The 2 to 1 Nap Transition and How to Know if Your Little One is Ready!

nap - a toddler laying in bed wearing pink pjs and covering her eyes with both hands

Nap transitons can be hard and knowing when your little one may be ready for the next transition is always a common question I get from families.  The 2 to 1 nap transition is the trickiest to figure out and often our little ones need to hold onto those 2 naps longer then we think

What Age Should we Transition to 1 Nap ?

On average, most little ones transition from 2 to 1 naps between 15 and 18 months of age.  Your little one may go through a regression and fight naps (often the afternoon one ) around 12 months of age.  Often families think this is the time to transition to one nap but due to all that new development and learning going on its really important that we keep offering two naps during this time.

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This nap strike is common around 12 months of age as their bodies and brains catch up to all that new learning.  During this time we want to keep offering those naps, even if baby just has some quiet time or plays through them its still quiet and restorative for them.  When they play through or miss that nap, we can offer an early bedtime to help make up some of that sleep.  IF they are struggling with the afternoon nap you can try to cap the morning nap around 1hr to 1.5hrs to see if that helps the afternoon nap happen.  The main point here is DON’T transition too early, problems will pop up but with consistency and offering those set naps times often they will resolve.  If we transition too early we are more likely to see night wakings and/or early morning wakings,  Keep offering those naps, be consistent with the timings and offer an early bedtime when needed. 

So when do we transition ?

When your child is between 15-18 months and are offered two naps consistently every day but for the last couple weeks they only take one of those naps.  This tells us they are ready to transition.

How do you make the Transition ?

When your child is ready as stated above, the best way is to just jump right in and switch to the one nap.  You can slowly move that morning nap into that lunch time position.  Often that starts by offering it around 11-1130 and then slowly as your little one adjust we move it closer to that 1230 time.  Make sure they had a good snack or early lunch before so they aren’t waking due to hunger. Its really important here that we are leaving your little one long enough to ensure they are getting a good nap.  Often this may mean leaving them in the crib for the whole two hours initially to help them adjust and ensure they are getting the sleep they need.  We also want to move bedtime a bit earlier during this transition to help them adjust and ensure they don’t become overtired.

This transition takes time and is often that hardest nap transition.  It is a gradual process and we want to ensure they are old enough and ready for the transition.  With offering the nap consistently and allowing them lengthen it, things will come together.

Have more questions about the nap transition ? Send me a message today to schedule a free 15 min consultation.

Sleep Consultant Jolan Holmes
Sleep Consultant Jolan Holmes
Jolan Holmes, B.A., E.C.E, R.C.C. and Certified Sleep Consultant lives in Anmore, BC with her husband and two beautiful boys. She has over 20 years experience supporting families and children with developmental, behavioural and mental health needs, as well as working specifically with little ones with sensory processing challenges and Autism. Jolan was certified as a Sleep Consultant through the Family Sleep Institute and trained as a Good Night Sleep Educator.

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