Look out world! Your 15 month old is growing physically, cognitively, and emotionally. With all of these big developments, you may see some changes with your little one’s sleep. I’d love to share my most frequently asked questions about 15 month old sleep, including 15 month old sleep schedules, how to handle the transition to one nap (if your baby is ready), regressions, naps, and more!
What are the wake windows for a 15 month old?
Wake windows for 15 month old babies can be different from one baby to another depending on their individual needs. At 15 months, some babies have transitioned or are ready to transition to one nap, while some still take two naps each day.
Wake windows for a 15 month old taking two naps are 3-4 hours. A daily routine for a 15 month old taking two naps might look like:
About 3 hours after Wake Time = Nap 1
About 3-3.5 hours after the end of Nap 1 = Nap 2
About 3.5-4 hours after the end of Nap 2 = Bedtime
Wake windows for 15 month olds taking one nap are 4-6 hours. A daily routine for a 15 month old taking one nap might look like:
About 5-6 hours after Wake Time = Nap
About 4-5 hours after the end of Nap= Bedtime
How long should a 15 month old nap?
Whether your 15 month old is taking one nap or two naps each day, the goal for their total amount of daytime sleep is 2-3 hours. Let me show you how that looks depending on the number of naps your baby needs:
15 Month Old Sleep Schedule with Two Naps: We’ll want to divide your little one’s 2-3 hours of daytime sleep between 2 naps. Now, for some 15 month olds, a 2 hour nap and a 30-45 minute nap is just right. For others, two naps of 1.5 hours each works great. The “best” way to divide our goal daytime sleep between these two naps will depend on what works for your baby. We do want at least one of those naps to be an hour or longer (this is good restorative sleep). We also want to be sure no single nap exceeds two hours. This gives your baby plenty of active awake time to protect night sleep and to hit that sweet spot of 7:00-8:00 pm.
15 Month Old Sleep Schedule with One Nap: Our goal is for your little one’s nap to be 2-3 hours long. I do encourage capping that nap at 3 hours in order to preserve nighttime sleep and maintain a healthy bedtime between 7:00-8:00 pm.
Know that if 2-3 hours of daytime sleep seems like a dream, I can help with those naps. My Conquering Naps class will teach you how to achieve the restorative daytime sleep your little one needs.
How many naps should a 15 month old take?
It depends! Some 15 month olds do well on one nap, while others still need two naps per day.
If you’re considering transitioning from two naps to one, keep in mind that it’s a big transition! In order to be ready for one nap, your little one will need to be able to handle a morning wake window of about 5-6 hours without becoming overtired. Some 15 month olds can do this without any issue, while others simply struggle to stay awake this long.
Please know, this change is easier to make when your baby is truly ready. How do you know when your little one is truly ready? I like to see consistent signs of readiness for about 1-2 weeks.
Here are the signs your 15 month old may be ready to transition to one nap:
Protesting or refusing naps
Taking short naps
Taking longer than 20 minutes to fall asleep at naptime and/or bedtime
Waking prior to 6 am when that hasn’t recently been an issue
Waking during the night when nights were going well
This transition can take 2-4 weeks. So if you’re seeing some tough days, hang in there! If you need more help, my Conquering Naps class can walk you through this nap transition and help you have a great little napper.
What is a sample sleep schedule for a 15 month old?
Below are sample 15 month old sleep schedules. These sleep schedules are based on wake windows for 15 month old babies. Please remember, your days may look a bit different depending on what time your little one wakes in the morning, how long your 15 month old naps, and when they're hungry.
This is one possible daily routine for a 15 month old. Notice, we are still offering food and drink about every 2-3.5 hours.
Text version of 15 Month Old Sleep Schedule Two Naps table
|6:45 am||Breakfast (solids)|
|9:00 am||Snack/Nursing (optional)|
|9:35-11:20 am||Nap 1|
|11:30 am||Lunch (solids)|
|2:00 pm||Snack/Nursing (optional)|
|2:50- 3:40 pm||Nap 2|
|3:45 pm||Snack/Nursing (optional)|
|6:00 pm||Dinner (solids)|
|7:15 pm||Snack/Nursing (optional)|
Text version of 15 Month Old Sleep Schedule One Nap table
|7:00 am||Breakfast (solids)|
|9:30 am||Snack/Nursing (optional)|
|11:30 am||Lunch (solids)|
|11:50 am- 2:45 pm||Nap|
|3:00 pm||Snack/Nursing (optional)|
|6:00 pm||Dinner (solids)|
How much sleep does a 15 month old need?
The goal for total sleep in a 24-hour period for a 15 month old is 12-15 hours. Ideally, your 15 month old will sleep 10-12 hours overnight and 2-3 hours during the day.
What time should a 15 month old go to bed?
I recommend a bedtime between 7:00-8:00 pm for 15 month olds. This is typically the “sweet spot” as bedtime in this range helps babies fall asleep and minimizes night wakings. Having a predictable bedtime routine is also a key part of bedtime success.
If your 15 month old’s bedtime is outside of this range and they are sleeping well, don’t worry about making a change! However, often when bedtime is after 8:00 pm, we see more disrupted sleep overnight. Try moving bedtime earlier for a couple weeks if your 15 month old is going to bed after 8:00 pm and:
A bedtime earlier than 7:00 pm can help on days when daytime sleep doesn’t go as planned. Try moving bedtime earlier (Think 6:00-6:30 pm) if:
A nap was refused or short
Daytime sleep was less than 2-2.5 hours total.
Your 15 month old has been awake about 4 hours and is really struggling to make it to bedtime, especially if they've recently transitioned to 1 nap or they’re sick.
How much milk should a 15 month old drink?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 16-24 ounces of whole milk per day for a 15 month old baby. Offering 4-6 ounces of whole milk with meals or a snack allows for a balance of needed nutrients from solids and the nutritional benefits of milk.
For some babies and families, cow's milk may not be the best option. Please check with your pediatrician if you have questions about milk alternatives or any concerns about your little one’s nutritional needs.
For nursing families, there is no pressure to wean and transition to whole milk just because of your baby’s age. Continue your nursing journey as long as it continues to work for you and your baby.
If you’re looking for guidance with making the switch to whole milk, allow me to walk you through the transition from formula or breastmilk to whole milk and also from the bottle to the sippy cup. This may also be an age when you're ready to consider dropping the bedtime bottle or feeding.
What are some 15 month old milestones?
Around 15 months, you may see your little one begin to:
Stack 2-3 blocks or similar objects on top of each other
Ask for something by pointing
Look for a familiar object when asked, (Think “Where’s the dog?” “Get the red ball”)
Imitate you, like when you wipe the table, they try to wipe the table too
Show you a toy
Pick up objects and use them appropriately (for example: a book for "reading" or phone for “talking”)
There is also a peak in separation anxiety around this age as your 15 month old is better understanding the concept of object permanence.
Please keep in mind, these milestones are based on age ranges, and each baby develops at their own pace. Be sure to check with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s development.
What are some activities I can do with my 15 month old?
At 15 months, you may find your little one wants to be a part of everything you do while also wanting to be more independent. You may also need to get creative with stretching wake windows. Here are a few fun activities for your 15 month old:
Create a DIY object permanence toy by making holes in a shoebox that your child can push cotton swabs or playing cards through. (DIY not your thing? Try something like this Montessori drop box toy or this cute little piggy bank)
Help refine motor skills and coordination by stacking (Try things around the house like upside down measuring cups or spinning stackers).
Try sensory play with water. (This is a great way to add time to a wake window.) Set up a shallow storage bin with a little water and measuring cups or try a toy sink.
Encourage social skills through role play. This is so fun for little ones this age! Try a mini spray bottle and cloth for “cleaning” the house or “bake” muffins by putting pom poms in a muffin tin.
With increased mobility and desire for independence around 15 months, it’s a good idea to take a look around your house for any new safety concerns, like furniture that needs to be anchored or door knobs that need to be child proofed. Check out my Amazon page for more baby proofing products.
Is there a sleep regression at 15 months?
Sometimes! The developmental strides and separation anxiety babies typically experience at 15 months old can lead to changes in sleep. When going through a 15 month sleep regression, my best advice is to stay consistent. Sleep regressions can last anywhere from a few days to weeks, and making changes to your baby’s routine or healthy sleep habits during this time can turn a little bump in the road into an ongoing sleep struggle.
If your baby has been struggling with sleep for awhile, please know that my 5-24 Month Collection is a holistic and fully customizable approach to sleep that will help you establish great sleep, even in the midst of a regression.
Expert Tip: Changes in sleep at 15 months may mean your baby is ready to transition from 2 naps to 1.
Why is my 15 month old waking up at night?
If your 15 month old suddenly starts waking up at night, please check to make sure they’re not experiencing any physical discomfort (think illness or teething).
If you know that your baby is comfortable and healthy, but your 15 month old continues to wake up at night, let’s take a look at other culprits. Many times I see sleep disruptions at 15 months because:
Your baby is overtired. When a nap was dropped before a baby is truly ready, they are often overtired, which makes it hard for them to fall asleep and stay asleep. If your 15 month old recently transitioned to one nap, try decreasing wake windows slightly.
Your baby is not tired enough. If your baby is on the lower end of the age-appropriate wake window range, slowly add a bit more time to each wake window. A gradual increase will help prevent your baby from being overtired while finding the range that works best for them.
Your baby is ready to transition to one nap. This may be the time to consider dropping a nap if your little one has still been taking two naps.
Your baby’s sleep environment needs adjusting. Using a sound machine (use code CARA20 for 20%) and making sure the room is really dark (use code Cara for 10% off) helps minimize any stimulating light or noise. Also, assess the room temperature and how your baby is dressed for sleep.
Your baby is experiencing a peak of separation anxiety. This may look like crying when entering their room, standing in the crib in protest, or showing strong preference for one caregiver at bedtime. Practice short periods of intentional separation during the day and play games like Peek-a-Boo to help ease separation around sleep times.
Your baby is learning a new skill. Practicing these new skills out of the crib helps prevent practicing these new skills in the crib.
If your 15 month old has been struggling with sleep, I can help. My 5-24 Month Collection will give you a step-by-step plan to 10-12 hour nights in the crib. I'll teach you everything you need to know to have a great little sleeper, while remaining emotionally connected and present every step along the way.
My 15 month old won’t sleep in their crib. Should we move to a toddler bed?
I find most 15 month olds sleep best in a crib. At this age, little ones are simply not developmentally capable of understanding why they need to stay in bed or resisting the urge to get out of bed. If your 15 month old is struggling in the crib, consider these reasons why night sleep could be difficult.
If you’re struggling with a little one who climbs out of the crib, a toddler bed or Montessori bed may be the only safe option. Please be aware that we want the entire nursery to be free from any safety concerns. When you’re ready to make this transition, my Ultimate Guide to the Toddler Bed Transition has you covered with tips on how to prepare your little one, how to prepare yourself, and how to prepare the room for this change.
If your 15 month old has always struggled with sleeping in a crib or sleep has always been rough, please know I have a class that can help. My 5-24 Month Collection is a fully-customizable, holistic plan for consolidated night sleep, solid naps, and managing all the bumps along the way.
Still have a 14 month old? Check out 14 month sleep schedules. Already have a 16 month old? I've got you covered with my 16 month sleep schedules.