How The Sleeping Patterns Of Toddlers Varies

Sleeping patterns of toddlers are much pronounced. Neither do they sleep all day and 18 hours like an infant or new born, nor do they stay awake like a 4 or 6 years kid for long hours. They need moderate sleep which accounts to a total of 12 to 14 hours daily.

If you are trying to put your toddler into a healthy sleeping pattern, or trying some change for the kid, like adjusting to new bed or quitting the crib, or adapting to the coming sibling, then you must know properly about the sleeping patterns of toddlers.

General toddler sleep pattern

Toddlers have a typical sleep pattern. And they sleep more or less the same way in case of all kids that age. A kid that is two years old should get some 11-12 hours of night sleep. Again in the afternoon a nap of 1 to 2 hours is a mandate for kids this age. Most toddlers go to sleep by 7 to 9 pm, and wake up in the morning at around 6:30 to 8 am. In this time period of sleep, there are two sleeping patterns of toddlers. One is the REM sleep pattern, and another is the non-REM sleep which is the much deeper sleep.

Understanding REM and non-REM sleep

REM stands for rapid eye movement. REM sleep is one state of sleep in which an average toddler spends most of the sleeping time. During this time the eye balls of the kid moves rapidly. This is because of a conscious state of the brain as the brain perceives the environment and keeps on recapitulating and remembering all the experiences the toddler had through the waking hours of the day. An easy way to recognize whether a toddler is in the REM state is to watch the eyelids. If the eyeball is fast moving or moving in quick intervals beneath the eyelids, then you can be sure that it’s the REM state of sleep.

Non-REM sleep is a very deep state of slumber. During this time the eyes are fixed at a point, and you don’t notice any quick or sharp movements in the eyelids or in other parts of the body. During this deep state of sleep the kid does not move much.


The sleeping pattern of a toddler can be altered to accommodate changes in the routine, as long as the healthy and recommended sleeping hours are fulfilled. Praising, rewarding etc are good ways to get attention for the toddlers in showing positive changes.

Remember a 2 way video monitor can be very helpful during this stage of your child’s life.

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Martin Bradley

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