19 Month Old Sleep Schedule Tips
As your child reaches 19 months, they will experience some distinct changes to their sleep schedule. While your child isn’t two-years-old yet, they are still approaching major milestones like shifting from multiple naps a day to just one and other notable developmental breakthroughs. With all these new experiences, it can be challenging to create a working sleep schedule for your toddler that they will actually follow.
Parents working to get their toddler to follow a 19 month old sleep schedule are often faced with the challenges of sleep regression–a period of time marked by an unwillingness to fall asleep easily. If you’re working to create a consistent sleep schedule amidst this regression, consider the following tips:
1. Establish the Bedtime Routine
Parents often are already working on a sleep routine when their toddler reaches the 19 month mark. However, a toddler’s sleeping habits often change as a result of their developmental milestones at this age. To help your child stick to their bedtime routine, consider using a bedtime chart. This chart uses a series of images to represent all the activities your toddler does prior to bedtime.
This chart will help your child to feel as though they are participating in their routine, which will help them to feel less defiant.
2. Don’t Forget the Nap
At 19 months, your toddler should be napping for 2 hours in the day and sleeping between 11 – 12 hours at bedtime. At this time, your child may get into the habit of experiencing nightmares and possibly becoming afraid of the dark.
If this is the case with your toddler, consider putting in night lights to help your toddler soother themselves. When looking for a nightlight, be sure to find one that isn’t overly bright as this can be distracting or affect your child’s quality of sleep.
3. Start the Nap Transition
When working naps into your child’s 19 month old sleep schedule, it’s important to start making the transition from two naps a day to one. Though toddlers still need their sleep, at 19-months-old, they are able to get their rest from just one nap and the sleep they receive at bedtime.
When transitioning to one nap, make sure your toddler has enough quiet time in the day to help them adapt to this new 19 month old sleep schedule. Even if they have trouble napping, having an atmosphere that is mellow and dimly lit will help them rest.
During the first few weeks of transitioning to only one nap, you may try laying your toddler down 30-minutes before the usual nap time. Doing this will help them make up for any lost sleep as they adjust from the two nap schedule.
4. Maintain Consistency with Their Schedule
When building a sleep routine, remaining consistent is easier said than done. In addition to establishing a sleep routine, your toddler needs as much stability as possible. While it’s overwhelming to work with a fighting and overtired toddler, parents that are able to stick with a fairly predictable routine will help their child overcome any problems associated with sleep regression.
Parents can maintain this stability by sticking to the established bedtime routine like having cuddle time and bedtime before bed. These act as cues to signal to your child that it’s time to fall asleep. By following this simple routine every night without fail, your toddler will have no choice but to stick with their new 19 month old sleep schedule.
5. Keep Calm During the Sleep Regression
Parents often find the toddler years to be the most challenging. This difficult time can leave parents on edge as their sleep is often compromised while they try to focus on getting their toddler to sleep soundly.
However challenging it may be, parents must remember to stay calm. Any problems that a toddler may be experiencing at this point in life are temporary. Eventually, toddlers outgrow these issues and life will begin to feel normal again.
Just as it’s important for parents to stay calm for their own benefit, having a peaceful mindset will also help children to feel more comfortable as well. As toddlers may act up at the 19-month mark as a result of their own fears, having a calm and reassuring parent will help them be able to better adapt to the new changes in their lives.
When working to alleviate stress from the bedtime and nap-time routine, remember to be intentional about the strategies you use. For example, while some parents choose to co-sleep, beginning this practice can turn it into a long-lasting habit. Parents that aren’t up to long-term co-sleeping should avoid introducing this practice as part of sleep training.
6. Limit Your Toddler’s Screen Time
Parents often turn to their toddlers’ favorite tv shows and movies to help keep them calm and entertained. However, this practice can have a negative effect on a toddler’s ability to fall asleep.
As screen time is associated with poor sleep quality, parents must be careful to limit their child’s screen time. Experts suggest that it’s best to avoid watching TV or movies two hours before bedtime. Additionally, parents shouldn’t keep a TV in their child’s room.
Common Issues with 19 Month Old Sleep Schedule
At 19-months-old, toddlers may experience a variety of issues when it comes to sleep. However, experts point out that there are two problems that accompany the 19 month old sleep schedule.
The following are the most prevalent issues parents should watch out for at this time:
19-month-olds may not be tired at bedtime.
Even if mom and dad want to get their child to sleep with a stable 19 month old sleep schedule, parents may find that their children don’t want to sleep at this time. This is often due to the fact that toddlers tend to want to engage in whatever exciting activity that they see their parents are doing at the moment.
As a result, parents may find their toddler doesn’t want to sleep at nap-time or bedtime. To help prevent your toddler from becoming overstimulated or overtired, be sure to engage them in a calming routine to help them get ready to fall asleep.
This routine is especially important at night as it will help them understand that they need to follow this same routine every night at bedtime.
Toddlers often wake up at night.
Waking up at night is common for toddlers and adults, but adults have the luxury of falling asleep again without incident. For toddlers, this isn’t as easy.
As toddlers are in the process of learning how to self-soothe, they often are uncomfortable when they wake to see that their parents are nowhere to be found. This is one of the main reasons why toddlers cry during the night as they hope to have their parents rush to their aid.
Similarly, toddlers that are able to leave their crib or cot will find their way to their parents’ bed to seek comfort. Parents may be tempted to give into coddling their child at this time, but this isn’t conducive to a healthy 19 month old sleep schedule.
Parents must be sure to teach their toddler the importance of falling asleep alone. While it may be difficult to turn your child away from your bed, this is the best way for them to learn how to self soothe.
Toddlers may experience night terrors.
As parents work to create a better 19 month old sleep schedule, they may find that their toddler is experiencing sleep terrors. This can refer to a screaming or crying episode where the child is unresponsive yet asleep.
If your child is experiencing a night terror, avoid waking them. Do what you can to calm them as they go back to sleep. As children may flail or move around during sleep terrors, parents must make sure that their cot or crib is clear of any items that may otherwise injure their child during these sleep terrors.
19 Month Old Sleep Schedule
Not sure when to put your toddler down for a nap or what time is best for bed? The following is a sample 19 month old sleep schedule:
- 5:00 a.m.
Wake Then Milk Feed
- 6:00 a.m.
- 8:30 a.m.
- 10:30 a.m.
- 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
- 1:00 p.m.
- 2:30 p.m.
- 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- 4:30 p.m.
- 5:00 p.m.
19-month-olds are experiencing the world in an entirely new way. As you and your toddler get accustomed to their latest capabilities and developments, be sure that they are getting the rest they need. With this guide, you’ll be able to better navigate the ins and outs of sleep regression and create healthy routines for your toddler.