how to get 15 month old to sleep

How to Get Your 15-Month-Old Baby to Sleep


As a parent or caregiver, it’s essential to understand the importance of sleep for babies. Sleep not only helps them develop physically and mentally but also plays an integral role in their emotional health and overall well-being. Unfortunately, as much as you may want your baby to sleep peacefully through the night, many factors can disrupt their sleep, leaving you exhausted and frustrated.

This article will discuss common sleep problems in 15-month-old babies and provide practical solutions for creating a healthy and consistent bedtime routine while ensuring a comfortable sleeping environment. Additionally, we’ll explore techniques that you can use to help your baby fall asleep and manage sleep disruptions, including transitioning from two naps to one nap daily.

Understanding Your Baby’s Sleep Needs

Babies require more sleep than adults, with newborns typically sleeping up to 17 hours per day. However, by 15 months old, most babies should sleep between 11-14 hours each day, including naps. Understanding your child’s age-appropriate sleeping needs forms the foundation for establishing a regular bedtime routine that promotes sound sleeping habits.

Several factors can affect your child’s sleep schedule, such as illness, teething, and developmental milestones such as learning to walk or talk. Identifying these factors helps you adjust and establish an appropriate bedtime routine that accommodates these changing needs.

Creating a Bedtime Routine

A consistent bedtime routine sets the ambiance for a peaceful night’s rest. Establishing a regular routine fosters positive associations with bedtime, making it easier for your child to fall asleep independently. A good bedtime ritual takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and should include elements such as:

  • Bath time: Start the bedtime process with a warm bath or sponge bath to help relax and calm your baby. You can introduce soap, bubbles, or calming essential oils to help set the mood further.
  • Storytime: Short stories or lullabies can help soothe your baby before bed. As you read or sing, speak in a soft, comforting tone to set the atmosphere for sleep.
  • Dimming Lights: Bright lights can stimulate your baby making it harder for them to fall asleep. Dimming the lights helps them associate darkness with bedtime and leads to a more restful slumber.
  • Lullabies or Calming Music: Playing soft soothing music calms and distracts your baby from any potential disruptions that may keep them awake. You may use white noise machines that imitate sounds such as rain or waves to help signal bedtime.

Creating an Ideal Sleeping Environment

The sleeping environment plays a crucial role in how well your child sleeps. Invest in quality bedding, pillows, mattresses, and crib that provide comfort and support. Choose a crib that meets safety standards, fits your child comfortably, and leaves enough room for other items such as toys and blankets. Additional tips include:

  • Adjusting Room Temperature: The ideal sleeping temperature should be between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit (20-22 degrees Celsius).
  • Ensuring Darkness: A darkened room signals sleep time and enhances melatonin production, which induces sleep.
  • Avoiding Distractions: Keep the sleeping area free of toys, electronics, screens or items that could potentially distract your child from settling down for the night.

Helping Your Baby Fall Asleep

Some parents may find it challenging to get their babies to settle down or fall asleep independently. Understanding cues your child gives when they are sleepy is key.

When you notice signs of sleepiness, such as yawning, rubbing eyes, or fussing, it’s best to start working on soothing them using techniques such as:

  • Swaddling: Swaddling is wrapping your baby snugly in a blanket to give them a feeling of safety and security. It may also help some babies feel less overstimulated and fall asleep faster.
  • Rocking: Sitting in a rocking chair or glider with your baby and gently swaying back and forth can have a soothing effect and help induce sleep.
  • Patting/Gently Stroking: Lightly patting or gently stroking your baby’s back or head can also have a calming effect and lure them to sleep.
  • White Noise: White noise machines create sounds that mimic the noise levels that babies hear inside the womb. These sounds help lull your child to sleep by drowning out other noises and distractions around them.

Managing Night Wakings

Most 15-month-old babies wake up often during the night, with some even waking up every hour. Understanding their frequent waking patterns helps you manage these disruptions effectively.

Consider adjusting your feeding routine so that you ensure your baby is full but not overfed before bedtime. Change diapers before bed to prevent diaper rash that could disrupt sleep. Ensure the sleeping environment is dark, comfortable, quiet, and free of potential distractions such as toys or screens.

Create consistency with nighttime rituals so that your baby associates it with feelings of comfort and contentment. Over time they will start gradually shifting their nighttime feeding habits toward sleeping through the night.

Handling Sleep Regression and Other Sleep Disrupters at This Age

Sleep regression, which causes disrupted or decreased sleep in children is common during long-term development milestones like teething or growth spurts.

Coping strategies include offering your child a favorite toy or using social stories to talk about bedtime positively. When your child is sick, embrace lots of cuddles and offer comfort.

Understanding the cause, such as teething, means you can be more supportive during these challenging stages in life.

Transitioning From Two Naps to One Nap a Day

At around 15-18 months, most babies have transitioned from two naps per day to one.

Recognizing when your baby is ready to transition requires observation, as each child is unique. You may notice that your child is sleeping during their usual nap time, which could indicate a need for fewer naps during the day.

Pay close attention to the timing of this transition; too early and your baby could become overtired, making it harder to fall asleep. Ensure that you develop a new nap routine that establishes familiarity for your baby and promotes more extended periods of sleep.

When to Seek Professional Help

While many parents can effectively handle their child’s sleep disruptions using natural remedies, some disturbances require professional intervention.

Common sleep disorders include insomnia, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea. Look out for signs such as frequent snoring or pauses in breathing while sleeping or other unusual sleeping behaviors. If you notice any red flags, consult with a pediatrician or sleep specialist to determine an appropriate course of action.


In conclusion, creating a consistent bedtime routine plays an integral part in ensuring that your 15-month-old gets adequate rest each night. Understanding your baby’s unique needs will help create a comfortable sleeping environment free of distractions while establishing cues that induce better sleep quality. Applying these strategies consistently will improve your family’s walking life and contribute positively toward overall development.

7 FAQs About Getting Your 15 Month Old to Sleep

1. How much sleep does a 15 month old need?

A 15 month old needs about 11-14 hours of sleep per day, including naps.

  • Babies aged 12-15 months should have two naps per day, typically lasting 1-2 hours each.
  • A baby’s sleep schedule may differ from another, so observe your child’s sleeping patterns and adjust accordingly.

2. Can I sleep train my 15 month old?

Yes, you can sleep train your 15 month old, but it is important to approach it carefully and with patience.

  • Create a consistent bedtime routine, such as bathing, reading a story or singing songs to signal when it is time for bedtime.
  • Gradually reduce the amount of time you spend putting your child down to bed and allow them to self-soothe if they wake up at night.

3. What are some common reasons my 15 month old cannot fall asleep?

A few frequent culprits for insomnia in babies include hunger, teething, separation anxiety and excessive stimulation before bedtime.

  • Avoid giving your child food that has caffeine or sugar at nighttime as this can cause hyperactivity and restlessness in toddlers.
  • To help soothe teething pains use remedies like cold washcloths or infant pain relief gels.

4. What can I do to help my baby fall asleep faster?

If your little one has trouble settling down for bed, there are a few tricks you can try to help speed things along.

  • You can try introducing relaxation techniques like deep breathing, or using essential oils and white noise machines to help calm them.
  • Dress your child in comfortable clothes and ensure the bedroom is cool, quiet, and dark.

5. How do I transition from two naps to one?

As your baby gets older, it will be necessary to drop their morning nap until they are left with one afternoon nap.

  • This transition normally happens around 15 months old.
  • Follow a routine that works for your baby and gradually reduce the length of the morning nap while adjusting the timing of their afternoon nap accordingly.

6. What if my baby wakes up multiple times during the night?

If your little one is struggling with sleep interruptions, there are several steps you can take to help them sleep through the night.

  • Avoid giving sugary snacks at bedtime that may keep them awake.
  • If they wake up in the middle of the night, avoid picking them up or turning on bright lights as this will stimulate their brain, making it harder for them to fall back asleep on their own.

7. What if my baby’s sleep problems still persist?

If your child’s sleep issues persist after trying different methods and lifestyle changes, talk to their pediatrician. There may be an underlying condition or medical concern that requires professional attention.

  • Maintain a sleep diary where you document sleeping patterns, it can help the physician diagnose any underlying condition easily too!

Remember that every child is unique, and it may take time to figure out what works. With persistence and a little help from these tips, you can help your baby get the rest they need to thrive.

keys takeaways

How to Get 15-Month-Old to Sleep

Getting a 15-month-old to sleep can be challenging for parents. It is important to follow a consistent bedtime routine that includes calming activities, avoiding screen time before bed, and ensuring a comfortable sleep environment. Here are four key takeaways:

  1. Establish Consistent Bedtime Routine: Establishing a bedtime routine can help signal to your child that it’s time for sleep. Consistency is key, so try to establish the same routine every night before bed.
  2. Avoid Screen Time: Avoid exposing your child to screens such as tablets or smartphones before bedtime as it can stimulate their mind and make it harder for them to fall asleep.
  3. Create A Comfortable Sleeping Environment: Ensure that the room in which your child sleeps is conducive to sleep. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature and make sure they have a cozy bed with sufficient blankets.
  4. Be Patient: Getting your 15-month-old to sleep may require some patience and persistence. Consistently following a bedtime routine and creating a calm and relaxing environment will help set the stage for successful sleeping habits in the long run.

With these tips, parents can create an optimal environment that fosters healthy sleeping habits in their 15-month-old child.

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