BONUS MATERIAL: Download my FREE sleep chart HERE that has ALL my suggested wake windows, sleep totals, and nap totals for babies ages 0 until age 5! This way, you’ll know what wake windows to use for your 15 month old today, as well as what they will need next month and next year!
Welcome to the beginning of toddlerhood! At 15 months, your little one goes through TONS of physical and emotional changes, including some BIG developmental leaps that can impact your little one’s sleep. In this blog post, I’m covering my top questions about a 15 month old’s sleep schedule, as well as my best tips for navigating the 2-1 nap transition, toddler sleep regressions, wake windows, separation anxiety, and MUCH more!
How much sleep does an average 15 month-old need?
Most 15 month-olds need approximately 13.5 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period. This usually equates to around 11 hours of uninterrupted nighttime sleep and 2.5 hours worth of daytime naps, spread over 1 or 2 naps.
That being said, the most important thing to remember is that these numbers are simply averages and that there is a range in terms of how much sleep 15 month-olds need. Some babies need more sleep than average while others need less. Don’t get too bogged down with sleep totals, especially if your little one appears well-rested, energized and happy. Every baby is different!
*Note that if your little one was born premature, always go by their corrected age for sleep patterns and expectations.
What wake windows do you recommend for 15 month-olds?
Wake windows for a 15 month-old will vary depending on their needs. Many 15 month-olds are still napping twice a day, necessitating shorter wake windows while some 15 month-olds have dropped their morning nap and transitioned to a 1 nap schedule, allowing them to pull off bigger wake windows.
A 15 month-old napping twice will usually have wake windows that look something like this:
– 2 hours 45 minutes- 3 hours after morning wake time before nap 1
– 3.5- 4 hours in between nap 1 and 2
– 3.5- 4 hours in between the end of nap 2 and bedtime
A 15 month-old on a 1-nap schedule will need much bigger wake windows, which will look something like this:
– 5- 6 hours hours after morning wake time before nap 1
– 4-4.5 hours in between the end of nap 1 and bedtime
How many naps does a 15 month old usually need?
The number of naps a 15 month old needs varies from baby to baby. While most 15 month-olds are still napping twice a day, some babies in this age range are only napping once. Most babies transition to a 1 nap schedule by 15-18 months.
Here are the most common signs that your baby might be ready to drop their morning nap:
- Lack of tiredness for the morning nap
- Baby is taking 2 short naps instead of 2 full naps
- Fitting in 2 naps leads to a VERY late bedtime
- Baby is fighting his scheduled naps AND takes a long time to fall asleep
- Sudden night wakings and/or early morning wakeups
How long should a 15 month-old’s naps be?
The ultimate goal is for your 15 month-old’s sleep schedule to have approximately 2.5 hours a day of naps.
When a 15 month-old is napping twice, it means this 2.5 hours worth of daytime sleep is split into 2 naps. Sometimes, a baby will nap twice for 75 minutes each nap. And other times, one of those daytime naps will be noticeably longer than the other. There is no “correct” way to divide these nap totals as long as it works for your baby! That being said, we want to make sure that no nap is shorter than 45 minutes and that no nap is longer than 1.5 hours.
When a 15 month-old is napping once, we’re aiming for one longer nap that’s approximately 2.5 hours long. This nap should ideally be no shorter than 2 hours as we need it to be restorative to avoid overtiredness. It should also be no longer than 3 hours so that bedtime doesn’t get pushed too late and so that it doesn’t take away from their nighttime sleep totals.
**Now, if your baby is often giving you short and unpredictable naps, download my FREE nap guide HERE that has my top 5 tips to lengthen your little one’s naps!**
What type of sleep schedule do you recommend for a 15 month old?
Here is a sample schedule for a 15 month-old on a 2-nap day schedule:
9:30am-10:30am- nap 1
2:15pm-3:45pm- nap 2
7:30pm- Bedtime (can include milk)
Here is a sample schedule for a 15 month-old only napping once a day
12:30pm- 3pm- nap
Remember that these are only examples and are not meant to be followed to the T. Sleep needs always vary by baby.
What time should a 15 month-old go to bed for the night?
Most 15 month-olds are ready for bed somewhere between 7pm and 8pm. That being said, your baby might be on a later schedule where he’s waking up for the day much later and, therefore, he’s going to sleep much later. If this later schedule is working for you, there’s no need to change it! Bedtime is usually going to be 12-13 hours after your little one started their day.
Is there a 15-month sleep regression?
One of the most common causes of sudden sleep challenges and toddler sleep regressions with 15 month-old babies is when they transition to a 1 nap schedule too soon. Going through the 2-1 nap transition prematurely has the potential to wreck havoc on nighttime sleep because babies become EXTREMELY overtired when dropping their morning nap before they’re ready. This is why I always recommend keeping your baby on a 2 nap schedule until he’s clearly ready to transition to a 1 nap schedule.
Though if your baby is napping solidly but is still fighting sleep time or waking up at night, he might be experiencing a bout of separation anxiety or a developmental milestone. Don’t fret- these regressions don’t last long provided that you don’t introduce sleep habits you don’t want sticking around in the long run! My BIGGEST piece of advice would be to remain consistent so that your little one gets over this hump as quickly as possible.
That being said, if your 15 month old baby has been struggling in the sleep department for a while and their sleep has gone from “tolerable” to “really not great” to “absolutely horrible”, I can help!
**My Sleep Bible program has a special track designated JUST for 13-18 month-olds and will help you teach your baby how to sleep through the night so you can feel like a functioning human again, even if your little one is going through a sleep regression. The Sleep Bible will help you create a customized sleep plan for the needs of your baby and your comfort level so that you can establish great sleep habits and get yourself a champion sleeper! You can learn more about my Sleep Bible program here!**
How do I get my 15 month old to stop waking up at night?
If your 15 month-old is otherwise healthy but still waking you up in the middle of the night night, I want you to know this is VERY fixable!
Here are the most common culprits of night wakings in 15 month-old babies:
- Overtiredness. If your 15 month old’s schedule doesn’t involve enough daytime sleep, has wake windows that are too big, or moved to a 1 nap schedule too soon, he could become overtired. And overtiredness can cause tons of sleep challenges including night wakings. Ensuring your baby has an age-appropriate and consistent daytime schedule is crucial here.
- Weak self soothing skills. If your baby needs help to fall asleep at bedtime, there’s a good chance he’ll wake up at night simply because he needs you to help him connect his sleep cycles to go back to sleep. Teaching him how to sleep independently using a sleep training method of choice is VERY important!
- Separation anxiety. It’s very common for babies in this age range to protest bedtime because they’re experiencing a case of “mommy-itis” and they don’t want to be separated from you. Practice briefly separating from your little one so she can learn that you’re always coming back (peek-a-boo is a great game for this purpose). Also, make sure you have an enjoyable and consistent bedtime routine for your baby to allow her lots of opportunity to wind down with you, prepare for sleep, and spend quality time connecting with you before separating at bedtime.
If your 15 month-old is STILL not sleeping through the night…
If your 16 month old is still waking up in the middle of the night, I want to assure you that this is very fixable! Go and watch my FREE masterclass called “Everything you need to know about getting your little one sleeping through the night (even if you feel like you’ve tried everything!)”
Additional articles on sleep
16 Month-Old Sleep Schedules: Advice, Sleep Tips, and Examples
Nap Training Guide: How to Sleep Train your Baby for Naps
When can my baby sleep through the night without feeds?
Baby sleep cues and the truth about what they mean
How to teach a toddler to sleep without mom