Are the days of a seamless, 2-nap schedule a thing of the past?
The average age for a child to drop their second nap of the day is around 15 months old.
Some keep it as long as 18 months and some drop it as early as 12. Keep in mind, that a child who holds on to it longer, may experience disrupted sleep at night and overall shortened night sleep.
As you near the transition, there are warning signs:
Difficulty falling asleep for 1 or both naps
Early morning wakings
Taking a long time to fall asleep at bedtime
Just like the other transitions, this one will also take some time. Generally, it takes 4-6 weeks to settle into the new schedule.
Here's how to start!
Delay morning nap by 30 minutes and settle there for 5-7 days before adjusting again. Eventually settling at 12PM.
Catnaps will happen in the afternoon by the way of a car ride, and sometimes that can't be avoided.... This is okay.
The main thing to remember is that when you get to 11AM (or a 4 hour first wake window) You won't offer a second nap on those days, instead you will offer an early, early bedtime. Sometimes, as early as 6PM.
Bedtime will need to be moved earlier during the transition as your little one adjusts to these longer awake periods during the day. Total wake time may drop from 10-9 hours temporarily.
Before moving to a one nap a day, check that your baby's day can't be stretched out even further. Something like 3/3/4, for example.
*Check that your 2-nap schedule doesn't have some room for manipulation first i.e. capping nap lengths and lengthening wake times.
Many times I feel parents are anxious to lose the 2 nap schedule, but what lays ahead is a dedicated LONG afternoon nap. It really was one of my favorite nap transitions for my twins'. I got my naptime hustle done and even took many naps myself on the weekends. Enjoy!
Lindsay Loring is a certified pediatric sleep consultant and Owner of
Tweet Dreamzz Sleep Consulting.
Join her online community of parents here.