I feel like there’s a stereotype around your baby turning 1. That since they have reached 12 months old it is time to transition down to 1 nap. (Similar to potty training at age 2) Sometimes readiness can be overlooked, because of their age. At least that’s the way I interpreted it, when I started to feel a lot of pressure to switch Harlow and Myles to only 1 nap per day, immediately following their 1st birthday!
I tried to ignore the “they’re at that age” comments, but that did not last long, I caved around 13 months, and tried switching them. However, like everything in motherhood if you just follow your baby’s cues you will have the best results!
When we tried switching them to 1 nap the first, unsuccessful time we were about 3 days into it, and I knew they weren’t ready. (I think I could do a sleeping stroller series, because they were still so tired when I switched them too soon!)
Here’s How I Knew They Were Not Ready:
- They were falling asleep at lunch. Every. Single. Day. Not just like nodding off. Myles would actually start snoring!! I was feeding them around 10:50, and I was not going to give them lunch at 10:30, I feel like that’s so early!
- They were sleeping for an incredibly long stretch of time, and to me that seemed odd. Harlow took a 4 hour nap, by the 3rd day of trying to transition.
After a weekend of trying to regulate them to their new schedule, and Myles not eating well at lunch, because he was so tired. I decided it was best to go back to two naps, and try again when I started seeing for sure signs of readiness. LESSON LEARNED, and I think it was really eye opening for me to just let them tell me when they are ready.
Around 3 months after I tried transitioning Harlow and Myles down to one nap I knew, this time, that they were ready for the change. By me being confident in their readiness it really helped us all adjust, much better, to the new schedule!
Here’s How I Knew They Were Ready, This Time:
- They had so much more energy in the morning, especially as we got closer too lunchtime. They weren’t yawning, or rubbing their eyes like they used to do. I remember the first day we tried it again, they were talking to each other at lunch, and I felt so much relief.
- They started fighting bedtime. They were never tired enough to go to bed. I remember laying Harlow down at her regular bedtime, and it took her almost an 1.5 to get to sleep, because she was getting too much sleep during the day, and sleeping too close to her bedtime.
- They were sleeping for a longer stretch during the morning nap.
- When I tried to lay them down in the late afternoon they WOULD NOT go to sleep, and I tried for several weeks before I finally decided to take it away.
- I didn’t feel pressure to transition them to one nap because of their age, but because I could see their clear signs of readiness.
I would say if your baby is showing signs of readiness to transition from two naps to one nap then it WILL go smoothly. We tried when they weren’t ready, and I saw what a difference that makes!
I do have a few tips that might help make the transition go a bit more smoothly:
- The first couple days you are starting the transition don’t stretch it out too long, be flexible.
- Don’t go into it setting an exact time that they need to go to bed at, work your way towards that.
- Do it more gradually like moving the time back 5 minutes or so each day, and see how they’re doing, then set your nap time off of that. It took me a few weeks to figure out when they do best at eating lunch, when they get overly tired, and struggle to eat. At first I was so focused on trying to get it as late as I could. I eventually realized the earlier I put them to bed the better, and longer they would sleep. For so long I tried stretching it to noon, but they do best, and fall asleep just as quickly at 11:30.
- Keep your kids busy in the mornings, play outside, and distract them from being sleepy.
- I would avoid car rides, at first, while they’re getting adjusted (since they can be soothing). If they fall asleep in the car it is hard to get them back on schedule, and I think getting them adjusted to the new routine right from the start, will be better for everyone.
10:50 – 11:15: Lunch
11:20 – 11:30 : Diaper Changes, and read books.
11: 30 – 2-2:30 : Naptime
Nap Time Essentials:
Over the last 2 months we have increased our time we eat lunch by about 10 minutes, because I started noticing how easy it was for them to stay awake! If your baby is showing signs of readiness pick a day and just go for it! You will be amazed by how smooth the transition will be when they ARE ready!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog post. I hope this helps you have a good idea of when you know to transition your baby from 2 naps to 1. All you mamas who are getting ready to make the switch you will LOVE having one, long stretch of time to yourself. ❤️ I am the nap police🤪, and Harlow and Myles have yet to miss a nap. They are just so essential to their health, and development, and I notice a HUGE difference when they are low on sleep. Learn from my mistake, and do not rush into this transition. Focus on their signs of readiness, not their age, and you will see great success! 😘