Author Topic: from 2 to 1 nap - how, when and the bumps  (Read 57882 times)

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Offline jpisaac

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from 2 to 1 nap - how, when and the bumps
« on: September 25, 2005, 17:38:07 pm »
Here is what Tracy's says on the 2 to 1 transisition:
In Tracy's problem solving book she gives an explanation. You basically start by pushing the morning nap back by 15-30 minutes every 3 days. So the 9.30 nap is at 9.45 or 10 for 3 days and then you push it to 10.15-10.30 for 3 days etc. Obviously you need to be a little bit creative in terms of snacks and lunch times to make it work. The plan is to gradually push the morning nap back until they can stay up until 12, have some lunch, and then have a "deliciously long afternoon nap" of 2-3 hours.

Tracy admits that this is often a difficult process and can take months for some kids to master. she also says that on some days you lo might still need a morning nap and that you need to be flexible.

This is also very helpful:
based on Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child says this:

Now that the third nap no longer exists, we hopefully have two solid naps a day which are restorative and long enough to keep your child rested until bedtime.  As we get closer to months 13-15 we start seeing changes occur in the nap schedule (this can vary from child to child, some start transition at as early as a year and others might not transition until 18 months).  There are different indications of when transition is starting.  The first scenario is that your child begins playing during the morning nap and never sleeps or you leave your child and she falls asleep later into the nap (too late to start a morning nap).  The second scenario is that your child is able to stay awake longer in the morning so you put her down a little bit later and she does sleep, however, again it falls too late in the morning thus messing up the schedule for the day.  The third scenario is that your child sleeps fine for the morning nap, around the same time as she always has but is refusing to take the afternoon nap, leaving you with a very overtired child at bedtime.

So, what do we do?  For a child who's scenario is much like the first two you will want to push her wakeful period as close to 12pm for that one nap.  If it's too difficult to push it that far then you could try 11am, either way she will be tired if not overtired, but that is to be expected.  The duration of the nap will vary for the first couple of weeks.  She might only sleep and hour or she might sleep two but being that the nap is starting so early in the day it will definitely not cover her until bedtime.  Note: it is so important during this time to let your baby go back to sleep should she wake prematurely from this only nap of the day, which is expected.  Transitions always mean some period of overtiredness but this is why implementing an early bedtime is so important (which will be explained further, below).  For the third scenario you will want to limit the morning nap to about an hour so that the afternoon nap can occur.  Eventually the third scenario will turn into the first or second scenario and at that point you would implement the procedures explained above. 

Once you have made the transition into one nap a day you will then have to work on pushing that one nap closers to the middle of the day.  If the one nap is occurring late morning then over a period of weeks you will slowly push that nap closer to 12:30-1pm.  It takes time so be patient!  Some babies can be pushed harder than others.  Some just go to the 1pm nap right away and can tolerate the overtiredness from the long wakeful period in the morning.  Others, or most babies take some time to get to that point.  It can take a couple of weeks, to a couple of months depending on the child.  When all is said and done and you have finally pushed that nap to midday the duration will become longer over time.  Those long afternoon naps we hear about tend to occur some months after transition is complete.


Night Sleep:

Early bedtimes during these months is the most important element to a successful and easier transition.  At the beginning of transition when the morning nap is not consistently occurring but the afternoon nap is still in tact you want to shoot for a bedtime anywhere from 6-7pm depending on how the afternoon nap went.  This is considered an early bedtime because even though a good nap occurred in the afternoon, there is still a loss of sleep from the morning nap.  In another scenario, if the morning nap is taken but cut short or there is no morning nap but the afternoon nap is taken in late morning you have to make an extra early bedtime.  For example, if there was no morning nap and you put your child down for the only nap of the day at about 11am-12pm and sleeps between 1-2 hours, there is a long period of wakefulness before bedtime.  We have to somewhat shorten that gap by implementing the extra early bedtime.  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.

As with making any change you must be consistent for a period of time.  You can't analyze the results of making changes over one or two days, you really need 5-7 days to give it a fair shake.  It is important at this time especially to keep track of sleeping to get a sense of how transition is going so please use the sleep chart below. Please remember that these extra early bedtimes are specifically needed during transition where there is a loss of sleep.  This is temporary and it doesn't mean that your child will always need this extra early bedtime.  It's a matter of balancing what is lost.  You are just doing what is necessary for the phase you are in.  You are being flexible according to your child's needs.

Right guys, I have been thinking about this for a long while. We made a total balls up of the 2-1 transition and I do think it's something that you have to approach with caution. If I had known then what I know now then I think we could have avoided the four months of EW, NW and general OT hell and made a smooth ride of it - a little knowledge goes a long way!

So, here are Laura's top tips for handling the 2-1 transition!

1. Know your options! There a couple of brilliant posts in the FAQ that give you some suggestions for making the transition:
10-11 month old sleep gone wonky

2. 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, and the shorter (hopefully!) the transition period should be. The thought of your LO having one 'deliciously long afternoon nap' (as Tracy puts it) is soooo appealing I know, but if you push it before they are ready it can all come crashing down.

3. Resist the temptation to go 'cold turkey' and make a jump from a morning and an afternoon nap to one nap at a totally different time. It might go well for the first few days but things can quickly start to go wrong and once OT sets in, it is very very difficult to recover from.

4. Know what you are aiming for and what you are trying to avoid! Your LO really needs at least 13 hours sleep per day, if you're way under this then your LO may already be OT. Check the 2-1 nap switch thread on the Naps board for plenty of examples of how it can all go wrong! It's a shame the original 180 page long threads are no longer accessible cos you could see just how badly we cocked it up  :P

5. Know the signs of OT - if naps start getting shorter, morning wake up times get earlier or your LO starts waking frequently at night, chances are they are getting OT. They might also start taking aaaages to fall asleep (although this could also be a sign that they are UT, so only really significant if one of the other things is happening too) or getting very distressed at bedtime/naptime or during NW (SA type behaviour).

6. The early bedtime is KING! Don't be afraid to put your LO to bed before 6pm if they need it. There is nothing weird about a 5:30pm bedtime if they have missed out on 1.5hrs day sleep, they've got to fit it in somewhere otherwise that OT will come and bite you on the backside!

7. Be flexible. Just because you are making the move to one nap a day, doesn't mean you can't offer two if you think your LO needs it e.g. if they wake early. Do everything you can to make sure they have the opportunity to catch up on lost sleep and avoid OT. You don't have to 'be on 1 nap' or 'be on 2 naps', you can do a mixture of the two for a while.

8. Be patient. Accept that the transition could last a couple of months. At the moment, there may not be enough hours in the day for your LO to fit in two naps with the A times they can handle BUT there are probably still too many hours in the day for them to cope with only having one nap. They kind of have to grow into it as they head towards 18 months.

9. Be creative with mealtimes - don't be afraid to do very early lunchtimes / dinners, or to split lunchtimes either side of the nap. It's only for a couple of months and normal patterns are possible again once

10. If it all goes to hell in a handcart... and chronic OT sets in, wake up times are all over the shop, nap lengths are all over the shop, then the best thing you can do is stop being flexible, fix on a one nap schedule that is closest to what your LO can handle e.g. early nap (around 11am) and very early bedtime (around 5pm), and stick to it for at least a week come hell or high water, regardless of wake up times, and hope beyond hope that things start to stabilise. If they do stabilise, then you can start to shift their day on by shifting nap and bedtime by 15 mins every 4 days or so until you reach a sensible wake up time. If they don't stabilise... then you have to go back to the drawing board and try and reinstitute a 2 nap schedule that you can stick to for another couple of months until they're a bit older and can handle the A times.

Phew! I knew I had a lot to say on the subject, but I didn't realise it was going to be quite THAT much!
Hope it helps  :)
Laura x

Hi everyone - it's nice to see that other people are racking their brains like myself over 11 month sleep issues...  I didn't realize that this was a common age for transitions with sleep.

My DS is changing his routine and it now looks like this...

Wake 6:30-7:00
AM nap 10:30-12
Crashing at 3-4ish but can't seem to get a nap - will sleep in the car - but i don't want to get into that habit.
5:00 bedtime - seriously overtired at this point
increasing night waking (never used to)

He's definately overtired in the afternoon  :roll: , and never gets a good supper in cause he's so tired (which may explain the night waking...).  But I haven't been able to get an afternoon nap in - I haven't really tried though as it seemed to late in the day to nap at 4pm.  But I see other people have this routine going for their babes.

So - should I try to create a second nap around 3:30-4 when he's crashing and create a later bedtime?  And to do this, should I just start trying to put him down at that time every day?  If he doesn't nap, keep the early bedtime?

Also, I would like a later bedtime as I've started back to work a couple days a week and need to be able to work until around 6:30 - but my son still has a BF before bed.

Thanks for any advice!!
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 03:35:07 am by Aly Mac »
Mother to Isaac my precious "grumpy" baby - Oct 24/04