As Baby grows into a toddler, she spends more and more of her waking hours tiring herself out, which means that her naps must be working double-duty, right?
The case of the vanishing nap
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health. While this is a broad range, it shows that, between 13 and 18 months old, most children start doing a little less napping as they sleep for longer periods of time at night.
In addition, as they get closer to 18 months old, many children who are regularly napping twice a day will start dropping down to one afternoon nap, which may be where some of this decreased napping time comes in. This drop in naps may happen naturally, or may need your help, if you notice Baby fighting naptime, or having enough energy to get through the day without one of her usual naps.
A case of individuality
Of course, Baby’s sleep patterns are as unique as her teeny tiny fingerprints, and as an individual, she will probably end up following patterns that have worked well for her before, unless you choose to intervene. If she has always been a night owl who makes up for her evening wakefulness with naps, there’s a good chance she will hold onto her naps longer and harder than average, and if that works for your family, that’s fine.
The only firm guideline set down by the National Sleep Foundation and the American Academy of Peditrics for this age range is that, within a 24-hour period, children should be getting within 11 and 14 hours of sleep. That leaves a lot of room for individuality, and finding the pattern that works for you and Baby.
National Sleep Foundation. “National Sleep Foundation Recommends New Sleep Times.” Sleep Foundation. National Sleep Foundation, February 2 2015. Web.
Robert Sears. “How Much Sleep Should My 13-Month-Old Get?” Ask Dr. Sears. AskDrSears, 2016. Web.
M. Weissbluth. “Naps in children: 6 months-7 years.” Sleep. 18(2): 82-7. Web. February 1995.
“Infant Sleep.” Stanford Children’s. Stanford Children’s Health, 2016. Web.