Skip to content

Understanding Your 21-Month-Old’s Sleep Schedule: A Complete Guide

As your little one gets closer to their second birthday, their sleep schedule can continue to evolve. At 21 months, most toddlers have a sleep pattern that includes a single nap and a good night’s sleep. In this guide, we’ll delve into the typical sleep schedule of a 21-month-old and share tips on fostering healthy sleep habits.

The Typical 21-Month-Old Sleep Schedule

At 21 months, most toddlers need about 11-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. This includes nighttime sleep and naps. Here’s a sample of a typical sleep schedule:

  • 7:00 AM – Wake up
  • 1:00 PM – Nap (1-2 hours)
  • 7:30 PM – Bedtime

A Sample 21-Month-Old Sleep-Friendly Daily Schedule

Every child is unique, and so are their sleep needs. However, this sample schedule can provide a starting point to help guide your 21-month-old towards a healthy sleep routine.

7:00 AM: Wake Up

Start the day with a gentle wake-up and a healthy breakfast.

9:00 AM: Morning Activity

This is a good time for active play, whether it’s indoor games or a trip to the park.

12:00 PM: Lunch

A nutritious mid-day meal to refuel your toddler’s energy.

1:00 PM: Nap Time

Encourage your toddler to take a nap, which can last between 1 to 2 hours.

3:00 PM: Afternoon Activity

Post-nap, engage your child in a calm activity, like reading books or puzzles.

5:00 PM: Dinner

A balanced meal before the bedtime routine begins.

6:30 PM: Quiet Time

Start winding down with quieter activities, such as drawing, or playing with soft toys.

7:00 PM: Bedtime Routine

This could include a bath, reading a bedtime story, and other calming activities.

8:00 PM: Lights Out

Tuck your toddler in and encourage them to settle down to sleep.

Remember, this is a sample schedule and may need to be adjusted according to your child’s specific sleep needs, eating habits, and daily activities. The most important aspect is consistency to help regulate your child’s internal body clock.

Managing Sleep Challenges at 21 Months

Many 21-month-olds may experience challenges with their sleep, including sleep regressions, difficulty falling asleep, and night awakenings. Being consistent with bedtime routines and managing your toddler’s sleep environment can help ease these issues.

What time should a 21-month-old go to bed?

Most 21-month-olds should be in bed between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM. The specific time may vary based on your toddler’s daytime sleep and wake-up time. Adjust as needed to ensure they’re getting the recommended 11-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.

How long should a 21-month-old nap for?

At this age, toddlers usually take one nap a day lasting between 1 to 2 hours. This is often in the early afternoon.

Can a 21-month-old stop napping?

While some toddlers may start resisting naps at this age, most still need that daytime sleep. Naps provide important rest during this stage of intense growth and development. However, the transition from two naps to one usually occurs around this age.

Dealing with Sleep Regressions and Night Wakings

Is there a sleep regression at 21 months?

While not as common as the 18-month sleep regression, some toddlers may experience a sleep regression at 21 months. This could involve resistance at bedtime, frequent night wakings, or changes in nap duration.

Why is my 21-month-old waking up screaming?

There can be several reasons for this behavior, including nightmares, night terrors, teething, or illness. If this becomes a regular occurrence, it’s best to consult with a pediatrician.

How do I get my toddler back to sleep at 3am?

Try to soothe your toddler back to sleep without picking them up or turning on the lights. If they’re not settling, check for discomfort like a dirty diaper or fever. Keeping a consistent sleep environment and routine can also help reduce night wakings.

Setting Healthy Bedtimes for Toddlers

What is the most common bedtime for toddlers?

The most common bedtime for toddlers is between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM. However, this can vary based on the child’s nap schedule and their individual sleep needs.

Is 9pm too late for toddler bedtime?

For most toddlers, a 9:00 PM bedtime is considered late. This could lead to the child not getting the recommended amount of sleep, especially if they wake up early.

Why is bedtime so hard for toddlers?

Bedtime can be a challenge for toddlers due to separation anxiety, overstimulation, or a lack of routine. Establishing a consistent and calming bedtime routine can help make this time of day easier.

Additional Sleep Aids and Resources

Is there a natural sleep aid for toddlers?

While some natural remedies may help promote sleep, it’s always important to consult with a healthcare provider before introducing any sleep aids to a toddler. Establishing a healthy sleep routine and environment is the first line of approach for improving sleep.

What can I give my toddler instead of melatonin?

Before considering any sleep aid, including melatonin, for your toddler, you should consult with a pediatrician. Natural sleep-promoting measures such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, reducing screen time before bed, and providing a quiet, dark sleeping environment are often recommended first.

How Can Support Your 21-Month-Old’s Sleep Schedule is a resource dedicated to helping parents navigate their child’s sleep. They provide expert advice, useful tools, and practical solutions tailored specifically for your 21-month-old’s sleep needs.

From handling sleep regressions to creating a soothing bedtime routine, is ready to support you. Their mission is to empower parents and caregivers with the knowledge and strategies they need to ensure restful and healthy sleep for their little ones.


Understanding your 21-month-old’s sleep schedule is key to helping them develop healthy sleep habits. Every child is unique, so it’s important to observe your toddler’s cues and adjust routines as necessary. And remember, you’re not alone in this journey – resources like are here to guide and support you every step of the way.