This summer has been a whirlwind of activities. With my oldest off from school we’ve had camps and activities lined up to keep us from going stir crazy which has worked out quite well. In the process of go-go-going with the five-year-old the one-year-old has had to deal with pick-up and drop-offs, storytimes, playdates and more happening around and during her nap times. At this point she is still taking two naps a day which is great when the schedule allows it and I have worked hard to try to get her two naps a day even when things are busy, busy, busy. Unfortunately those naps have at times been cut short or at different times than her natural tendency. All this nap juggling has had me thinking about sleep and the appropriate amounts for a one-year-old.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, toddlers and children ranging in age from one- to three-years-old- require 12-14 hours of sleep every 24 hours. Generally children should get around 11 hours of sleep at night and two to three hours of sleep through naps. 12- to 18-month-olds usually take a short morning nap, about an hour in length, and a longer afternoon nap around one to two hours in length. Toddlers tend to transition from two naps to one around 15- to 18-months of age, with these older toddlers napping for one-and-a-half to three hours a day.
Other than missing out on important REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, toddlers get fussy, impatient, lethargic, clumsy and sometimes even over-active when they aren’t getting enough sleep. So what is a busy family to do? Well, I can tell you what we are doing. We’re doing our best to make time for naps and planning activities around naptime instead of the other way around. I’m paying close attention to Delaney. She’s a champ when we’re out and about so it is easy to sometimes forget and feel like she can keep up with her older sister. If I pay attention I see that she gets clumsy and is much more prone to frustration when she is sleep deprived – things I easily notice when at home with her. I’m also staying firm on bedtime. We’ve always had a pretty set bedtime for the girls but summer has brought later dinners, outings or bike rides at times pushing bedtime out. If we’re firm on bedtime we know she is likely to get the full night’s sleep she needs to stay healthy and happy.
How do you make sure your toddler is getting enough sleep?