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2 to 1 Nap Transition

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

how to 2-1 nap transition
How to 2-1 nap transition

So in my Facebook Group Free Infant and Toddler Sleep Support, there are a few topics that come up time and time again, along with short naps, early rising, and sleep regressions, nap transitions are a hot topic, especially the 2 to 1 nap transition.

In this post we will cover:

Signs that its time to transition to 1 nap a day

The most common age to transition from 2 naps to 1 nap

How to transition from 2 naps to 1 nap

What to expect when you transition from 2 naps to 1 nap

Signs That It Is Time To Transition To 1 Nap a Day

Your Child is starting to wake up earlier and earlier

Your Child's second nap is becoming shorter

Your Child's second nap is become later, pushing bedtime back later

The amount of overnight sleep has dropped to less than 10 hours a night

Crying at naptime/bedtime after once going down easily

The Most Common Age To Transition From 2 Naps to 1 Nap

The age range on this transition is quite big, it is anywhere from 12 months to 18 months where a child may be ready to switch to just 1 nap a day. Most children who are in a daycare setting will be forced to drop to 1 nap on the earlier side ( 12 months ) and if your child is at home with you or a nanny, they will most likely naturally transition between 14-15 months which is the most common age. Children who have sucking associations like soothers or suck their thumbs may hold onto the two naps until closer to 18 months of age.

How to transition from 2 naps to 1 nap

This is the way that I do it, however, based on your current napping pattern, it might be slightly different for you.

Step 1. If you are having two naps a day, shorten your first nap to 30 minutes. Allowing a longer nap in the afternoon of over an hour.

To give you an example: prepare for 2 naps by having a short AM nap

6 am - up or the day

9:30 am - Nap 1 for just 30 minutes ( so 3.5 hrs post waking ) wake your child up

2 pm - Nap 2 for 1.5hrs

Step 2.

Bypass the first short nap and offer the snack in the window, your child will go through a natural dip in alertness. The goal when you do this transition is to do the one nap or mid-day nap, at 11:30 am or later, not earlier.

Bring bedtime earlier, to compensate. So 6am up, 11.30am nap, 6.30pm bedtime.

How to transition from 2 naps to 1 nap
Nap Transition 2 to 1

What to expect when you transition from 2 naps to 1 nap

Now, this is why this transition is difficult.

It's easy when you read the post, on what you need to do - you just bypass a nap - easy!

However, when you are dealing with a pre-toddler who is having too much sleep on 2 naps and not enough sleep on 1 nap, the days can be long, tricky, and sometimes tearful.

Not only will your child appear to be a little more tired than average, but you can see some other signs which may make you question whether or not you have done it right. They are:

The one nap falls short and is less than 1 hour in length.

Your child starts to wake up early

Bedtime has become really early ( creating a catch 22 with the above)

Solution: Time - you have to give it time, the whole transition will take at least 3 weeks to fully settle down and get back into a rhythm.

Sleep Training 13 - 30 Months
Sleep Training 13 - 30 Months

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