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Transitioning from 2 to 1 nap

Transitioning from 2 to 1 nap

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….as a parent, my biggest struggle and worry revolves around sleep. It is just so important for physical and mental health and clarity for not only your children but for yourself! If I am lacking sleep I feel totally derailed. So, in our house, sleep is a PRIORITY. As your baby gets older, it is hard to navigate their unique sleep needs. I’ve said it so many times, that even my son knows he needs sleep to help his brain grow and that his little sister needs more sleep because her brain is growing so much right now! I honestly couldn’t remember all the details of when and how I transitioned Jack to one nap all those years ago. So, when I felt June was reaching that time, I had to do my research again.

How do you know it’s time?

First, I examined her sleep patterns over the course of a week. Her two nap schedule included a nap around 9 and another around 2. She was sleeping about 1.5 hours for each nap and going to bed easily before her sleep was disrupted around 12.5 months. She suddenly started to wake up earlier in the mornings. She seemed so tired and ready for that first nap, so she would sleep easily for about 1.5 hours still. The afternoon nap was a struggle for a couple reasons. When Jack started school at the end of August I was picking him up and waiting in the carline. If you know, then you know. Carline is craziness! I was basically waiting in the car for almost 30 minutes to pick him up when he was really released from school at 2:35. Hence, the middle of her afternoon nap time. By the time we would get home, that second nap was getting pushed back to 3. Well, after about a week and half of carline, I had enough, and Jack started taking the bus home, so I could put her down for a nap earlier. Well, wouldn’t you know that’s when she started protesting that second nap. She would moan and cry and roll around off and on for about hour. After a few days, I decided it was probably time to transition to one nap. Now, when you look up 2 to 1 nap transition it can vary and says it can happen anytime between 12 and 20 months! That’s a huge variance! June was around 13.5/14 months at the time.

Implementing the Transition

Basically, I needed to push that morning nap later and eliminate the afternoon nap. This is not an easy feat and some days are much more difficult than others. I try to keep busy, go to the gym, get outside, go to the grocery store, etc. The key is to not drive too far that they could potentially fall asleep. I’ve seen her even trying to doze off in the stroller on walks or runs. I needed to push this nap until 12, so her new nap would be from 12-2 at least. On some days it’s more like 11:30 or she might sleep a little longer. But typically, we have consolidated down to a 2 hour nap in the middle of the day. Now, some sites will say they might need 2 naps on one day and 1 nap on another. I, personally, don’t love inconsistency. We do better, as a unit, if we have set nap times on MOST days. We are a little more flexible on the weekend if we want to do something, but if we are home, I’m more of “schedule” type mother. We can always move bedtime earlier if need be. But, you do YOU! Disclaimer: June is a much better sleeper than my son, Jack. He was much more difficult to “train” and sleep is not a one size fits all. Consistency is key, and I’m ok with some crying if it helps create a better sleep routine.

Sleep Environment

I’m a huge proponent of having a healthy sleep environment and nap time routine. That way they know what to expect and you set them up for a peaceful rest. Ours is basically the same as bedtime without the bath. Change diaper, sound machine, book, song, sleepsack, lovey, and put down. She is tired and falls asleep independently. The room is very dark. We use these paper black out blinds in addition to “blackout” curtains. Honestly, it still isn’t pitch black, but her room gets the most sunlight during the middle of the day.

And it doesn’t go without saying that part of this transition weighs on my heart. My little baby is no longer a baby! Another sign that they are moving into toddlerhood. Cue the tears!

Hope this helps in your nap transitions. Happy napping!


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