Should my baby still have 2 naps or is he ready for 1 nap during the day?
This is the question which I get asked so often…
So, today I will be sharing some tips with you about switching your baby from 2 naps to 1. I will also guide you on how to make this transition easier.
Once babies reach their first birthday, they are more likely to start sleeping less during the day. That means that they can shift from two shorter naps to one longer one.
Now, the big question is, how can you know exactly if your baby is ready for this big change?
I suggest you look for some signs showing your little is ready for one nap:
- Your baby is 1 to 2 years old.
- Your baby has a great morning nap which lasts from one hour to two hours.
- Your baby resists the second nap and stays cranky for the rest of the day.
- Your baby takes a long time to fall asleep (20 minutes or more) or plays in his crib entire nap time.
- Your baby fusses before falling asleep and then takes only a short nap.
So, if you notice some or even all of these signs, and you can see them happening around five out of seven days for more than two weeks, then that’s the right time to start the transition.
And Yes, shifting into one nap can be really tricky…
Moving the nap time to later time can make your little one overtired, but letting him sleep too early will create another problem – long awake time before bedtime.
Here are my tips for you, which will help you to make this transition easier:
1. Start slowly by pushing the nap to a later time.
You need to move slowly during this change process because you don’t want to see an overtired baby for the rest of your day.
So, what I am trying to say is, don’t push your little one too hard or too far into overtiredness.
You need to start moving the morning nap into the later time of the day by 30 minutes every three days until you reach the new desired nap time.
For example, if your little one normally naps at 10 A.M., allow him to start his nap at 10:30 A.M. for the first three days and then at 11 A.M. for the three days after. Continue the same way until you reach 12:30 P.M.
I find that 12:30 P.M. is a great time for a nap for most the toddlers. It hits them right in their circadian rhythm where they are usually taking a little dip.
If you, however, push your child’s nap time to 13:00 P.M., it could be too late as he could get a bit of second wind and that could make it more difficult for him to fall asleep.
2. Plan a second nap when needed.
When your little one still naps quite early, (10 A.M. to 11 A.M.) and that nap doesn’t last for long, you can always try for the afternoon nap.
Without it, your baby would have a difficult time to complete the day.
Remember, that keeping your baby awake for too long would cause overtiredness, and you don’t want him to get there…
3. Get with your baby outside for a catnap, when needed.
If your little prince, had an early and short morning nap, (10 A.M. to 11 A.M.), and also rejected the second nap, take him for a walk or for a car ride.
He can then nap for 30 or 40-minutes. Even though it is a catnap, it will help to take that edge off a little bit, so that you can keep your baby on a regular bedtime.
You can also use a swing instead.
4. Move the bedtime earlier when needed.
You may need to move the bedtime earlier for those weeks of transition, especially when your baby has stayed awake for too long.
I suggest you move it earlier by half an hour or 45 minutes.
Don’t worry about an early bedtime. It will not stay there forever…
An early bedtime will help your little one to pass through this transition easier and will also provide you with more free time.
5. Begin the transition only when you are ready for it.
When starting this transition, you need to be dedicated and ready for it. You need to remain consistent, so you do not give mixed messages to your little one.
There is no point for doing one thing today and the other thing tomorrow.
This transition is one of the difficult ones. So, it could take at least four to six weeks before you start seeing your little prince having 2 to 3- hours afternoon nap.
If your baby is not sleeping through the night or you need additional help, you can always book 15 MIN FREE PHONE CONSULTATION with me. I would love to help you. I am using gentle sleep solutions which have already helped 55 000 parents like you!