I quite often have moms that I have worked with call me and ask how they transition their baby from one from 2 naps to 1 and WHEN they should do it… First of all, there a couple things that can indicate your child is ready to go down to 1 nap. They may be taking longer to fall asleep at their second nap time….or they may only sleep a short stint and babble and hang out while in the crib. Many moms have to go back to work so have to transition down to 1 nap in order to prepare for daycare. If you don’t have to and your daycare will honour 2 naps or you have a nanny or another caregiver, keep 2 naps- for 13-15 months if you can. Also, take it slow. Try not to rush the transition and know that you may have to deal with a little grumpy toddler for a week or so until they adjust. A few tips for a successful transition:
1. If the regular nap time is 10 am- bump to 10:30 for 3-5 days and lay your little one down for an afternoon nap or quiet time. They may not sleep but quiet time is good for them. If he/she does doze off, don’t let them sleep past 4:30 and mess up your bedtime
2. Bump nap to 11 for another 3-5 days and do the same in the afternoon
3. Bump nap to 11:30 for another 3-5 days. By this time there likely won’t be time for an afternoon nap. You may have a very tired little one at dinner time. Choose an earlier bedtime if you need to
Until your little one is 2+, they probably will do better with a nap time before 1 pm.
Good luck and happy running around! Instead of counting on the morning and afternoon nap for free Mommy time, you are on the move and get a 2 hour break midday instead. It is worth every second but it also takes us a bit to adjust to! If you have a good little sleeper to begin with, this should be a breeze!