Jacob's Schedule at 2.5 years

Here's my little Jacob's schedule around 2.5 years of age. If you haven't already, check out the post about
my kid's schedules.

Jacob 2.5 years
7:30 Wake up. Read/Play
8:15 Breakfast
11:30/12:00 Lunch
1:30 Nap
3:00 Nap ends
3:15 Snack
5:30/6:00 Dinner
7:15 Get ready for bed
7:30 Reading with mom or dad
8:00 Bed

Now that you've seen into our exciting lives, let me explain why we do what we do along with some other sleep habits of Jacob.

Morning Wake Time
I hate, repeat hate mornings. It doesn't matter how much sleep I've had, I do not like to get up in the morning! So I let my kids sleep in past 7 (the 'gold standard' wake up time) if they will, assuming it doesn't cause any sleep issues. I keep the wake up time pretty consistent with Jacob, but I will let him sleep in a bit if he's especially tired one day. It can't get it too far off or it'll start messing up with his nap. 

Nap Length
Jacob will often sleep past 1.5 hours if I let him. I used to let him and it didn't cause any issues, but for the last few months, if he sleep more than 1.5 hours, he can't fall asleep until really late. Instead of bedtime being like 30 minutes later if he sleeps 2 hours instead of 1.5 hours, it's like 1.5 hours later. So, I wake him up (although I always dislike having to do this) and we often snuggle on the couch after while he has his TV time and fully wakes up.

Nap Time
I've had to move Jacob's nap later slowly over time as he's had issues falling asleep for it. I don't do this if he has an issue just once or twice. I look at the patterns and all other things surrounding it to see if his nap really needs to be moved back. Is he sick? Is he especially excited about something right now? Is he sleeping in later than usual in the morning? I usually move by 15 minute increments when adjusting naps at this age. I can't handle working with small times like 5 minutes, and 30 minutes is usually too much.

Skipping Naps
Jacob surprised me when he started to occasionally skip naps around 2 years of age. My oldest, Joshua, never missed a single nap (NEVER) until he was 3 years old! Even if we were out somewhere with Joshua, he'd fall asleep from exhaustion. At 2 years of age, he seemed to be in this really hyper, totally excited about every minute of life stage. He really didn't want to sleep! Right now he'll miss a nap occasionally  I have to keep monitoring it to see if it's a every once in a while thing, or if sleep needs to be adjusted.

Early Naps and Bedtimes
We generally only have to do an early bedtime if Jacob missed a nap. I'll usually put him to bed an hour early. I might do 1.5 hours early, but he'll usually wake up 15 minutes early in the morning. It just depends on how tired he seems.
Jacob rarely goes down for naps early. If he's sick, he might go down early, but most of the time he still needs the same nap time or he won't be able to fall asleep. If he's been up at night sick then he might need an early nap time.

Total Sleep
With Jacob's night sleep (8-7:30) and his nap (1:30-3) and some fooling around and settling for a few minutes before he falls asleep (usually about 15 minutes) that puts him at about 13.5 hours of sleep a day. Then of course, there are off days where he misses a nap because he won't fall asleep or because we're gone and there are times (pretty much only when he's sick) that he'll wake up in the middle of the night and miss out on some sleep there.

Fighting Sleep
Believe it or not, but Jacob still fights sleep sometimes. And I don't just mean that he'll get upset when it is time to stop playing with toys and get ready for sleep, although he certainly does that at times. I mean he'll still occasionally cry right before I put him in his bed, or he'll cry right after I put him in his bed. Never would I have thought he'd still be doing this at 2.5 years old!! But he's a stubborn little guy, and he isn't one to give in and accept things for what they are, even if he has never once gotten his way in 2.5 years! The crying doesn't last long (often only seconds, at most a few minutes) and it is pure protest and whining, but it's still not pleasant to hear. Even my kids do not sleep perfectly all the time. They have their own little personalities.

Working the System
Jacob tries everything he can to postpone sleep time. I can usually get him upstairs and reading books without a problem because he likes books so much, but if you are an unaware grandparent, he'll have you reading 100 books to him ("one more, one more"-- said in a darling, high voice) before you know it. Once we're done reading, he'll usually trying hiding in his room(once again, you can see that he doesn't give up easily here). I'll let him know that he can either sit on my lap and rock/sing with me before bed, or he can go right to bed. He'll quickly run over to me and get on my lap. But the messing around doesn't stop there. He'll immediately start acrobatics and I'll once again have to let him know that he can choose to do X or go to bed right now. The key here is to actually follow through, the first time. I have a little phrase I like to say "Say what you mean, mean what you say, and follow through right away". Pat on my back for making that up :), although the first part of it is from one of the wise books, I believe.

He goes back and forth with being snuggly before bed. It literally changes from one month to the next. That's children for you!

Favorite phrase (what else would it be at this age?)
"No! I do it"

Check out the 2 year old Example Schedules here!


  1. Help! My awesome sleeper has turned into a wreck. My 33 month old usually wakes around 7:30-8, naps at 1:30-4:30 and goes to bed at 8, which has been sliding to 8:30 this summer. Grandma watched her at our house for a week while we were out of town and let her sleep with every night. Needless to say when we came back she didn't want to sleep. It's been three weeks and she isn't getting any better. She cries and cries when we put her to bed and says she needs us. She makes up all kinds of excuses and ends up finally falling asleep around 9:30-10, which makes her less pleasent the next day. We have tried rewards, shutting her door, ignoring her, nothing is working. I'm wondering if maybe she needs a shorter nap, or earlier bedtime, or more exercise. I feel like I'm back at square one, is there something I am missing?

  2. Oh my goodness. My 2.5 year old is still up 3 or 4 times per night and is lucky to sleep in past 6am these days. I envy all of you. After 18months of sleep schools, sleep training etc nothing has worked.

  3. Oh my goodness. My 2.5 year old is still up 3 or 4 times per night and is lucky to sleep in past 6am these days. I envy all of you. After 18months of sleep schools, sleep training etc nothing has worked.