Tips and Tricks for the 2 to 1 Nap Transition

You have been on a great schedule, your little one is taking 2 naps a day and has been for a while. You have been able to schedule doctors appointments, lunch dates and errands around this amazing schedule.

All of a sudden, your little one is only taking a 30 minute long 2nd nap. They are super cranky before bedtime and then they started waking at 5am every day! 5 AM!! AHHH what is happening?!

If your babe is between 13-18 months old, it may be time to transition to 1 nap.

I just said…WHAT?! 1 NAP?! But you LOVE your 2 nap schedule. Your life has revolved around this 2 nap schedule for MONTHS and it has been awesome. How the heck are you going to make this transition?! Is it going to totally mess up EVERYONE’S sleep?!

The simple answer is No! If your child is showing signs that they are ready to make this sleep transition, it will make everyone’s sleep better…not worse, I promise! Now let’s talk about how you know your babe is ready…

How you know your little one is ready for the 1 nap transition:

  1. Between 13-18 months old (some babies even show signs of needing the transition earlier than 13 months)
  2. Increase in night time wakings
  3. Early morning wakings (before 6am)
  4. Fighting nap time (typically the last of the day)
  5. Short naps

If any of these things sound familiar to you and have been happening consistently (at least 3-4 days), it may be time to transition to 1 nap.

Schedule to follow

You have figured out it is time to make the jump to 1 nap, so what is the next step…

Here is a sample schedule to follow to jump into that 1 nap lifestyle:

The most important thing about switching to 1 nap is making sure they eat BEFORE naptime! If your little one is going to sleep before they have lunch, chances are pretty high of them waking up in an hour because they are hungry. Move that lunchtime up a little earlier than normal to fit it in before they go down for a long stretch of sleep.

How long can my baby nap for?

Once your baby has switched to 1 nap, they can nap anywhere from 2-3 hours. Try not to let them sleep MORE than 3 hours. If they get too much daytime sleep, they will not have enough sleep pressure (fancy sleep consulting talk for tiredness) for bed which will result in some night wakings.

If they wake up after 2 hours, wide awake, give them 10-15 minutes in their crib to see if they will want to fall back asleep, especially in the early adjustment periods of switching to 1 nap. If they do not want to go back to sleep, get them up.

It is OK to let them go to bed a little bit on the earlier side if they do not take a longer nap (say they nap for just under 2 hours). Move that bedtime from 7pm to 6:30pm instead to avoid any overtiredness. Overtired babies will FIGHT sleep!

Remember, this is an adjustment for everyone!

Consistency is key!! Stick with the schedule for 3-4 days to get your little one used to it. Time and patience when switching a schedule is always your friend.

If you feel like you need more assistance with nap transitions, or just sleep in general, click on the button below.

I am always here to support you on your journey to better sleep.

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