How Long Should My Toddler NapChildren need adequate sleep to rest their bodies, consolidate new information, improve their mood, and even reduce risk of injury. Naptime helps to ensure that they get the recommended amount of sleep to achieve this.

As your child moves from the infant stage to toddlerhood, they won’t need as much sleep as they used to, though they do still need to nap. But how long should a toddler’s nap be? *We will be referring to children between the ages of 1-2 as toddlers.


How much sleep does my toddler need and how much of that should be allocated to naptime?

Toddlers should receive 11-14 hours of sleep each day. This includes both their nap and nighttime sleep. Most children by age 14-18 months will begin to need only one afternoon nap between 1.5 to 3 hours long. You’ll know your child is ready to move to a single nap schedule as the two naps per day become a struggle, your child “fights” you to go to sleep, and naps become shorter.

Setting the stage for naptime

Provide your toddler with a set naptime routine at home (i.e., lunch at 11:30 am and nap at 12:30 pm). Cues such as a sound machine, a fan, or soft music can help relax your child. Allow your child to sleep until they wake naturally unless they begin to sleep so long that it interferes with bedtime. Sleeping longer than 3 hours for a nap is not recommended at this age.

In our Links to Learning Toddler classroom, students receive a fresh diaper before transitioning to their afternoon nap. We provide visual cues by dimming the lights and audio cues with soft music. This set schedule and routine provides a sense of security and familiarity for our students, so they know it is time to rest and they feel comfortable doing so.

Do what’s best for your family

The key takeaway is that toddlers should receive 11-14 hours of sleep each day. If your child takes a 2-hour nap, their bedtime should be between 7:30-9:00 pm. Every child’s sleep pattern is different. One child might sleep closer to 9 hours/night and take a 3-hour nap while another child might average 12 hours of sleep/night and take a 1.5-hour nap. Do what works best for your family. There is no right or wrong bedtime or naptime.

Helpful Tips

You’ll know your child is receiving enough sleep if they are happy shortly after waking and not showing signs of sleepiness or frequent irritability throughout the day. Follow your toddler’s cues, provide a safe and familiar environment, and ensure that your child is receiving 11-14 hours of combined sleep. If you do these three things, your toddler’s naptime will likely be just what they need.

If you’re curious about other ways our Toddler program helps children develop, contact us today!