2 Year Old Sleep Schedule: The Complete Guide

Author Image By Paula McLaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH •  Updated: 12/21/22 •  Sleep / Sleep Schedules

Healthy sleep patterns start with a schedule. Here’s how to get your little one onto a regular 2 year old sleep schedule with top tricks to make maintaining it as easy as possible.

How Much Should A 2 Year Old Sleep?

Sample 2 Year Old Sleep Schedule

By 2 years old, your little one will easily be sleeping through the night and will have transitioned down to 1 nap in the afternoon (lasting about an hour and a half) on most days.

Here is a sample 2 year old sleep schedule to give you a guideline for how your little one’s day can flow:

Sample Sleep Schedule For 2 Year Old

REMEMBER: This 2 year 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 child is getting in 24 hours.

2 Year Old Nap Schedule

Your 2 year old will typically have 1 nap a day but may need an extra one on very busy days.

To help you plan a nap schedule for your 2 year old, I would suggest having some quiet time in the morning to relax and maintain a consistent afternoon nap to avoid your little one from becoming overtired at the end of the day.

Nap Schedule For 2 Year Old

How Long Should A 2 Year Old Nap For?

Nap times at this age can vary from child to child and even from day to day depending on what activities your child has been engaging in. 

However, as part of a 2 year old sleep schedule, toddlers will take a 1 ½ to 2 hour nap after lunch.

REMEMBER: Nap timings depend on your child, how much they slept the night before and how busy their day has been.

How Many Naps Should A 2 Year Old Take?

At 2 years old, your toddler should be taking one nap after lunch. 

However, this does not mean that they will not fall asleep in the stroller or car on the way home after a busy afternoon… 

But you should wake them on arrival to avoid the mini-nap interfering with their bedtime.

TOP TIP: If your 2 year old does sleep for a while in the late afternoon… don’t panic. This nap will prevent your child from becoming overtired and cranky… However, you may have to adjust their bedtime back so they’re more ready to sleep when nighttime comes.

What Time Is Too Late For Toddler Nap?

To avoid an afternoon nap impacting on the bedtime routine you should aim for at least 3 hours between the nap and bedtime. 

So if your little one goes to bed a 7pm, they should not be napping any later than 4pm.

2 Year Old Bedtime Routine

As always, a regular and healthy bedtime routine is essential to your child’s good night’s sleep as they are proven to improve sleep and reduce nighttime wakings. And for a 2 year old sleep schedule, your little one’s bedtime routine will consist of:

The entire bedtime routine should start between 6pm and 6.30pm and ideally, take no longer than 45 minutes.

REMEMBER: The bedtime routine should follow the same steps and be repeated at the same time every evening to ensure your 2 year 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 too!

What Time Should A 2 Year Old Go To Bed?

For a 2 year old sleep schedule, your little one should be in bed with the lights out between 7pm and 7.30pm.

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.

What Is The Earliest A Toddler Can Go To Bed?

The earliest you should be putting our 2 year old to bed is 6pm. This is to avoid them waking up at a very unsociable hour!

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.

Is There A Sleep Regression At 2 Years?

Yes and no…

Sleep regressions are possible at any age and can be triggered by all sorts of developmental and environmental occurrences.

Whilst sleep regressions are more common at 4 months, 6 months, between 8 and 10 months, 12 months old and around 18 months old… 

Your 2 year old can still experience a sleep regression.

So if your 2 year old sleep schedule is disrupted with your child fighting sleep, increased nighttime wakings and restlessness then they are very likely experiencing a short-term sleep regression. 

Read this post to help you navigate this situation: Sleep Regression: What, Why, Signs & Sanity-Saving Solutions.

2 Year Old Sleep Tips

Establishing and maintaining a 2 year 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 a 2 year old sleep schedule as simple as possible.

TOP TIP: Time spent 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 constantly 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.
iPlay, iLearn Wooden Food Toy Set, Magnetic Fruit Vegetables

Perfect for a budding chef, this set of wooden magnetized foods will encourage your little one to develop their fine motor skills by imitating chopping and preparing whilst creating a delicious imaginary dish for you to try!

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

Common 2 Year Old Sleep Problems

The most common sleep problems that your toddler may encounter when establishing and maintaining a 2 year old sleep schedule are:

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.

2 Year Old Sleep FAQs

Looking for more help with creating the perfect 2 year old sleep schedule? Find answers to the most common questions here.

What Time Should A 2 Year Old Wake Up?

Depending on the light in their bedroom… your 2 year old toddler can be expected to wake up between 6am and 7.30am. 

Anything earlier I would consider to be too early and you may need to consider using blackout blinds or provide them with something to play with on waking to give you the opportunity to stay in bed for an extra few precious minutes.

Tommee Tippee Sleeptime Portable Baby Travel Blackout Blind

Maintaining a good sleep routine with your baby can be tricky, especially through changing seasons or when you’re away from home! This beautiful blackout blind from Tommee Tippee is made from lightweight premium fabric and completely blocks out daylight, helping to create a dark and sleepy space for baby, no matter where you are!

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

Is It OK If My Toddler Doesn’t Nap?

Yes, it is absolutely fine for your toddler to stop napping as long as they are able to get through to bedtime without having a meltdown or being very cranky. 

However, I would still suggest having quiet time after lunch to conserve energy and avoid overtiredness.

TOP TIP: If your 2 year old always falls asleep in the car or buggy then it would suggest that your toddler still needs a nap in the day.

Is A 3 Hour Nap Too Long For A 2 Year Old?

Yes, a 3 hour nap is too long for a 2 year old.

Ideally your little one should not nap for longer than 2 hours during the day as part of their 2 year old sleep schedule or you will run the risk of it impacting their bedtime routine and ability to stay asleep all night.

Does Daytime Sleep Affect Night Sleep For Toddlers?

Most definitely! 

If your toddler is not getting enough daytime sleep they will become overtired and hyper before bedtime thus disrupting the bedtime routine. 

Also, an overtired toddler will often not eat well at teatime and will therefore wake in the night due to hunger.

Too much sleep during the day or a nap too late in the day can also disrupt nighttime sleep… 

And whilst your toddler may go to sleep nicely… they will then wake in the night and struggle to settle back to sleep.

When Should Toddlers Stop Napping?

Most young children will stop napping between the ages of 3 and 4 years of age but some may stop sooner.

Most children will need a daytime nap until they are at least 2 years old, after which daily quiet time is a good substitute to avoid overtiredness.

Read my post When Do Toddlers Stop Napping to learn more.

Why Is My 2 Year Old Sleeping A Lot?

The most likely reason your 2 year old is sleeping a lot is due to a growth spurt. 

A change in routine such as starting daycare, being sick or moving house can also mean your little one will need more sleep.

In some cases, your child may just be one of those people that needs a lot of sleep! 

REMEMBER: We all have different sleep requirements. But if you are at all concerned about your child sleeping too much have a chat with your medical practitioner.

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