Struggling with your toddler’s sleep problems and naps? Discover several daily examples of a 1 year old sleep schedule that actually work and are easy to customize to your needs.
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. After all, trying to squeeze fun outings between three or four naps isn’t exactly easy.
On the other hand, fewer naps also means fewer breaks. No matter how erratic or short those naps could be, they were a welcome source of alone time.
But perhaps the harder adjustment to the toddler stage is establishing a 1 year old sleep schedule.
You know how it goes: your child sometimes needs a nap, but other times he’s totally fine without it. Or maybe he fights taking a nap, but then is grumpy the rest of the day from being awake so long.
Then when you try to adjust for less sleep, the quality of his naps goes down—they’re short and fitful, and he often wakes up cranky.
The worst part? When the lack of structure or sleep causes him to wake up two or three times a night crying, especially on those days when he takes fewer naps.
No wonder I felt like I didn’t know what to do. I’ve always relied on schedules, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to adjust with these changes.
1 year old sleep schedule examples
Over time, I realized one crucial lesson: schedules are more flexible than they seem.
In fact, below I’ll share many examples of a 1 year old sleep schedule. Many factors influence your schedule, including:
- how long your toddler sleeps
- the time she wakes up
- any events during the day
- the time she goes to bed
- temporary changes like vacations or getting sick
Hopefully with these examples of both one- and two-nap schedules, you can find one that works for you:
Two-nap schedule examples
- 6:15 am: Wake up and awake for 3 hours
- 9:15 am: First nap for 1.5 hours
- 10:45 am: Wake up and awake for 3 hours
- 1:45 pm: Second nap for 1.5 hours
- 3:15 pm: Wake up and awake for 3 hours
- 6:15 pm: Bedtime
- 6:30 am: Wake up and awake for 3 hours
- 9:30 am: First nap for 1.5 hours
- 11am: Wake up and awake for 4 hours
- 3pm: Second nap for 1.5 hours
- 4:30 pm: Wake up and awake for 3 hours
- 7:30 pm: Bedtime
- 6am: Wake up and awake for 3 hours
- 9am: First nap for 1.5 hours
- 10:30 am: Wake up and awake for 4 hours
- 2:30 pm: Second nap for 1 hour
- 3:30 pm: Wake up and awake for 3.5 hours
- 7pm: Bedtime
One-nap schedule examples
- 7am: Wake up and awake for 5 hours
- 12pm: Nap for 2 hours
- 2pm: Wake up and awake for 5 hours
- 7pm: Bedtime
- 8am: Wake up and awake for 4.5 hours
- 12:30 pm: Nap for 2 hours
- 2:30 pm: Wake up and awake for 5.5 hours
- 8pm: Bedtime
- 6:45 am: Wake up and awake for 5.75 hours
- 12:30 pm: Nap for 1—2 hours
- 1:30 or 2:30pm: Wake up and awake for 5—6 hours
- 6:45 pm: Bedtime
Want to determine whether your child is ready to drop a nap? Download my printable, Transitioning to Fewer Naps! Use it to record when your child is likely ready to take one less nap (hint: 5 days in a row is a good indicator!). Get it below—at no cost to you.
You’ll also get my newsletters, which parents say they LOVE:
“Thank you for sending me your resources—it is really comforting to know there is someone going through the same emotions as me.” -Shamea Johnson
Best practices for nap time
- 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 your toddler is taking two naps a day, aim to have 3—4 hours of awake time between sleep. If she’s taking one nap a day, aim for 4—6 hours of awake time instead.
- If any of the naps were shorter than usual, move the next nap, or even bedtime, sooner to accommodate your toddler’s tiredness.
- Find ways to fill your toddler’s awake time with activities to tire her out. Activities like the YMCA, play dates, park outings, library story time, eating at a restaurant, or running errands are a few examples.
- Try not to let your toddler sleep in the car when out on short drives, as this can make it harder for her to take a nap once you get home. Talk to her in the car, give her a toy to play with, or even a snack to eat to keep her awake.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about a 1 year old sleep 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, not overwhelmed.
But a 1 year old sleep schedule also needs to be flexible. Because kids aren’t robots. Life happens, like when she takes a 30-minute nap one day, and a three-hour nap the next. When the car wash took longer than you expected, or your child slept in the car on the way home from the library.
Aim for consistency, knowing it’s that regularity that will help buffer those days when you’re so far from your usual 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
- The Tried-And-True 1 Year Old Sleep Schedule
Did you like this article about a 1 year old sleep schedule? Save it on Pinterest!
Transition to Fewer Naps
Wondering if your child is ready to drop a nap? Grab your printable to make record keeping easier. Now you don't have to wonder if your child has been napping well—you'll have a record telling you exactly the information you need.
Join over 30,000 parents who've signed up for our newsletter and download Transitioning to Fewer Naps printable—at no cost to you: