Author Topic: From 2 to 1 nap transition (10-12m and older)  (Read 29088 times)

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Offline huntersmummyinoz

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From 2 to 1 nap transition (10-12m and older)
« on: January 14, 2010, 07:35:10 am »
Originally posted by KathrynK, huntersmummyinoz, MommaHolmes and jpisaac:

Around 10-11 months babies tend to show signs of starting the transition from 2 naps to 1. (Note this is an average and could start earlier or later for some babies.) This does not mean your baby is ready for one nap just yet, but they are in the process of changing their naps and sleep needs to get ready for this change. Typically little ones move to one nap around 12 to 18mths old. (Again this could be earlier or later for some babies - some mamas weighed in on when this change occurred on this thread: When did you LO move to 1 nap?.)

These are the typical signs:
1. Bub takes a good morning nap but refuses afternoon nap.
2. Bub refuses to take the morning nap.
3. Bub takes 2 good naps but wakes earlier and earlier in the morning.
4. Bub is taking 2 good naps but bedtime is getting later and later and it’s a struggle to fit everything into a day.

All these are signs that your lo needs less daytime sleep now and more A time. Most LOs however cannot cut down on their daytime sleep on their own, and need help.

There are basically 2 approaches to the switch:

1. Short AM Nap/Long PM Nap:
If point #1 and #3 above apply to your lo, the solution recommended for you (commonly used by members here) is to shorten the morning nap by waking lo earlier than normal.
This approach tends to suit bubs who have a short first Activity time and also need a long last Activity time. It is also helpful for some bubs to avoid Over Tiredness before bedtime and hopefully any Night Waking or Early Waking that can accompany this.
Keep the AM nap at the same Activity time every day, but gradually shorten it in 10/15min increments over time. Move the PM nap earlier too (by the same amount you shorten the first nap). A shorter nap in the morning will leave LO less rested, so he will be ready for the pm nap and stop refusing it.  Eventually nap 1 will become a catnap and when it is as short as 20/30mins, you can attempt to cut it out and have just one nap.
NOTE – it can take quite a bit of trial and error to work out the right Activity time after a shortened nap.  Typical Activity time after a 30min nap is 2 to 3 hrs.
If your lo is a habitual early waker, then as well as shortening the am nap, you need to move it slightly later, perhaps by 20- 30 minutes. This will encourage your lo to start sleeping longer at night so they can’t “catch up” that lost night sleep so quickly.

2. Long AM Nap/Short PM Nap
Gradually increase the first morning Activity time later and later by 10/15min increments over time.  Let bub sleep as long as they want, then do a late PM catnap (this can be a shorter Activity time than in the morning, as you don't want them to take a full nap and doesn’t matter if they take an Under Tired nap. Eventually attempt to cut out the PM catnap when it is as short as 20/30mins.
NOTE – AM nap may need cutting to 2hrs if still refusing catnap.
(This approach tends to suit bubs that like a long first Activity time and short last Activity time, and also those who HATE being woken from a nap).

Bear in mind that when you start to change lo’s sleep patterns it will take at least a few days if not over a week for their body clock to readjust. Don’t expect to see results immediately, especially if you are dealing with an early waker!
When you shorten naps for some los it may mean they also need shorter A times. In particular, if you are shortening the am nap, your lo may well not last until their usual pm nap time, but will need to take it earlier. For example, if your lo has previously managed 4 hours of A time, shortening the am nap to 1hr or 45 mins may mean they need their pm nap after 3 hrs instead.

*Hold on to two naps for as long as you can. The closer they are to 18 months, the more likely they will be able to handle the longer A times without getting OT. The thought of your LO having one 'deliciously long afternoon nap' (as Tracy puts it) is appealing, but if you push it before they are ready it can all come crashing down.

*Use EBT to prevent OT. Do everything you can to make sure they have the opportunity to catch up on lost sleep and avoid OT. Don't be afraid to put your child down to sleep earlier than 6pm if you have to, and it doesn't mean that your child will wake for the day earlier.

For more information please read the following:
from 2 to 1 nap - how, when and the bumps
10/ 11mo sleep gone wonky? Read this first! (2-1 switch)

There is also a great support thread with others who are working through this called Anyone want to talk about the 2 – 1 transition?  It can be found at the top of the posts on the Naps Board which is here:
Or at the top of the Sleeping for Toddlers Board if your bub is 12 months or older, found here:
Sleeping For Toddlers

If after reading through all of this, you still have more specific questions about your child, please post on the main EASY board or the Sleeping for Toddlers Board if your bub is 12 months and older.

Edited by Ima shel Alon, 2013.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 02:55:52 am by Erin M »