Your seventeen month old is moving and shaking! You might be seeing some new behaviors (hello, tantrums), and sleep might look a bit different too. Let’s talk about your 17 month old’s sleep, including naps, nights, regressions, and more!
The 5–24 Month Collection
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If you need help with your 17 month old’s sleep, my 5-24 Month Collection can help. I’ll teach you a customizable, step-by-step plan for achieving 10-12 hours of independent night sleep and restorative naps while remaining emotionally connected. You’ll have the tools you need to conquer any sleep issue with confidence, including developmental progressions, separation anxiety, and more.Learn More
What are wake windows for a 17 month old? anchor
Wake windows for 17 month olds will vary depending on how many naps your baby is taking. For those still taking two naps, wake windows are between 3-4 hours. For those taking one nap, wake windows are between 4-6 hours.
A daily routine for a 17 month old taking two naps could look like:
About 3-3.5 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
A daily routine for a 17 month old taking one nap could look like:
About 5-6 hours after Wake Time = Nap
About 4-5 hours after the end of the Nap= Bedtime
How many naps are best for a 17 month old? anchor
At 17 months, many little ones do well on one nap, but some still need two naps a day.
Seventeen months is nearing the end of the age range for the transition to one nap (13-18 months). If your little one is still taking two naps, here are the signs that it’s time to make the transition. They might be:
Taking short naps
Protesting or refusing naps
Taking longer than 20 minutes to fall asleep at nap time and/or bedtime
Waking during the night when nights were going well
Waking before 6:00 am when that hasn’t recently been an issue
If you’re seeing these signs for more than a couple of days, your little one is likely ready to drop to one nap. Keep in mind, this is a big transition and can take a few weeks until your baby is consistently taking one consolidated nap. In order to move to one nap, your baby will need to stay awake for 5-6 hours before the nap without becoming overtired. Many 17 month olds can handle this wake window without a problem, but some need just a bit more time before they make the transition to one nap.
If you need more help, my Conquering Naps class will walk you through this nap transition and help you have a great little napper.
17 Month Sleep Schedule Guidelinesanchor
Every little one is unique and your toddler’s day will depend on when they wake, how long they nap, and individual cues. Try aiming for these age-appropriate guidelines. These are not intended to be a rigid schedule, simply a guide for setting up a flexible routine.
Daytime Feedings: 3 meals, snacks as needed
Goal Daytime Sleep: 2-3 hours
Sweet Spot Bedtime: 7:00-8:00 pm
Number of Naps: 1-2
Goal for 2 naps: 3-4 hours
Goal for 1 nap: 4-6 hours
For more details on these recommendations, keep reading.
What is a sample sleep schedule for a 17 month old? anchor
Here are a couple of sample 17 month old sleep schedules. Your days will likely vary based on when your baby wakes up, nap lengths, and hunger cues.
17 Month Old Sleep Schedule with Two Naps:
This is one possible daily routine for a 17 month old. Keep in mind, for some 17 month olds, two naps of 1.5 hours each are needed, while for others, a 30-60 minute nap and a 2 hour nap works best.
Text version of 17 Month Old Sleep Schedule with Two Naps table
|8:45 am||Snack/Nursing (optional)|
|9:25 - 10:10 am||Nap 1|
|10:45 am||Snack/Nursing (optional)|
|1:40 - 3:30 pm||Nap 2|
|3:40 pm||Snack/Nursing (optional)|
17 Month Old Sleep Schedule with One Nap:
As you’re looking at this example of a 17 month old one nap schedule, know that your baby’s wake time, nap lengths, and individual caloric needs will impact what each day looks like.
Text version of 17 Month Old Sleep Schedule with One Nap table
|9:30 am||Snack/Nursing (optional)|
|12:00 pm - 2:45 pm||Nap|
|3:00 pm||Snack/Nursing (optional)|
How much sleep does a 17 month old need? anchor
We want to aim for 10-12 hours of overnight sleep and 2-3 hours of daytime sleep. Our goal is about 12-14 hours of total sleep in a 24-hour period for a 17 month old.
What is a good bedtime for a 17 month old?anchor
The sweet spot bedtime for 17 month old babies is between 7:00-8:00 pm. A bedtime within this range tends to help babies fall asleep and stay asleep during the night. I understand that bedtime may fall outside of this range for some families. If bedtime is before 7:00 pm or after 8:00 pm and your 17 month old is sleeping well, keep doing what works for your family.
However, sleep can be more disrupted for some when bedtime falls after 8:00 pm. Try moving bedtime earlier for a couple weeks if your 17 month old is going to bed after 8:00 pm and:
You may also have some days when things don’t go as you planned, and an earlier bedtime (Think 6:00-6:30 pm.) could help preserve overnight sleep. Consider shifting bedtime earlier than 7:00 pm if:
A nap was refused or short
Daytime sleep was less than 2-2.5 hours total.
What are some 17 month old milestones? anchor
I know how exciting it is to watch your little one achieve new milestones. Please remember, these milestones are based on age ranges and every child develops at their own pace. Check with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns about your 17 month old’s development.
Here are some developmental milestones you might be seeing at 17 months:
Saying more words (Babies are typically saying at least 10 words by 18 months.)
Trying to repeat simple words or phrases.
Improving mobility. They may be running or walking up stairs while holding your hand.
Showing frustration or throwing “tantrums” (They’re experiencing new and big emotions!)
Expert Tip: It’s a great time to offer some choices during your daily routines. At 17 months, little ones are really craving some independence but still very much need us to guide them and help them learn boundaries. Wondering what that means? Allow me to walk you through offering your toddler choices.
What are some activities I can do with my 17 month old? anchor
You may find yourself looking for new ways to keep up with your 17 month old as they’re moving and exploring. Here are few ways to play with your 17 month old:
Build a house (boat, train, rocket or whatever you want to imagine) out of a large box. Your toddler will enjoy going in and out and exploring. Bonus activity: allow your little one to decorate! You can use markers or paint. Or if you want to minimize mess- try stickers or tape to put pictures on the box.
Invite your toddler to help you with everyday tasks. They love imitation! This could look like adding diapers to the diaper bag or helping to feed a pet.
Go on a walk! Explore nature together. Even a little walk around the neighborhood is exciting at this age. Give your toddler a bucket to collect leaves, sticks, or anything else they might find.
Looking for toys for your 17 month old? Here are some I like:
Safety Tip: Your toddler is wanting more independence but still needs close supervision, especially as they’re becoming more mobile. It’s a good idea to check around your house for any new safety concerns (think areas that your toddler may not have been able to reach or open before). Be sure furniture is anchored and door knobs are child proofed. Check out my Amazon page for more baby proofing products.
Can a 17 month old sleep with a pillow?anchor
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until your toddler is at least two years old before introducing a pillow. Most little ones sleep well without a pillow even after their second birthday, so there isn’t a rush to add a pillow.
I know many parents also wonder about a blanket at this age. I recommend a sleep sack instead of a blanket for little ones still sleeping in a crib. A sleep sack is much more effective for keeping your little one warm during naps and nights as toddlers move around quite a bit during sleep.
Please check with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about introducing a pillow (or anything else) into your 17 month old’s sleep environment.
Expert Tip: You can introduce a lovey to your 17 month old. You’ll want something soft, free of loose parts or choking hazards, and an appropriate size for snuggling.
Should 17 month olds sleep in a toddler bed? anchor
Please know, most 17 month olds sleep best in a crib. They are just not yet developmentally capable of resisting the urge to get out of bed or understanding why they need to stay in bed. If your 17 month old is struggling in the crib, consider these reasons why night sleep might be difficult.
If your 17 month old is climbing out of the crib and the crib is no longer a safe option, my Ultimate Guide to the Toddler Bed Transition has you covered with all the tips you’ll need.
Is there a 17 month old sleep regression? anchor
I typically see a sleep regression closer to 18 months. However, every baby develops at their own pace, so you could be seeing the beginning of that regression now.
If your toddler is showing signs of a 17 month old sleep regression, I want you to know:
Developmental progression can cause sleep disruptions.
There is often a peak in separation anxiety around this age that can impact sleep.
Consistent changes in sleep at 17 months may be a sign they’re ready to transition to one nap.
Sleep regressions typically last around a week, but the best way to help a sleep regression pass quickly is to be consistent with your approach to sleep. Making changes to your baby’s healthy sleep routine during a sleep regression can actually turn a small bump in the road into an ongoing sleep struggle.
If you don't have a consistent approach to sleep, please know it's not too late to have a great little sleeper. My 5-24 Month Collection will walk you step-by-step through a developmentally-appropriate and emotionally-connected approach to consistent nights, consolidated naps, and navigating all of the bumps along your sleep journey.
Why is my 17 month old suddenly waking up at night?anchor
If your 17 month old is healthy and comfortable but continues to wake up at night, here are the most common culprits I see at this age:
They’re not tired enough. If your baby is on the lower end of the age-appropriate wake windows range, gradually lengthen each wake window a bit. In order to prevent overtiredness, go slowly and allow a few days to adjust before making other changes. Also make sure your toddler is getting active awake time during those wake windows.
They’re ready to drop a nap. If your 17 month old is taking two naps, this may be the time to transition to one nap.
They’re overtired. If wake windows were recently increased or your 17 month old recently transitioned to one nap and is now struggling with sleep, try slightly decreasing wake windows. Being overtired can make it hard for your toddler to fall asleep and stay asleep.
The environment needs adjusting. A comfortable environment is key to sleep success. Minimize stimulating light and noises by using a sound machine (use code CARA20 for 20%) and making the room really dark (use code Cara for 10% off). Assess how your baby is dressed for sleep, especially as seasons change.
They’re experiencing a peak of separation anxiety. At 17 months, this could look like standing in the crib in protest, crying when entering their room, or showing a strong preference for one caregiver when it’s time for sleep. You can help your toddler by playing games like Peek-a-Boo and practicing short periods of intentional separation.
They’re learning new skills. When your toddler is learning new skills, being able to practice those skills during the day (and outside the crib) decreases the motivation to practice during sleep time (and inside the crib).
If sleep has been hard for your 17 month old for awhile, my 5-24 Month Collection will give you a step-by-step plan to achieve 10-12 hours of consolidated night sleep. I’ll also teach you how to get good naps and manage every bump along the way while remaining emotionally connected to your little one.