1 Year Old Nap Schedule Examples

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.

1 Year Old Nap ScheduleSometimes 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, 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

Example 1:

  • 6:15am: Wake up
  • 9:15-10:45am: Morning nap
  • 1:45-3:15pm: Afternoon nap
  • 6:15pm: Bedtime

Example 2:

  • 6:30am: Wake up
  • 9:30-11am: Morning nap
  • 3-4:30pm: Afternoon nap
  • 7:30pm: Bedtime

Example 3:

  • 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:

Example 1:

  • 7am: Wake up
  • 12-2pm: Nap
  • 7pm: Bedtime

Example 2:

  • 8am: Wake up
  • 12:30-2:30pm: Nap
  • 8pm: Bedtime

Example 3:

  • 6:45am: Wake up
  • 12:30-2:30pm: Nap
  • 6:45pm: Bedtime

Get 15 examples of a toddler schedule.

Toddler Schedule

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.

Get examples for a 13 month old nap schedule.

13 Month Old Nap Schedule

Conclusion

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.

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25 Comments

  1. I wish my toddlers napped as well as these schedules suggest. Their naps are nearly non-existent as they make the energized bunny look like he’s going slow. Otherwise, we found the best thing to do is keep the same wake-up and bed time schedule, no matter how hard it was for us parents. We found with these constant times, our little ones eventually found a sleep schedule that works for them.

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Lol Micah! I totally agree about same wake-up and bedtime schedule. It’s something we’ve been doing since forever and works really well for us as well.

  2. My child consistently sleeps 10 hours a night, sleeping thru the night, and then takes two 2 hour naps during the day. Do you see any issue with this? She is a very happy baby on this sleep schedule.

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi there! This sounds like a fantastic schedule to me 🙂 One-year-olds tend to sleep for 14 hours, which is exactly what your daughter is doing.

  3. What if your child wakes up at 5 no matter what time they go to bed? When should their one nap be? Also do you give them lunch before or after?

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Kaylyn! If he wakes up early, I wouldn’t get him just yet until the “official” wake up time, and then stretch that one nap as reasonably close to your original plan. So if he was going set to sleep by 12pm but woke up at 5am, I’d start looking to see if he’s ready to sleep by 11 or 11:30 if he gets grumpy. But as much as possible, I’d try to stick to the original plan so that he adjusts to the schedule you want, including waking up later than 5.

      As far as lunch, they ate before that one nap, at 11am, giving them about half an hour to relax before nap. Then when they woke up 2 hours later, I’d then give the afternoon snack. I do know though that some parents give a snack before nap instead, then a lunch when they wake up, so it’s totally up to you.

  4. My son wakes up at 10am he stay away all day then i just put him to bed at 7:30pm or 8pm is that ok? But sometims if he really cranky i have him take a nap at 2 or 3pm but i dont let him nap after 3pm cause then he wont sleep at night and i only let him take a nap once a day for 2 hours if he cranky but sometimes he happy and stay up tell bedtime

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Alecia! Most one-year-olds should get about 14 hours of sleep total, so it sounds like that’s exactly what your son is getting. Granted, most kids don’t drop their nap until three-years-old, but if you feel like he’s happy without one, and he’s getting long stretches of sleep at night, then this schedule likely works for him. And like you said, you do put him down for a nap when you sense that he needs one, which is great! And yes, I totally agree about waking them up after a while so it doesn’t cut into bedtime. Sounds like you’re doing what works for you, Alecia!

  5. Aurora Holler says:

    My son goes to sleep between 10 and 11, then he wakes up between 10 and 11, he takes one nap a day, usually between 1 and 2. But lately he has been waking up in the middle of the night screaming and it is hard to calm him down and really hard to put him to sleep. I have had to let him cry it out a little bit lately. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Aurora, most likely nothing! Often kids go through developmental milestones, from separation anxiety to new fears, that cause them to wake up in the middle of the night. Try to respond with compassion without inflating the situation (so he doesn’t think there actually IS something to worry about). I’d also try moving his bedtime up earlier, perhaps to 8:30pm, to see if that helps.

  6. Martina Stephens says:

    Hi! I’m really enjoying your site, I have a question about a 13 month old dropping the second nap. She naps from 9:30-12:00 and now won’t take a second nap. Should I try to move the morning nap later or bedtime earlier or both?
    Thanks!

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Martina! One thing you might try, if you feel like she could still use two naps, is to cut her morning nap short, to encourage her to take a second one in the afternoon. For instance, maybe wake her up at 11am, and she if she’ll take a late afternoon nap.

      But if you feel like she’s really ready to drop that nap, then yes, gradually move her morning nap later and later in the day, and adjust bedtime to be earlier if need be.

      The transition period will be a bit of an experiment, so expect a few hiccups as you move from two to one, but it will eventually sort itself out 🙂

  7. Hi Nina, I love the schedule options you provided and think they will be helpful as we continue our sleep training journey. Do you have any tips for an 18 month old who is on 2 naps and wakes multiple times a night? Poor guy always seems tired even with 3-3.5 hrs of nap time a day. He doesn’t seem ready to drop a nap but I’ll try anything at this point.

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Brittany! Three hours still sounds reasonable for an 18-month-old, because he can still get a full 11 hours of sleep at night in an ideal situation. There are so many reasons for multiple wake ups, but usually you can pinpoint what it might be. If it’s sudden, it might be things like separation anxiety, fear of the dark, or other developmental milestones he’s going through. If it’s temporary, it could be something as simple as teething. But if it sounds like he wakes up because he has a hard time falling back asleep, it might be because he still relies on external sleep aids to do so. You’ll know this is the issue if he’ll only fall asleep a certain way, like with rocking, feeding, co-sleeping, a pacifier, etc. And yeah, I think the best way to address this is through sleep training him, so that he has the opportunity to learn how to fall asleep on his own. That way, when he wakes up multiple times a night (as we all do), he can simply put himself back to sleep (instead of crying for you to help him do it).

      All that to say, I also wouldn’t be surprised if he starts to drop one of the naps, since this is around the time they go to one nap a day, too. But usually you’ll see signs of that that’s different from waking up multiple times a night.

  8. Hi Nina!
    Thank you for your great post. We have a 15 month old who is transitioning to one nap a day. She sleeps from 6:30-5/5:30 every day. This used to be until 6 but is getting earlier and earlier. She always sleeps through and is excited to get going in the morning. We have tried leaving her in the cot for a bit but we share a room with her at the moment, so that’s difficult! She’s not tired at all at this time. She is ready for a nap by 8 and naps for about 1.5 hours but then won’t take an afternoon nap. Being up from 9:30-6:30 is obviously too long. But she’s so tired by 8am. We have tried moving the nap later and later but it gets shorter and she’s over tired. We tried waking her up after half hour to help see her through until the afternoon for a nap, but she still skips it! Any advice?
    We are aiming for a later start, maybe a 7pm bedtime could help? But that’s difficult with such such an early morning nap!

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Zoe! I’m glad you liked the post. As far as this situation, see if you could put her down at 6:45pm for a few nights, before stretching that to 7pm. Do the same with the morning nap, aiming for 8:15am and moving the time up in 15-minute increments. That might help not make it so “shocking” when you adjust her schedule. As far as the afternoon nap, if she’s skipping it, I’m wondering if she’s already overtired by that point (if you put her down late), or if she’s not tired ENOUGH (if you put her down early). Hopefully you can put her down at the optimum time so that she can get that second nap in.

  9. I have a 14.5 month old who used to wake up around 6:45/7 am, go to bed around 7:45-8 pm and take two naps total of 2-3 hrs. Around 13.5 months, she started taking only half hr naps or refusing to nap for the second time, and wakes up early 5am to 5:30. We tried transitioning to one nap . She wakes up around 5:30 am. Naps usually around 11/11:30. There were only 2-3 days when she napped for 2 hrs and one day for almost 3 hrs. Other days, it’s been only an hr or less. After 2 weeks , we have switched back to 2 naps.. she doesn’t cry when we put her to nap but she wakes up in half hr at both naps and still wakes up early at 5:30am. I am at loss for what to do. Pls help.

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Michelle! A lot of toddlers start transitioning to one nap around 14-18 months, so it’s totally understandable that her schedule is up and down. As you might guess, it’s not always a smooth transition, and some days will be good while others will be rough. If you’re ready to transition to one nap, I would try to move the morning nap right in the middle of the day, so that there are equal hours before and after the nap. That way, she’s tired enough in the morning to take a nap, but also not awake too long for the second half of the day. If you find that she needs more sleep, try a short catnap in the late afternoon, just enough to keep her rested but not so long that it disrupts bedtime. And if need be, move bedtime earlier for now, at least to prevent her from getting overtired.

      But if you find, whether two naps or one, that she’s still waking up so early, don’t get her up until your “official” wake up time of 6:45am or 7am. Definitely check in on her, but let her know that it’s still time to sleep until 7am. Keep checking in on her every 15 minutes or so, but only to let her know that you’re here but that you’re not starting the day just yet. Hopefully she’ll soon adjust to waking up later in the morning!

  10. Hi Nina,
    My little girl is 12 month old.
    Currently she is on 2 naps 1 about 11-12 the another late in the arvo could be between 4-5pm….. She goes to bed really late sometimes will fight going to sleep and won’t go to bed till 1am in the morning then wake up at 10am… I’m wondering if I need to transition her to 1 nap now. I just need some help and ideas what I’m doing wrong I would really like for her to have a bed time at 7 8ish

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Ashleigh! I’d say that she probably still needs two naps, but she might be fighting bedtime because of that late second nap. Maybe you could move everything up earlier so that she takes an earlier morning and afternoon nap, and therefore an earlier bedtime.

  11. These nap samples sound like a DREAM! My first child slept like this! No problem with night or day sleep for her. My second child though…. She sleeps perfectly at night. Since 6 months old we never had an issue with her nighttime sleep. The only issue is her waking up too early. Bedtime is at 8pm & she wakes at 6am. Had to push her nighttime sleep to 8pm due to her waking up at 5am if she sleeps at 7pm. No matter what time she sleeps, she now wakes at 6am. Even if she sleeps later!

    Our main problem is with her daytime sleep. For as long as I can remember she has been only taking 30 min naps. We’ve spoken to her pediatrician many times about this & were told to adjust times, keep her busy to get her tired & that she’d grow out of it. Nope! Still at 15 months now, she only takes two, 30 min naps per day. Rarely will she take an hour or more for one nap.

    But, she’s a very happy baby & wakes up happy from her naps. This is why her pediatrician wasn’t too concerned. Only issue is, I’m a small business owner & work from home while watching my two kids. It’s nearly impossible to get anything done with her two, 30 min naps.

    What should I do?

    1. Nina Garcia says:

      Hi Chynna! What if you implement “quiet time” regardless of when she wakes up? If she takes two 30-minute naps, you can have two one-hour quiet times. If she wakes up at the 30-minute mark, have her play and rest quietly for another 30 minutes until the hour is up (especially since she seems to wake up happy). That way, you can still get the time you need to get things done.

      Another option is to consider is transitioning to one nap a day. Kids typically transition to one nap around 14-18 months old. Maybe she’ll sleep longer if you combine naps into one long nap, maybe a 1.5-2 hour midday nap.

      I hope that helps!

      1. Hi Nina! Thanks so much for getting back to me & for the helpful advice. I will try to implement the quiet time & see how she does.

        I’ve also tried on a few different occasions to transition her to one nap per day. Iv’e tried putting her down around 11am or 12p. But of course, she still wakes after 30 mins. I just can’t imagine a 30 min nap is sufficient sleep for a baby/toddler? Especially, if she’s only sleeping for 10 hours at night.

        Thanks!

  12. Kayleigh Strawser says:

    Hi my son is 16 months old and is starting to refuse that 2nd nap. I have tried lengthing wake windows by 30 min increments to try to get him to 1 nap. He was on a 6am wake 9-10:30 nap and 2-3:30 nap 7 bedtime problem is that he is losing nap and nightime sleep to try to do that I got him to 10am. And I woke him from his nap 11:30 but then he outright refused the catnap at 3:30 so I tried to let him sleep at 10 till he woke but he woke at noon making that nap to bedtime like 7 hours which is just way to long. Wondering if you have any tips to make this transition alittle smoother? Should I try to shorten night time sleep to increase wake windows before going for the one nap? Should I just allow a couple days to adjust and hope he starts to take a longer one nap? What would your recommended nap times be for a baby who wakes at 6am be and recommended bedtime?