21 Month Old Sleep Schedule: The Complete Guide

By Paula McLaren •  Updated: 11/16/22 •  10 min read  •  Toddler » Toddler Sleep

Healthy sleep patterns start with a schedule. Here’s how to get your little one onto a regular 21 month old sleep schedule with top tricks to make maintaining it as easy as possible.

How Much Should A 21 Month Old Sleep?

Sample 21 Month Old Sleep Schedule

By 21 months 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 21 month old sleep schedule to give you a guideline for how your little one’s day can flow:

21 Month Old Sleep Schedule Sample

REMEMBER: This 21 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 21 Month Old

By 21 months old, your child will have 1 nap a day but may need an extra one on very busy days.

To help you plan a nap schedule for your 21 month old, I would always advise 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 A 21 Month Old Baby

How Long Should A 21 Month Old Nap?

Most 21 month old’s will now be taking 1 afternoon nap which should last between 1 ½ to 2 hours.

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 21 Month Old Take?

As part of their 21 month old sleep schedule, your toddler will be taking one afternoon nap per day. 

TOP TIP: It’s fine if your toddler takes a cat nap in the car on the way home from a busy day… However, make sure you wake them when you get home as you should not let them sleep for too long too close to bedtime.

21 Month 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 21 month 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 30 minutes.

REMEMBER: The bedtime routine should follow the same steps and be repeated at the same time every evening to ensure your 21 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 A 21 Month Old Go To Bed?

For a 21 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.

Is There A Sleep Regression At 21 Months?

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 21 month old can still experience a sleep regression.

So if your 21 month old sleep schedule is disrupted with your little one 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.

21 Month Old Sleep Tips

Establishing and maintaining a 21 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 a 21 month 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 busy.

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Common 21 Month Old Sleep Problems

The most common sleep problems that your toddler may encounter when establishing and maintaining a 21 month old sleep schedule are:

21 Month Old Baby Sleep FAQs

Looking for more help with creating the perfect 21 month old sleep schedule? Find answers to the most common questions here.

Why Is My 21 Month Old Waking Up At Night?

If your 21 month old is waking at night there may be several causes. These include

Is 9pm Too Late For Toddler Bedtime?

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

I would always recommend that toddlers of this age should be in bed no later than 7.30pm.

At What Age Do Toddlers Stop Napping?

Most toddlers will stop napping between the ages of 3 and 5. However, there are a few who will drop their nap around their second birthday.

Most 21 month olds will be taking an afternoon nap and will struggle to get through the day without one.

How Can I Help My Toddler Sleep Through The Night?

To help your little one sleep through the night you need to maintain the following as part of your 21 month old sleep schedule:

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!

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Paula McLaren

Paula McLaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and has been in the childcare industry as a Norland Nanny since 1982. Since then, her mission has been to help parents become the best they can possibly be. And each year, she continues to help more families understand their child's development, the trials and joys of parenting and of course, how to care for their little ones.

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