Creating a Healthy Sleep Schedule for Your 14-Month-Old

Feb 24, 2024

The day your child was born, you were initiated into a world that revolves around sleep, or more aptly, the lack of it. For parents of 14-month-olds, sleep continues to be as crucial as ever. Maybe even more so, as toddlers this age are actively exploring, learning, and growing at incredible speeds, all while testing the waters with their budding independence. As a mom of twin toddlers, ensuring they get enough sleep is not only crucial for their overall health and well-being, but this momma needs some quiet time. 

It’s common for parents to experience an array of sleep-related challenges around the 14-month mark. There’s a developmental sweet spot where routines can lead to longer stretches of sleep, yet they’re also prone to upheaval by teething, new fears, and an onset of tiny rebellions against bedtime. This blog aims to offer a guide for navigating your 14-month-old’s sleep journey with insights, tips, and a touch of empathy, highlighting how certain practices contribute to healthier, restful nights.

Understanding Sleep Needs at 14 Months

The Biological Clock

At 14 months, your little one’s sleep pattern should be cementing into a fairly predictable routine. The standard recommendation is 11-14 hours of total sleep per day, which could entail 2-3 hours of daytime napping and 9-10 hours at night. However, individual needs can vary. Some toddlers may function optimally with less daytime sleep if they’re catching up during longer stretches at night, while others might require more daytime napping to maintain a content demeanor.

The transition from infant to toddler sleep patterns can pose challenges for parents. Establishing a consistent bedtime routine, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and being patient during nighttime awakenings are key strategies to navigate this phase successfully.

Sample Sleep Schedule

An ideal schedule isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all, but a predictable rhythm can work wonders. Here’s an example:

  • 7:00 AM – Wake-up time
  • 12:45 PM – Nap starts
  • 3:00 PM – Wake-up from nap
  • 7:00 PM – Bedtime

Remember, flexibility is key, and you should be prepared to adjust based on your child’s cues and needs. In my house, one twin is a champion sleeper who can snooze through anything, while the other seems to have taken up residence in a different time zone and insists on waking up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 5 a.m. every morning. We had to adjust one betime back to adjust for a similar wake time. 

Establishing a Consistent Routine

Why Consistency Matters

How many of you have had to watch the SAME movie 45 times in a row? Toddlers love to repeat routines because they know what to expect. Children thrive on predictability, and a consistent sleep structure signals their body that it’s time to wind down. A bedtime routine can be a sequence of events leading to sleep, such as a bath, reading, or gentle play, that marks the end of the day. This routine should be kept as consistent as possible, even on weekends and holidays.

The Power of Rituals

Incorporate soothing elements into the bedtime routine. Create sensory cues, such as soft music or a special blanket, that your child will come to associate with sleep. The predictability and comfort of these rituals help your child relax and ease into slumber more readily.

Stay Observant

Pay attention to your child’s cues and signals. Understanding their unique preferences and needs will help you navigate this stage more smoothly. 

Creating the Ideal Sleep Environment

Light and Darkness

Harness the power of light and dark to regulate your toddler’s internal clock. During the day, expose them to natural light. In the evening, dim the lights to signal bedtime. It’s the natural way of letting the body know that sleep is approaching.

Noise and Temperature

Consider noise levels and room temperature. Toddlers are sensitive to both. A white noise machine can muffle sounds that may disrupt sleep, and maintaining a comfortable sleeping temperature, generally between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit, is conducive to a restful night. If you have twins, place a sound machine under both beds to help minimize the sibling noises. 

Encouraging Independence

Give your child the chance to fall asleep on their own terms, easing their reliance on outside influences or parental presence to drift off. This might involve placing them in the crib when drowsy but awake, letting them soothe themselves to sleep.

Nap Time Strategies

Transitioning to One Nap

Many 14-month-olds start to transition from two naps to one, typically before they turn 18 months. Signs that your child is ready include resisting the morning or afternoon nap or having trouble settling at bedtime. Make the switch gradually, pushing the morning nap back by 15 minutes every few days until you reach an afternoon naptime that’s later in the day.

Short Nappers

For those who still need two naps, ensure that the second nap ends no later than 4:00 PM. This helps protect the length and quality of overnight sleep.

Dealing with Sleep Challenges

Night Waking

If your child is frequently waking at night, it can be helpful to establish a calming response. Before rushing to their side, wait a few minutes to see if they’ll settle back down on their own. If necessary, offer a brief reassurance—a pat, a few comforting words—then leave the room. This teaches your child to self-soothe and minimizes night time manipulation.

Sleep Regressions

Around 14 months, toddlers can experience sleep regressions linked to developmental milestones. Remain patient and stick to the routine. The regression is often temporary, and once your child adapts to the new skill, their sleep patterns should stabilize.

Tips for Better Sleep

Healthy Diet and Exercise

The link between a healthy sleep schedule and a child’s diet and level of activity is often underestimated. Ensure your 14-month-old is getting a balanced, nutritious diet and plenty of physical activity. It’s also wise to limit caffeine—even in forms like chocolate—if it’s part of your child’s diet.

Technology and Screen Time

Be cautious with screen time, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. The blue light emitted by TVs, tablets, and phones can interfere with the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep.

Calming the Wee Hours

For the inevitable night wakings, simplicity is your best strategy. Make these interactions with your child calm, low-key, and as brief as possible to reinforce the ‘it’s still sleep time’ message.


Navigating your child’s sleep journey is part science, part art, and always a labor of love. A solid sleep schedule at 14-months is more than a checklist—it’s a commitment to your child’s development and well-being. By understanding and adapting to your little one’s needs, crafting consistent routines, and providing a supportive sleep environment, you’re setting the stage for years of healthful sleeping habits and happy bedtime memories. As parents, we are constantly learning and tweaking our approach, and the joy is often found in the unexpected ways our little ones teach us invaluable lessons along the way. Get started with this comprehensive plan, and here’s to more restful nights—for both you and your 14-month-old. If you’re sick and tired of trying every trick out there to get your child to sleep…and if you’re done with waiting to be happy and fulfilled in your life as a parent, then it’s time to get to bring in the experts. It’s time to start loving this special time with your LO and wake up feeling like the best version of yourself.

Book a free 30min call with me Katherin Fehily –