Why Is My Toddler Sleeping More Than Usual? (+When To Be Concerned)

Why Is My Toddler Sleeping More Than Usual?

Is your child sleeping more than usual? Has their sleep schedule suddenly changed?

I’m a parent too, so I understand that you may be worried when your toddler is tired and sleeping more all of a sudden. But the truth is, the changes that happen to your toddler are more common than you think. It is usually because one of these three reasons: growth spurts, teething or a viral infection. In this article, I will explain these reasons in detail.

I will also explain other reasons when this can be more serious, and you should be actually concerned.

At times, prolonged sleep in children may be an indication of a health problem but most often it is not, and that’s just the way they grow.

However, you must first know WHY your toddler is getting too much sleep and WHEN it is perfectly normal.

This article is not a substitute for medical advice or consultation.

How Much Sleep Do Toddlers Need?

The recommended sleep time for a toddler is 11 to 14 hours of sleep within 24 hours. At 18 months, your toddler may experience a sleep regression, causing them to only take one nap instead of the two they used to take, and this may change their sleep routine1.

Still, all children are unique, and there are no clear rules on how much or how little sleep your toddler needs.

The sleep needs of your toddler depend on many factors. It depends on the depth and quality of their sleep, how active they are during the day, how much and what they eat.

How they feel, whether they are generally calm and healthy. How many distractions are competing for their attention and preventing them from sleeping. And in our modern times, how much screen time they are spending in front of the phone or TV.

Although most toddlers sleep a lot, which helps them develop and grow both mentally and physically, this does not mean there are no exceptions.

Sometimes your child’s brain may function in a way that doesn’t require as much sleep as other children, or on the contrary, they may need more sleep than the usual kid.

Is My Toddler Sleeping TOO Much?

It is perfectly normal for your 1-2 year old toddler to sleep for around 11-12 hours at night and take a daytime nap (a morning nap or an afternoon nap) that can last from 1 and a half hours of sleep to 3 hours.

Still, three hours more or less are nothing if they do not interfere with other things, such as eating, playing and overall development.

What you need to pay attention to is how active your toddler appears during the day.

  • Do they show normal signs of curiosity for this age?
  • Are they learning to talk, crawl or walk?
  • Do they miss out on meals because of sleeping?
  • Do they have a normal body temperature or any other unusual signs or symptoms?
  • Are there any significant changes in their sleeping patterns?

If all of these things seem normal, then you probably have no reason to worry.

Is My Toddler Sleeping TOO Much

Why Is My Toddler Suddenly Sleeping More Than Usual?

As a young mother or father, you may have noticed that the adequate sleep time for your baby is any time that she’s not eating.

At first it may seem strange, but later on, you get used to this routine and agree that your baby like all babies is a true sleeping beauty. This is normal and the only time they have sleepless nights or days, is when they’re actually sick.

However, toddler’s sleep schedule is not like that of a baby. Toddlers have different circadian rhythms. They do other activities besides eating. They are more active and stay awake more.

A very good “sleep medicine” is fatigue (lots of stimulation during awake time), so when your child plays and runs a lot, they will definitely sleep more because they need rest. If you notice that your toddler is sleeping longer hours and it’s affecting their awake time, there may be some of the reasons2:

Growth Spurt

Growth spurts are the number one cause why your toddler is suddenly sleeping too much, napping or eating more.

But what is a growth spurt?

A growth spurt refers to a period of rapid physical growth that happens during the first few years of life. During this time, toddlers might experience a sudden change in body proportions and the development of new skills. Growth spurts in toddlers can occur in different times and may last for varying periods.

It happens even since infancy, and you may notice certain phases when it happens.

Your child may fall asleep earlier or stay in bed longer. Their new bedtime routine doesn’t mean they’re sick. They just need that “beauty sleep” to get the energy they need for that rapid growth that is happening to them. Make sure they have a calm and cozy sleep time.

What’s interesting you may also have to face completely different situation soon: when your toddler is hitting new milestones (at about 2-2.5 years of age) they may also go on a nap strike and resist nap time. As you can see toddler sleep is a difficult thing!


Vaccination is one of the greatest discoveries in human history, so it is wonderful that your child is already getting vaccinated. However, our bodies react differently to the vaccine.

Your toddler may feel tired, have a fever and cry. Then sometimes, they may sleep more. This should not be a cause for concern, as it is a normal reaction of the body to the vaccine. After all, that vaccine is preparing his/her body to fight diseases faster, so they need a lot of rest.

After a short period of time, your toddler will surely go back to their normal sleep schedule.


This is such a pleasant moment for us as parents, but sometimes hidden and painful for our toddlers. Most people think that teething only causes sleeplessness for toddlers, but the opposite can also be true.

Due to the pain and exhaustion caused by teething, your child may sleep more than usual. They may not stick to their consistent bedtime routine or have more daytime naps. This won’t last more than a few days up to a week.

But there are many other teeth for which the same thing may happen. It just has to be understood that this is a more than normal thing that has happened to all of us.

Emotional Stress And Lack Of Stimulation

Toddlers may experience emotional stress due to the changes in their environment and relationships. If your toddler’s routine has recently changed, such as starting a new daycare or moving to a new home they may feel tired and need more sleep to rest and adjust. Even the slightest change can lead to fatigue and increased sleep.

Usually children don’t feel bored, as they always have something to do, but if it ever happens, they may sleep more than usual.

Sleepiness Due To Illness

It is likely that all children will experience illness or become infected with a virus at some point during their growth, and potentially more than once.

If your child is always active, but suddenly becomes more tired and doesn’t play as before, he may just be a little under the weather.

If they do not eat as before, sleep more than usual or they’re irritable and moody, it can also be a sign that they’re not feeling very well. If they’re also experiencing symptoms such as a low-grade fever, cough, runny nose, or vomiting, they may be sleeping longer to help their body recover.

In these cases, the best thing you can do, is to consult with a doctor.


What’s important, sleepiness in toddlers can be caused by a few sleep disorders. Among the most common ones, experts mention: sleep apnea, insomnia, hypersomnia and delayed phase sleep disorder.

Sleep apnea affects up to 4% of children, typically from 2 to 8 years old. Symptoms of sleep apnea in children include3:

  • Hyperactivity mood
  • Fatigue
  • Metabolic issues
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Mood and behavioral problems
  • Decreased cognitive function

If you’re concerned for any of these things, please consult your child’s doctor.

When Should You Be Worried About Your Sleepy Toddler

When Should You Be Worried About Your Sleepy Toddler?

Most parents start to worry when the changes in their toddler’s sleep duration occur suddenly and not gradually. This happens because rapid changes raise doubts about something acute and abnormal.

However, if everything seems normal during you toddler’s waking hours and they show no signs of illness, then there is probably nothing to worry about. If you are still very concerned about the time your child spends sleeping, it is best to consult with your child’s pediatrician, either by phone or in person.

Tips For Helping Your Toddler Sleep Better

Here is how you can help to regulate your toddler’s sleeping schedule and ensure they get good night sleep.

  • First, turn off the TV, phone and any nearby devices. It is important for your toddler to be able to fall asleep naturally and without all those signals coming from all sides.
  • Keep your child’s daytime naps shorter if you want them to have better night sleep.
  • Make sure to let your child have enough natural light during the day to regulate their circadian rhythm.
  • Baths are fantastic for a good deep sleep. Making it a routine every night can help your toddler fall asleep faster and get better sleep. Warm water is naturally relaxing, but if you want extra sleep comfort for your baby, use a few drops of lavender oil. It is a great way to help your child wind down at bedtime.
  • Let your toddler eat food at least a few hours before bed. As we all know too much food causes indigestion and sometimes can change your toddler’s circadian rhythm.

I also recommend you to check out my article about best sleep sacks for toddlers – which keep them comfy at night and help them to get better quality sleep at night.

Toddler Sleep Schedule – FAQ

It is normal for you to be concerned about your baby sleep schedule. During infancy your little one may not be able to nap for more than 30 minutes, and during toddlerhood you may be facing another problem: your child is sleeping more than usual.

You might be wondering “Why is my toddler suddenly sleeping too much? Is it just a growth spurt or something more? How to go back to their regular sleep schedule?”. There are answers for all these questions.

Should I Be Concerned If My Toddler Is Sleeping More Than Usual?

In most cases, no, you shouldn’t worry. There are many reasons other than illness that can cause your toddler to sleep more. No matter what the reason is for you toddler sleeping more, whether it is a growth spurt, teething or a viral infection, it is a temporary phase and will pass easily.

However, if you notice other serious signs such as a very high fever, a lack of interest in their previous routine, blurred vision, frequent vomiting or if you feel your child is less alert than usual, please consult with a pediatrician as soon as possible.

Why Is My 2-Year-Old So Tired All Of A Sudden?

There could be a lot of reasons, it can be just a growth spurt, teething, or adjustment to a new environment. Perhaps your child is running and playing more these days. Or maybe they’re eating more food. All of these can cause more sleep. It doesn’t always mean it’s a sleep disorder.

As long as you don’t notice sleep apnea and other serious signs that I mentioned earlier, don’t worry too much.

Do Toddlers Sleep A Lot During Growth Spurts?

Yes, toddlers may sleep more during growth spurts. During these periods of rapid growth, their bodies are using a lot of energy to build new tissues, so they may feel more tired and need sleep to support their physical development.

However, it’s always a good idea to observe thoroughly your toddler’s behavior and talk to their pediatrician, if you have any concerns about their sleep patterns, growth spurt or their overall health.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.





About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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