Leap 9 and Its Effects on Toddler Sleep

Leap 9 and Its Effects on Toddler Sleep
Alex Warrack

Alex Warrack

You are on the edge of toddlerhood.

I don’t need to tell you that time flies. Because your little one is 14 months old, the past year must feel like only days ago.

Your little one is gaining more and more independence each day. They are smiling more, acting like they don’t need you as much but, on the other hand, appearing to be more clingy.

Welcome to mental leap 9 – The World of Principles. 

What Is A Leap?

By now, you may be a pro at these mental leaps that your little one goes through! (although it doesn’t make them any easier to handle!)

However, if you need a little insight into what leaps are, check out some of our earlier posts in this series.

What You Need To Know About Leap 9

Mental leap 9 is known as The World of Principals. 

As from the previous leap, your little one is now your little helper. They are aware and even trying those daily tasks/chores they see mommy and/or daddy doing. 

With this leap, your little one’s thought process has become more complex. They now know how things are done, but they can also change the consequence to their actions.

  • Your little one can think further ahead
  • They know their actions have consequences
  • They can make plans and change their plans

Not just mentally but physically, your little one is doing so much more. Your little one may:

  • Enjoy more physical activities such as running, chasing, and climbing
  • Enjoy being outside more and more interested in playground

How Will Leap 9 Impact Sleep?

As with every leap, your little one is going through substantial developmental gains. Practicing these new skills may take the forefront to sleep. Your once great sleeper may start to:

  • fight going to sleep
  • wake early in the morning
  • begin to fight naps

This last point may lead you to believe that your little one is ready to drop down to one nap. But don’t let this leap fool you! Most babies do not transition to one nap until 15-18 months old.  Learn more about the 2-1 nap transition here.

How To Support Sleep Through Leap 9

It is common for your little one to start fighting sleep at this age. How you navigate the protesting, will dictate whether or not your little one will go back to being a happy, healthy sleeper. Here are some tips that will help you get back on track:

  • Keep your little one on a schedule that is appropriate with a flexible bedtime. Never be afraid to move bedtime earlier in an overtired child.
  • Maintain their 2-nap schedule. Most toddlers don’t drop their naps until between 15-18 months old.
  • If your little one was formally a healthy, well-rested sleeper, after you determine that your little one is ok, allow your toddler to have some time and space to settle into sleep at bedtime and if they wake at night. You know they’ve got the skills!
  • CONSISTENCY is so vital at this age. Say what you mean and mean what you say. If your words and your actions don’t align, you little one will continue to push trying to get their way. This is relevant during the day and during sleep times! Also, this means that you want to have a consistent response to your child’s protests around sleep. When are little ones are going through major changes, they need our absolute consistency with bedtime routine and responses so they know what to expect. It makes them feel safe when you stay consistent.


Not all leaps will impact sleep. However, if your once champ sleeper starts to wake in the middle of the night or cry more at bedtime, it is best to stick to your routine and be 100% consistent with keeping healthy sleep habits. Our toddlers are super bright and will pick up on the slightest inconsistency. Leaps are temporary, but creating healthy sleep habits will help your toddler and you get the much-needed sleep!

If your toddler is still having challenges after the two-week mark or if you’ve never really had healthy sleep habits, reach out to book a discovery call and we can help you get on track!

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