Looking for an 18 month old sleep schedule? See our sample sleep schedules and get help figuring out how much sleep your 18 month old needs.

18 month old sleeping on a bed

Babies thrive on routine, and as your little one transitions to toddlerhood, they have even more awareness of their schedule and what to expect.

By the time your baby has reached 18 months old, they are actively anticipating what comes next in their day. They can also be pretty vocal about it when their schedule feels off.

A growing body and brain means your toddler is more inclined to push boundaries and test limits. That’s why having a predictable routine is so beneficial to the harmony of a household.

When your toddler knows what to expect, there’s less likely to be power struggles, especially over sleep.

By the end of this blog post you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the changes that happen around 18 months old and how it impacts your toddler’s sleep.
  • Get sample schedules for your 18 month old including naps and bedtime.
  • Recognize the signs of the 18-month sleep regression and how it coule impact your child’s sleep.
18 month old sleep overview graphic

How Many Naps Should an 18 Month Old Take?

At 18 months old, your little one could really use between 1.5-3 hours of daytime sleep to keep them well-rested and regulated.

I know that’s a big range and it really depends on the toddler!

Between 12 to 18 months, toddlers are typically ready to transition to one nap. If your 18 month old hasn’t made that transition yet, now is a good time to make the transition.

Some toddlers may still sleep for up to 3 hours at nap time and have no problem at bedtime.

If your toddler starts to fight the nap, fight bedtime, or wake up early in the morning, you may need to extend their wake window slightly or shorten their nap.

See the sample schedules below for examples of how to do this.

What is the Wake Window for 18 Month Old?

At this age, your toddler’s wake windows are around 5–5.5 hours.

I like to split the day evenly, with nap time right in the middle to keep things simple.

However, at this age, you don’t need to follow wake windows as closely.

Instead, you can set a nap time and stick with it each day. There’s no need to adjust it by 5 or 10 minutes if your baby woke up earlier or later each day.

What Time Should an 18 Month Old Go to Bed?

An ideal bedtime for your 18 month old is between 7 and 8 pm.

At 18 months old, your toddler needs between 11–12 hours of sleep at night.

Since you want about 5 hours of awake time in between their nap and bedtime, make their bedtime about 5–5.5 hours after they wake up from their nap.

For example, if your toddler wakes up around 2:00 pm from their nap, you can make their bedtime around 7:00/7:30 pm.

Keep reading to see sample 18 month old sleep schedules with naps and bedtime.

Since you’ve got a curious, mobile toddler on your hands, it will be more important than ever to optimize their sleep space for a calm and quiet bed time.

Make sure you stick to a consistent bed time routine, and use a sound machine and/or okay-to-wake clock to signal to your toddler when it’s time to wake up for the day.

Sample 18 Month Old Sleep Schedule

There is some range in the 18 month old sleep schedule, depending on your toddler’s sleep needs.

Some toddlers will take a long 3-hour nap, while others may need their nap shortened to 2 hours to ensure they sleep well at night.

Here’s a sample schedule:

18 month old sleep schedule

Sample 18 Month Old Schedule with A 2.5-Hour Nap

7:00 am: Wake Up / Feeding

7:30 am: Breakfast

11:30 am: Lunch

12:00-2:30 pm: Nap

3:00 pm: Snack

5:30 pm: Dinner

6:30 pm: Feeding / Start Bedtime Routine

7:00/7:30 pm: Bedtime

Sample 18 Month Old Schedule with a 2-Hour Nap

7:00 am: Wake Up / Feeding

7:30 am: Breakfast

12:00 am: Lunch

12:30-2:30 pm: Nap

3:00 pm: Snack

5:30 pm: Dinner

6:30 pm: Feeding / Start Bedtime Routine

7:00/7:30 pm: Bedtime

How Long Should My 18-Month Old Nap?

Aim for about 1.5–3 hours of nap time for your toddler.

If you start to have sleep problems where your toddler is protesting bedtime or waking up in the middle of the night, you might want to wake them up sooner from their nap.

The 18 Month Old Sleep Regression

Not all toddlers will hit a sleep regression around this time, but it can happen. And boy, can it be a doozy!

What sets the 18 month old sleep regression apart is that you are now dealing with a much more vocal (and likely much more stubborn) tiny human.

What makes this potential sleep regression even harder is that, by this point, your toddler probably knows how to appeal to your emotions. They make express feelings of being scared or missing you.

Here’s the thing: by now, you know that your little one is capable of sleeping through the night. You’ve not only seen the light at the end of the tunnel, you’ve already been there. So don’t stress—you’ll get back there again.

Check out my post on the 18 month sleep regression for tips on how to make it through.

If you have a little climber on your hands, I also have suggestions for how to keep your toddler from climbing out of the crib.

Thankfully, most sleep regressions work themselves out between two to six weeks. This is not a permanent sleep setback, I promise.

Once you have the 18 month old schedule set, your toddler’s sleep schedule should hold pretty steady until their second birthday.

Eventually they will transition to a 2 year old sleep schedule that has slightly longer wake times and a shorter nap.

Frequently Asked Questions about the 18 Month Old Sleep Schedule

Can My 18 Month Old sleep with a blanket?

Your baby can sleep with a blanket at 12 months of age, per the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, most toddlers still move around in their sleep a lot.

For this age, I still recommend using a toddler sleep sack as a way to keep your baby warm at night.

Can I sleep train my 18 month old?

Yes! In fact, if your 18 month old is still in a crib, I highly recommend getting their sleep dialed in before transitioning to a toddler bed.

If you want help on how to sleep train your 18 month old, I’ll walk you through the process in the Baby D.R.E.A.M. System.

Can My 18 Month Old Still be on 2 Naps?

If your toddler is still taking two naps and sleeping well at night, then they might not be ready to drop to one nap just yet.

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!

However, if they start to have sleep problems at night, it’s likely time to drop to one nap.

I hope this helps get you started on setting up your 18 month old’s sleep schedule. If you have questions, let me know in the comments below.

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