It is common for some of your little one's sleep problems to start around this age, there is so much happening: walking, a peak in separation anxiety, and an attachment to objects like the pacifier or the bottle. Also, there is the transition from 2 naps to 1, which might cause sleep issues.
As during other stages, keeping a routine and an age-appropriate schedule helps you navigate through all these changes and make this transition easier for both of you.
Average nighttime sleep: 11.15 hours of uninterrupted sleep
Average daytime sleep> 2 to 2.5 hours (1 to 2 naps)
Here is a sample schedule (the first one is for babies still on a 2 nap schedule, the second one for babies already on a 1 nap schedule), you have to adjust the schedule using your baby's wake-up time as your starting point. Make sure to read the whole article so that you can create your own schedule according to your baby's needs and family dynamics.
An acceptable and normal wake-up time for your baby should go from 6:00 am to 7:30 am. To help him distinguish between nighttime and daytime awakenings, be bold, enter the room, open la blinds, turn on the light and say "Good Morning".
This nap applies to babies on a 2 nap schedule. Happens 2 to 3 hours after waking up.
Nap duration: 1 to 1.5 hours
This nap shouldn't be very long, since the important nap and the one he will keep until at least 3 years is the afternoon nap. If your son is still sleeping more than 1 hour and a half, try to adjust it to at least 1 hour. If he has trouble during the afternoon nap, then reduce this morning nap to 45 mins.
During this time, your son is well-rested and in a good mood; it is the best time to go out, go to the park, have lunch, etc. Take advantage of this to organize your daily activities. He could be awake for up to 3 hours (5 to 6 hours if he is not taking a morning nap).
Lunch can happen during this awake time, keep in mind toddlers eat earlier than adults, it is ok for them to have lunch at 12:00 or 12:30 (sometimes even 11:30 am for early birds).
If this is your child's second nap, it should start 2 to 3 hours after he ended the morning nap and should last 1 to 1.5 hours.
If this is your child's only nap, it should start 5 to 6 hours after wake-up time and should last around 2.5 hours. When transitioning from 2 naps to 1, this nap might start earlier (12:00 - 12:30), it is ok, after his body adapts you can adjust it to start a little bit later.
As I mention before with lunch, toddlers get hungry earlier than adults, so it is ok to have an early dinner (5:30 pm).
It is important at every age to have a soothing, relaxing, and consistent routine, but it becomes extremely important for toddlers. They need a little more time to wind down, their routine might be longer than usual during this stage.
The routine can last from 30 mins to 1 hour, including a bath. Make sure the whole routine is enjoyable, that he looks forward to it.
An age-appropriate bedtime goes from 7:00 to 8:00 pm; this is when his body is ready to produce melatonin and go to bed. Depending on how long it takes for your child to go to bed, you have to make time for this; for some babies or children, it can take up to 20 mins.
When transitioning from 2 to 1 nap, you can put him down earlier, he might need the extra 30 mins while his body adapts.
If your little one still struggles to fall asleep on his own, we can work on a personalized sleep plan to create a functional schedule, identify sleep crutches to gradually eliminate. Click here to know more about how I can help.
Create your own schedule
You can download and print the page below and create your own schedule. Remember the starting point is the time your baby regularly wakes up. I've uploaded two different templates, one for babies on a 2 nap schedule and another for babies o a 1 nap schedule.