how many naps for 17 month old

How Many Naps for a 17-Month-Old: A Comprehensive Guide

As a parent, you know the importance of quality sleep for your child’s growth and development. And naps play an essential role in ensuring that your little one gets the rest they need to thrive. However, as your toddler grows, their napping needs change, and you may be wondering how many naps a 17-month-old should take.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain the developmental changes that occur in napping needs for 17-month-olds, factors that can affect their nap schedule, how to maintain good sleep habits, and address common challenges during nap time.

Let’s start by understanding why naps are essential for infants.

The Importance of Naps for Infants

Naps play a vital role in promoting healthy growth and development in infants. Sleep is crucial for both physical and cognitive development. During sleep, the body produces growth hormones that facilitate bone growth and muscle repair. Additionally, mental processing and memory consolidation occur when infants sleep.

Moreover, studies have shown that lack of sleep can have long-lasting effects on children. It can lead to behavioral problems such as hyperactivity and impaired cognitive function. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that your 17-month-old gets enough sleep.

Developmental Changes in Napping Needs for 17-Month-Olds

Sleep patterns change as babies grow. At 17 months old, most children will require fewer naps than newborns. However, they still need more sleep than older toddlers or preschoolers.

A typical 17-month-old needs between 11-14 hours of sleep every day. This includes both nighttime sleep and daytime naps.

Early in the toddler phase, children move from two naps a day to one nap a day until they reach about three years of age when napping becomes optional. Most children give up their morning nap around 18 months of age, but your child’s nap transition may be different.

Common Nap Schedules for 17-Month-Olds

At 17 months of age, there is no one-size-fits-all nap schedule that works for all infants. However, below are some common nap schedules that parents can use as a guideline.

  • A single nap: At this age, most children can have a single daily nap lasting between 1 to 3 hours in the afternoon.
  • Two naps: Some children still require two naps a day. In this case, the first nap would be in the morning and last around an hour. The second nap would take place in the afternoon and last for another hour or so.

The number of naps your child takes each day depends on individual sleep needs, which we’ll discuss next.

Factors Affecting a 17-Month-Old’s Nap Schedule

Several factors can affect how many naps your 17-month-old needs. Understanding these factors can help you come up with an effective routine that ensures they get enough sleep.

Differences between Children and Individual Sleep Needs

Every child is unique, and they all have different sleeping habits. What works for one child may not work for another, so it’s important to pay attention to your child’s individual needs.

Some children may require more or less sleep than others their age. If you notice your child is consistently falling asleep during the day, they might need more rest or longer naps.

How Food, Activity, and the Environment Can Affect Nap Behavior

Certain environmental factors can affect your child’s sleeping patterns. For example, too much noise or light can disrupt sleep. Additionally, overstimulation and lack of physical activity during the day can make it difficult for your child to fall asleep.

Furthermore, what and when your child eats can impact their nap behavior. Avoid feeding them heavy meals before naptime. Instead, provide snacks that are a good source of protein and carbohydrates to help regulate blood sugar levels.

Ensure that their environment is conducive to sleep by creating a peaceful sleeping environment. Try to reduce outside noise with sound machines or closing windows, and use blackout curtains to block out light.

Personality and Temperament Influences on Nap Tendencies

Your child’s personality and temperament may also influence their sleeping habits. Some children are more energetic than others, making it difficult for them to stay still for naps. On the other hand, some children are more relaxed and need less sleep than others.

Pay attention to your child’s behavior patterns and habits. Create a routine based on their individual needs to promote optimal sleep habits.

Symptoms Indicating a Change in Nap Schedule

As your 17-month-old grows, they’ll experience changes in their nap schedule. It’s crucial to recognize the signs that indicate that your child may need to adjust their nap schedule.

Signs Your Baby May Need More or Fewer Naps

Here are some signs that indicate that your baby may need more or fewer naps:

  • Your child gets tired faster than usual during playtime.
  • Your little one is moody or irritable.
  • Your child resists napping at their usual time.

If you notice these behaviors in your toddler, consider adjusting their nap schedule.

Behavioral Warnings That Indicate Issues with Waking Up or Taking Naps

Here are some behavioral warnings that might indicate issues with waking up or taking naps:

  • Your child cries or screams when you leave the room.
  • Your child wakes up several times during the night and finds it difficult to go back to sleep.

When these behaviors persist over an extended period, consider seeking medical advice.

Setting Boundaries: How to Explain and Enforce Naptime

Finally, setting boundaries is important when it comes to managing your child’s naptime. Establish a routine and be consistent in enforcing it.

Remain firm but kind when enforcing naptime so that your child understands that it’s an essential part of their day.

Importance of Quality Sleep in Infants

Quality sleep is essential for your child’s development. Getting enough quality sleep helps your baby develop better cognitive and social skills, stay healthy, and maintain a good mood.

Additionally, lack of quality sleep can result in health problems such as obesity, poor academic performance, hyperactivity, impaired cognitive function, and emotional instability.

The Effects of Proper Sleep on Baby Development

Quality sleep plays a crucial role in supporting baby development. Here are some ways that proper sleep can impact your infant’s development:

  • Better mental processing and memory consolidation during sleeping hours.
  • Muscle and bone growth facilitated by growth hormones produced during sleeping hours.
  • Helps regulate appetite, reducing the risk of obesity.
  • Better management of emotional responses.

Risk Factors Associated With Poor Sleep Habits

Poor sleep habits can result in significant health problems for your baby. The following are the risks associated with poor sleeping habits:

  • Delayed cognitive development: Without enough sleep, a baby may be slower to learn and have difficulty focusing.
  • Increased risk of accidents due to fatigue
  • Frequent nighttime waking interfering with the baby’s routine and causing prolonged wakefulness periods which can lead to irritability during the day.

Tips for Keeping Baby Fed, Cozy, and Well-Groomed

Providing a conducive environment for your child’s sleep will play a crucial role in ensuring they get enough quality sleep. The following are some tips for keeping your baby fed, cozy, and well-groomed:

  • Ensure that their sleeping area is free from environmental disturbances.
  • Change their diapers before naptime to ensure they’re dry and comfortable.
  • Dress them in comfortable clothing that’s appropriate for the weather.
  • Provide a light snack before naptime to help regulate blood sugar levels

How Long Should a 17-Month-Old Nap?

The required nap duration varies from child to child. Some children prefer longer naps while others do well on shorter naps. However, many experts recommend that toddlers nap between one to three hours each day.

General Guidelines and Variations Based on Age and Previous Experiences

Younger toddlers require more naps each day than older ones. Infants between six weeks and three months old require four to five naps each day. Meanwhile, children between three months old and one year generally take 2-3 naps per day.

Parents of young children should aim for more frequent nap times (at least six hours total) than those whose children are aged two years or older. As noted earlier, most children transition from two naps to one nap a day at around 18 months.

Tips on Dealing With Unwanted Wakeups, Extension Requests, and Irregular Scheduling

Despite your best efforts, sometimes naptime doesn’t go as planned. Here are some tips for dealing with unwanted wake-ups, extension requests, or irregular scheduling:

  • Help your child get back to sleep if they wake up too soon after their nap begins.
  • Avoid extending nap time too late into the afternoon as it can interfere with nighttime sleep.
  • Accept that napping isn’t always going to happen as expected and be willing to adjust the schedule as needed.

Strategies to Help Your Child Nap Well

Consistency is key when it comes to helping your child have good napping habits. The following strategies can help your child nap well:

A Regular Sleeping Routine Can Assist Establishing Good Napping Habits

By establishing a regular sleeping routine for your child, you can promote good napping habits. A consistent sleep pattern creates an expectation and facilitates proper sleep hygiene.

Maintaining regular sleep times helps regulate circadian rhythms and promotes deeper sleep at night. A familiar routine also helps your child relax and get back to sleep faster if they wake up during the night.

Sleep Training Methods That Could be Used to Teach Good Sleeping Habits

There is no single best way to teach your child good sleeping habits. Methods that work for one child may not work for another.

However, the most successful programs typically involve creating a consistent bedtime routine, efforts at self-soothing, establishing boundaries and routines around nap time, as well as developing healthy habits like being active during the day and avoiding overstimulation before bedtime.

As with establishing any new routine or habit change, consistency is key. Progress in very small steps and assess how your child responds so you can make adjustments if necessary.

Addressing Common Challenges During Nap Time

Let’s face it, nap time isn’t always easy. Some children resist napping, while others wake up too early or too frequently. Here are some common challenges that parents face during nap time:

Stopping Environmental Distractions like Television Shows or Outside Noises

During nap time, ensure that the sleeping environment is free from distractions that could interfere with sleep. Try using white noise machines or playing quiet music to drown out outside noise.

Additionally, avoid letting your child watch television before nap-time as it can disrupt your child’s sleep patterns.

Sleep Support Devices Like White Noise Machines or Teddy Bears

Various devices can help soothe and calm your child during napping times, including teddy bears, blankets, and white noise machines. These devices can help signal to your child that it is time to sleep and make them feel safe and comfortable.

However, be patient because children will respond differently to each device, so you may need to try different things to see what works best for your child.

Avoiding Bed-Sharing if Not Necessary

While bed-sharing with a baby can promote bonding and attachment, it can also be dangerous for infants under one year of age. Co-sleeping with an infant places them at risk of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

If you prefer having your little one in the room with you for naps or bedtime, consider placing them in a bassinet or crib where they can have their own sleeping space.

Maintaining Good Sleep Habits as Your Baby Grows

As babies grow and develop new skills, they may experience changes in their sleeping routines. It’s essential to monitor these changes and adjust your child’s nap schedule as necessary.

How to Detect Changes in Nap Schedule

Changes in sleep patterns are inevitable as children get older. Monitor your child’s behavior and sleep patterns for any inconsistencies that could indicate a need for an adjustment in their nap schedule.

Physical cues like rubbing eyes or yawning can be indicators of fatigue. Try changing schedules gradually so that they’re easier to sustain.

Supporting Nap Rituals with Reading Books, Soothing Music, or Snuggles

Bedtime rituals help your child know when it’s time to go to sleep. They can include reading a favorite story or song. Doing these things promotes a calm bedtime routine and consistent expectations about what comes next.

It’s generally best to keep napping routines similar but not precisely the same throughout the day. When you make minor adjustments, babies will eventually get accustomed to these minor changes and adapt easily.

Facts to Keep in Mind as Your Toddler Becomes an Independent Sleeper

As your toddler becomes an independent sleeper, they’re likely going to test boundaries and use sleep patterns like napping and waking up as a way of exerting control over their environment more generally.

To help them develop healthier habits, be patient and maintain consistency in their napping habits. Over time, encourage them to comply with limit setting and to help themselves fall asleep naturally by winding down before bedtimes through quieter activities such as reading books rather than engaging in more active play.


Maintaining good sleep habits is essential for promoting healthy growth and development in infants. As such, parents must understand a 17-month-old’s napping needs, which may vary due to individual sleep requirements, environmental factors, personality traits or past experiences.

Lastly, remember that no two children are alike, so trusting your intuition and patience when it comes to nap schedules is needed. By setting reasonable routines, providing a conducive sleeping environment, and paying attention to individual behavioral cues, you’ll be able to establish better sleep practices in your youngster. And, if any concern arises regarding your child’s sleep habits or health, seek advice from a medical professional for assistance.

How Many Naps Should a 17 Month Old Take?

A 17-month-old usually needs around 12 to 14 hours of sleep per day, including naps. However, the timing and duration of naps can vary from one child to another. Below are some common questions related to naps for 17-month-olds:

1. How many naps should my 17-month-old take?

Most 17-month-olds take two naps a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. However, if your child is sleeping well at night and appears rested during the day, you can transition them to one long nap for the afternoon, extending their awake time before and after.

2. How long should each nap be?

The morning nap can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. The afternoon nap tends to be longer (1-2+ hours) since it makes up for any missed sleep in the morning.

3. Why does my child still need two naps at 17 months?

Kids develop at different rates and have different sleep needs. Some may need more daytime sleep than others or may not be ready for transitioning to one nap yet.

4. When should I start transitioning from two naps to one?

You can start transitioning around the age of 15-18 months by gradually delaying your child’s morning nap or shortening their afternoon nap until they are able to stay awake for longer periods of time in between sleeps.

5. What if my child refuses their second nap?

If your child shows reluctance towards their second nap, try moving up their bedtime or shifting their second nap earlier in the day so that it doesn’t interfere with their nighttime sleep routine.

6. What if my child wakes up early from their nap?

If your child wakes up early from their nap, don’t rush to get them up immediately. Give them a chance to try and fall back asleep on their own, they might surprise you and doze off again for a bit.

7. Are there any other factors I should consider when planning my child’s naps?

  • Follow a consistent sleep schedule to promote better sleep habits and reduce fussiness or crankiness
  • Avoid over-stimulating your child before naptime
  • Create a relaxing sleep environment with comfortable bedding, low lighting, and white noise
  • Closely observe your child’s behavior and adjust nap times accordingly

Remember, every child is unique and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how many naps a 17-month-old should have. Pay attention to your child’s signals, keep a consistent schedule, create a comfortable sleep environment, and speak with a pediatrician if you have any concerns about their sleep habits.

keys takeaways

Key Takeaways for “How Many Naps for 17 Month Old”

  1. Two naps are still common: While some 17-month-olds may transition to one nap, most still need two, typically lasting one to two hours each.
  2. Watch for sleep cues: Your child may appear tired and cranky or rub their eyes when it’s time for a nap. Help them wind down with quiet activities and a familiar naptime routine.
  3. Avoid overtiredness: If your child is missing naps or not getting enough sleep at night, they can become overtired. This can make it harder for them to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  4. Be flexible: Every child is different and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how many naps they need. Pay attention to your child’s cues and adjust their schedule as needed.

Overall, understanding your child’s sleep needs can help you create a more restful and enjoyable environment for both you and your little one.