AKA the 2:1 Nap Transition
Every child eventually needs to transition from a two nap schedule to a one nap schedule. As an adult, it is easy to be envious of a schedule that includes any naps, but transitioning from two to one can be helpful for your baby and will improve your overall stress levels as a parent when their sleep patterns get smoothed out again. Here are some signs that your child might be ready to transition down to one nap and what you can do to make the process as easy for you and your baby, as possible.
Signs To Look Out For That Your Child May Be Ready
There is no hard and fast age for your child to be when they should go down to one nap per day. It can be anywhere from 12 months to 18 months old, so it is hard to say when exactly the correct age is, but if you are conscious of the signs, then you can make the best choice for them as a parent. Here’s what to watch for:
- Refusing or protesting the second nap consistently for several weeks.
- Playing or goofing around during nap times.
- Shorter naps.
- Taking longer to fall asleep for naps.
- Falling asleep outside of nap time.
- Bedtime struggles.
- Early morning wake-ups.
Tips On Getting Your Child To Transition More Easily To One Nap
Now that you have identified that your child needs to transition down to one nap, it’s time to put a plan into action. There is no surefire solution as every child is different, but here are a few things that you can try with your baby to see if it can help make the transition as smooth as possible.
- Move the first nap later in the day by 30 mins or so.
- Cap the first nap at 1 hour.
- Start by moving the second nap later and later, gradually. Use 15-30 minute increments, every couple of days.
- A 15 to 30 minute drive or walk in the stroller can also serve as an afternoon nap replacement during this period as well to give them some time to wind down and catch a few z’s as needed without having to force a nap if they aren’t having it but still seem tired in the afternoon.
- Plan for an earlier bedtime of 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Transitioning from two naps down to one nap can definitely be a process with varying challenges. Sometimes this process happens over several weeks or several months as each child and family dynamic is different.
If you have any questions about the 2:1 nap transition, your baby or sleep in general, please reach out to us HERE. We are experts in all things baby and sleep and would love to help!