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Healthy sleep habits are as important as healthy eating habits – sleep is an essential component of healthy living.
Regular Day Routines
- Implement daytime routines and habits. Your toddler thrives on routine.
- Keep a regular nap schedule, even on weekends (if possible). When your day is very busy and naps are missed, your toddler may not sleep well at night.
- Try to have your toddler eat regular meals and snacks during the day.
Regular Bedtime Routines
- Wind down the action at bedtime. Giving your toddler a bath, followed by reading and a quiet cuddle is a great way to end the day. Ask other family members to share in this quiet time.
- Make bedtime a special time. Set aside a few moments for talking about the day.
- Give your toddler some choices at bedtime - let them pick the bedtime story or a pair of pajamas.
- Avoid watching TV before bedtime. TV is stimulating, not relaxing.
Toddler Sleep Patterns
Toddlers need different amounts of sleep at various ages. Most - but not all - toddlers follow this pattern:
- At 12 months - May sleep about 14 hours per day, partly during morning and afternoon naps. Between 12 months and 18 months, the morning nap disappears and is replaced with one longer afternoon nap.
- At 24 months - May sleep 11 to 12 hours at night with a nap in the afternoon lasting one to two hours.
- At 36 months - May sleep about 12 hours at night and may or may not have a short nap.
Children are quick to develop habits, and waking at night to feed can become a habit that lingers even when your toddler no longer needs it. Learn how to help your child stop night waking.
Last Updated: June 2021