Many parents are unsure when their baby is ready to start taking only one nap during the day. The switch from two naps to one can be a difficult one, but it is important to make the switch at the right time for your baby.
Some babies may be ready to make the switch as early as 12 months old, while others may not be ready until they are closer to 18 months old.
Signs it is time to transition to one nap
The transition from two naps to one can be a tricky one for babies and parents alike. When is the right time to make the switch? How can you make the transition go smoothly? And what are the benefits of making the switch? Here’s what you need to know.
There are a few things you can look for to help you decide when your baby is ready for the switch.
Missed naps have little to no impact on a baby’s mood or behavior.
One thing to consider is how long your baby is able to stay awake without getting fussy. If your baby is ready to happily take on the world, even without a second nap, they may not need that extra snooze time.
However, if being short on sleep leads to irritable, hyperactive, or downright mean behavior in babies then they may not be ready for one nap if it seems like their emotions are shifting later in the day.
Nightime sleep is affected by two naps.
When baby does take two naps, is it common for them to struggle to fall asleep at night and still seem wide awake by bedtime?
If your child is sleeping lots of hours during the day, especially later in the day, they may not be as quick to fall asleep at night. This is because their day is so active and they may be worn out.
Some babies, however, just naturally sleep better at night than they do during the day. If this is you, your baby will likely tell you when they are ready to sleep.
Nap Resistance or Refusal
Does your baby downright just refuse to take a nap or it takes you an extremely long time to get them to sleep if they even go at all? If this behavior persists 4-5 times a week for at least two weeks straight, it may be time to drop that second nap.
Schedule tips for transitioning to one nap
You may need to start by avoiding the second nap one or two days out of every week. Then, you can build on this and eventually have your baby take a nap during the day only.
If you don’t want to phase out the second nap, you can just make the transition at once. Avoid laying down or doing things that would signal sleep at this time, like taking car rides. You want to avoid things and activities that would lull them to sleep.
You can go outside and get some fresh air. You can also use a transition to talk about the kiddo’s nap. For example, you could say “Today is a special day because we’re going to spend more time playing together. ”
Focus your focus on giving your child enough activity and ensuring he gets plenty of movement and stimulation during the day. Set a regular nap schedule and stick to it as closely as possible.
Best Nap Timing
According to Sleep.org, the best time for a toddler to take a nap is in the early afternoon, this can range from 12:30-2:00pm. This nap should be about 90 minutes and no more than two hours.
In conclusion, transitioning to one nap can be a difficult process, but it is worth it for both parents and children. It can help improve sleep, behavior, and overall health.
There are a few things that parents can do to make the transition easier, such as gradually cutting back on the number of naps, making sure the child gets enough exercise and outdoor time during the day and keeping a consistent bedtime routine.
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