Nap Transition: 2 to 1 Nap
“How do I know if my baby is ready for one nap?” I get this question a lot! Actually, clients often come to me if they have dropped a nap too soon. The result is usually an overtired, cranky child. Yikes! None of us want that.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you drop the nap along with some tips for the transition (when the time comes!).
**Is your child between 15-18 months old?
**Is your child refusing to take his morning nap?
**Is he sleeping well for the first nap, but refusing to take the afternoon nap?
If any of the above are happening for MORE THAN 2 weeks, it is usually a good indication that he is ready for one nap.
However, if your child exhibits any one of these behaviors for a few days, do not rush to drop a nap. Continue to offer two naps at the same time each day. He might get back on track.
When your baby is between 15-18 months, he will likely be ready to drop to one nap. But remember, this is a range, so sometimes it might be a bit earlier or a bit later.
Be careful of the 12-month nap strike. This is common and it might seem as though your baby is ready for one nap. He isn’t! His brain is just super busy learning new skills and this can impact sleep.) Twelve-month old babies need two naps!
Dropping to one nap can take time. When you are ready, gradually move the morning nap time later every few days. You can start by offering a nap around 11:00am. Adjust by moving the time 15 minutes later every few days.
Remember, this will be your child’s only nap of the day. If he wakes before an hour, try to leave him for at least 60-90 minutes to help him lengthen the nap. Ideally you want him to sleep for 2-2.5 hours. If your child is having trouble sleeping past the hour mark, give him some extra time in his crib to extend his sleep.
The ideal time to start the one-nap schedule is around 12:00-12:30pm. As your baby gets older, his nap will start around 1:00pm.
A typical one nap schedule:
- Wake: 6-7am
- Nap: Start around 11:00/11:30am, but then move this later by 15 minutes to get to 12:000/12:30pm. By 24 months, the nap should start right around 1:00pm.
- Bedtime: 6-7pm. Early bedtimes are CRUCIAL if your child takes a short or no nap.
Dropping a nap is a process and it takes time and patience. Give yourself and your child time to make this change.