Your 17-month-old’s sleep has come a long way from those first disorganized few months. Now they’re able to sleep for longer periods and take less naps, but also may experience some common sleep disruptions, including regressions.
To help you keep your 17-month-old’s sleep on track, we’ve gathered expert advice and insights on the common question people ask about their 17-month-old’s sleep, including “What is a 17-month-old’s wake window” and “How do I handle bedtime protests?”
For more answers on all your sleep coaching questions, no matter what your baby’s age, download the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™.
Developed by pediatric sleep expert, the Smart Sleep Coach is stocked with mini-articles explaining everything from the science behind your baby’s sleep to how to nap transition. Plus, the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™ includes 1-click sleep tracking that automatically updates your baby’s sleep schedule, and this easy-to-use app will walk you step-by-step through the sleep coaching method that works best for you and your baby.
It’s a total game-changer – and effective: many users saw results within one week!
A Sample 17-Month-Old’s Sleep Schedule
Every baby’s unique, so keep in mind that these times are just examples.
When creating your baby’s sleep schedule, focus more on their wake windows - the amount of time your baby is awake between sleeps – and their sleepy cues, like yawning. Using these two factors together helps shape and sharpen their unique sleep schedule to promote optimal rest.
To learn more, download the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™. We created this app to help all parents and caretakers use their babies’ natural rhythms to achieve optimal sleep.
Also, many 17-month-olds are already on one nap, though some may still need 2. We’ve included sample schedules for both scenarios here. For more information on nap transitions, read our article on when to drop your baby’s naps and why.
Sample Sleep Schedule for 17-Month-Olds with 2 Naps
Can a 17-month-old baby sleep through the night?
Yes. By now most 17-month-olds sleep through the night, especially with sleep coaching. Sleep coaching helps babies fall asleep faster and sleep for longer periods because it synchronizes your baby’s sleep schedule with their natural circadian rhythm. Also, sleep coaching strengthens your baby’s natural ability to self-soothe, meaning that if they wake up at night, they instinctually lull themselves back to sleep, rather than calling out for you.
If you haven’t sleep coached your baby yet, there’s still time. All you need to do is download the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™, enter some initial information about your baby, and this expert-backed app will walk you through the sleep coaching journey. Not only will your baby start sleeping better, but sleep coaching lays the foundation for happier, healthier childhoods, too.
How many total hours should a 17-month-old sleep?
Experts agree that a 17-month-old should sleep 13-14 hours over a 24-hour period.
How much nighttime sleep for a 17-month-old?
In terms of nighttime sleep, 11 hours is the minimum goal for most 17-month-olds.
How much daytime sleep for a 17-month-old?
If your baby has completed the 2-to-1 nap transition, their mid-day nap should be 2-3 hours. If your baby is still taking two naps, 2 hrs. and 15 minutes split between the naps is best. For more on dropping naps, read our piece on what nap transitions are and how to complete them.
What is a 17-month-old’s wake window?
Wake windows for 17-month-olds are longer than ever: typically, about 4-5.5 hours! That’s incredible – so much more time to play and learn and grow together!
Is there a 17-month-old regression?
While there isn’t technically a 17-month sleep regression, some babies this age will experience their 18-month regression a little early. Luckily, sleep regressions are easy to minimize. Three easy ways to minimize sleep regressions include:
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
- Maintain a consistent bedtime routine
- Wait it out: While all of our first instinct is to check on our baby when we hear them cry, sometimes visiting them will only wake them more. Instead, if your baby is going through a sleep regression, let them sit for a moment to see if they settle themselves back to sleep. Often times, they do.
Also, now that your baby’s over 12 months, they can sleep with a stuffed animal, blankie, or another comfort object.
How to Handle Bedtime Protests:
One of a 17-month-old’s developmental milestones includes increased independence and improved vocabulary – many can say 7-10 or even more words!
This is all great news, of course, but this combination can lead to more… robust bedtime protests. To prevent or cope with bedtime protests, experts suggest:
- Include Your Baby in Their Bedtime Routine: When your baby is very little, you create their bedtime routine As they age and can communicate more, you can and should involve your baby more in the pre-bedtime ritual. You can do this by asking them to select a book for story time or pick out their pajamas. This is especially useful when your baby protests because it gives them a sense of control and it can distract them.
- Lengthen Your Bedtime Routine: You can increase your baby’s sleep drive and reduce protests by lengthening your bedtime routine. This does not mean keep your baby up later. Instead, start your bedtime routine a little earlier and add another activity, like another story or quietly drawing in their room with the lights low.
- Avoid “Just This Once”: We understand – sometimes it seems easier to give in to your baby’s protests and let them stay up “just this once”. While this may be simpler in the moment, you don’t want to set a precedent. Instead, stay firm and strong. If your baby fusses, leave them for a while to see if they settle themselves.
Do 17-Month-Old’s Have Nightmares?
As your baby approaches their 2nd birthday, they may begin to experience nightmares. This is completely normal, though can be upsetting. If your baby is having a nightmare, follow this advice:
Wait a Moment: If you hear your baby crying from a dream, wait to see if the moment passes. Often times babies, especially those who are sleep trained, will soothe themselves back to sleep.
Gently Rouse: If your baby continues to cry from a nightmare, go into their room and gently rouse them. You don’t necessarily need to wake them up completely but disrupting them enough to reset their dreams may be the way to stop their nightmare and keep sleep on track.
Wake Them Completely: If your baby’s nightmare continues, wake them more completely, though still gently
Reassure Them: Remember, whether it’s in the middle of the night or in the morning, reassure your baby that the nightmare was just a dream that cannot hurt them.
Discuss the Nightmare: If your baby can remember their bad dream, maybe try to discuss it as much as possible to “depower” the fear.
Avoid Disturbing Stories: Old school fairy tales are, frankly, pretty scary: witches eating kids, parents dying… The stuff of nightmares, if you will. That said, avoid bedtime stories with any violence, fear, or children in peril – these can trigger nightmares in babies.
Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Sudden shifts in sleep schedules can lead to bad dreams in babies and toddlers – another reason why maintaining a consistent, age-appropriate sleep schedule is the way to go.
For more information on creating a sleep schedule or coping with any sleep disruption, check out the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™. In has expert insights and advice on the most common baby sleep questions – and some less-common ones, too – all so you can easily and effectively teach your baby to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer – a skill that lasts them the rest of their lives.
“Sleep Physiology in Toddlers: Effects of Missing a Nap on Subsequent Night Sleep,” Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms.
“Development of infant and toddler sleep patterns: real-world data from a mobile application,” Journal of Sleep Research.
“Children’s sleep linked to brain development,” National Institutes of Health.
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.