Struggling with your toddler’s sleep problems and daytime naps? Get daily examples of a 1 year old nap schedule that work and are easy to customize.
Sometimes losing sleep is healthy (now there’s a novel thought!).
Because at some point after turning one, most toddlers will drop to one or two naps a day, far less than the frequent naps they’d taken as an infant.
For us parents, fewer naps can be both good and bad.
With naps often a source of frustration (especially skipped ones), we’re glad to have fewer of them. We’re also freer to do more things during the day—no more squeezing things to do between three or four naps like the newborn days.
But fewer naps also mean fewer breaks. No matter how erratic or short those naps have been, they were often a welcome source of time alone.
But perhaps the hardest adjustment to the toddler stage is establishing a 1 year old nap schedule.
You know how it goes: some days, your child needs a second nap, while on others, she’s totally fine without one. Maybe she fights taking that first nap, but then is in a grumpy mood the rest of the day from having a long wake time.
Then, when you try to adjust for less sleep, the quality of the naps goes down—they’re short and fitful, and she often wakes up cranky.
The worst part? The lack of structure or sleep causes her to wake up every 2 hours at night crying, especially on those days when she doesn’t sleep well.
No wonder you feel like you don’t know what to do. Your old sleep schedule isn’t working, and you’re overwhelmed adjusting to your baby-turned-toddler’s changing sleep needs.
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1 year old nap schedule examples
Over time, I learned one crucial lesson: schedules are more flexible than they seem. In fact, below I’ll share many sleep samples of a 1 year old nap schedule. Many factors influence her daytime sleep, including:
- how long your child sleeps
- the time she wakes up
- any events during the day
- the time she goes to bed
- temporary changes like vacations or getting sick
- developmental milestones
Another question is how long she should nap for. Assuming she does well with nighttime sleep, below are the hours of sleep she should be napping throughout the day, based on her age:
- 12 month old: 2-2.5 hours
- 18 months old: 1.5-2 hours
- 24 months old: 1.25-1.5 hours
Hopefully with these examples of both one- and two-nap schedules, you can find one that works for you:
Two-nap schedule examples
- 6:15am: Wake up
- 9:15-10:45am: Morning nap
- 1:45-3:15pm: Afternoon nap
- 6:15pm: Bedtime
- 6:30am: Wake up
- 9:30-11am: Morning nap
- 3-4:30pm: Afternoon nap
- 7:30pm: Bedtime
- 6am: Wake up
- 9-10:3 am: Morning nap
- 2:30-3:30pm: Afternoon nap
- 7pm: Bedtime
One-nap schedule examples
Many toddlers will transition to one nap around 14-18 months old. Here’s how your day can look like when that happens:
- 7am: Wake up
- 12-2pm: Nap
- 7pm: Bedtime
- 8am: Wake up
- 12:30-2:30pm: Nap
- 8pm: Bedtime
- 6:45am: Wake up
- 12:30-2:30pm: Nap
- 6:45pm: Bedtime
Best practices for nap time
Read the tips and tricks below for naptime best practices:
- Rather than going by the clock, you can also adjust naps depending on how long your child has been awake and asleep. For instance, if he’s taking two naps a day, aim to have 3 to 4 hours of awake time between sleep. If he’s taking one nap a day, aim for 4 to 6 hours of awake time instead.
- If he took a short nap, move the next nap, or even the bedtime routine, sooner to accommodate his tiredness.
- Find ways to fill his awake time with activities to tire him out. Outdoor activities like the YMCA, play time with other kids, park outings, library story time, eating at a restaurant, or running errands are a few examples.
- Try not to let him sleep in the car when out on short drives, as this can make it harder for him to take a nap once you get home. Talk to him in the car, or give him a toy to play with, or offer a snack to eat to keep him awake.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about a 1 year old nap schedule, it’s that we need to be both consistent and flexible. Consistency gives your toddler the familiarity to know what to expect, and you the structure you need to feel organized.
But a sleep schedule also needs to be flexible—after all, kids aren’t robots. Life happens, like when he takes a 30-minute nap one day, and a three-hour nap the next. When the grocery trip took longer than you expected, or he slept in the stroller on your walk home from the library.
Aim for consistency, knowing it’s that regularity that will help buffer those days when you’re far from your usual nap routine.
Get more tips:
- What to Do When You’re Dealing with 1 Year Old Tantrums Already
- Helping Your Toddler Transition from Two Naps to One
- What You Need to Do When Your Toddler Won’t Nap
- How to Wake Up a Toddler Peacefully from a Nap
- What to Do When Your Toddler Is Hysterical at Bedtime
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