Your 23-month-old has learned a lot they were a newborn – they’re more mobile, more communicative, and more alert every day. And you’ve grown, too: you’re surer of yourself and more confident in handling your baby.
Even after all this time, though, many of us still have questions about our babies’ sleep. Here we answer the most common questions about a 23-month-old’s sleep, including how much sleep a 23-month-old needs and how to travel while sleep training your toddler.
A Sample 23-Month-Old’s Sleep Schedule:
This timetable is simply a sample – each baby is special and has their own unique sleep patterns. Therefore, when creating or adjusting your baby’s sleep schedule, focus more on their wake windows and sleepy cues, rather than the actual clock.
Sample Sleep Schedule for 23-Month-Olds with 1 Nap:
Note: If your 23-month-old resists bedtime, consider lengthening your bedtime routine – this will keep them in the mindset while also extending their wake window.
As a reminder:
Wake Windows = the length of time between your baby’s sleeps.This is how long they’re awake before their circadian rhythm tells them it’s time to rest up again.
Sleepy Cues = signs your baby’s tired, like yawning, rubbing their eyes, or turning away from you. When you see these, it’s time to start your bedtime or naptime routines.
What is a Bedtime Routine?
A bedtime routine is the series of actions you perform each night, in the same order, before bed. Bedtime routines often include a warm bath, cuddles, reading or a lullaby – activities that are calm and consistent. Those are the key words: calm and consistent. Whatever your bedtime includes, the goal is to settle your baby and instill a healthy habit, which accomplished by repeating the same routine night after night.
By using wake windows and sleepy cues instead of clock time, and by sticking to a calming bedtime routine, you’ll naturally and effectively shape your baby’s natural rhythms to optimize their nourishing sleep.
Can a 23-month-old baby sleep through the night?
Yes. 23-month-olds sleep through the night with proper sleep training– a process in which you What is a 23-month-old’s wake window?
Most 23-month-olds can stay awake between 5 hours 15 minutes and 5 hours and 45 minutes between sleeps.
How Many Total Hours Should a 23-Month-Old Sleep Each Day?
Around 13-14 hours is a great goal for total sleep in a day for your 23-month-old to ensure they keep developing and growing well.
How much nighttime sleep for a 23-month-old?
Experts agree 11-12 hours is a good amount of nighttime sleep for 23-month-olds.
Should My 23-Month-Old Still Nap?
Yes – 23-month-olds are still developing physically, mentally, andneed that physically restorative afternoon nap.
How much daytime sleep for a 23-month-old?
About 1.5 to 2 hrs. during nap time.
How Long Should Babies Nap?
Babies should continue taking 1 nap a day until they’re between 3 and 5.
Should a 23-Month-Old Sleep in a Toddler Bed?
You should hold off on transitioning to a toddler bed for as long as it is safe to do so. As long as your toddler is not able to climb out of their crib, then there is no need to move them. In fact, if you can hold off on the crib-to-bed transition until they are 3 or 4-years-old, that’s when they are better able to comprehend the transition to a big kid bed so the change will result in less sleep disruption.
For more expert advice on sleep training, your baby’s naps, or anything else related to your baby’s sleep, download the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™. Developed by pediatric sleep experts, this easy-to-use app can help you teach your baby to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, in as little as a week – a skill that lays the foundation for health growth for years to come.
Is There a 23-Month-Old Regression?
No, there is not typically a traditional “ sleep regression” at 23-months, however some but toddlers this may stall or drag their feet at bedtime.This stalling is totally normal –and actually a good thing: they’re showing their independence. But that doesn’t mean you should listen to them.
Even if your toddler is very persuasive, and even if you’ve sleep trained for years, it’s still important to keep consistent bedtimes and routines, rather than letting them stay up “just this once.”
One way to maintain your sleep schedule while dealing with a stalling baby is to slightly lengthen your baby’s wake window by adding another story to your bedtime routine. This will keep your baby in the “it’s bedtime” mindset while building up sleep drive.
How Do I Help My Baby with Separation Anxiety?
Despite its name, separation anxiety is a completely normal and welcome development in babies: it means they’re understanding object permanence.
Though separation anxiety in babies typically first appears around 8 months, there’s sometimes another bout between 18-24 months. This is because your baby’s understanding of object permanence is expanding: whereas before they realized you were somewhere else when you leave the room, now they understand you’re doing something else, too. We liken it to baby-sized FOMO: fear of missing out.
Luckily, separation anxiety in babies can easily be minimized:
Peek-a-Boo: A long-time favorite in which you “disappear” behind your hands or a blanket, and “reappear” with a silly face, peek-a-boo shows your baby that you’ll always be back for them.
“I’ll Be Right Back:” You can increase your baby’s “alone endurance” by saying “I’ll be right back,” stepping away for a minute, and then reentering the room and saying, “I’m back!” If you do this repeatedly and incrementally increase the amount of time you’re away – for example, from 1 minute to 2 minutes to 3 minutes – you help your baby become more comfortable with being left alone. Then, when they wake up at night, they’ll be less anxious.
Independent Playtime: Babies should be allowed independent playtime starting at 6 months. At that point, they can often be left alone in a safe space for 5-10 minutes without becoming bored or worried. By 23 months, that amount of time is around 30 minutes.
In addition to minimizing separation anxiety, independent playtime increases your baby’s focus, imagination, and attention span!
How to Sleep Train and Travel:
Many families with toddlers want to travel but are afraid it will derail sleep coaching. Fear not, it’s easy to sleep coach while traveling. Simply follow these steps.
Sleep Coaching in the Same Time Zone:
There’s no need to change any part of your baby’s routine or sleep schedule if you’re traveling within the same time zone.
Sleep Coaching in a New Time Zone:
Traveling East or West 1 Time Zone:
If you’re traveling just one time zone, it may be best to keep your baby on their normal sleep schedule. This may lead to some overtiredness or crankiness, but those can be minimized with an extra nap and are usually brief.
Traveling East or West More Than 1 Time Zone:
Here’s our advice on sleep coaching across multiple time zones: Start adjusting your baby to their new time zone before you travel.
You can prepare your baby to cross time zones by moving their bedtime forward or back in 15-minute increments, depending on whether you’re traveling east or west.
If your destination’s time is ahead of your home time, move your baby’s bedtime up 15-minutes one day for each time zone.
If your destination is behind your home time, move your baby’s bedtime back 15-minutes…
Here are some examples:
Traveling East to West:
If you’re traveling from NY to LA, that’s three time zones back. So, to adjust your baby’s sleep, you’ll move your baby’s sleep back 15-minutes three nights before you travel; then, two nights before travel, you move the bedtime back another 15 minutes, and then another the final night. While this won’t totally align your baby with their new time zone, it will help minimize potential fussiness.
Traveling West to East:
If you’re traveling from LA to NY, you would move your baby’s bedtime up 15 minutes three nights before your trip, then another 15, and then another 15 the final night.
Note: Even if you adjust your baby’s sleep schedule before travel, they may still experience sleep disruptions. Lots of sunshine during the day can help “click” their circadian rhythm into place. Also, an extra nap may be needed the first and/or second day of travel.
“Relations Between Toddler Sleep Characteristics, Sleep Problems, and Temperament,” Developmental Neuropsychology.
“The Family Context of Toddler Sleep: Routines, Sleep Environment, and Emotional Security Induction in the Hour before Bedtime,” Behavioral Sleep Medicine.
“Development of infant and toddler sleep patterns: real-world data from a mobile application,” Journal of Sleep Research.
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.