Dropping to one nap, meaning a big routine change. Any advice?(19 Posts)
Until recently we had a lovely routine where DS would have a long (1.5 hour plus) nap 3 hours after he woke up in the morning and then a short nap in the afternoon. I loved this, I got all the housework done and has time for a cup of tea.
He has been struggling with night sleeping lately though and often skipping his afternoon nap and I think he probably should move to a long, post lunch nap. Any ideas on how to do this with minimum disruption as I've not got a clue how to try and make this work.
Oh yes, I remember it well!
I brought the afternoon nap forward and left household jobs until then.
Actually I was glad when it happened because it meant we could go out to park, shops, Toddler Group etc in the morning and then I got a really good break in the middle of the day
I would come home and give DS an early lunch at 12:00 or even 11:30am so he could have an early nap and then be ready again for sleep in the evening. This also fitted in well well older siblings had to be collected from school at 3.15pm.
Good luck with your new routine!
What worked for me was finding activities in the morning (toddler groups, trips to the library etc) that would keep DCs going until after lunch. Works a treat - you just need a change of scenery to give them a second wind.
Another tip i once picked up and also used myself is how to keep a tired baby going until lunchtime. Give him a 10 minute sleep in the buggy at around 10. This will help with overtiredness. But only do this when he is too tired to last until lunch.
Provided DS wakes up around 6.30am-7am and not earlier, we will go to a toddler class/the park/the shops in the morning but we're back by 11.30am for lunch. He has a nap after that and sleeps for a good 2 hours.
You have to be flexible and take their cues though (once your routine is established) - if DS wakes very early in the morning, say 5.30am then I will put him down for a nap at around 9.30... he's likely to be a bit on edge by then! Again, he will sleep for about 2 hours, but he won't nap after that. He's 16 months old, but this has been the routine since about 13 months.
If your toddler does wake up too early and won't last till lunch, I think it's wise to put them down for a morning nap at say 10am latest so they have lunch at a reasonable time when they wake up. You don't want your toddler to fall asleep before lunch and only wake up around 2.30...they will eat lunch too late and possibly won't be hungry at dinner.
You might have to start giving him lunch really early - like 11.30 but you can push it back little by little as he gets used to staying awake longer in the morning.
I found life much easier when my dc got in to just one long post-lunch nap. It just seemed less complicated.
And if I wanted to go out after lunch, for a walk or a stroll around the local shops, then I'd lie the buggy right back and make it extra comfy with blankets and teddies and spend the two hours walking around, rather than automatically staying in and doing housework.
We managed to make lunch before nap today. Alright, lunch was at 11 but he was up at 6 and breakfasted at 6:30. Hopefully he'll get into the general idea now and we can go from there.
All good advice on here, thank you. All our activities are unfortunately in the afternoon, but a ride on the trike is so exciting it keeps him going.
Just a question...why when going to one nap is it always supposed to be after lunch? My 18 month old also has her longest sleep in the morning. Usually 1.5 hours. She is an early riser so can't see her lasting till after lunch. In fact if she is overtired when she naps she usually reverts back to 40 mins sleep.
Some days, like today, she naps at about 10.30am (today till midday). She usually eats a good breakfast and I make sure she has a decent sncak before sleep. She has lunch when she wakes and then doesn't nap again.
She is usually ready for her sleep 4/5 hours after first wake so I can't see us ever doing an after lunch sleep!!
Um, actually, that is a really good point. I suppose I presumed he would need to nap and have equal time before and after and also got a bit tied up with him lunching at 11:30 (various reasons).
He wakes between 6 and 7, and as long as he gets a big late morning snack before his nap he should be fine lunching later.
Thank you, I'm a bit of a control freak I think and had got a fixed idea about that. I think I'll just let him run about until he sleeps and go from there.
Napping later in the day might in itself encourage a later wake up time?
Hi there OP - how did you get on today?
I'm in the same position I think, DS has been strenuously resisting his PM nap for a few weeks so I'm trialling moving to one nap. Also confused about the impact on meal times etc and nervous of him napping before lunch as:
a) might not have had enough to eat in the morning to get in a decent length one nap
b) if he naps too early in the day will he make it through to bedtime without being totally wrecked!?
Today I did lunch at 11:30 and nap at 12:00 (following swimming in the morning) but think he was OT as I had to go up and help him settle for his nap so he didn't actually get to sleep until 12:30. He napped about an hour and 15 mins whereas I'd have hoped he'd have a good two hours. I guess it'll take a few days to see if it's going to work or not... Let me know how you get on too.
We've spent ages trying to work out the 'right' and 'best' time for our little one to nap. No answers found!!
She's never been that great at it!! it just came as a huge relief when she suddenly started napping longer than 40 mins at a time. Even now, although she sleeps 1.5 hours at home, she has 2 short naps on the day she is in nursery.
I'm sure, like you say, a sleep in the middle of the day is probably best but we haven't managed it yet! I'd be happy with a longish sleep at 11ish. Then we can do stuff morning and afternoon!! :-) But, she makes up her own rules so just as we think we've got it sussed she'll change her routine again I'm sure!
I sound pretty chilled out about it but trust me...I'm not always!
Today it all went to pot! Although he did only have one nap, but he slept appallingly and seemed in pain so we ended up co-sleeping and then he was awake at 5. I said "sleep-time" to him and he laughed and shook his head!
So he was wrecked and so was I so he slept from 9-11:15. He didn't sleep after that though which was unusual. So one nap, but very early and he coped surprisingly well afterwards.
It's going to be a guessing game for a while I think.
Good luck lyraaa, if only they could talk then this would be so much easier!
How old were your dcs when they moved to one nap? My 8 mo dd has been resisting her naps at 9am and 1pm for a week or so, so I have been doing both naps an hour or two later. I'm not sure if she's trying to move to one lunchtime nap, but thought 8 months seems a bit early for that...
Can I join in please? DD is 11.5 months, wakes at 5am, has. 1.5 hour nap at 8.30 and a 1.25 hour nap at 1.30. The afternoon nap is getting shorter and te early mornings are killing me. Do you think one nap in the middle of the day could help?
Like you OP this would mean big changes in the routine, but I'm just about to return to work FT so maybe it's the time to try it?
Hi - just wondering how you're all doing? Still stuck between 1 and 2 naps at the moment here. For now, if he wakes at the normal time (6 ish) I offer him a nap at around 9, which he mostly takes, then cross fingers, try and tire him out, and hope he'll have another around 2 or I end up with v cranky baby by bed time. On the very rare occasion he sleeps a bit longer (6:45 \ 7 - bliss!) I skip the morning nap (as he doesn't seem tired after the longer sleep) and just go for one nap around 1. It's working out at about half and half one nap and two nap days at the moment - he's just too tired after a few one naps days in a row and seems to need the two naps again for a couple of days.
MissRedIndie - DS is nearly 13 months, 8 months does sound early for dropping to one nap, I believe it's 'usually' some time between 12 and 18 months, but then maybe your dd is an early one! DS had gone through periods of resisting naps, but he gets so tired I know he's not quite ready just yet.
Miss Honkover - you could maybe try shortening the morning nap to 1 hour? I did this when DS started resisting his afternoon nap and it evened things out for a while, just an idea...
It's kind of happening, but as with any transition it comes and goes. If he wakes up between 6 and 7 then he can go to between 11 and 12 and have a long nap then. If he wakes earlier we end up with 2 naps.
Funny thing is, on the 2 days he does an afternoon at nursery he takes an extra sleep.
Hopefully it will all become more regular and predictable soon but who knows!
Hi MissHonkover, our DSs sound very similar: 7-5, 5:30 am overnight, nap at 8:30 (1.25hrs)and at 1:30 or 2 (same, longer sometimes if very active morning). We would much prefer a longer night sleep and one decent nap, but as long as he is well rested can't complain. This morning he only did 45 mins (teething?). We do wonder if 2.5 hrs of daytime sleep is the cause of the early wakings....he's never been keen on sleep to say the least. Wld welcome any advice on cutting down day sleep and whether this meant more night sleep.
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