Transitioning From Two Naps To One
Toddlers are usually ready to drop their morning nap at around 15 to 18 months. Transitioning to one nap can be a challenging time for both parents and children. Here are some signs to watch out for and some tips to make the transition easier for all.
Some signs that the toddler is ready to cut back to one nap:
- The toddler is around 15-18 months.
- The child is consistently taking longer to fall asleep at their morning nap.
- The toddler is waking earlier from their morning nap, or is sleeping longer at their morning nap and then resisting their afternoon nap.
- When the toddler misses a nap, she is happy and energetic until the next nap or bedtime.
How to make the transition
The most successful way to make the transition is to push the morning nap a little later every couple of days. For example, try delaying it until around 11:00am for two or three days. Then push it until 11:30am for a few days, then to noon, and so on. Your ultimate goal is to have the child asleep by about 12:30pm or 1:00pm, within 7-10 days. Remember this is not hard and fast and we need to look at the toddler's tired signs and cues. Some toddlers may need to have an early lunch and be in bed by 11.30am while others may be a little later.
Remember toddlers can find transitions challenging – it’s important to make changes slowly and gently and while being considerate of their behaviour. If they are not accustomed to a sleep time routine, it will take time for them to adjust to this new set of behaviours.
Toddlers are tricky, get some back up with our parent support tools.
As your baby develops into a toddler, they become increasingly aware of the world around them.
While this can be an exciting time for your toddler, it can also be challenging and frustrating for you both, as they begin to exert their independence and insist on doing things on their own.
The Guide to Toddlers is the perfect place to learn all of the skills and behaviours of your toddler and gentle and effective ways to communicate with them.
Many parents have reduced sleep. The Safe Sleep Space website has a variety of resources and supports to provide tips and advice on how to assist your baby with sleep. You can also book a phone consultation to speak with a Sleep Consultant.
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Cindy Davenport is a child and family health nurse, midwife and lactation consultant, and has worked in the early parenting field since 1998. She is the Co- Director of Safe Sleep Space (an early parenting consultancy group specialising in sleep and settling of infants and toddlers) and Sleep Smart (an online sleep and settling program for early childhood educators and health professionals.