Inside: This 1 year old sleep schedule is perfect for a young toddler who has transitioned to 1 nap. Learn how to establish a daily routine for your 1 year old on 1 nap.
Has your 1 year old dropped a nap?
While this transition usually happens between 15-18 months, it can happen sooner, even right after turning 1!
In my experience raising my 3 girls, I’ve learned that there are many factors that can go into when & why your growing toddler drops their morning nap.
My first two girls were consistent with a morning and afternoon nap until about 18 months. While there were some days they only took one nap, for the most part, they were consistent with two.
Which leads to the question…
Is 12 months too early for one nap?
Now my 3rd baby pretty much dropped that morning nap right at 12 months. This had a lot to do with the schedule of her older two sisters and what times of day we needed to be in the car.
She landed on a middle of the day nap that currently lasts about 1.5-2 hours (she’s 14 months old as I’m writing this).
So if you’re wondering: “Can a 1 year old take 1 nap a day?” – they definitely can!
Of course it depends on your little one, what time they wake up in the morning and what time you put them to bed at night.
Generally, once your baby is down to one nap, they’ll need an earlier bedtime to make sure they’re getting enough sleep!
P.S. – Hi! I’m Marla, full-time SAHM to 3 little girls. If you’re all about step-by-step help, I teach a course called the Ultimate Stay at Home Mom Course that will help you take your stay at home mom life from chaos to controlled. Learn more here.
Related: My 1 Year Old’s Daily Routine
One Year Old Sample Sleep Schedule
Are you in need of a solid sleep schedule for your 1 year old? The good news is this – the best sleep schedule for your toddler is one that works best for you (and your 1 year old!).
At this age, the exact time of their nap might vary, especially if the time they wake up in the morning varies. However, you can try to keep the time of their nap consistent by waking them up at the same time each day.
That being said, you definitely don’t need to wake them up, it just depends on how important a predictable naptime is to you. By about 18 months, most toddlers will be able to handle a 1-3 PM naptime, which is ideal for a 7 AM to 7 PM sleep schedule.
In general, your 12 month old’s sleep schedule will involve these components:
- Wake up
- Put down for nap
- Wake up from nap
Below we’ll chat about possible times for each of these components.
How long should a one year old nap?
“Should” is a tough word here – at the risk of sounding like a broken record, all babies/toddlers are different!
So while one may nap for 3 hours, another might only nap for 1.5. Generally, once their two naps have been condensed to one, that one nap will be about 1.5-3 hours.
Anything less than 1.5 hours might not be enough sleep, and would most likely require an earlier bedtime.
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1 Year Old Sleep Schedule & Routine with 1 Nap
When establishing a daily routine for your 1 year old, you’ll want to start with the non-negotiables and then fill in from there.
My two main non-negotiables include:
Picture your 1 year old’s routine like an outline with just the non-negotiables:
7 AM – Wake up
7:30 AM – Breakfast
11:15 – Snack
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM – Nap
1:45 PM – Lunch
3:30 PM – Snack
5:30 PM – Dinner
7 PM – Bedtime
Following this outline, what is a good nap schedule for a 1 year old?
When your little one condenses their naps to 1 nap, you may find that they’re tired right in the middle of the day.
While an older toddler can most likely wait until 1 PM to nap, a younger toddler will probably need to start their nap anywhere from 11:30-12:30.
Here are some sample naptimes for 1 year olds:
Of course, most of these naptimes fall right in the middle of when you’d normally serve lunch.
What I usually do is serve a filling snack right before her nap (like cheese & fruit), and then a small lunch a little after she wakes up.
Lunch is typically her smallest meal anyways as she eats well at breakfast and dinner but usually isn’t too interested in lunch.
What time should I put my 1 year old to bed?
Not to overly simplify it – but you “should” put your baby to bed when they are tired! Ideally not overtired, as that’s much more difficult – but just regular tired.
I’ve found that with those middle of the day naps, my 1 year old is ready for bed by 6:30/7 PM.
However, on days she starts her nap a little later, bedtime is closer to 7:30 PM.
More helpful tips for your 1 Year Old’s Sleep Schedule (with 1 nap)
- Early on, the time of their nap might be inconsistent, but will lean toward the earlier side of the day
- Closer to 18 months, their nap can be around 1 PM
- Most 1 year olds will nap best in their crib, however, on-the-go naps in the car or in a stroller are definitely possible – all babies are different!
- Follow a predictable routine before naptime like: quiet play, sleep sack, white noise, feeding, lay down
- Once they’re down to 1 nap, figure out a lunchtime that works with their sleep schedule
What to Read Next:
- Activities to do with your 1 year old at home
- What I fed my 1 year old in a day
- My 1 Year Old’s Daily Routine
- Daily Routine for 3 & 1 year old siblings