she is in bed.

14 Months
Between 12 and 14 months, he moved away from eating baby food and more toward eating exactly what we were eating. Around 14 months, the transition was basically complete and he was eating dinner with us. I would try to get some baby food in him just because he seemed to eat more that way, but he was growing up and not that interested. I maintained the 4 milk feedings for the time being.

With Kaitlyn (who is 13 months and 3 weeks when I type this), she was done with babyfood all together closer to 13 months. This isn't surprising since she never really liked it anyway. She also doesn't drink a solid 6 ounces at each meal. Some she drinks more than others, and it isn't consistent from day to day which meals she will drink more. Because of that, I offer her 8 ounces at each meal. Some she drinks 8, some 2. I don't really worry about it.

7:15: Wake, drink milk, eat breakfast
9:30: nap
11:30: Wake, drink milk, eat lunch
2:00: nap
4:00: Wake, drink milk
5:30ish: Dinner
8:00: drink milk
8:30: in bed

7:30: wake up and eat breakfast. This usually consists of milk, fruit, and some dry cereal.
9:45: nap
11:45: wake up and eat lunch. This includes whatever Brayden and I are eating, and right now is usually mostly fruits and vegetables.
1:45: nap
4:00: wake up and drink milk. Sometimes she will also get a small snack, depending on what time dinner will be done.
5:30: dinner with the family. She eats whatever we are eating.
7:00: drink milk.
7:45: in bed

17 Months
This is the age Brayden dropped his morning nap. He might have been ready earlier, but I waited until this age for two reasons. Reason one is that I was in my first trimester with Kaitlyn until he was about 17 months and needed the extra break in the day. Another is that the time change happened right after he hit 17 months. We dropped the nap the Saturday before the time change. Brayden has always been able to handle a full dropping of a nap cold turkey. He took about a week to take a longer afternoon nap (instead of just 2 hours). Here is what the schedule was once he took the longer nap.

7:15: eat breakfast (milk included)
11:30: eat lunch (milk included)
1:00: nap
4:00: wake
5:30ish: Dinner (milk included)
7:00: drink milk (I would give him whatever milk he hadn't had for the day to equal 24 ounces)
7:30: in bed

Kaitlyn is now just 17 months old, and still takes 2 naps a day. She is getting closer to dropping that nap, but is not quite ready. Here is her schedule:

7:30: wake up and eat breakfast. This usually consists of milk, fruit, yogurt, and some dry cereal.
9:45: nap
11:30: wake up and eat lunch. This includes whatever Brayden and I are eating.
2:00: nap
4:00-4:30: wake up
5/5:30: dinner with the family. She eats whatever we are eating.
Random: a couple of days a week, she will ask for more milk between dinner and bedtime. I give it to her when she asks for it, but I no longer offer a 4th liquid feeding.
7:45: in bed

20 Months

Somewhere between 17 and 20 months, I stopped adding the drink milk session at 7 PM. His naps also lengthened out a bit more most days. Other than that, the schedule was the same.

7:15: eat breakfast (milk included)
11:30: eat lunch (milk included)
1:00: nap
4:30: wake
5:30ish: Dinner (milk included)
7:30: in bed


7:30: eat breakfast (milk included)
12:00: eat lunch (milk included)
1:00: nap
4:30: wake up
5:30ish: Dinner (milk included)
7:30: in bed

24 Months
For both children, the schedule continued on pretty much as it had.


7:00: eat breakfast (milk included)
12:00: eat lunch (milk included)
1:00: nap
4:30: wake up
5:30ish: Dinner (milk included)
7:30: in bed

28 Months
Somewhere around this age, his bedtime moved back a bit. Also, lunchtime shifted around based on Kaitlyn's (then a baby) exact schedule. It varied from 11 AM to 12 noon.

7:15: eat breakfast (milk included)
11:30: eat lunch (milk included)
1:00: nap
4:30: wake
5:30ish: Dinner (milk included)
8:00: in bed

30 Months (2.5)

A more detailed schedule is on the Sample Schedules: Trio Schedules post.
7:00 AM: Breakfast
12:00-12:15 PM: Lunch
1:00 PM: Nap
4:30 PM: Wake
5:00-5:30 PM: Dinner
8:00 PM: In bed

34 Months Old
Brayden is now nearly three years old. His schedule has remained basically the same. Lunch has moved back as Kaitlyn now wakes at 11:30.

7:15: eat breakfast (milk included)
12:00: eat lunch (milk included)
1:00: nap
4:30: wake
5:30ish: Dinner (milk included)
8:00: in bed

3 Years Old
Brayden's schedule has shifted a bit recently. I like the kids to nap at the same time, so I usually let him stay up until her naptime. I have also started getting them up at the same time, and have somehow gotten him to go to her schedule instead of her to his.

7:30: eat breakfast (milk included)
12:00: eat lunch (milk included)
1:45: nap
4:30-5:00: wake up
5:30: dinner (milk included)
8:00: in bed

The kids have one snack a day around 10:00 AM. It is just some time between breakfast and lunch. That is their longest interval between meals that they are awake since we eat dinner as a family relatively early.


Tanya Hebert said...

Hi - I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now and really enjoy it! I have a 19 month old girl and have a question about sleep. She has been waking up early in the morning, and I have tried everything I know to make her stretch it longer. Maybe you can see something in her schedule I can do to make it work:

7am waketime - up - eat breakfast
11:30am lunch
12-12:15 down for nap
2:15-2:30 up from nap
5:30pm dinner
7:15-7:30pm bed

She has been waking up around 6:20 on a few mornings each week, other days she makes it until 6:45 or so, which is no big deal. She does fine laying in her crib til we go get her. Here are the things I have tried:

1. Putting her down earlier for her nap. She falls asleep and usually still sleeps 2 hours or more, but it hasn't made a change on her sleep time at night.
2. Putting her down earlier for bed time at night. We tried putting her down at 7pm but it was still the same result.
3. Putting her down later for bed time at night. We tried putting her down closer to 8pm and we still had the same result.

Any thoughts? Should we just go with it and set her new wake time for 6:30 and just enjoy the days she makes it to 7? Maybe is this just a phase for her?

I see that your son takes about a 3 hour nap. We have been waking our daughter up if she sleeps over 2.5 hours. Could it be that we need to just let her sleep as long as she wants to for her nap?

So many questions, I know. I truly appreciate your input, though.

Thank you.

Plowmanators said...

I am glad you are enjoying the blog!

My first thought was normal time change disruption, but since it has been happening longer than a week, that is out. Was she previously fine on this schedule? If so, I would think if there have been any changes at all since she started waking early.

For nap length, I would let her sleep the 3 hours. That could do it.

Other than that, it might just be a phase. They seem to go through it every so often. In the summer, Brayden will often wake early because he is a sun person--up with the sun. I would just leave her in bed until the time you are okay with her waking up. Resting in bed is always better than running around the house and playing ;)

Jamie said...

Thanks for such a great blog. My son is 4 months old and I really like being able to read what another Babywise Mom has done. Thanks!!

Plowmanators said...

You are welcme Jamie! And thank you!

Jennie said...

I have an 18 month year old and have been trying to drop his morning nap for about a week now and it is not going very well at all! Before last week I had been cutting his morning nap to only an hour (10-11) so he would sleep well in the afternoon (2:30-4:30/5:00). Last week I dropped the am nap and put him down at 1:00 (sometimes 12:30 if he couldn't make it). But he only sleeps 2 hours when I put him down! (1-3:00). He goes to bed at 7:30 at night and also is waking up at like 6:15 am. (I leave him in his crib until 7am). I have always had the best sleeper so now I'm wondering what I am doing wrong. (he also is super whiny and fussy all day!) Any advice would be much appreciated..thanks!!

Plowmanators said...

Have you read the weaning from a nap post? Dropping a Nap: A Weaning Process:

That idea might be what your son needs. Also, it might just take him some time to adjust to the new schedule. Be sure he really needs that first nap dropped. You might have some days he needs it, others he doesn't. Good luck!

emily said...

My daughter used to take a two hour nap in the morning and a two hour nap in the afternoon. Lately I'll lay her down, she'll fall asleep pretty quickly, but then she'll only sleep 25-50 minutes. I've tried letting her cry it out but she won't fall back asleep. So then we just hang out until it's time to eat and start all over again.
For the past week our day has been - Eat, awake for only an hour, lay down for nap, wake up early, play, and then start over. I would lay her down later after eating but she's so tired she'll just fall asleep where she is.
Her schedule hasn't changed any and she's still sleeping pretty good at night, so I can't figure out what happened! (she's only 2 1/2 months if that helps)

-I love this blog and am so thankful I found it!

Plowmanators said...

The first thing I would consider is that it might be a growth spurt. I would first try feeding her when she wakes and see if she is hungry.

If not, I would try extending her waketime. I would only try extending by 5 minute increments.

See this post for more ideas:

Naps: Troubleshooting:

emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
emily said...

Thanks, I think you were right about it being a growth spurt. She seemed to be hungry all the time. Now she's back to taking her long nap in the morning.

I have another question for you.
Here's her current schedule:

7:30 nurse
8:45-10:45/11:00 nap
(I have to wake her)
11:00 nurse
12:15 nap
1:45 nurse
3:00 nap
4:15 nurse
6:15 nurse
8:00 nurse
3:30AM nurse

I've been nursing her close together in the evening b/c she goes so long during the night w/o eating. She really seems to need the 4 and 8 feeding, but I'm not sure about the 6:00. Do I need to wake her from the morning nap or do you think I could let her sleep longer, then space out the nursings, so I could drop one of the evening ones?

Also, according to Babywise, how much sleep does a 2-3 month old need? My daughter sleeps about 11 hours at night (with 1 feeding), so I'm wondering how many naps she should take during the day.

Thank you!

mommytoisabella said...

When did you start giving snacks and how much?

Plowmanators said...

I think Brayden was around 14 or 15 months when the snack was more common. I for sure did it regularly at 17 months when he dropped that morning nap. I would have him have a snack between breakfast and lunch. Kaitlyn doesn't have a set snack time, but it is more random based on the day. Some days she gets one in the morning between breakfast and lunch (even though she still has a morning nap). Other days she will get one after her afternoon nap if dinner is going to be later.

The amount is pretty small. The equivalent of 2 graham crackers.

mommytoisabella said...

Isabella will be 1 year old at the end of the month.

This is what her schedule looks like:

Up 7 or before bf & breakfast
9:15 nap (asleep at 9:30)
11:00 bf & lunch
1:45 nap (asleep by 2 or 2:15)
4:00 bottle
6:30 dinner
7:00 bottle
7:30 bed (asleep by 8)

I am finding that Isabella is not falling asleep till close to 10, I let her sleep till 11:00 and this afernoon she did not take her pm nap. It has been at 10 & 10:30 today and yesterday, but on Monday she feel asleep at 9:30. She normally goes down at 9:15 for her nap. She goes down anywhere between 1:45 and 2:00 and is normally sleep by 2:15 and naps till 4 or 4:30. Sometimes I have to put her down at 1:30 like today because of being cranky. She did not sleep. This is the second time that has happened. In "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" the author states at this age the am nap could start to interfer with the pm nap. Did you find this happening with your little one's?
It has been at 10 & 10:30 today and yesterday, but on Monday she feel asleep at 9:30. She normally goes down at 9:15 for her nap.

What should I do?

Plowmanators said...

BW says to drop the morning nap anywhere from 14-22 months. While some can go earlier and some later, I would say 11 months is too early. My first thought would be to extend wake time by a little bit. You are putting her down at 9:15, try 9:20. If that doesn't work, try 9:25, etc. You can then wake her at 11, or maybe a bit later depending on when the nap starts. That morning nap can kind of shift to a catnap.

But also be sure to consider other factors. Is she teething? Is she getting sick? Is she too hot? Consider all of those common things that can interfere with sleep.

mommytoisabella said...

Thank you for your advice. I was considering extending her wake time a little at a time.

Yes, she is teething.

Plowmanators said...

If it were me, I would give her painkiller about 20 minutes before her normal naptime. Put her down at the normal time. Then do the same for the afternoon. See if that makes any difference. I would rule that out before you mess with the schedule. Good luck!

Julia said...


great post! at 14 months, we are on almost the same schedule.

I have two questions.

1. Naps. I don't know if we are quite ready to drop the morning nap. there are some days (not very often) where I lay her down at 9:30 and she just plays quietly in her crib and never falls asleep. Of course, she ends up getting tired sooner, so instead of napping at 1:30, i might put her down 15-30 minutes early. but like someone else mentioned, sometimes she doesn't fall asleep til 10 or 10:15. I still get her up around 11 and she does fine. maybe she just needs a few more minutes of play time before she lays down???

2. Milk... do you only give them milk while they are sitting in their high chair? or do you let them carry a sippy cup around with them as they play? I give her milk while she's eating. she will usually drink a few ounces. then once she's done, i just leave the milk out on the coffee table so she can just have some while she's playing. once it's gone, she doesn't get anymore til the next meal. it doesn't seem to be creating a bad habit, but i'm not sure. especially if we have to run errands in the afternoon, i let her take her cup with. And when it's hot outside. i feel like i'm drinking water all day when it's not, so i know she has to be thirsty too. what do you think?

thanks for the great blog!


Plowmanators said...

1. Good possibility. We are currently in the morning nap transition and I am deciding exactly what to do. I know she can't drop the morning nap and be perfectly happy until 1 PM yet (which would be my desired start of nap time). We have this at church on Sunday. She has to go down by 12:30. She also gets really clingy. So, my current solution is I am extending waketime in the morning and shortening naptime in the morning. Everything else is staying the same.

2. With Brayden, he drank his milk while eating and never any other time. Any other thirst was met with water. With Kaitlyn, if she doesn't drink enough at the meal, I will let her have some if she asks for it, but I don't leave it out for her. I would leave water out for her and offer that (especially in the heat). When you are running errands, let her have milk if it is a normal milk time, otherwise take water.

Ultimately I think it is best to do milk for meals and not have it all day, but I am not sticking to that perfectly with Kaitlyn ;)

mommytoisabella said...

You mentioned Kaitlyn is currently in the morning nap transition right now. How old is she? On Sundays does she take a morning nap?

Plowmanators said...

Kaitlyn is 15 months old. She does not get a morning nap right now because church is from 9-12. She is usually down by 12:30 on Sundays and then sleeps until 4-4:30. Long nap! So I could drop the morning and just have a really long afternoon nap, but I would rather wait until she can make it to 1. I would do it if she could make it happily to 12:30...she gets restless at church. Of course, it is 3 hours of having to sit prett still so that might be it. I should give it a go some day :)

mommytoisabella said...

The reason why I was a bit curious is because in August we are going to a missions conference in Austria. This conference is the highlight of our year and we did not go last year because Isabella was too small and we did not have her passport. In the morning, there are two sessions, a general session for both ladies and men, then we break off into separate mens and women sessions. For me, at this conference I get the most out of the ladies session. The afternoon is free time then in the evening is one general session. There is a nursery provide. This year I was asked to pray about facilitating a small group for the ladies session. I would love to do this. However the timing of the ladies meetings will be during Isabella's morning nap. Right now she is going down at 9:40 and is not falling asleep till 10 or 10:30 and she gets up at 11. If I let her nap longer it interferes with her pm nap. I have a few options on what to do. I can tell the person no, and go back to the hotel and miss most of the ladies meeting for her to nap, my husband can miss his session or she can miss her nap and nap after lunch. I have not given the person who is coordinating the ladies meeting an answer. Being that I love to take part in these meetings I am opting for her missing her am nap. If she misses her nap, we will not be able to get her back to the hotel for her pm nap till after lunch. What would you do in this situation. As I am thinking about this the thought that, "the schedule is to serve me" keeps going through my head.

mommytoisabella said...

I would like to add, being that the evening sessions will start at 7 or 7:30 and I try to get Isabella in bed by 7:45 I will be missing the evening session. She will be too cranky if I stay for the session and get her to bed later. I would want the nursery workers to have to deal with it. Therefore if I miss the morning sessions on the account of her naps, I would not be able to participate in any of the teaching sessions.

mommytoisabella said...

Correction, I meant to say I wouldn't want the nursery workers to deal with her being cranky.

mommytoisabella said...

Also, if she misses her morning naps for a week will she bounce back into the routine? Sorry for all the questions, I am just trying to prepare myself as to what to expect. I have traveled with her a lot in the past, but I have always tried to keep her on a schedule.

Plowmanators said...

My guess is that she will be old enough to handle at least some of it. At first I thought it was a one day thing, in which case I would totally say go for it. With one might get sketchy. Depending on her personality, I would think you could at least do every other day, but I don't know if she would make it 5 days in a row (or more). You could always try it but be flexible enough to have her take a nap every other day if needed. I think she could definitely handle one or two days of the week, though.

The length of time she takes to bounce back will depend on her personality also and the amount of disruptions she experienced. But she will get there. She could bounce back immediately (though she might take too short or extra long naps). She might take 3 days. She might take 3 weeks. I would plan for at least 1 week.

mommytoisabella said...

Thank you for the advice!!

mommytoisabella said...

I can tell that Isabella is starting the transition, she will be 15 months on the 30th of this month.

Here is her current schedule:

Wakes between 6:30 & 7:00, we start her day at 7:00.
10-11:30 nap
2:30-4:30 nap
7:30 bed

First of all last week was crazy with a situation that was beyond my control and it did effect her naps. Friday was a normal day in our house and this is how her day went. She did not fall asleep at all in the morning. I got her up at 11:30 gave her milk, then lunch. I had to go out grocery shopping afterwards. I was able to get her home to bed by 12:30, she fell asleep at 1:00, slept till 2:30 she did not go back to sleep. She had a melt down at 4:00. Being that she was way OT I put her down, hoping she would get in a half an hour cat nap but that did not happen. I was able to get her in bed by 6 and she slept horribly.

For today I was thinking I need to lengthen her am wake time. I had to go out to do errands so DH was watching her for awhile then a babysitter came. I asked DH to put her down at 10:10. When I called at 10:30 to check on her she was still awake. I got home at 11:00 she was still awake and fell asleep at 11:15. I got her up at 11:30. We went out in the afternoon and around 1:30 she was starting to have a melt down. I got her home and down at 1:50. She fell asleep for about 15 minutes, woke due to teething pain and I got her to sleep at 2:30 and she slept till 3:45.

I can tell she is starting to transition, however she is not quite ready to go "cold turkey" to the one nap. She is showing signs of being tired around. Right now I am trying to figure out what the best thing is to do.

Can some of you give me some advice on what type of schedule to try?

Her problem could be due to the fact that the beginning of the week things were wacked out due to construction going on in my apartment as well as her teething. She did not nap at all on Wednesday because I had to take her and the pack and play to a friends out to get her out of what was going on in here and poor thing had no idea what to do or think.

Plowmanators said...

I would get things back to consistent and normal. Treat the teething pain however you do it. Once the teething pain is done and the schedule is back to normal, evaluate things and decide how you need to act.

During transitions, extending waketime often helps. Once things are settled, if you still need to switch things up, try 5 minutes at a time and see how that works. If it doesn't, add 5 more. Good luck, the transition time is quite a challenge!

Melissa said...

My 16.5 month old is down to one nap. I've been trying to figure out when that one nap should be. Sometimes, watching her, I think it should be at 11:30 (when she wakes between 7 and 7:30. Other times, I think it should be around 1 (when she wakes at 8).

What I don't like about this guesswork, is that it's never been guesswork before. She has been such a great napper and our schedule so consistent, but now it's hit or miss. Her one nap is only 1.5 hours long. How is it possible that she would go from two 1.5-2 hour naps to this? She is no longer waking up from naps happy. She's often sitting in a half daze sort of whimpering, or kind of in a bad mood that requires a bit of cuddle time - after which she's fine.

This is not what we're used to. Any insight? Thanks so much!!!

Melissa said...

one more thing...she used to wake up and play patiently. now, she calls us as soon as those eyes pop open. is there a way i can teach her to entertain her self again till we get there?

Melissa said...

hi! i posted a couple of questions here in this section. no pressure - just to let you know.

Plowmanators said...

Melissa, it is normal to have a difficult adjustment when you drop a nap. One thing I would suggest is that you get morning waketime consistent within 30 minutes. Right now your window is 60 minutes. That can make finding the optimal naptime easier. If you can, I would even do it pretty much to the minute (maybe a 5 minute window) while you figure stuff out.

She isn't waking happy because she isn't fully rested. Once you figure out the right timing, she should start to sleep longer.

Try different times and take notes of what time she goes down and what the results are (nap length, happiness, etc.). Don't rely on your memory--keep a log. This should help you to figure it out.

mommytoisabella said...

For the past week or it has taken Isabella anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 hours to fall asleep at night for no apparent reason. She is still taking 2 naps a day, she just turned 16 months. For her second nap I put her down at 2:30, she falls asleep around 3 and sleeps till 4:30 and her bed time is 7:30. I am wondering if this could be a sign to drop her morning nap. Right now she is going down at 10, falling asleep at 10:20 and waking at 11. Or should I be waking her up at 4 from her pm nap? I really have no idea what to do.

Plowmanators said...

My guess would be that it is either time to drop the morning nap or she needs a bit longer waketime. You can try extending waketime by even just 5 minutes at a time. Have you been keeping a log? If not, I would encourage you to keep a log for a week detailing her naps. This will help you decide. I did this with Kaitlyn recently (I will be doing an post on it later this week).

mommytoisabella said...

Thank you so much for your quick reply, I needed. Yes, I do keep log.

Today being that I have some guests coming over around her am nap time it may be a 1 nap day and we will see how it goes with bedtime. I have been slowly extending her am waketime.

I will be looking forward to you post.

Thank you again for the quick reply.

Jessica said...

Hello - I'm new to your blog and love the great resource. I'm having some problems with my schedule and I was wondering if you could take a look and let me know your opinion. This is the schedule I'm trying to do:

7:00am - wake/bottle/solids
10am - bottle
1pm - bottle/solids
4pm - bottle
7pm - bottle/solids/nighttime routine (bath, book, etc)/bed
10:00pm - dreamfeed

I'm really confused about the naps. I've been trying to do an hour of waketime, and 2 hours of naps between each feeding. Lately, he won't sleep longer then 45 minutes or so, sometimes I can get him back to sleep and sometimes I can't. I'm afraid that 4 naps, 2 hours each, is too much daytime sleep...but he doesn't seem ready for a 4-hour schedule and he always seems tired after an hour of waketime.

Also, our nighttime sleeping hasn't been going well either lately. He goes down to sleep at night fairly easily, but wakes up at about 5am. After I feed him, he's wide awake and it's almost impossible to get him to stay in the crib until 7am, which is our preferred waketime.

What do you suggest for naps, and what do I do when he is wide awake at 5am?

Thanks for your help,

Jessica said...

Sorry - I forgot to note the age of my LO! He's 4 months.

Plowmanators said...


He might be going through a growth spurt. 4 months can be a hard time. See this post:

4 month Sleep Problems :

Karen said...

My daugther is almost 13 months and for the past two weeks she has been waking up 1 hour early in the morning (6am instead of her normal 7am). She is also not sleeping well during her two naps. Right up until two weeks ago, her schedule was pretty solid as follows:

7am Wake up
9:30am Nap
11-11:30am Wake up
2:00pm Nap
4:00pm Wake up
7:30pm Bed time

I know it can be a variety of things but wondered if you could offer some advice on what I might zero in on to get her to sleep longer in the morning/wake up later. What should I be working on...nap times, bed time...???? Thanks for your help.

celestevy said...

Last week my husband was out of the country for a conference and Isabella had a real hard time falling asleep at night, I can tell his absence really effected her. She was falling asleep anywhere between 8:30 to 10pm. Her bedtime is 7:00 and takes a naps till 2 or 2:30. This has continued since he has been back. He came back Saturday evening. Sunday is always a tricky day. Today I thought maybe she is ready to stay up till 7:30. We went out and our babysitter put her down at 7:30 we got home at 7:40 and she did not fall asleep till 9:00. Our babysitter said that she started to get tired at 6:45, then got a 2nd wind. Because I had told her to put her down at 7:30 I didn't say "you should of put her down' earlier although I was thinking that. She has two grown children so she does have experience in caring for a child. I am kinda at a loss of what to do. She did not fall asleep tonight till 9:00 pm. I went in to check her diaper for poop, she was very tired. Should I keep her bedtime the same or try to shoot for a later bedtime?

Plowmanators said...


One big possibility is teeth. She might be getting molars which are aweful.

Look through the sleep problems posts for possible reasons (sickness, too hot/cold etc.). It is possible she also might need a nap shorter in the day so night can remain longer. I would look to other reasons before that first though. It could be standing in the crib and being excited for new things. For some around this age, sleep becomes difficult really for seemingly no reason, but it is a phase that passes.

Plowmanators said...

Celestevy, I would keep bedtime at where it was before she starting having a rough time falling asleep. How old is she?

celestevy said...

She just turned 18 months yesterday.

Things are some what getting better. I am putting her down at 7:00 and it is taking her about 1/2 hour to fall asleep now. I thought maybe I should try putting her down at 7:30 and she did not fall asleep till close to 9:00.

Plowmanators said...

I am glad you are seeing improvement.

At 18 months, there some possible reasons. If she is down to one nap in the day and this happened around the same time late night falling asleep did, then she might just be too overly tired to fall asleep quickly. Too late of a bedtime will do that. So moving it up was a good move (assuming she is down to one nap). Well, either way it was a good move since she is falling asleep earlier :)

ys said...

I am a new poster here but have been reading the comments under schedules and I don't see this question.....if I have missed it somewhere, I apologize.
I have 2 kids on BW (2 and 7 months). I have noticed your sample schedules seem to have a lot less waketime than other moms I know doing BW. And the naps seem longer too. I was curious as I figured there must be some winddown,quiet time built in there. I think it would be helpful to have more poll results for the average amount of sleep within a 24 hr period for the various age groups....I see some for the younger ones, but I think it'd be beneficial for the older infants and the toddlers too. Just a thought:)

Now my main question is on my DD that just turned 2. Looking at Brayden's sample schedule he still has a really long nap even at over age 3. That is wonderful! But I guess I am confused because if he is sleeping that much during the day, it doesn't rob from night sleep? As they get older their sleep needs drop a bit. I know some other moms who have 2 year olds and they take a while to unwind at night now. Some are capping naps to preserve nights. Our current routine is:
7 AM up (but I don't know when she wakes....she is almost always awake)
12:30-2:30 nap (I wake her)
7 PM bed (sometimes quiet, sometimes takes a while to settle)

She was a 12 hr night sleeper as an infant. I definitely think she does best on a long night. So what happens as she gets older? Do you push time back (like 1 PM) and keep bedtime the same? But if nap gets push back and she wakes up later, won't she just take longer to settle at night. I'm just a little confused to how it works as they get older and was hoping for some insight. I want to keep the afternoon nap around for a long time :)
Thanks so much!

ys said...

As an update to my post on 3-6-09 she is tired and cranky acting. Last night didn't settle til 7:45 and I heard her at 6:30ish is hard because she is quiet in the AM but I heard movement on the monitor,etc. So that is less than 11 hrs at night (with her nap she is quiet right away so I don't know how long it takes to fall asleep).
I gave Tylenol before bed last night. Yesterday she was real cranky and better after nap. This morning real cranky and it's not even 9 AM! Now I do think her molars are bothering her but I am concerned because her nights aren't long enough for her it seems. Any ideas?

Plowmanators said...


A common misconception is that you shouldn't have daytime sleep in order for good nighttime sleep. Even doctors will tell this to mothers of young babies. But in reality, sleep begets sleep. See:

Sleep Begets Sleep :

Sleep needs stay the same for a long time. Brayden didn't start showing an overall need for reduction in hours slept until over three years old.

Now as he is approaching four, he is really on a 'rest time' most days rather than a nap. But he is sleeping longer at night now.

I have kept naptime the same (but it has always been at one...we did go to two for a few months).

Betime moves up if he doesn't actually sleep for a nap. If he does, we will let him stay up an extra 30 minutes or so.

You have rest time as I mentioned when they get older and don't need to sleep. They still need to rest. There is an obvious difference in Brayden's behavior when he has rest time versus when he doesn't go in his room for rest time. He must stay in his bed, but he can look at books. He needs to be quiet (his sister is in the next room).

Those molars can really disrupt sleep and affect disposition. My son would get more disobedient when he was cutting a molar. My daughter gets clingy. So I would hang in there and have patience while these teeth come in. Once they aren't a factor, you can see if you need to do anything else. Good luck!

ys said...

Thank you for your reply. I agree that sleep begets sleep. I have seen it many times with my daughter.....I guess that is why I am so confused lately and this seems a common theme right around the 2 year mark it least with some other BW moms. Their kids are taking up to an hour to unwind at night and then not sleeping longer in the morning. Sometimes they wake up after 1.5 hr nap on their own or do 2 hrs. I cap naptime at 2 hrs to preserve night but it seems like night is too short now. But maybe that is teeth-related but my poor DD takes forever to cut teeth. At least I now know that overall sleep needs don't drop until over age 3, so that is a while away:)
Do you think the time of the nap has any impact? For example if I'd move it back and keep it 2 hrs long and bedtime still at 7 PM....just in effect rearranging it. Is that what happens are they get older? Same overall sleep just rearranged?

Before I did nap 12:15-2:15 and bed at 6:45 PM but it seemed like she was often shortnapping or quietly awake, so that's why I added 15 min waketime. That seems to help a lot and she is often soundly sleeping at 2:30 but now has shorter nights. And her night sleep is essential to her. It is odd that so many others are doing this too so maybe this is a phase.

Plowmanators said...

ys, It is not uncommon for the two year old to stay up later at night than they are supposed to. I don't know if they are just excited about life or what :)

Timing naps for toddlers is very important. See: Timing Naps for Toddlers :

I would probably also experiment with nap length. Both of my kids take or took a longer nap than two hours for just one nap a day. If they are too tired, it will take them longer to fall asleep at night.

ys said...

Thank you. I too have observed it can take longer to settle at night when too tired.....but I find as they get older it is harder to determine whether they are undertired or overtired...they tend to act similar with not settling IMHO.

Do you recall what your total sleep in 24 hrs was for age 2? (broken between day and night). I know Kaitlyn is a real sleeper but Brayden may be more average. I didn't see a poll on this but that might be helpful info to have for older toddlers once (like ages 2, 2.5, 3,etc).....if you are taking ideas for polls, haha:)

celestevy said...

Hello, I hope all is well with you. I haven't posted any questions, nor read any of your post for awhile. Some how I got unsubscribed. Congratulations on the birth of your daughter.

I need some advice on Isabella's bedtime.

Here is her current schedule
Wakes between 6:30 and 7:00 (out of crib at 7:00)
12:00 nap (falls asleep between 12 & 12:30)
up between 2:30 & 3:00
bed 7:30

I had her bed time at 6:30 for a long time then slowly started moving it towards 7:00. It seemed as if she wasn't that tired around 7:00 anymore so I moved it to 7:30 and now it is taking over an hour to fall asleep. I really do not know how to solve this problem. Should I shorten her nap (which some on another babywise board advised and I don't agree with) when she takes shorter naps she wakes cranky. Should I move her bed time up or back to 8? I could really use some help on this.

celestevy said...

I forgot to include that she is 22 months.

ys said...

I hadn't reposted since 3-19-09 as I figured you have been busy with a newborn:) Congrats! It sounds like it is going well, which is wonderful.

My DD is turning 28 months and her
nap routine was:
7 AM up (usually awake, not sure when)
12:30-2:30 nap
7 PM bed (sometimes takes a while to fall asleep)

She was doing quite well but the past week has been really off. Now she is getting her 2 year molars and that might be the issue. (Although she was sleeping real well when the first 2 were actually cutting, so teething maybe was making her tired??)I was just wondering though, to reiterate my earlier question, do you have sleep totals broken between day and night (actual sleep, not just the times) for ages 2, 2.5? I'm just curious.

Yesterday was had an unusual Sunday and got home 20 min late for nap and she woke up at 1.5 hrs, which I'm sure was overtired. So I really don't think a shorter nap is the best answer. I find when she has shorter naps she still takes a while to settle at night. I even do earlier bed to help compensate but it just doesn't seem to agree with her. I noticed some moms at this age start pushing naptimes back and then bed back later too to compensate, but I really would prefer to stay on a 7-7 routine as we all get up early,etc.

And it just seems when she naps less she overall sleeps less? Surprising at this age to me, but it seems good sleep still begets good sleep. Whereas she has shorter naps this week, takes a while to settle, and then is always awake at 7 AM or earlier so it's not like she is sleeping in to make up her time. I guess it could be sleep needs dropping a bit but I get very suspicious if I think it is too big of a drop:) So if you have any insights into this or if I need to tweak something I'd appreciate it.
Thanks again!

ys said...

I should also add that while I see some moms push nap a bit later in the day, when nap was at 12:50 yesterday she I'm not sure that is the correct answer.

Plowmanators said...


It is most likely that she actually needs an earlier bedtime. I would shoot for an earlier bedtime and see how that goes. Also, see today's post on two year old sleep problems.

Plowmanators said...


Sleep totals for 2-2.5.

Brayden went to bed about 7:30-8:00 PM and got up about 7 AM. He took a long nap from 1-4 or 4:30.

Kaitlyn goes to bed about 7:30 and gets up about 7:00. She takes a nap from 1-3:30 or 4:00.

See today's post for 2 year old sleep issues, also. I don't know exaclty how long each slept or sleeps each day. I think I don't focus on it much since I have a newborn at that time :)

From what I read, sleep begets sleep at all ages. I find that true even with myself. And with my two older ones (4 & 2), when I get them in bed by 7:30 they are asleep almost immediately. When it is 8 or 8:30, it takes some time to settle.

ys said...

Thank you so much for your post! It was interesting and informative....especially about them needing to relearn sleep at various ages....who knows. But at least it is nice to know it is a common phase!

I actually had bumped up bedtime 15 min earlier recently with better results. I figured if it was taking longer to settle, this was now built in more. It's always opposite of what you think. I keep telling myself over and over that sleep begets sleep so I just try to apply that principle (which usually doesn't mean more waketime then).

I was trying not to stress about it but she was clearly so tired and fussy the next day(s), it was bothering me. Not for my sake, but hers as I could tell she wasn't get the rest she needs.

One other thought I had was I think a cause could be a cognitive developmental leap, like a increase in vocabulary, etc. One evening I heard her on her monitor "practicing" sounds and phrases from our was quite funny!

Janeene said...


Thank you so much for this site, and I referred to it many times. Very helpful. I am in London, England. I have followed the Babywise books and my girl is now 20months. I really need some advice about her naps. She has always been a very good sleeper, with long naps and 12 hours at night. But at 19m, she dropped her morning nap. So come 2pm she was extremely tired and almost begged to go to her "lo lo" (that's pillow!!). She use to go to bed at 9pm (because she had such a long 3.5 hour afternoon nap) and always woke up between 8:30am-9am. But since dropping the morning nap, she has been getting up earlier - sometimes 7am. Her routine looks like this:

7am-7:45am - wakes up
8am - breakfast
midday - lunch
2pm - afternoon nap
5:30pm (I wake her, otherwsie she would probably go to 6pm)
6pm - Dinner
8:30pm bed

When she wakes in the morning around 7am, she really wants to sleep. But has woken up and can't get back again. Because of the early mornings, she is so tired around lunch time and not always her jolly self. What can I do to get her to sleep that hour later like she use to in the mornings? Should I move her afternoon nap earlier? 1pm? Or should I put her down earlier, 8pm?

Really would love some advice.

Thank you.

Plowmanators said...

ys, that is a definite possibility. They often have sleep disturbances when they are learning new things. It makes sense. Adults are the same way. We don't sleep as well when we are worried about things or have something big on our minds. To young child, rolling is huge. New words are amazing. It makes sense they wouldn't sleep well at those big moments.

Plowmanators said...

Janeene, According to Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, between 6:30 and 7:00 (I think, it might be 7:30--a friend has my book) is the normal time of day for most children to wake up.

Since she dropped the morning nap, she will need an earlier bedtime for sure. They don't really drop sleep so much as rearrange when it happens.

When she wakes in the 7 AM hour, she will definitely need her nap around 1. Then also do an earlier bedtime. If she is waking at 7, shoot for a 7-7:30 bedtime. Good luck!

Jackie said...

Hi - we're also trying to work out a schedule for a one year old who is resisting naps altogether. Sometimes he goes down fine and sometimes not. Most often the morning nap is 1 1/2 -2 hrs and then he'll talk to him self for 45 minutes and fuss skipping the second nap entirely. We have considered shortening the first nap. He's been going down at night just fine though and sleeps straight thru. It's hard because I work full-time and my husband has been picking my son up before the sitter puts him down for his second nap. So I have little control over when he goes down - even though I suggested a 5 hour schedule.

Hi schedule looks like this the past couple days

6-6:15 - Up and nurse
7:15/7:30 - cereal and fruit
10ish - nap
11:30/12:00 - lunch (6oz whole milk)
2 try/3 try for nap
if no nap - 3:15 - snack (6oz breast milk) and fruit or veggies
6ish dinner
6:45/7 nurse & bed (if no nap...little later if he took a nap)

Thanks for your help! It's good to find someone to bounce babywise concepts off of!

Plowmanators said...


four hours seems like a lot of waketime for a one year old. I think most can really only do two hours. Perhaps up to three. Have you tried an earlier morning nap? If he is up too long, he won't sleep well.

Heather said...

I need help! My daughter (who is 16 months) fights us on her milk. We are a Babywise family, who aim to be very consistent. She was breastfed until she was 9months old (and then my breastmilk decreased signifcantly because I returned to work and the pumping just didn't cut it). She has been using a sippy cup ever since. Although she has not always done well drinking her milk, she has gotton worse! We make her drink 6 ounces at breakfast, lunch and dinner--before getting ANY solids. Sometimes, she goes without eating until dinner time because she refuses to drink her milk (even after an hour of sitting at the table with her milk, or half an hour in her crib with her cup). We don't give in because we don't want to be inconsistent and send the wrong message, but sometimes we worry that she's not getting enough nutrition/calories. I don't want to mix her milk with anything (syrups, banana puree, etc.), because she can drink her milk, and does sometimes on her own. I don't want her to have any added sugar, plus don't like the idea of having to manipulate her into drinking something she should just drink. Please help!

Plowmanators said...

Heather, I suggest you see the post on 'imagination.' I talk with Anne Marie Ezzo often (the wife of the author of BW). She points out that with eating, you don't want to create battles and that you will need to adapt different strategies as they grow older to get them to eat good food (even secretly adding veggies to things like pancakes if needed!)

Maybe she doesn't like to drink 6 ounces straight. She might drink more if she had it with her meal.

This is what I would do. I would hold her in your lap and have her drink what she will. When she is done "guzzling," move her to her highchair for the meal. Give her her sippy along with the meal. Then just let it go and don't stress.

With Brayden, I stressed over ounces. With Kaitlyn, I didn't even count them. I had a ballpark, but didn't know the exact number. She was just as healthy as he was :)

Luci said...

I was wondering if you had any advice about what is going on with my 17 month old daughter. She has always been a wonderful sleeper because of baby wise and on the typical schedule for her age.

Recently, however she has been waking up earlier in the morning. She just dropped her morning nap, so is only taking one 2 hour nap a day. I'm hoping over time she starts to stretch this nap out longer.

I usually put her down at 8:00pm and she wakes up at 7:30am. This past week though she has been waking at 6 or 6:30am. I've tried putting her down later than 8, but she wakes up at around the same time anyway. I've also tried putting her down for two naps again, but she fusses or plays during the entire second nap. Could she be overtired or something?

What do you think is going on and what should I do with her schedule to fix it? I just want to make sure she's getting plenty of sleep.

Thanks so much!

Plowmanators said...


My guess is she is overly tired. Dropping a nap and then taking only a two hour nap means she will need an earlier bedtime uless and until she moves her nap longer in the day.

You might try her one nap to be a bit earlier in the day until she gets a little older. Most children start their one nap at 1 PM, but when they first start one nap, they might need it around 12 or so.

It also could be the sun waking her, so look into that possibility as well.

celestevy said...

Isabella turned three at the end of July. She currently goes down for a nap at 1:00 and she naps till 3. Her bedtime is at 7:30 and it takes her awhile to fall asleep. I noticed your children napped longer at this age. Did they have a problem falling asleep at night? If I let her sleep longer then she is up till almost 10:00. Should I change her bedtime?

Plowmanators said...

No, my kids didn't have a hard time falling asleep at that age.

I probably wouldn't change bedtime more than 30 minutes. You could do that, or you could also try starting nap 30 minutes later or ending 30 minutes earlier and see if that helps.

It also could just be a phase she is going through.

wildflower said...

My eldest son is 2.5 yr old and his wake-time always used to be 7am, but we moved a few months ago and ever since he won't sleep past 6am (when he wakes he just calls mommy continually until I come get him).
Right now he goes to bed at 8pm, gets up at 6am. And he has a 2hr nap in the afternoon.
Also I have a 4month old whe goes to bed at 6:30pm (dreamfeed at 10pm)and wakes up at 5am or 6am.
I am looking for a way to get both of them to have a waketime of 7am

For the 2yr old I have tried earlier bedtime, later bedtime, and I know that sunlight isn't a problem (we are in a basement).
For the 4mo old he wakes hungry at 5am or 6am, and sometime he will go back to sleep after I feed him but most of the time he won't, but then he won't eat at all when I wake him up at 7:00 or 7:30...

I just really hate getting up at 6, any suggestions?

wildflower said...

For example this morning my 2yr old woke up at 5:30am and started calling/crying for me, I went in and told him it was still night time, and then he cried until I went and got him at 6:30. It seems like he won't ever do more than 10hr at night and a 2hr nap, but if I want him to sleep until 7am then should I really wait until 9pm to put him to bed (that seems so late)
My 4 month old woke at 5:30 so I fed him one side and put him back to bed and 7:00 he still hadn't gone back to sleep!!

Plowmanators said...


I agree that 9 PM seems late for a child to go to bed, BUT if all he needs is ten hours a night, then there isn't much you could do about it. I might try nine pm bedtime for a few nights and see if that solves it. If so, you have your answer. If that is the case, I would think of some quiet, calm activities he can do until 9.

As he gets older, he should be able to entertain himself in bed for a bit until you come get him, so you could move bedtime up a bit earlier even if he woke a bit earlier.

I do think it is possible he is just still adjusting to the new house. Basements are typically cold--is he just cold in the morning? If so, you can put warmer PJs on him and try to think of ways to get his room warmer (same with the baby).

For the four month old, you most likely will need to move bedtime to seven pm if you want a seven am waketime.

Also, are there noises happening around that time that are waking them up? If so, sound machines would help with that (or other white noise). Good luck!

Garrett and Denise Stone said...

My 19 month old jist dropped to one nap. She wouldn't sleep for the am nap anymore, would jist play and talk so I took as a sign she was ready to drop. A little before that she'd started waking early 545-630 when normally shed sleep till 730-8.. In turn her whole schedule has been crazy.. It is as follows:

Wake 615-630
Get her out of crib 7am

Nap 1230-1
Wakes 230-3

Bed time 730

Night wakings and early wakings continue.

How do I stop those get back to later wake times and get a longer nap??

Plowmanators said...

Denise, I would move bedtime earlier. See today's post for more ideas. Good luck!

Trista Price said...

Whoa! No way my 20 month old would nap for 3 hours! That seems a little extreme. My schedule is more like this:
7:30-8 Wake up
11:30-1 Naptime
8-8:30 Bedtime

Trista Price said...

Whoa! No way my 20 month old would nap for 3 hours! That seems a little extreme. My schedule is more like this:
7:30-8 Wake up
11:30-1 Naptime
8-8:30 Bedtime

Frances said...

My son is 24 months old and has always been a good sleeper. Used to be 7:30pm until 7am with a 2 hour nap. Now he just seems to have all this extra energy and won't go to sleep!
We are living with my parents while we build a house and his schedule has totally changed. He has a crib here with his own room, sound machine, etc so he is totally comfortable. We have been here 4 months and all of a sudden he started waking in the night screaming and now is climbing out of his crib just during naps and refuses to take a nap. I thought it was molars, but it has been a month and no teeth are coming through. He has woken in the night probably 20 of the last 30 nights and IF he will fall asleep for a nap only sleeps one hour. Any suggestions??

Andrea Kazarian said...

Anyone else's child gone backwards on naps? My 14 mo old dropped his morning nap at 12 mos and slept a solid 1-4 but now is crashing from 10am-12? Was the one nap just a phase? I thought it was too early to drop it but I went with it!

Valerie Plowman said...

It could be that your child wasn't ready for one nap a day and has gotten overly tired over time