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2 To 1 Nap Transition - 14 Month Old

Any advice on how to go about the transition from 2 to 1 nap? My daughter is 14 months old and I get the feeling she is getting too much daytime and nighttime sleep. She has a hard time falling asleep for naps and wakes up many times in the night talking, etc.

Today I held off her a.m. nap as long as possible, which was 10:15am. It is now 11:30am and she is still sleeping. Did I make a mistake?? Will she not take a p.m. nap and need to go to bed at 5pm?

I would love advice on how to do this! I have read Weissbluth's book, but thought I'd ask the real pros!

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So What Happened?™

After the many responses I received (thank you!) I tried a little of everything for the last few weeks. We were able to make it until 12:30/1pm, but then she'd only nap for 1 hour! So now we are back to a 9am nap (9-11 and I have to wake her up at 11!) and then I put her in bed at 2 and she falls asleep around 3. At 4pm I wake her. Luckily we have our 15 month appt on Monday so I am hoping the dr has some suggestions!

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My daughter gave up her nap when she was 13-14 months old. She was napping at 10 and 3, but I noticed that she wouldn't sleep when I put her down at 10:00 so I tried 10:30 and she would fall asleep, but then she wouldn't go down at 3:00 and would be pretty crabby at 5:00 so I just tried 11:30 and it worked out perfectly. She would sleep until about 1:30-2:00 and then we would put her to bed earlier at night ~ around 7:00 and she would sleep until 7-7:30 the next day. You might have to try different times to see what actually works. My daughter was on that schedule until she was about two years old and then I moved it to 1:00 and now she is almost 3-1/2 and doesn't take a nap at all anymore.

D.,
Chances are if you are transitioning from 2 short naps a day that she may take one longer nap later in the morning and then will be ok until bedtime. Feel her out and see. The great thing is that you can try it for a few days and if it really isn't working for you then change back. Nothing is set in stone. Read her cues and follow them. Good luck!

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I have Weissbluth's book also and love it! Even still, going from 2 naps to 1 was a very difficult time for both me and my son. I did a lot of driving around trying to get him to fall asleep some days and our days for about 1-2 months were a bit unpredictable - sometimes he'd take 2 naps, sometimes 1. There were days he would fall asleep in the car on the way home from a store (WAY earlier in the morning than I expected). Just hang in there and just try and read your child daily to give her what she needs and yes, put her to bed extra early if you need to. I know someone who's 2 1/2 year old doesn't take naps but she puts him to be by 6:30. My son finally got the "1 nap" down and it was usually b/t 10 and 11am that he'd go down and sleep a good 3 hours. He is still sleeping 3 hours but his nap has shifted to start anywhere b/t 11 and 12:30.

1 mom found this helpful

I did the same thing. I held them off a little at a time. Eventually I just fed them an early lunch and then it was nap time. After a little while I was able to feed them at noon and naptime was 1 or 1:30 and now it's 2 or 2:30. You have to do what's best for you. I always worked better with an afternoon nap, but my neice (13 months) takes a morning nap and that's it. If your day works better with her napping in the am, do it, if pm is better go for it. Good luck!

I would try to feel it out and try little by little. Even though you probably wished she would have been able to stay awake longer than 10:15 it doesn't mean that within the next few days you can't stretch it out longer.
Maybe within a week or so you can get her to stay up until like 11:30 and then increase it slowly until you get her to nap at a good afternoon time.
On the other hand, how does she act when she doesn't get those 2 naps during the day? Is she fussy without them both? Sometimes kids go through phases of not falling asleep right away for their naps as usual. Or, they may wake during the night for a period of time but talk and put themselves back to sleep. If it isn't a phase and has been happening for awhile then I would agree to try to get her to take one nap. Who would have thought that a little issue like this would cause so much confusion huh? I know how you feel. I went through this with my daughter.
Another option is to cut both of her naps short maybe???
My son is 16 mo. old and is still taking 2 naps and sleeping 11 1/2 hrs at night so it's not unusual for kids your daughter's age to sleep a lot.
Jenny

When I switched my son to a latter nap it was about that time. Sometimes he needed a short nap about 4 but now we wake up about 7:30 and we play all morning in the park. Then we come home and have lunch and take a nap about 11 or 11:30 and he'll sleep for about 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. Then we go back to the park and play. I found that if he doesn't play and use his energy he is hard to get to nap and sleep at night.

I also pushed the morning nap later. Now (17 months) he goes down anywhere between 10:30-12:00 and sleeps for about 2 hours straight. Sometimes he will wake after the first hour but if I nurse him or rub his back he will fall asleep again. He will then stay awake til about 7:00 when he goes down for the night.

D.,
Chances are if you are transitioning from 2 short naps a day that she may take one longer nap later in the morning and then will be ok until bedtime. Feel her out and see. The great thing is that you can try it for a few days and if it really isn't working for you then change back. Nothing is set in stone. Read her cues and follow them. Good luck!

I found this transition to be very hard - both in getting my daughter used to it, and for me because I had been used to a lot of free time around the house while she slept! I think you did the right thing by holding off the am nap. What I did was just keep pushing the am nap back by 15 minutes each couple or few days until she was going down around noon. Eventually got her to one, 1 pm nap, but it took several weeks to get there. Even if the adjustment time is difficult, you'll likely get to one good nap and hopefully that will improve the night sleeping. My daughter was 18 months when we did this transition and is now 3 and still takes a solid, 2-3 hour nap each afternoon. Good luck!

I love Weissbluth's book and have been following it since around 6 months when I finally had the sense to read it and understand how/why children sleep the way they do. I cannot say enough good things about it. JG has some fantastic advice; mine is fairly similar.

Our son is now 15 months and about 6 weeks ago, started showing signs of 'nap dropping readiness'. Prior to that, he would wake each day around 6:00 - 7:00, take his first nap from 9:00 - 10:30/11:00, take his second nap from 1:00 - 3:00/3:30, then go to bed around 6:30. He was so predictable and would fall asleep and stay asleep without issue.

Just before 14 months, he would still take his morning nap and then refuse to take his afternoon nap or have a hard time getting settled down for it. Sometimes he would skip it altogether. As you can imagine, it made for a pretty rough afternoon because he was exhausted. On those days, I put him to bed earlier - sometimes at 6:00 or even 5:45. My son has some pretty strong "please put me to sleep" cues (he gets clumsy, whiny, cries for me to pick him up but then wiggles and fusses out of my arms), so whenever he presents these cues I respect them and put him to sleep.

We tried making the morning nap shorter in hopes that he'd still want his afternoon nap. It didn't work. What we have done is try to keep him awake and entertained during the morning to 'hold him off' so that he only takes an afternoon nap. It works when we schedule new, fun, different activities that hold his attention. It did not work when we used to do our usual routine (which would be wake, eat, go downstairs and play) because he would want to go to sleep again by 9:00...mostly because that was what he was used to. At daycare this has been really easy - he transitioned to the toddler room where everyone naps at the same time. On the weekends, I actually schedule new and different things to keep him entertained and draw his focus away from the old schedule. This past weekend, we did breakfast at our normal time, played for a little bit, then went to watch a volleyball tournament. He had a blast and must have forgotten that "hey I usually nap at 9:00". I've never felt like he is sleep deprived because he is not showing the 'sleep cues' at his typical naptime of 9:00 nor is he falling asleep. But, boy, when it is time for the afternoon nap he is out like a light and could sleep for 3 - 3 1/2 hours!

This could take several weeks, but you could try to either make the morning nap short (no more than an hour) or make the 'morning nap' the only nap but just gradually keep pushing it later and later each day. The hard part about pushing the nap later is that you'll be on a goofy schedule but keep in mind it is only temporary. Your baby may want to go to bed at night a little earlier than normal but don't panic because in our experience we found that an earlier bedtime has not equalled an earlier wake time; in fact he sleeps a little bit longer in the morning. As a result, he is more well-rested and can make it through the morning without the nap.

I thought I would miss the days when our baby took two naps but to be honest, I'm thrilled that he showed signs of wanting only one nap and took to the transition like a champ. I don't feel like our day is so constricted now, and we can actually get out and do more fun things with the baby!

Good luck to you and feel free to PM me with questions. I'm no expert, but I totally love Weissbluth's methods and am fortunate to have had a great deal of success with them.

D. - that is how it works...don't overthink it or you will drive yourself crazy (I did with my first :) You will get a thousand different suggestions...do what works for your daughter and you but make the decision to do it. Don't waver or her biological sleep rhythms (per Dr. W) will start to get off. Here is what I did...Every day just push it 5 to 10 minutes later until she is going down after lunch (@12:00pm) It's hard, there were days when my son would fall asleep in his macaroni...Once you put her down, let her sleep as long as she needs. In the first few days to a week she will probably crash and burn around 5:00/6:00 but that is ok...all the more time for you.
Kids and sleep have a very fickle relationship- just when you figure it out, they go through another growth spurt and you start all over.

Hi! What seemed to work for me was not altering the times I put her down for her naps, but rather my expectations of what she would get out of those naps.

When my daughter turned about 15 months old, I started to experience the same things you are. But I didn't change her schedule. I still continued to put her in her crib at 10:30 (normal a.m. nap time) but didn't necessarily worry about whether or not she slept during that time. I knew she was close to dropping this nap, so some days she would actually sleep but other days she would just lay quietly or play in her crib. After about 45-1 hour, I would get her up if she hadn't fallen asleep and then proceeded to put her down again at her regular afternoon naptime. This seemed to work out very well. Whether or not she actually fell asleep in the morning didn't affect her afternoon nap at all. If she slept in the morning, it was still schedule as usual. And if she didn't sleep in the morning, she was good and ready by her afternoon naptime!

Eventually, after a couple of months, she had dropped the morning nap all together and never fell asleep when I put her in her crib. However, at the advice of my pediatrician (who works in Weissbluth's office incidentally), I continued to give her "quiet time" in the morning. I would put her in her crib and turn out the lights for about 45 minutes. She wouldn't sleep, but it was a good break for us both. I would say we kept up this routine until she was around 20 months old. At that point, she was ready to be up all morning, playing full steam ahead! The good news is that, even though we had to say goodbye to morning naps, the afternoon ones are normally 2 1/2 to 3 hours - a fantastic break!

Hope this helps! : )

I rememeber these transitions all too well... you haven't done anything "wrong". It takes a bit of an adjustment period and can be some pretty long days while you're in the process. Just keep trying to hold off on her nap in increments until say maybe after lunch. Even if that means lunch is 11:00am and nap follows right after.

You will eventually find your groove and have the one "afternoon" nap which may last 2 - 3 hours as my girls did for awhile.

And yes, bedtime will be coming early during this transition too. If you need to put your child down for bed at 6 - 7 pm so be it. If she sleeps from 7 am to 7 pm then she is getting the 12 hours she needs + her one nap. She may wake early but this is all part of the transition. Eventually it will even out. I am always surprised by how late some parents let their children stay up. Once you get to one nap a day and she goes to bed at 7 - 8 pm then you have the evening to spend with your husband, etc... and it is so nice. Good luck, hang in there!

My daughter gave up her nap when she was 13-14 months old. She was napping at 10 and 3, but I noticed that she wouldn't sleep when I put her down at 10:00 so I tried 10:30 and she would fall asleep, but then she wouldn't go down at 3:00 and would be pretty crabby at 5:00 so I just tried 11:30 and it worked out perfectly. She would sleep until about 1:30-2:00 and then we would put her to bed earlier at night ~ around 7:00 and she would sleep until 7-7:30 the next day. You might have to try different times to see what actually works. My daughter was on that schedule until she was about two years old and then I moved it to 1:00 and now she is almost 3-1/2 and doesn't take a nap at all anymore.

be patient, watch her cues and trust your insticnts. my little one decided to give up her afternoon nap around 14 months and our ped. told me that is pretty normal... she went from taking one very short nap in the morning to taking a reliable 2+ hour nap in the afternoons. she usually wants to go down around noon, today it was 11... whatever works!

i'd say, let her sleep as long as she will as she may not go down again in the afternoon at all. oh! there's mine, now :)

good luck!

In my experience, my own 2 kids, my home daycare kids, and the hundreds of other kids that I had in daycare....napping situations are different for everyone. Your child will show signs when they are ready to nap and for how long they need to nap. You can 'play' with their needs somewhat to fit certain times constraints (shopping, errands, or feedings). However, I think the kids are the best judge at what they need. What stands out to me about your request is the fact that your little one is having trouble sleeping or going down to sleep. Often times when children have trouble sleeping or going to sleep it is because they are too tired and need more rest. I know you mentioned the 1 hour and 15 minute nap in the morning. That is actually a relatively normal nap time. There are many children that need the longer naps. A majority of children are not ready to begin transitioning to 1 nap until 15-18 months. Even then, some children wait until 2 years. Also, once you get your little one on the one nap a day, there will probably be consecutive days that she will need to go back to 2 naps also. Just be patient and watch her cues and help her transition to meet both of your needs.

My son is just beginning to transition to one nap too. If he only takes one nap that day, then I lay him down at 12pm right after lunch. Now some days he needs two naps, morning and afternoon. which if I remember from my two older ones lasts for about a month. So my son may go three days with one nap and then need two naps one day. By 18 months my girls were going down for their naps around 12:30 and would sleep until 3:30. Just follow his cues, if he is very cranky in the morning try laying him down. He may only nap for a half hour, but it will help him with the transition.

Weisbluth does address this in his sleep book, which is what we followed. My 15 month old always took a really long morning nap and then wouldn't sleep in the afternoon. By dinner time he was exhausted. So about a month ago I decided to start pushing his morning naps out -- like your doing. He was always so tired in the morning, so I wasn't sure this was the right thing to do, but after awhile, his night sleep started getting goofy (like not being able to fall asleep or waking up in the middle of night -- and crying really hard at both times) so I decided to try it. Every 4-6 days I would push the morning nap out a little later. Now, I give him lunch at 11 am and he takes his nap at 11:30. This has been working great for us. He is no longer tired in the morning and his night sleep has been terrific. Yesterday he took a 3.5 hour nap and last night he slept for 11.5 hours. Eventually, I'd like to give him lunch at 11:30 and put him down for his nap at noon, but since this is working nicely for now, I figured I'd leave it for awhile.

Also, until you get to a nap time that is closer to mid-day, you may have to put her down earlier at night, but in a week or so you will be there and based on what happened with my son those transition days will be well worth it.

I posted this question a few months ago-- and didn't get near the response!!!!

Mine is 17 months old, and STILL not napping once. He insists on two naps. I can't break him of it no matter how hard I try.

But I didn't get any advice on how to do it either! I will read your responses for some help myself!

Good luck!

We thought our son was ready for 1 nap a lot earlier but now at 17 months he is just starting to more often. I just pretty much did what he acted like he needed (usually nap at 10am and 3pm). I am now trying to keep him up longer and hope he will take 1 longer nap. We kind of pushed him into it because we just were at Disney for a week and napping was minimal. Just follow your baby's cues, it may take a few weeks or more to get it. He goes to bed about 8pm.

Hi D.!
I'm not sure what the Weissbluth's book says, but in my experience, I just did it gradually. I'd do it every couple of days 15 minutes later until you reach the time that's comfortable for both of you. With my boys we ended at 11:00 and then they'd eat lunch when they woke up. Gradually, we shifted more towards 12:00 or 12:30 with lunch before naps, but that was usually when they were a few months older. My youngest is 22 months now and if we're in the car he'll sometimes fall asleep at 11:30 when we're picking up his older brother from preschool. But, not always does he fall asleep in the car (today he did). His usual naptime is now 12:30 or 1:00. Also, be aware that when they are down to 1 nap it is usually a MUCH longer nap. Depending on your child of course! Mine usually slept anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to an occasional 4 hour nap. It helps us mamas get stuff done around the house :-) Good luck with your transition from 1 to 2 naps. It will be great for you for the summertime! You'll have more flexibility to do fun things!

D.,
Both of my kids transitioned to one nap a day around 15 months. It took almost a month before they were on a regular, one nap a day schedule. At first they were going down by 10:00 and wouldn't sleep for more than an hour and half then were exhausted by 4pm and I made them stay up until 5pm. Gradually I could push the nap and bedtime later until they were napping for about 2-3 starting around 12:30pm.
My best advice is to be consistant and try to keep a schedule for your daughter.

J.

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