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How to transition to a one nap schedule

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

If your baby has been fighting the second nap of the day for a while now and (s)he is past the year of age, you may be wondering how to drop one of the naps and move your now toddler to a one nap schedule.

Let me tell you all about it!

When does this transition generally happen?

Most babies are ready to drop the morning nap when they are between 15 and 18 months of age. For some, this comes a little earlier than that, but you don't want to do it before they are 13 months old.

How do I know if my baby is ready to transition?

Look for the following signs to be happening consistently for at least a couple of weeks:

  • Your child is refusing to take the nap. Biggest sign!

  • The timing of the nap begins to change and the schedule generally is chaos

  • The length of the nap suddenly becomes consistently shorter

  • The behavior of your child when missing the nap is fine. If the baby is happy as a clam even when missing the nap, it is definitely time to drop it!

  • Bedtime becomes a battle. If your child can easily nap for 2-3 hours but now won't go to bed until hours after her bedtime, it's time to cut back the nap

Now, once you are confident that your little one is ready to make the transition, let me tell you how to do it!

How to handle the transition to a new nap time

In most cases we would be dropping the first nap of the day, as it is the closest to wake up time, and we would be aiming towards a midday or after lunch nap.

So the first thing you want to do is set a target start time for that nap and push that morning nap back 15-30 minutes a day until your child is at that new nap time.

If your child is capable of staying up until bedtime without a complete meltdown, do it. But you will find that, during the transition, which can easily take a couple of weeks, you still need to procure a catnap. A catnap is a very short nap of about 15-20 minutes to help your baby recharge batteries just enough to make it to bedtime without a fuss.

You may also need to have an earlier bedtime for a few days if you are not offering a catnap. So, if your child's regular bedtime is 7pm, you can offer a 6:30 pm bedtime during the transition to make it easier on your little one.

And after a couple of weeks, voila! You now officially have a toddler on a one nap schedule!

Not sure if that schedule is correct? Read more about how to create your one nap schedule here!

Need some help with the transition? How about we talk for an hour to give you some direction? You can book your slot here

Go back to sleep today!


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