18 Month Old Sleep Schedule: The Complete Guide

Author Image By Paula McLaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH •  Updated: 10/19/22 •  Sleep / Sleep Schedules

Healthy sleep patterns start with a schedule. Here’s how to get your baby onto a regular 18 month old sleep schedule with top tricks to make maintaining it as easy as possible.

How Much Should An 18 Month Old Sleep?

Sample 18 Month Old Sleep Schedule

18 months is a special milestone age and by now your little one will easily be sleeping through the night and having between 1 and 2 naps a day (depending on how busy their day has been).

Here is a sample 18 month old consistent sleep schedule to give you a guideline for how your little one’s day can flow regardless of whether they take 1 or 2 naps:

18 Month Old Sleep Schedule Sample

REMEMBER: This 18 month old sleep schedule is only a guideline and will differ from child to child. The most important thing to focus on is how much sleep your little one requires in 24 hours and work from there.

Nap Schedule For 18 Month Old

By 18 months old, your child will mainly have 1 nap a day but may have 2 naps on very busy days.

To help you schedule a day for your 18 month old, here are two handy quick references for an 18 month old nap schedule regardless of whether they have 1 or 2 daytime naps:

1 Nap Schedule For 18 Month Old Sleep Schedule

1 Nap Schedule For 18 Month Old

2 Nap Schedule For 18 Month Old Sleep Schedule

2 Nap Schedule For 18 Month Old

How Long Should An 18 Month Old Nap?

Your 18 month old should be napping for around 2 to 3 hours a day.

Is 18 Months Too Early For One Nap?

No, 18 months is not too early for one nap.

In fact, most 18 month olds will have 1 nap per day. 

However, on busy days, your toddler may need to have a morning nap to prevent overtiredness later in the day.

Having quiet time in the morning is the ideal way for your toddler to relax and nap if they need it.

How Many Naps Should An 18 Month Old Take?

Your 18 month old will take between 1 and 2 naps a day depending on how busy their day has been.

Bedtime For 18 Month Old

As always, a regular and healthy bedtime routine is essential to your baby’s good night’s sleep as they are proven to improve sleep and reduce nighttime wakings. And for an 18 month old sleep schedule, your baby’s bedtime routine will consist of:

The entire bedtime routine should start between 6pm and 6.30pm and ideally, take no longer than 30 minutes.

REMEMBER: The bedtime routine should follow the same steps and be repeated at the same time every evening to ensure your 18 month old can recognise the signs that bedtime is coming to help them settle and fall asleep more easily. You can use a bedtime routine chart to help your little one know what’s coming up.

What Time Should An 18 Month Old Go To Bed?

For an 18 month old sleep schedule, your little one should be in bed with the lights out by 7pm.

If you want to adjust your schedule to make bedtime a little later you must change your daily nap times accordingly.

But no matter what… your child should not be in bed any later than 8pm to ensure your toddler gets enough sleep to support their brain’s growth and development as well as their physical development.

Looking to get your little one to sleep quickly and effortlessly? Check out my Bedtime and Nap Cheat Sheet and master the art of making daytime naps and bedtimes as seamless as possible.

18 Month Old Sleep Regression

18 months is a very common age for a sleep regression to occur due to developmental factors such as:

Therefore, your toddler may start to resist sleep, wake more frequently at night and struggle to resettle.

For helpful information to manage sleep regressions at this age, read my blog 18 month sleep regression to learn how.

18 Month Old Sleep Tips

Establishing and maintaining an 18 month old sleep schedule will make your day much easier to manage because after all… Everything starts and ends with sleep!

Here are some of my top sleep tips to make creating and maintaining an 18 month old sleep schedule as simple as possible.

TOP TIP: Time spent lying awake quietly in their crib is an ideal way to navigate nap transitions. They may sleep, or they may not but having a quiet period without sleep is better than being busy.

Fisher-Price Soothe 'n Snuggle Plush Otter

The calming music and sounds combined with the super-soft fabric and rhythmic breathing motion of this otter-ly cuddly pal will help soothe and comfort your little one, at home or wherever you go. Plus, it's even machine washable for when the inevitable spillages and floor drops happen!

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
My Top Pick
Toddler Night Light Lamp By LICKLIP

Finding the right night light for your child can be quite a task. You want something safe, comforting, and practical. The Cozy Starry Night Light ticks these boxes, with eye-friendly warm lighting and an easy-to-use dimmer.

Its gentle glow makes it the best night light for feeding baby, diaper changes, or comforting your little one back to sleep.

As your baby grows the Cozy Starry Night Light's starry sky projection can provide comfort and gentle quiet time stimulation. Its soft lighting ensures a dreamy, peaceful environment, supporting your baby’s natural sleep cycle.

It really is a fantastic nightlight (at a very reasonable price!)

  • Eye-friendly warm lighting with adjustable brightness.
  • Includes a timer function for convenience.
  • Projects a starry sky that is soothing for little ones.
  • Rechargeable battery, so it's very portable.
  • A USB adapter is not included for charging.
  • The star projector is static without motion (however, this is ideal for very young babies and toddlers).
  • Battery life varies based on the brightness settings.
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
Montessori Rainbow Wooden Ring Stacker Toy - Our Littles Co

This delightful wooden stacking rainbow toy from Our Littles Co features a timeless and aesthetically pleasing design, making it a delightful addition to any nursery or playroom decor. Crafted from high-quality, child-safe wood, this stacker toy is designed to withstand hours of play for years to come!

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

TOP TIP: If your little one is continually resisting nap time… try lengthening the wake window between naps before dropping the morning nap. Also, remember that during a nap transition your toddler may need to nap twice on some days but only once on others depending on how well they have slept at night and how busy their day has been.

Common 18 Month Old Sleep Problems

The most common sleep problems that your baby may encounter when establishing and maintaining an 18 month old sleep schedule are:

TOP TIP: To help with early morning waking try a toddler alarm clock like this one to help your toddler know when it is time to get up and when they should stay in bed.

My Top Pick
MELLA Ready to Rise Children's Sleep Trainer

MELLA is the #1 most backed kid's clock and all-in-one Ready to Rise children's sleep trainer designed to keep your kid in bed longer. MELLA is a sleep trainer, alarm clock, sleep sounds machine, night light and nap timer rolled into one adorable package!

Studies show that children do not fully understand the concept of time until around 8 years old, so MELLA uses colours and facial expressions to teach your kid when it's time for bed and when it's okay to wake up. With MELLA, your kid can learn to stay in bed longer, giving you more sleep!

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Frequently Asked Questions About An 18 Month Old Sleep Schedule

Looking for more help with creating your baby’s 18 month sleep schedule? Find answers to the most common questions here.

Is 9pm Too Late For Toddler Bedtime?

Yes, 9pm is too late for a toddler’s bedtime.

I would not recommend a bedtime of 9pm for an 18 month old.

Your toddler will not be able to have a healthy sleep schedule if they are going to bed at 9pm and you will not be able to have a child-free evening which helps you relax and reset for the next day. 

Is a 3 Hour Nap Too Long For An 18 Month Old?

No, the occasion 3 hour nap is ok for 18 month olds.

Many 18 month olds will be in the process of transitioning down to 1 long nap per day, therefore most naps will last for 2 hours but some naps will stretch to 3 hours long.

TOP TIP: It is important not to let your little one sleep after 3pm in the afternoon when aiming for a 7pm bedtime… Therefore, you may need to adjust the time you put your toddler down for their daytime nap depending on how long they need to sleep.

How Do I Get My Toddler To Sleep To 7am?

Early morning waking is a common issue for parents of toddlers but there are some things you can do to help your toddler wake up a little later.

Some of the following tips may help.

At What Age Do Toddlers Stop Napping?

The age at which toddlers stop napping varies from child to child.

Most toddlers will completely drop their daytime nap somewhere between the ages of 3 and 4.

For more information on when toddlers stop napping and how to manage the transitions, read my post When Do Toddlers Stop Napping.

Sleep Schedules Further Reading

Here are some more sleep schedules to help you get the most out of helping your little one sleep as best they can.

After all…

Sleep breeds sleep!

Need More Parenting Help?

Author Image Bio
Paula McLaren is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and a highly qualified childcare expert with over 40 years of experience as a Norland Nanny. She holds a BA (Hons) in Early Years Development & Learning (0-6 Years) and the prestigious Norland Diploma. Paula has worked as a night nanny, run a successful daycare center in London, and helped raise countless children using her tried and tested developmental and guidance methods.

Keep Reading