• Emma Jackson

The Two to One Nap Transition

The 2 to 1 nap transition is an exciting milestone! It reflects neurological growth, and brings new opportunities for adventures and activities not limited by the morning nap schedule!

Here’s some helpful information for navigating this huge sleep transition.

The typical time frame for readiness is between 15-18 months, and your biggest sign of readiness is that either the morning or afternoon nap is consistently declined for 2 weeks.

However, before you remove the morning nap for good, go through this checklist to confirm your suspicions.

  • Are naps being offered at the right times of day?

  • Are naps being offered in the right environment?

  • Have you been consistent and predictable with the nap routines?

  • Have you been consistent in providing a long enough opportunity for sleep during those nap times?

If that’s a yes,yes,yes,yes, then it’s very likely that your child is really ready for one long afternoon nap! If you answer no to any of those questions, it’s worth addressing that aspect of sleep hygiene for a week or two before prematurely removing any sleep from your child’s day.

While every healthy sleeper is different, it’s wise to expect a gradual transition, sometimes over the course of several months. Don’t expect to immediately see your little sleeper taking a 2-3 hour afternoon nap - but do expect to get there eventually! It may help to offer an occasional morning nap when you can tell it’s needed, and this is one of those rare times that capping that morning nap and keeping it short may be indicated as well in order to preserve the more valuable afternoon sleep.

Always remember your best tool for avoiding overtiredness while waiting for that afternoon nap to fully come together is a temporary extra early bedtime.

Sleep that happens in the evening before midnight is super fuel for baby brains and will help them pay off the sleep debt that might be building during this big sleep transition.

Signs of overtiredness include increased difficulty falling asleep, increased difficulty consolidating sleep (more night wakings!) and waking up too early in the morning. If you are noticing any of these signs during a transition, shift bedtime earlier to get them into their safe sleep space well before they’re showing sleepy signs.

This transition is not always straightforward and can look different ways depending on the specifics of your child’s sleep needs and preferences. Most importantly, be patient, stay consistent, use your tools, and enjoy your long mornings and ultimately long afternoon naps.

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