Bedtime Battles With Your 14 – 19 Month Old

Dream Baby Sleep® Founder Carolynne Harvey answers frequently asked questions about 14-19 month olds. Read below.

Bedtime battles can become a real problem as our children get older if we don’t approach their sleep correctly. As they get older, our children become more and more interested in the world around them, making bedtime battles more common as the kids try to squeeze every ounce of awake time out of the day as possible. These tips can help you keep your toddler on a sleep schedule and limit the struggles of bedtime.

Closeup of baby crying during bedtime battles.

Understanding Bedtime Battles and How to Prevent Them

How do toddlers sleep during this period?  

  • Toddlers need about 12 – 14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period
  • When they reach about 18 months old they’ll transition from 2 to 1 nap
  • The 2 to 1 nap transition is one of the most challenging because they need more day sleep but often start protesting
  • The 1 daily nap should last 1 to 3 hours, on average 2 hours daily

What is the #1 sleep issue or pain point for toddlers in this age group?

Many toddlers experience sleep struggles including bedtime battles, difficulty self settling and falling asleep independently, night waking and early rising. Nighttime fears and nightmares are also common.

Many factors can lead to toddler sleep problems including:

  1. Toddlers’ drive for independence and an increase in their motor, cognitive and social abilities can interfere with sleep.
  2. Their new ability to get out of bed if they’ve recently transitioned to a big kid bed
  3. Separation anxiety
  4. The need for autonomy and the development of the child’s imagination can lead to sleep struggles.

What are some excellent guiding tips for parents of this age group?

Some action items you can take to begin setting a healthy sleep foundation include:

  1. Maintain a consistent bedtime routine and bedtime no later than 7:30pm
  2. Make the bedroom calming and neutral using continuous white noise
  3. Talking up sleep to your toddler 3x per day and teaching healthy sleep hygiene similarly to how we teach them to choose healthy foods using “positive sleep speak.” Find out exactly how to use “positive sleep speak” in our blog.

Have a burning question about your toddler or want to learn more about how to reduce bedtime battles and night waking? Sign up for your free 15 minute consultation with one of our certified Sleep Experts by visiting

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