How Long Should an 18-Month-Old Nap? Important Sleep Details and Other Tips!
When your child has already approached the age of one and a half years, it may seem to you that this will simply last forever. This is because an 18-month-old is not napping or has other sleep problems both night and day. Yes, this is a very difficult period for any baby and their parents. But it’s not so bad, because you can influence it a little in order to get through this time a little more calmly. Today we will talk with you about how long an 18-month-old nap should take, tell you about regression, and give you useful information in the fight against this problem.
The Importance of Compliance with the Typical 18-Month-Old Sleep Schedule
For normal functioning, the body’s 18-month-old nap time needs regularity. This physiological process helps you to rest, recuperate and recharge your batteries for the next waking period. However, children need it not only for recovery and the accumulation of energy. When a child is resting, their body continues to work actively. At this time, processes are launched:
- tissue restoration,
- “rebooting” of the nervous system,
- purification and removal of waste products,
- improving the work of internal organs, etc.
The sleeping child’s brain begins to intensively assimilate and memorize information received during the day. This contributes to the formation of neural connections necessary for the development of brain activity.
During the night and daytime baby sleep for 18 months, melatonin and growth hormone are produced. The first is necessary for health promotion, the second – for the growth of the body.
At the age of 1 year, the child can sleep not only at night but also during the day. Moreover, he can do this several times. Daytime rest is needed not only for physical development but also for the normalization of the mental state of the baby. It is much easier to teach children to fall asleep and wake up at the same time. When parents maintain such a daily routine, the child becomes calm and balanced. He doesn’t need increased attention from adults, since he can play on his own for a long time. If 18-month-old fighting sleep during the day, this can lead to:
- attention deficit disorder;
- bad mood;
- problems with appetite.
The task of parents is to rationally allocate time for rest. This is helped by daily rituals, such as walks in the fresh air, water procedures, performing lullabies or reading fairy tales.
How Long Should an 18-Month-Old Nap?
Parents start thinking about how much sleep an 18-month-old is right after that age. First, you need to deal with periods of wakefulness. As a rule, their duration in children of this age is 4-5 hours. At this time they:
- move a lot;
- actively learn about the world around them;
- play and try on different roles in the process;
- willingly make contact with adults and children.
In order to rationally use the waking period and the 18-month-old schedule, all active games, walks, developmental activities, and visits to guests should be planned for the first 2-2.5 hours. In the second half, the baby’s activity begins to decrease, and it can already be prepared for the fact that he will soon go to bed.
The daily sleep schedule for 18-month-olds reaches 13 hours. Most of them fall at night. During the day, the child can go to bed several times, for a total of 2-3 hours. By the way, an 18-month-old nap length can already be rebuilt for a one-time rest. However, it all depends on what time he wakes up in the morning. If their awakening falls at 6:00, then by 10:00-11:00 hours the period of wakefulness has already ended. In this case, it is advisable to put him to bed before lunch. If he wakes up at 10:00-11:00, the 18-month-old nap schedule can be rescheduled for the afternoon.
How Long Does 18-Month Sleep Regression Last?
In fact, the duration of sleep regression in an infant cannot be accurately estimated. All you need to understand is that this happens at 4 months, at 8-12 months, and already at a year and a half to two years. The time of the onset of sleep regressions varies within a fairly wide range; in different children, they may appear brighter or weaker. There are criteria that distinguish the onset of 18-month-old regression co-sleeping from the usual failure in the mode:
- Difficulties arise with lying down in the evening: the child protests, is capricious and falls asleep much longer than you are used to;
- The quality of night sleep decreases: it becomes restless, fragmented, awakenings are accompanied by crying (if the child has already developed the habit of sleeping all night or has awakened briefly for feedings);
- The frequency, duration and quality of daytime sleep suffer: earlier the baby fell asleep easily during a walk, but now he refuses;
- During wakefulness, the child is irritable, crying, has difficulty parting with their mother, and requires constant attention;
- Appetite changes: it can decrease and grow. For infants, breastfeeding is no longer a guarantee of falling asleep.
A year and a half is the time of the first serious age crisis which is the same as 18-month-old sleep regression cry it out. The kid begins to realize himself as a separate person, for the first time groping for the boundaries of independence. This is expressed in resistance to established rules that apply to sleep patterns. Even at this age, fears appear that can wake up the baby in the middle of the night or interfere with laying down.
Tips for 18-Month-Old Naps
Unfortunately, there is no way to shorten the regression period, because it is directly related to the stage of the child’s development. Thus, the purpose of the activities during crying it out 18-month sleep regression is the maximum comfortable interaction with the child, without breaking the close bond of the child with the parents, and at the same time, to avoid instilling harmful long-term habits. Here are some helpful tips:
- Establish a bedtime ritual and a clear daily routine if you are still on a floating schedule and chaotic bedding.
- Offer your child a little extra sleep if he missed their main sleep or slept very little. This way you would avoid overwork.
- Offer an additional snack food with protein foods. Preferably just before bed – this way you would satisfy the possible increase in appetite due to the growth spurt. Reduce the amount of sugar to a minimum.
- At 18 months (approximately), the child may have night fears. Buy a cute night light for your child to turn on. At this age, attachment to a particular toy is manifested. Put her in the crib.
- Use the teether for 18-month-olds even at night if your child is still suffering from teething. This would help him get rid of unpleasant feelings in their mouth and would enable him to fall asleep faster.
- Don’t wrap your child up, as this would impair sleep. And the classic recommendation is about 22 degrees in the nursery, which is remembered in the first months of a baby’s life but forgotten later.
- Whatever you do, be consistent in your actions. Set boundaries for the child and follow them clearly.
And so, now you know the most important information about the 18-month-old sleep schedule. We recommend that you follow our advice to balance your sleep as well as possible and to get through this stage a little more calmly. If you see that even with the prompts 18-month-old not sleeping through the night or waking up often, then it is definitely worth visiting a pediatrician or neurologist. Perhaps the problem of poor sleep is related to some other characteristics of the child’s body. The main thing isn’t to delay this and feel free to go to a specialist.
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