There are so many transitions your little one will face in the first 18 months, developmentally and with sleep.

Dropping from two naps to one, is one of them.

Every child is different and has different sleep needs.

Typically this transition can occur anywhere between 12 months to 16 months.

Here are some pointers to help you decide whether it is time for your little one and how to do it if/when the time arises.

What are the signs?

  • Is your little one starting to take one long nap and one short nap?
  • Are they taking a longer time to fall asleep before taking a nap or refusing a second nap?
  • Do they seem to have more stamina between naps?
  • Has this been going on for more than two weeks?

I do have to say this middle of the day nap is awesome once the transition has happened as you get a whole chunk of time to get things done, getting nothing done, put your feet up, take a legitimate nap yourself, read a book, do whatever your heart desires!  

This also means that your little one will have more stamina to stay awake for longer stretches and you don’t have to worry about getting them into their crib for two naps.

The key is not to jump to one nap prematurely.  Is your little one going through any developmental milestones which could be impacting sleep? Are they learning to walk, babbling more?  These milestones can disrupt sleep for about 2 weeks, so if you see these changes, wait before you adjust the schedule.  Let your little one ride it out with the two naps.  If things do not improve you may need to make the switch.

Once you make the decision to drop to one nap, it is important you stick with it.  Napping your little one twice one day and then once another two days will mess with their natural body clock.

So the big question – How do you adjust from two naps to one?

  • Delay the first nap of the day by 30 minutes every three days. For example, if nap number one is usually at 9.30, shift to 10 for three days, then 10.30 for three days, then 11 and so on until you get to 12 P.M.
  • Your little one will seem tired and fatigued at the usual nap time.  Give them some fruit or a snack with natural sugars to perk them up.
  • Get some fresh air and natural daylight exposure during their awake time.
  • Avoid being in the car or taking them for a stroller ride at the time of their nap as they will more than likely fall asleep.
  • If your infant is getting a little tired in the afternoon and the gap between the wake up from nap and bedtime is too long a stretch, then take them for a quick 30 minute car ride or stroller ride total the edge off before bedtime.
  • Be prepared to shift bedtime earlier to ensure you get your baby to bed before they become overtired.
  • The biggest thing is to give it time.  It can take 4 -6 weeks for the body to adjust to the shift from two naps to one.  Be patient and be consistent.

If you need further support, book a 15 minute call to discuss what’s going on and how I can help you.

Sleep Well