no easy task. As much as you want to feel confident, skimming down on their daytime sleep before they are ready can have a backlash effect on the quality of rest for both of you.
Most all children will go through a yucky phase where one nap is not enough, but two naps too many. This is completely normal and it can take 2-4 weeks to completely make the transition to the one nap schedule.
So how’s a mom to know when is the best time to drop from 2 naps, down to 1?
- If your little one is between 15-18 months, you’re at the ideal age range. Trying to drop a nap from a younger child or before your toddler is ready may cause night waking and an overtired, unhappy baby (and Mommy) during the day.
- If your child consistently, refuses their morning nap or takes so long to fall asleep in the morning that it interferes with the afternoon nap and/or bedtime.
- If your toddler will sleep for their morning nap but refuses the afternoon nap.
- If your child sleeps for less than 2 hours and wakes tired, try to help them resettle and go back to sleep for a longer nap. During this transition, you may need to use your back up tricks and get in more day sleep with a nap extension eg: going back to sleep or a short 30-45 min. catnap later in the day with a car or stroller ride. But this should be a temporary plan and only until your child starts to sleep longer for their one nap.
- Don't let your child sleep later than 4:00 - 4:30 pm in order to preserve bedtime, which at this age should be between 7:00 and 8:00 pm.
- During this transition period, you may have to move bedtime up earlier to 6:30 or 7:00 pm to prevent your little one from being overtired.
- It is also okay if some days your toddler needs the 2 naps but others just the one. If this does happen be sure to limit the morning nap to 45 min.
- If your little one is in preschool try to offer the afternoon nap at home at the same time it is offered at school, as long as the school schedule starts nap between 12:00 and 1:00 pm.