Toddler Sleep Schedule
By babiesandbuttons on February 20, 2013
In my opinion every baby, toddler, child, teenager should have some sort of a sleep schedule. I have noticed that when my kids (and some other kids I know) have a day that was just "off"... whether it was waking up late/early, not having a nap/having too long of a nap, or going to bed too late... they are in a bad mood or just whiny.
Having a sleep schedule can make all of the difference. For example: My kids go to bed between 9-9:30 then they wake up around 8:30-9. If we were out late one night or had to wake up early for whatever reason in the morning, my kids are grumpy!!
Every child has a time that works for them depending on what time they wake up in the morning... I know some kids that go to bed as early as 7. Most of the time toddlers/babies that go to bed early have older siblings that are in school and all the kids just go to bed at the same time.
I plan on home schooling my kids so I don't feel they need to wake up too early. 8:30 am works for them and it keeps them happy.... which keeps me happy. But for kids that will be attending public/private school, it's better to set their schedule earlier from the start so it's not hard to switch when they start kindergarten.
Toddler's need approx. 12 hours of sleep every night, so if they are on a late night schedule and they wake up early (getting less than 10 hours of sleep) they are likely to be grumpy/whiny until they are caught back up on their sleep. If this is the case, it will take some time to bring them up to a normal schedule of 11-12 hours of sleep.
Here is how you can fix your toddler's sleep schedule: You need to take the time they usually wake up in the morning and do the math to see what time they need to be going to bed at night to get 11-12 hours of sleep. For example, if your toddler wakes up at 7 am they should be laying down between 7 pm-8 pm. This wont be an overnight deal. This will take a few days, sometimes a week, maybe even 2 weeks and it requires some patience as well. Every night put your toddler to bed 15-20 minutes earlier. Sometimes you might have to stay at the same reduced time for a couple nights so they can adjust to it. You have to stick to your plan because that one night that you give in or get home late (from shopping, eating out, etc.) will blow the whole operation!