You’ve probably been on a pretty good 2 nap sleep schedule with your little one for 8-10 months. You look forward to those daily breaks when you can pause for a moment or just do a load of laundry without a little cutie pulling at your pant leg. Right when you are in a rhythm with your child’s sleep, he goes and “mixes it up” on you. Is your little one ready to transition form 2 naps to 1?
At what age are they ready? Babies/toddlers are usually ready to drop that second nap around 14 or 15 months. Some start to show signs as early as 11 or 12 months while others are happy to stay on a 2 nap schedule until 18 or 19 months.
Signs baby is ready for the transition
· He takes a longer morning nap and a progressively shorter afternoon nap or vise versa
· He refuses to sleep or just plays in his crib for one of his naps
· The above happens 4-5 times a week
How do you transition from 2 naps to 1? If he’s showing the signs, make the decision to transition and don’t look back. Just go for it! Some little ones will make the transition in a couple of weeks, while others might take an entire month. Be patient and consistent as you follow the simple steps.
· Days 1,2 and 3-Move morning nap 30 minutes later. If his morning nap was at 10:000, move it to 10:30. Put him back in his crib around 2:30 for a short nap or quiet time. If he doesn’t sleep, move bedtime to 6:30 to avoid an overtired baby.
· Days 4,5 and 6-move morning nap back another 30 minutes (11:00). Put him back in his crib around 2:30 for a short nap or quiet time. If he doesn’t sleep, move bedtime to 6:30 to avoid an overtired baby.
· Days 7,8 and 9- move morning nap back another 30 minutes (11:30). No more afternoon nap.
· Day 10- move nap to noon and resume normal bedtime.
You might need to add 3 more days to the process if your child’s nap needs to be a little later, like 12:30 or 1. It will depend on their wake-up time and, of course, logistics like an older sibling’s school schedule etc. Just remember to pay attention to “awake time”. A child who is between 8 and 13 months should be awake 3 to 4 hours before needing to sleep. Once he is 14-months-old his awake time moves to 5-6 hours.
It can be hard to say good-bye to that second nap of the day, but along with the 1-nap-a-day schedule comes newfound freedom. You now have the entire morning to get out and enjoy fun activities. And lastly, you are now in the 1-nap zone, where you’ll be for the next several years. You made it!