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An Optimal 2 Year Old Sleep Schedule for Your Toddler

Get an idea of what kind of schedule your 2 year old would thrive on, including naps and overnight sleep with osur 2 year old sleep schedule samples!

2 year old sleeping

Two years old is such a fun stage! Your little baby is a full-on toddler now, walking, talking and pushing those boundaries like it’s their job (which it really is!).

Even though two years old gets a bad wrap with the terrible twos, I find it to be one of the most endearing and adorable phases!

Sleep can be tricky at this age as your two-year old may start having fears of the dark or monsters in their room. And the 2-year-old sleep regression can hit your family really hard! It definitely did for us!

Let’s make sure your 2 year old’s sleep schedule is right where it should be so you can combat any sleep issues that may creep up in this adorable toddler phase!

What is A Good Sleep Schedule for A Two-Year-Old?

Our number one priority when setting up the best 2 year old sleep schedule is to optimize both nap time and night time sleep. Before we can do that, you’ll need to know two important things.

First, how much sleep does your two-year-old need during the day? Second, how much sleep do they need overnight?

By this age, your two-year-old needs between 12 to 14 hours of sleep every day. Ideally, they’ll sleep 11 or 12 of those hours through the night. Not getting enough sleep can lead to sleep issues including toddler bedtime tantrums and fighting sleep.

At this age I recommend sticking to a regular nap and bedtime schedule as opposed to following your toddler’s wake windows.

If your little one is between 24 to 36 months old, they likely need between between 4 to 6 hours of awake time before and after their nap. That’s a huge difference from the newborn days when they could only stay awake long enough for a diaper change and a feeding!

Solve your Toddler’s Sleep Troubles

toddler sleep training guide mock up

Grab my Toddler Sleep Training Guide to help you with your toddler’s sleep! Get your toddler out of your bed and into their own using the most effective sleep training techniques for toddlers and big kids. This guide also includes tons of tips and tricks for tackling toddler’s sleep! Get it here.

How Many Naps Should A Two-Year-Old Take?

Your two-year-old is resilient, but they are also super active. That’s why I still recommend you keep a nap time in the daily schedule.

You don’t want your toddler to get too overtired or overstimulated throughout the day. That can cause big problems when you’re trying to settle them in to their bedtime routine.

Nap time serves as a daily reset. Also, the extra daytime sleep—at the appropriate amount—will actually help your little one sleep better at night. A well-rested toddler sleeps better!

In general, you should aim for your two-year-old to get 1 to 2.5 hours of sleep during the day. Keeping appropriate wake windows in mind, they should go down for their nap about 5 hours after they’ve woken up for the day.

If you haven’t moved from two naps to one, it’s time to transition. Too much nap time at this age means your toddler has less time to be active and tire out their growing bodies and minds, which they need for a solid night’s rest.

toddler playing with mom before bedtime

Naps and the Two-Year-Old Sleep Regression

On the other end of the nap time spectrum, you might find your two-year-old is suddenly fighting their only nap of the day and going on a two year old nap strike. Don’t be fooled! They can still really benefit from that extra daytime rest.

A non-napping two-year-old is likely to overtire and struggle at bedtime.

Some toddlers go through a two-year sleep regression. One sign of this regression is when your little one tries to drop nap time completely. Hold strong! Keep fostering a good nap environment and do what you can to avoid introducing poor sleep habits during a regression.

Most kids still need a nap until they are 3 or 4 years old. Plenty of parents drop it around 2 years old and move to a 2-year old no-nap schedule, but if you keep offering the nap, your toddler may pick it up again and keep it for another year or two!

If you decide to drop, make sure to introduce quiet time during nap time hours, so your toddler still gets a little rest during the day.

If nap time is a battle—either because your two-year-old wants no part of it or because they seem overtired during the day—it may be time to take a look at when they’re going to bed at night.

2 year old sleep schedule

What Time Should A Two-Year-Old Go to Bed?

If your toddler is regularly cranky and tired long before nap time or if your 2-year old is waking up too early in the morning, it’s time to look at how long they’re sleeping at night or how late the nap is being offered.

You can’t necessarily control how early your toddler wakes up in the morning. Thankfully, you do have some power over when they go to bed.

Again, your two-year-old needs between 12 to 14 hours of sleep every day. If your toddler takes a 1 to 2.5-hour nap during the day, you should aim for 11 to 12 hours of sleep every night.

If you know that your toddler isn’t getting enough sleep at night, you can try easing them in to an earlier bedtime. You can do this over the course of a week, pushing bedtime up in 15 minute increments each night.

How to Pick a Bedtime for Your Two-Year-Old

One easy way to determine your two-year-old’s ideal bedtime is to pay attention to the time they normally wake up in the morning. Then, start their bedtime routine around that same time in the evening.

For example, if your toddler is waking up at 7:00 am, start easing into their bedtime routine at 7:00 pm. Ideally, they’ll be falling asleep on their own by 8:00 pm at the latest.

This schedule sets up your toddler to get enough sleep at night. It also leaves some room during the day for a 1 to 2.5 hour nap.

If your two-year-old is taking a long time to fall asleep at bedtime, nap time might need to be earlier. Remember that the appropriate wake window at this age is 5 to 6 hours. If there’s less than 5 hours between when they wake up from nap and go down for bedtime, it may take them longer to fall asleep at night.

I know that’s a lot of information. Let’s break it all down into a sample 2 year old sleep schedule.

toddler getting ready for sleep

Example 2 Year Old Sleep Schedule

The sample 2 year old schedule is similar to a 1 year old schedule, but with a bit more time in between naps.

Remember that the three key elements of a two-year-old’s sleep schedule should be:

  1. A total of 11 to 12 hours of nighttime sleep.
  2. One 1.5 to 2 hour nap during the day.
  3. Wake windows that fall between 4 to 6 hours.

With those things in mind, here is a sample sleep schedule for 2 year old.

  • 7:00 am: Wake up and eat breakfast
  • 9:00 am: Snack time
  • 12:30 pm: Lunch time
  • 1:00-2:30/3:00 pm: Nap
  • 2:30/3:00 pm: Snack
  • 5:30 pm: Dinner
  • 7:00/7:30 pm: Bedtime

Of course every two-year-old and their family’s needs are different. The great thing about understanding age-appropriate wake windows and sleep requirements is that you’ll be able to adapt your schedule to meet your toddler’s needs and your own.

If you need some extra help coming up with the right two-year-old sleep schedule for your family, I’m here for you!


Sunday 13th of August 2023

My daughter is 22 months old. She pretty much refuses to nap unless rocked lately, and since they do that at daycare I’ve been doing it at home. She used to be a great sleeper before she started daycare. Anyways, she’s been waking up at 5:30/6am, and only napping an hour usually from 12:30/1-1:30/2. Then she is in bed at 7. She’s been waking on and off also, but we just got back from vacation so we’ll see if that gets better this week. Any advice would be welcome! I don’t know what to do about the rocking to sleep when I have no control over it at daycare.

Lauren Garmon

Monday 14th of August 2023

Hi Ellen! Sleep can unfortunately become quite a struggle around the second birthday. Daycare can make everything feel more difficult too since sleep is out of our control there. But the good news is that babies and toddlers can become great sleepers at home even if sleep isn't ideal at daycare. The other good news is that at her age, one 1 hour nap can be very workable as far as her sleep schedule goes. I would focus on what you can control: how she falls asleep at home. Even if they continue to rock her at daycare, she will most likely be able to become an independent sleeper at home if that is something you would like to work on. And who knows - she may take that skill to daycare with her! If you are ready to work on moving from rocking to sleep to independent sleep, the Toddler Sleep Training Guide has everything you need to know! It will also talk about scheduling - it sounds like you are doing a great job there working with her as best you can.

Hope that helps! Lauren, The Postpartum Party Support


Sunday 13th of August 2023

@Ellen, I should also mention that she doesn’t fall asleep usually for at least an hour or two after being put in bed because she is constantly overtired. Ugh help! She’s maybe getting 8-9 hours of sleep a night


Monday 3rd of April 2023

Hi! My 2.5 yo was sleeping well with wake up at 6:30 (even though) I would like her to sleep longer but most recent wake up times over the past 3 week is 5/5:30 am. She naps 12:40/1-2:30. Bedtime she goes down at 8, falls asleep by 8:20ish Since the early wake up, there has been night wakings and sometimes refusing nap. I’m a stay at home mom w her. Should I move up nap earlier to adjust the sleep? Should bedtime be earlier? Help?!

Lauren Garmon

Wednesday 5th of April 2023

Hi Lisbeth! I know that must be frustrating! At 2.5, she may be ready to drop her nap. Often, early morning wakes are a sign that a 2-3 year old has gotten enough sleep and simply can't sleep any longer. Bedtime is usually in its sweet spot 5-6 hours after nap, and at this age, moving nap earlier is typically only a good idea if you want to shift her entire schedule earlier (bedtime and morning wake included). The nap usually goes away between 2-3 years of age, so she might be telling you that it is time.

Hope that helps! Lauren - The Postpartum Party Support


Thursday 23rd of March 2023

Hi! I can't seen your o find the sweet spot for bed. My 2 year old is up at 8, naps around 1/130 for about an /hour and a half/two hours. Put her to bed around s8/830 but most times takes her over 30 min to fall asleep, not sure if normal or when's the right time. Thanks!

Lauren Garmon

Friday 31st of March 2023

Hi Jessica! As a general rule of thumb, falling asleep within about 15-20 minutes is the sweet spot. Most kiddos this age need 5-6 hours between waking up from nap and falling asleep at night. It may help to try scooting bedtime later in 15-minute increments every 3-4 days and see if you can find that sweet spot! If she seems very tired at bedtime, you can try moving bedtime a little earlier instead. One night generally isn't enough time to see if a small change like that works, so be sure to give it a few nights.

Hope that helps! Lauren, The Postpartum Party Support


Tuesday 27th of December 2022

Hi There! My 2 year old was a great sleeper until about 6 weeks ago..he would sleep 6:645-6:45 with a nap at daycare 1pm-3pm. He would go down independently and self soothe through the night if he woke (we were very lucky!). He got sick a while ago so would wake up in cough fits so we'd check on him. Since then, he's needed more comfort when he wakes through the night, otherwise he throws a fit and won't go back to sleep. He's waking at 4:30am refusing to go back to sleep. I've tried pushing back bedtime to 730 which hasnt helped for him to sleep in. He's still napping at 1pm because of daycare and he's so routine that he'll tantrum in the crib if before 1pm. I've moved bedtime back to 630 and still he's waking at 430. I feel like the 430 wake up has been going on for so many weeks now that that's just his internal clock but we can't have him up that early. We are at a loss. Any tips? Do we just keep him in bed crying at 430 in hopes something will give?

Amy Motroni

Wednesday 11th of January 2023

Hi Vanessa,

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you!

It sounds like his nap is probably interfering with his night time sleep and causing those early wakings. I would either try to shorten the nap or push bedtime back a little later.

Hope that helps, Amy


Friday 9th of December 2022

My son turned 2 in October. He was sleeping really well before that! Waking up at 6:00-6:30, napping 11:00-1:00 then asleep for the night by 7:00. But then they moved him to a new room at daycare for the 2 year olds and changed his nap to noon-2:00, sometimes 2:30 and he's been a mess! And I don't have the option of changing his nap back. Then, daylight savings time ended and that screwed him up more. And he also got sick for the first 3 weeks of November so then things got worse and we haven't been able to recover since. He wakes up anywhere from 4:00am-5:30. And won't go back to sleep. He used to go back to sleep very well by himself before all this. I've tried pushing his bedtime to 8:00 since he naps later but that hasn't helped. Any idea??


Tuesday 13th of December 2022

@Amy Motroni, he sleeps in his crib but doesn't have a clock. When he was sick and would wake up early we'd go to his room and try to comfort him and we would get him out to rock in his chair. (Before being sick we would just leave him in his crib and he'd get back to sleep fine). Sometimes if he was feeling extra crappy we'd let him lay with us for a bit to see if he'd fall back asleep but usually I'm a big proponent if not getting him out. Now that he's not sick anymore, when he wakes we go check on him physically but leave him in the crib. We give hugs and kisses and explain it's still bedtime then we leave the room. But most mornings that brings on crib tantrums then the whole house is awake 😔 and he's wide awake with no relaxing.

Amy Motroni

Monday 12th of December 2022

Hi Kristie, That is so rough! I have a few follow up questions:

1. How do you respond when he wakes up early?2. Does he have an okay to wake clock like the Hatch?. Is he in a crib or bed?