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Optimal Waketime Lengths for Toddlers (12-24 Months Old)

It isn't only babies who need their waketime length correct. It is also toddlers. A toddler who is up too long can get grumpy and stay awake through the entire nap time, which leads to a less-than-fun evening. A toddler who is not awake long enough before nap time can stay awake through the entire nap...which again leads to a rough evening. If you want your toddler to nap well, you need waketime length correct. 

How long a toddler should be awake

Caring about naps and night sleep doesn't go away when your baby leaves "baby" and moves to "toddler" (and won't go away after that, either!). When I recently posted a helpful graphic on Optimal Waketimes for 0-12 Months, many of you asked for one for the toddlers, too. So here you go! I love to know what you want and need, so please always give that feedback. 

You can view this graphic on this blog--you can bookmark the page or Pin the image. You can also view it on my Drive. I have added it to my Chronicles Book of Logs. When you purchase that ebook, you will have it included. 

How long a toddler should be awake infographic

14 comments

Jeremy and Sarah Bones said...

Hi Valerie! I live by your blog and am so grateful for you and the effort you put in to helping parents! I did Babywise with my older daughter and it worked like a dream but could use your help with my son. We have had a lot of changes during my sons first year and I feel like I haven't been able to give his sleep the attention it needs. He is 13 months, 11 days today and our issue is that he is repeatedly waking at 5:00am each day. (We just moved into a new house 2 weeks ago and prior to that he was a very good sleeper). He takes 2 great naps each day but because of the early waking he is ready to go to bed each night at 5:30pm... How do I get back on our 7 to 7 routine?? Help please!! (I should mention, he has blackout shades and all the comforts of home in his room. And my daughter (3 years) is waking early now too.... Is this just a sun issue?)

Valerie Plowman said...

Hi Sarah! So glad to know the blog is helpful for you! I would say it is mostly if not fully due to the move. That can take some time to get used to sleeping in a new place. It is like being on vacation for weeks!

For the early bedtime, just slowly work back so instead of a 5:30 bedtime, you are doing 5:45. After a few days, do 6:00. Continue that.

But is he still napping? If he is napping, I would let he make up of sleep happen during nap, not a really early bedtime.

Make sure he isn't getting out of bed at 5:30. When he wakes up at that time, you can go in and tell him that it is still night time and he needs to go back to sleep. So don't get him out of bed until the time you want him getting up.

Good luck!

Jeremy and Sarah Bones said...

Thanks so much Valerie for responding! He is still napping and will sleep about 4-5 hours during the day. You're saying I should limit that to where he may sleep longer at nighttime? I had sort of been using the "sleep begets sleep" method praying he would snap out of it. :) Thanks again!

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