Switching from 2 Naps to 1 - Minneapolis,MN

Updated on June 13, 2012
M.A. asks from Cambridge, MA
10 answers

Hi there. My 15 month old has settled nicely into 2 naps a day, but now seems to be chatting and fussing a bit longer at the start sometimes and definitely at night. He's definitely on the verge of walking, which I'm sure is affecting his sleep, but I'm also wondering if it's time and how to transition him to 1 nap.

His schedule is something like this:
6:15 or 6:30 am wake up
9:30 or so starts getting cranky - morning nap 1 or 1.5 hours (sometimes 2)
2:00 or so I put down for afternoon nap - sometimes tired, sometimes not so much - sleeps another hour or 2
7:30 or so bedtime - lately chatters until 8:15 or so - sometimes fusses (teeth?)

Just curious about what others have done and how to transition...


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answers from Chicago on

My tot is now 20 most old, and she recently switched to 1 nap. We follow a late night, late morning schedule entirely, so her schedule was like -
7.30 wake up, 11 - 2 hr nap, 4 - 1 hr nap, 9.30 - bedtime.
Last one month, she kept refusing to do the afternoon nap. Initially, I kept trying. Later, I decided to follow her lead. If she indicates she is sleepy before 4, I let her take a 2nd nap for an hr. If not, she'd play and go to bed early by 9. lately, she either takes a solid 2.5 hr nap either in the mornings at 11, or she does it in the afternoon at 3. I let her tell me.

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answers from Detroit on

It is not easy to drop a nap. But when they are not tired for the second nap.. it is time to make a change.

You can try to wake him up from the morning nap after an hour.. He might be tired enough for the second nap..

When you drop the morning nap.. the afternoon nap moves earlier int he day.. start at 11 am or so.. then bedtime moves up to 6 or 630. as the kids get older the nap moves later and later.. by 2 or so nap is at 12.. at 3 napt is at 1.. at 4 nap is at 2.. then they drop the nap. and go to bed earlier.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I'm no pro or anything, as I only have experience with my daughter, but here's what worked for us when I felt like it was time to transition. We would keep busy in the mornings. I would run errands or just go for a walk with her in the stroller and end up at a park. If I had no errands to run and it was to cold for a park, we went to the library which was about a 20 minute drive. If she took a little cat nap in the car seat or the stroller, I would let her sleep until we got to where we were going. That would usually be 30 minutes or less. That was enough to get her thru the morning. Then we of course bumped up the afternoon nap so she was going down between 12:30 and 1pm. Before I knew it she was mostly staying awake during our outings. I loved the freedom of not having to be home for her morning nap, that getting out was a pleasure for me. But before long she didn't need those little cat naps and we could just stay home and play. Of course, there are those days when you just have to be flexible and a morning nap here or there may be needed during the transition. Good luck.



answers from Minneapolis on

That's a lot of sleeping for a kid that big. My girls were down to one 2 hour nap by 1 and bed about 8-8:30. the later bedtime caused my girls to sleep till about 7 which was very nice as well.



answers from St. Cloud on

Honestly, I don't think he's ready for two naps. He's napping 2-4 hours a day, which I think shows he definitely needs it still. If he wasn't getting cranky at 9:30am, then stayed awake when you put him down, that'd be different.

My son is 14 months and is starting to do this but his nap times have always been shorter than your guy. His bedtime was also 7:30 but I moved him back to 7:45/8:00 and he's spending less time nestling in and falls asleep sooner, and he sleeps a bit later in the morning. His schedule is a lot like your sons. There are times when he spends over 15 minutes wide awake after I put him down for a nap, but at least he's resting and I'm getting a break. I plan on keeping with two naps as long as I can, until it's super obvious that he's not needing them. Just the other day, he slept later than normal, we ran early errands (which we normally don't) and I thought I'd see how he'd do taking one nap. By 10:00, he was super crabby so I put him down...slept for 1.5 hours! When it comes time to transition I'm going to push his morning nap back later and later until it becomes a mid-day nap. Those days I'll probably put him down earlier for bed, until he adjusts completely.

Also, I think you hit the nail on the head with his walking. I've always heard that if they're developing a new physical skill they have a harder time sleeping.



answers from Columbia on

Our son is 15mo too. Here's his before and after schedule
9nap (2hrs)
1nap (2hrs)

9nap (1hr)
12:30nap (2-2.5hrs)

Everything I've read on here, in books and asking the ped is that this "transition" can take several weeks to a couple months. The end result will be a single afternoon nap that is longer.

We've had to be patient as we thought he was ready, but then wasn't. I've also let him have his morning 2 hrs a little too long as I also noticed the quiet play in the crib.

Where we're at now seems to work really well, but I know in a month it'll change. I think the rules of the game are consistency and flexibility.

We consistently have the same schedule everyday, but with flexibility that we're not rigid every single day. So far so good. :)



answers from Duluth on

Wow...after all that, I'm reassured to know I'm not crazy--my baby does not sleep much! My daughter is 17 months and has been taking one nap a day for a while--we knew because she was staying up til 10 or 11 pm on two naps. She transitioned by taking a longer morning nap, then we pushed the morning nap later. She gets up around 6-6:30, naps for about an hour in the afternoon, and goes to bed around 9 pm. I *wish* she would sleep longer or better, but that's how it goes!



answers from Oklahoma City on

In child care all the kids are down to one nap by the time they are 12 months because the toddler room has a daily schedule that has one nap on it. They also start sleeping on a cot around 11 months so that when they go in the next room they are used to it. This is also a good time to transition them to a toddler bed. They don't "get" that they can get up and wander or play with toys. It's just bed and time to sleep, not a form of freedom.

The state mandates how many hours they can sleep in child care. Why? To keep some cheat from putting the kids down on a cot and making them stay there all day so they don't have to deal with them. It has happened I am sure.

I think he gets up way too early for a child that is not going to child care. If he went down later he'd sleep later, it would take time but he would eventually make the change. If you like him waking up this early then of course it's your choice.

In child care this would be pretty close to a normal schedule.

Arrival times 6am - 8am.

Breakfast 7:30am-8:15am.

8:15 class time. Various schedules in each room. Almost all are doing sitting activities, circle time for at least 1/2 hour with physical activities like group exercise, playing musical instruments and having a parade, learning the days of the week, what the weather is like outside, etc..... Writing in journals, pre-school stuff, painting, coloring, play-doh, activities that are done sitting at the table, classroom stuff.

9:30-9:45 snack time, usually a light snack, Juice and something like graham crackers. Or fruit slices and water. Something high is simple carbohydrates and for hydration. While he is working on eating lunch before falling asleep this can be more substantial. Maybe a half sandwich, something with more complex carbohydrates and a protein.

Play time outside if possible, strong activity time, running and playing, riding toys, staying fully active physically. No time to fall asleep.

10:30am start transitioning from play to time to eat lunch, picking up toys, washing hands, etc...

This will be when he starts having issues. He will want to fall asleep instead of eating, be too cranky to eat. That's okay for a while, he can eat a larger snack and go down for a nap before eating lunch. He can eat a large snack when he wakes up. The goal is to eat lunch then go to sleep for several hours.

11-11:45 lunch time, this includes clean up and hand washin

Transition time: changing diapers, etc...quiet music playing, windows being blocked so the room is darker, calm voices, soft songs, quiet story time, restful stories, nothing exciting!! Getting on cots and laying quietly. Rubbing backs if needed.

noon nap time until 3pm. If they wake up that's fine, I just always scheduled quiet time during that phase of the day so the little ones could sleep as much as they needed.

3pm-3:30pm afternoon snack time, good size snack, small meal. Some kids don't get home until after 6pm and don't eat until after 7 so this "meal" will need to be complex and hearty to hold them over.

Younger kids will crash on the way home in the car during this time of transition. It will be normal for him to have difficulties during the evening hours. He will start to slowly make it through the evening hours and go down at a normal time.

I usually let them sleep in the car on the way home then they went to bed around 9pm. Our bedtime has been 9pm consistently for all the kids.

It is hard to change a comfortable schedule. It's nice to have to quiet times during the day too. Working towards only having one nap is a good thing for him right now. He's not on any set schedule like so many are. He has more flexibility so he can take as long as needed for this.



answers from Janesville-Beloit on

My daughter (now 20 mo) transitioned when she was about 15 months. Before she had been napping at about 9 and 2, but now she wakes up around 6 or a bit after, naps around 12:30/1 for about 2-3 hours, and then goes to bed around 7:30.



answers from Orlando on

My 16 month old dropped his nap 2nd nap early, at 10 months. He would nap about 10 am to 12 pm and then in the afternoon around 3 pm. Well he started resisting the afternoon nap, crying for a long time, not settling down at all. Just sitting there awake and looking at his books or crying. So I moved his nap to 12 to 2 as I have to pick up older son from school at 2:30. Now that it is summer, he will nap later, around 1:30 or 2 until 3:30 or 4. He wakes about 7:30 am and is fine all morning. We can get errands done, or go to park and for lunch, come home and he naps. He goes to bed around 8 pm. He chates and jabbers for 20 minutes or so at night and then drifts off to sleep. It was a bummer to lose that 2nd nap so early, but it is nice to have some freedom from watching the clock and having to revolve around the important nap time.

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