Your baby’s changing all the time. They’re learning new skills, growing, and, yes, their sleep schedule’s changing, too. These sleep shifts can leave parents with a lot of questions. Here we’ve gathered expert advice specific for a 16-month-old’s sleep schedule, answering the most common questions about helping your 16-month-old sleep through the night.
If you’d like to learn more about your baby’s sleep and how to sleep train, download the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers ™. We worked some of the world’s best pediatric sleep experts to create an easy-to-use app that helps you help your baby learn how to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer – a lesson that has lifelong positive results .
A Sample 16-Month-Old’s Sleep Schedule
Every baby’s unique, including your own, so when reading this schedule, focus less on the specific clock times and more on wake windows – the amount of time your baby is awake between naps or their last nap and bedtime. – and their sleepy cues: the things your baby does when they’re tired, such as yawning, rubbing their eyes, or pulling their ears.
Understanding your baby’s natural sleep rhythms is the key to nourishing their sleep. Check out our Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™ app and take the assessment to get a personalized sleep plan for your baby. We designed this app with sleep experts so that every parent can teach their baby how to fall asleep foster and stay asleep longer.
Note: By now most babies have nap transitioned to one longer nap in the afternoon. It’s alright if yours hasn’t, though expect to see the signs of the 2-to-1 nap transition soon. These include resisting a nap or bedtime and waking up at night.
Sleep Schedule for 16-Month-Olds with 1 Nap:
Can a 16-month-old baby sleep through the night?
Yes. While there may be an occasional disruption – a storm, a nightmare – sleep coached 16-month-olds can sleep from “good night” to “good morning”.
This is both because sleep coaching works with and shapes your baby’s natural sleep rhythms, creating a consistent schedule, and babies who are sleep coached have less disruptions because sleep coaching strengthens their ability to self-soothe. That means that if they wake up at night, they can easily put themselves back to sleep without calling out. This leads to a more restful sleep for them, and you.
How much should a 16-month-old sleep each day?
Experts agree that 16-month-olds should sleep a minimum of 13 hours and 15 minutes over 24-hours.
How much nighttime sleep does a 16-month-old need?
While the minimum is 11 hours of nighttime sleep for 16-month-olds, 12 is better.
How much daytime sleep for a 16-month-old?
Whether your 16-month-old takes 1 nap or 2, they need about 2 hours and 15 minutes of sleep each day. If your baby is struggling to sleep at night or waking in the night, it may be time to drop their second nap and complete the 2-to-1 nap transition LINK.
What is a 16-month-old’s wake window?
The goal is at least 5 hours between waking and their first nap. This should be shorter if your baby’s still doing two naps. In that case, it’s about 3 ¾ - 4 hours.
Is there a 16-month regression?
We’re happy to report that there is no official 16-month sleep regression! Nor is there a 17-month regression. Things are smooth on the regression front for a while – however, there is a sleep regression at 18-months and some babies may experience signs of sleep regression earlier.
This next regression is sparked by two developments: teething and separation anxiety
Sleep Training While Teething
Your baby’s primary teeth are still emerging, specifically their molars. This can be uncomfortable for them and may disrupt your baby’s sleep. Luckily, there are ways to minimize sleep disruptions from teething.
- Drool Patrol: Teething babies drool a lot more than usual. If you don’t wipe this drool regularly with a soft cloth, your baby may get drool rash, which is itchy and can disrupt their sleep.
- Cool Fruit or Washcloth: Letting your baby chew on a chilled piece of fruit or a cold, wet washcloth can ease teething pain that disrupts sleep.
- Soothing Bath: A soothing bath is more about relaxing your baby than relieving teething discomfort, but it can work wonders at lulling them into a calm state of mind. That’s why baths are a popular and effective part of a bedtime routine. Speaking of…
- Maintain Bedtime Routines: Even if your baby is uncomfortable or distracted, it’s best to keep up your typical bedtime routine during teething. While it may not always lull them into a sleepy mindset, it will keep the rhythm and habit of sleep coaching on track for when your baby’s teething has passed.
Considering how teething can disrupt your baby’s sleep, many parents wonder if teething pain is worse at night. No, teething pain is not worse at night, however your baby may be more aware of teething discomfort at night because they are less distracted than during the day.
Sleep Training Through Separation Anxiety
You’re likely already familiar with separation anxiety in babies you’re your baby’s experience around the 8 or 9-month mark.
At that point, your baby was first learning object permanence and realized that when you leave, you go somewhere else. Now, around 16-months, your baby understands even more: they know that you’re somewhere else and doing something else. This can lead to a bit of FOMO – fear of missing out.
Rest assured this is a perfectly normal – and, yes, there are many easy ways to minimize separation anxiety in babies. Some quick tips include:
- Keep Up Your Bedtime Routine: Noticing a pattern here? As with teething pain and other sleep disruptions, maintaining a consistent bedtime routine during bouts of separation anxiety will help that bout pass faster. We understand it can be difficult to leave their side if they’re particularly anxious, but most times your baby will settle after a few minutes and soothe themselves to sleep.
- Wait It Out: On that note, if your baby exhibits separation anxiety at bedtime or wakes in the night with separation anxiety, wait a minute or two to see if it passes. Again, you’d be surprised how often your baby’s natural self-soothing powers kick in and help them get back to dream land. (This is particularly true if you sleep train, which strengthens your baby’s self-soothing powers.)
- Revisit Your Sleep Training: If you’ve sleep trained your baby, you can sometimes “click” your little one’s sleep cycles back into place by revisiting your sleep training.
If you have not sleep trained, there’s still time – simply download the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™ to get started!
How to Revisit Sleep Coaching:
To revisit your sleep coaching method, simply pick up where you left off.
For example, if you used the Camping Out, or Chair Method, place your chair where you were when your baby started falling asleep independently, the next night, move your chair back as you did during your first round of sleep training, then move back again the next night. You’d be surprised how fast a little review will help your baby stay asleep longer at night.
Will My Baby Climb Out of Their Crib?
Babies typically begin to start climbing around 15 months, which means, yes, your baby could climb out of their crib if you don’t lower their mattress as they grow.
A good rule of thumb is to lower your baby’s crib mattress when they can hold the top of their crib wall.
If your baby is 3 feet or taller, they’re ready for a toddler or big kid bed, however, it’s best to wait until your baby is 3 years old or even a bit older before making that switch if possible.
Again, if you have any questions about sleep coaching or want to start sleep coaching, check out the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™. We know from our own experiences how frustrating it can be to sleep train your baby, so we worked with pediatric sleep experts to create an app that’s easy, effective, and, yes, fun!
“Toddler Bedtime Routines and Associations With Nighttime Sleep Duration and Maternal and Household Factors,” Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine .
“The Family Context of Toddler Sleep: Routines, Sleep Environment, and Emotional Security Induction in the Hour before Bedtime,” Behavioral Sleep Medicine.
“The Timing of the Circadian Clock and Sleep Differ between Napping and Non-Napping Toddlers,” PLoS One.
How We Wrote This Article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.