A series of guides, sleep schedules, and average sleep needs that outline realistic sleep expectations for each age.
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Realistic Sleep Expectations
Your toddler should now be well established on their one nap schedule and should have no trouble making it the five hour wakeful window until bedtime. Within the home setting, an ideal nap will last about two hours or more even, whilst in a daycare setting, your child will be more likely to get one and a half to two hours as other children and stimulation play a bit factor in nap quality and length.
Around this age, there are many new things your toddler is learning that will influence their sleep. Mainly at bedtime. Parents notice another peak in separation anxiety around 18 months, and mainly at bedtime when toddlers suddenly need more parental support at bedtime. Toddlers who were previously great independent sleepers are not immune to this phase! And in fact, it is the families of these kiddos that notice this change the most. Knowing that this developmental leap is not only normal, but actually a sign that your toddler is progressing in other areas of their development, can really help parents get through this phase with less worry that they are doing something “wrong”.
From just after the 18 month mark until about 2 years of age, most toddlers go through a calm stage of sleep. One nap at consistently the same time every day. Bedtime at the same time every night. A consistent bedtime routine that typically goes fairly smoothly.Reach out to Steph
Example sleep schedule for a 17-23 month old
Now that your child is taking only one nap a day, you might notice that your child sleeps best at around the same time everyday, for both nap and bedtime (give or take 15 minutes).
Your toddler is learning dozens of new words each day now. It is amazing to watch. Many things will become easier as your child learns how to communicate more efficiently with you, but sleep is not one of those things at this particular moment. With increased communication, parents tend to find that bedtime can become harder as children begin to express their desires (“more bottle”, or “more book”), extending bedtime routines and pushing bedtime later and later. Toddlers can also now express that they want “mama stay”, which can make a previous routine of saying goodnight and leaving your child to fall asleep on their own much more difficult as they decide they no longer want to fall asleep by themselves. (Who does!?)
Setting loving boundaries now becomes very important as infants are challenging their limits and NEED their parents to create and reinforce these boundaries for them. They do not need to be strict or punitive, but instead a gentle guideline. Often giving your child some power over their routine (choosing which books, choosing what toothpaste to use), while parents maintain the structure (parent chooses how many books, child brushes teeth no matter which toothpaste is chosen) can be a great balance.
In the second year of life, babies begin to attach to their caregivers through likeness and sameness. When they can’t always be WITH those they love, a whole other attachment takes form. They try to be LIKE us. They mimic the sounds of those they’re attached to. They talk like, make gestures like, and eat the same foods as those they’re attached to.
Support options for parents of 17-23 month olds
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Infant Sleep Package
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The Sleep Parenting program is amazing in that it offers unparalleled support through teething, sickness, developmental leaps, travel, daylight savings, etc. The time allotted takes into account that your baby is going to change and what you're really developing are the skills to be able to respond and support your child through those challenges which lead to longer naps, better overnights and thankfully a rested and happy mama. I am so thankful.