Help!! How do I Transition From 2 Naps to 1?
I’ve heard the question from a few mamas about how to transition your toddler from 2 naps to 1. Here’s a guest post from Professional Sleep Consultant, Jill Parker about how to make the switch.
From Two Naps to One: Knowing it is Time and How to Do It
As parents, we LOVE when our children nap. The time of day can be magical for parents… an opportunity to get some chores done, work on that special project, a chance to make that long overdue call to a friend or family member. Some days it could simply be a time to do… well, nothing!! (and by the way, that is OKAY!).
Most parents start to feel a bit of a panic (or grieving) when they feel their child is ready to transition to one fewer naps a day BUT, the transition that seems to be the most difficult to manoeuver is when a child is ready to go from two naps to just one a day. I often get questions about this nap change. Parents will ask me how they will know the time is right for the transition and then, how to make the move go as smoothly as possible for the family.
Are you wondering about whether or not YOUR child is ready? Please read below about how to recognize the signs that the time is right as well as for some of my tips on how to make the transition an easy one.
Here are some signs that could indicate your child is ready to make the switch:
- Most (but certainly not all!) children switch from two naps to one a day when they are around 14 or 15 months old.
- One of the naps may become the longer one ~ for some babies it is the morning nap, for others it is the afternoon nap.
- Some babies who are ready to make the switch spend the entire afternoon nap playing and never sleep.
- One of the naps may become more challenging. For example, instead of playing in the crib, your child may cry and carry on much longer than usual.
Once you have decided that the time is right to make the transition, the following are some steps to making it go as smoothly as possible:
- Resist the urge to put your baby down when she seems tired at her usual nap time and instead move the morning nap back by half an hour and let her sleep for as long as she likes. Continue to push the morning nap back by a half an hour every few days.
- Continue to put your baby down at his afternoon nap time for several days even if he doesn’t sleep. This quiet time can help to take the edge off until bedtime.
- Be prepared to move up your child’s bedtime up by up to one hour earlier than usual if the afternoon nap time did not result in sleep.
- Once you hit a nap time of 12:00-12:30 p.m., keep it here, until your baby is old enough to push it back farther toward 1:00 p.m.. Usually this is at around two years of age.
Most important, don’t rush the process and be patient… this can be a tough transition and could take at least one month for your child to adjust.
Sweet Dreams, everyone!
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