Romper interviews pediatricians about healthy nap schedules for toddlers.
Dr. Danelle Fisher, pediatrician and vice chair of pediatrics at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, answers with a surprising yes. “Toddlers can sleep too long for a nap,” she tells Romper in an email interview. “This will usually manifest when the toddler goes to bed one to three hours later than their normal bedtime.”
Dr. Gina Posner, a board-certified pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, tells Romper that you need to cut back on your toddler’s nap time if they’re having trouble falling asleep at night. “Toddlers should be getting approximately 12 to 14 hours of sleep between nap time and bedtime per day,” she says.
Figuring out the exact science behind a nap isn’t easy — every child is different — but Posner does say that “during the day, their naps should be between 1 and 3 hours.” And if they’re not getting enough rest, you’ll know it. Fisher says, “Toddlers who don’t get enough rest will be more cranky than usual and will also fall asleep at an earlier time than usual or sleep at times they don’t normally sleep — i.e., while riding in the car.”