14 month old sleep schedule: bedtime and nap schedule
Around 14 months old, some children are beginning to show signs of dropping their second nap, while others may continue to need 2 naps per day for another few months.
This stage in your child’s sleep development can be rather confusing as you try to figure out if your child is ready to make the transition to 1 nap, and how to adjust bedtime accordingly. Read on to learn what you can expect, how to build healthy sleep habits, and how to navigate your 14 month old’s sleep schedule.
IN THIS ARTICLE:
How much should a 14 month old sleep?
At this age, we recommend aiming for at least 13.25 hours of total sleep over a 24-hour period, with a minimum of 11 hours of nighttime sleep, and 2 - 3 hours during the day between 1 or 2 naps.
[Note: for children who were born early, we go by their adjusted age for sleep development.]
Top sleep tip for 14 month olds
14 month olds are known for testing boundaries; offering choices can help give your toddler a sense of control at bedtime. Presenting choices such as: “Do you want to read the kitty cat book, or the truck book?” or, “Would you like to wear your blue pajamas, or your red pajamas?” can help make them feel that their opinions are valid.
One thing they shouldn’t have control over is the timing of bedtime. Even though they may test the boundaries every now and then, knowing what happens at bedtime is ultimately a comfort to 14 month olds.
Sleep fact for 14 month olds
Pediatric sleep experts recommend 14 month old’s sleep at least 11 hours per night for the ideal amount of rest. Night sleep is especially important for baby development and the brain’s executive function, which manages working memory and impulse control.
Sample 14 month old sleep schedule
Note: Sleep needs vary by child and this chart should be viewed as an example.
Naptime schedule for a 14 month old
14 month olds who have transitioned to a 1-nap schedule will need approximately 5 hours of awake time in between sleep periods in order to be tired, but not too tired. 14 month olds who are taking 2 naps per day should have approximately 3.25 hours of awake time before their morning nap, and about 3.5 - 3.75 hours of awake time before their afternoon nap.
How long should a 14 month old nap?
We expect children who are on a 1-nap schedule to nap for a solid 2 - 3 hours. While still taking 2 naps per day, your 14 month old’s naps may be 1 - 2 hours each.
How many naps for a 14 month old?
Nap needs vary at this age, with some 14 month olds needing just 1 nap per day, while others do best taking 2 naps per day. Most toddlers will transition to 1 nap between 14 - 18 months old.
Signs that your child is ready to drop a nap include very short naps, resisting 1 or both naps, or consistently sleeping less than 10 hours a night. When this happens, parents often wonder if their child is experiencing another sleep regression; thankfully, it just means they’re ready for longer awake periods.
If your child is still doing well on a 2-nap schedule there is no need to rush the transition; dropping the nap too early can lead to chronic overtiredness.
|Morning rise||7:00 AM|
|First nap||10:15 AM - 11:30 AM (1.25 hour nap) 3.25 hours of awake time before 1st nap|
|Second nap||3:15 PM - 4:15 PM (1 hour nap) 3.75 hours of awake time before 2nd nap|
|Get ready for bed||7:30 PM|
|Asleep||8:00 PM 3.75 hours of awake time before bedtime|
|Morning rise||7:00 AM|
|Nap||11:45 AM - 2:00 PM (2.25 hour nap) 4.75 hours of awake time before nap|
|Get ready for bed||6:45 PM|
|Asleep||7:15 PM 5.25 hours of awake time before bedtime|
Bedtime for a 14 month old
Mistiming bedtime can often cause issues when it’s time to sleep. While under-tiredness often results in stalling or difficulty falling asleep, overtiredness often leads to increased tears at bedtime. At this age, “sleepy cues” tend to become less reliable because 14 month olds may not show that they’re tired, even when they are.
While you’ll want to take your child’s sleepy cues into consideration, basing bedtime more on the period of wakefulness is ideal. Bedtime routines at this age tend to be a bit longer (30 - 45 minutes), and should allow sufficient time for your child to unwind. Make the 30 minutes before bedtime calm and relaxing by reading stories and singing.
What time should a 14 month old go to bed?
To allow for sufficient sleep overnight, your 14 month old’s bedtime should occur 12 - 13 hours after waking for the day. While bedtimes vary depending on each individual family’s desired morning wake time and the earliest possible time they can begin getting their child ready for bed, most 14 month olds have a bedtime between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM. A bedtime of no later than 9:00 PM is generally better for a toddler’s body clock.
14 month old baby sleep FAQ
Q: How can I get my child to let my partner put them to sleep?
Children often go through phases when they favor one caregiver over the other. This is very common, and can be so difficult for parents. It can take a lot of patience and parental persistence for a child to “accept” being put to sleep by someone other than the favored caregiver. In this situation, it can be helpful for both caregivers to take part in the sleep routine at first. Next, the non-favored caregiver can take over specific parts in the sleep routine such as bathing, pre-bed massage, putting on pajamas, or reading books. Once your child is comfortable, the favored caregiver can leave the room for short periods while the other caregiver carries out their part(s). When it’s time for the other caregiver to put the child to bed on their own, both caregivers should express confidence; resist the urge to “rescue” your child if they’re unhappy with the change at first.
Q: How can I stop my child from pooping during naps?
Many 14 month olds will poop when put down for a nap or wake early from a nap because they’ve pooped. To encourage your child’s bowels to fully empty after breakfast, you can try feeding them “p” foods (peaches, pears, and prunes, for example) at breakfast. Getting some physical activity in about an hour before naptime can also help produce a bowel movement before it’s time to sleep. If you suspect your child isn’t falling asleep due to a dirty diaper, we recommend taking your child out of their crib and changing the diaper. After a diaper change, it can be helpful to take your child out of the room for 20 - 30 minutes before trying again for the nap once more. Be sure to do your nap routine again to signal to your child that it is time to sleep.