What is an ideal 15-Month-Old Sleep Schedule?

Jun 22, 2024

Let’s start with come congratulations for making it through the whole first year – parenting is tough and I vividly recall with my own daughter, asking my husband what it would get easier. {Not like he knew but it gave me hope.} Even as a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, a Lactation Counselor and most importantly, a mom now for the second time – so days I still didn’t know what I was doing. They are 8 and 10 now and I still don’t, but remember, at every age and stage, we are all just doing our best.


15 months old is an interesting age. You have the face and body of a baby, and the independence of a toddler emerging. They want independence but still need you and they need to sleep through the night more now because their bodies are so much busier.


So, let me start with the most common questions I get about littles at 15 months old:

Is there a sleep regression at 15 months?

The term sleep regression is interesting. It means things were going well with sleep, there was consistency when sleeping through the night, they nap, everything seems on the up and up. Then they don’t.


Sleep regressions don’t ‘typically’ come out of thin air. What I usually see is that someone first truly needed us overnight. Perhaps they were ill, traveling or have a new tooth coming in. They wake, we respond to their needs, as we should, often with comfort back to sleep.


The next night, they wake again….then again…then again. Now, you are in a sleep regression, because they have stopped sleeping through the night and started waking you multiple times a night. So yes, there is a sleep regression at 15 months, 16 months, 17 months….any month where sleep goes well then suddenly regresses.


Why is my 15-month-old suddenly waking up at night?

As I mention above, first, assess do they want you or need you. What starts as a need, becomes quickly a preference. At 15 months old, they know now that there is a cause and effect. They call, you come, you do XXX to sleep. So, if they don’t ‘need’ something, like water, a fresh diaper, etc. you must be careful not to make the engagement something they begin to desire. I tell parents, be accessible, not excessive.


How long to let a 15-month-old cry it out?

Don’t. That is not an effective sleep training strategy and if you have found this blog post here on Tiny Transitions, you likely realize they can cry for hours. You are in a transition stage between baby hood and toddler hood and therefore, you have to understand their ideal sleep schedule, set expectations at bedtime and stick to those expectations when baby wakes overnight. At this age, it the start of boundary and behavior setting. Example, they throw out the pacifier then cry because they can’t get it. You see that on the monitor and respond, giving it back. They throw, you give back, rinse and repeat. Now, if you don’t give it back, they cry, you don’t want them to cry and don’t want to listen to them cry, so you give it back….because what else is there to do, right?


You must set a boundary. Walk into the room, tell them if they throw it again, they lose it. When they do, take it, walk out of the room and close the door. That’s a consequence. THEY made the choice to throw it. {They are smart at 15 months old.} Give them about a minute, then open the door, ask if they want it back, tell them if they throw it again it’s gone for the night, and stick to it. Children, even at this age will conform to these new boundaries when they feel the impact of the consequence, in this case, they don’t get it back.


How do I get my 15-month-old to sleep through the night again?

Prayers. Limes {hey, I saw it on TikTok so it must be true.} Ok, seriously, you need a plan. First, assess what’s happening and how to manage it. Things they “ask” for overnight, like water, tissues, etc. I make available in their crib, so those are no longer ‘things’ they can need. When they stand and lift their arms, you have to be willing to hold the boundary and manage through it with confidence and if you can’t, that’s how we help. Our sleep coaching services for this age are more about parent education, understand their growing personality and working alongside you and them, together, to build their confidence, independence and love for sleep back, yes, even at this age. They know how to sleep, they are now choosing not to.


Make no mistake, kids love to feel good and when they don’t sleep, they don’t feel good {and neither do you.}


What is the Ideal Nap Schedule for a 15-Month-Old?

Could they be overtired and that’s why they wake up overnight? Absolutely, overtired is the devil in kids and adults, because it creates what I refer to as hormone stew, overstimulated and strung out, so here is how I advise clients to setup their bedtime and nap time for a 15-month-old.


  • Wake for the day between 6:00am and 8:00 am
  • Lunch then a nap, ideally between 12:45pm and 3:00pm window
  • Bedtime routine kickoff at 6:30pm, down or sleep by 7:00pm for the night


Now some families prefer an 8:00 bedtime for a 15-month-old, you can’t go later than that, there body clock won’t like it, and if they are at daycare, naps are set, so your bedtime is likely set too for 7:00pm…sorry. Overtired and the wrong bedtime for these active littles can cause trouble settling at bedtime, the inability to sleep through the night and early morning wakings.  Kids at 15 months old need 11-14 hours of total sleep in the day.


So, as you can see, there is a lot to unpack at this age – but if you are feeling stuck, I want to invite you into Sleep Steps, the first all-inclusive sleep training membership community for just $47/month, cancel anytime. You can so much education, coaching and support from me and the team – because every parent deserves the gift of sleep and it’s my mission to bring it to families here in Philadelphia where I call home and beyond. 


About the Author


Hi, I’m Courtney – the Founder of Tiny Transitions and the creator of the Sleep Steps program. As one of the most experienced & award-winning baby, toddler and adult sleep coaching agencies, Tiny Transitions has been transforming sleep in families of all shapes and sizes for almost a decade.


With an experienced and diverse team of sleep consultants, we work with families through their sleep struggles with tiered offerings to meet every age, stage and budget – all while supporting your little one on their unique path to a tear-free bedtime, sleeping through the night, waking rested and refreshed. Courtney Zentz, our Founder is on a mission to change the way the world views sleep, one family at a time. At Tiny Transitions, you come for the sleep, but you stay for the community. 


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