2 to 1 nap transition, advice please

(25 Posts)
Stacii Thu 15-Apr-21 11:00:56

Hi all, I'm looking for advice from those who have already transitioned to to nap.

My boy is 16 months and currently still taking 2 naps. A typical day looks like this (I say typical because it changes regularly)

6am wake
9.15-10.45 nap
2.30-3.30 nap
7.30-9 bed.

He is now able to go long stretches before bedtime, the other day he went from 1.30 until 7.30.

But my worry is that stretching him until lunchtime will cause over tiredness. He goes into his cot awake for naps and bedtime and goes to sleep himself, so this makes me feel he still needs the 2 naps but our days are all over the place because he goes to sleep different times, wakes different times... I'd like to know what time expect from 1 day to the next.

I often have to wake him from 1st nap in order to fit the second one and sometimes wake him from this too.

Can people please offer any advice? Does he still need the 2 naps? He gets very tired to the point of clumsiness, especially in the morning. If I were to bite the bullet and try a 1 day day I would need to stretch him from 6 until 11 which is 5 hours, my fear is that he will be OT and not nap properly and need another and bed time will still be affected. Shall I let him continue the 2 naps? I just dont know what to do for the best. 2 naps are not necessarily a problem, but sometimes we have early wakes or late nights because hes not tired enough. I think more of a structure would be good for both of us, regardless of 1 or 2 naps but I'm stuck where to startconfused

OP’s posts: |
ShinyGreenElephant Thu 15-Apr-21 11:13:13

My 2yo naps from (roughly) 11 until 1 and we started that around 18m. I would start by keeping him up til 10.30 if you can then let him sleep as long as he wants, then just do an earlier bedtime while he's getting used to it. I find one nap so much easier- you can plan your day better as a morning and afternoon section, with any jobs or errands fitted in during naptime

Stacii Thu 15-Apr-21 16:26:40

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I had considered that, my only concern is early waking. I've found his sweet spit for bed time is 7.30, he falls asleep within minutes (sometimes can take an hour) but, when he goes to sleep at 7.30, he often will get up to start the day at 4.30hmm

I've worked really hard to getaway from early waking as he has always been an early riser. Now he has slightly later bedtime and as a result we get 6-6.30 wakes,which are much nicer than 4.30-5. Xx

OP’s posts: |
CupcakesK Thu 15-Apr-21 16:36:20

We moved the morning nap back gradually to 10, 1030 and so on. Now we're on 12:30-2:30 nap each day (wakes approx 6:30)

It did mean that while we were transitioning he often went to bed earlier - often 5:30 to 6 and was a bit grumpy at being awake this long. There were a couple of days where he did have a short second nap in the afternoon or refused food because he was tired. After about 2-3 weeks he seems to be in a good routine which is now:

630 wake
1230-230 nap
7 bed

However, mine has never been a great napper and would happily keep on going until you force him to have a nap.

LetsGoChamp Thu 15-Apr-21 16:36:38

My DS just started refusing his first nap. Our routine was similar to yours.

7am wake up.
9.30-11 nap 1.
2-3 nap 2.
7/8pm bedtime.

He then started napping 11-1 after just pushing it back and back. The first few days are a bit rough with earlier mornings but now his routine is -

7am wake up
12-2/2.30 nap
7.30pm bedtime

He is usually really good and drops at bedtime and nap time now. We find that keeping him busy particularly in the morning really helped get him in the routine so we’d take him to the park, supermarket etc, anything to keep him awake. By the time we got home and he had a bottle he was fast asleep and it got much easier.

SeaTurtles92 Thu 15-Apr-21 16:42:52

DS 21 months has one nap a day now usually around 1-3:30/4 and goes to bed at 8:30/9.

He kind of dropped the morning nap himself so I just went with it but when I could see him falling asleep in the morning I'd do something to keep him awake and now he doesn't try to nap in the pushchair when we're out in the morning.

Stacii Thu 15-Apr-21 17:30:18

CupcakesK

We moved the morning nap back gradually to 10, 1030 and so on. Now we're on 12:30-2:30 nap each day (wakes approx 6:30)

It did mean that while we were transitioning he often went to bed earlier - often 5:30 to 6 and was a bit grumpy at being awake this long. There were a couple of days where he did have a short second nap in the afternoon or refused food because he was tired. After about 2-3 weeks he seems to be in a good routine which is now:

630 wake
1230-230 nap
7 bed

However, mine has never been a great napper and would happily keep on going until you force him to have a nap.

Thank you. So when nap was 10, I assume 10-12 nap and then early to bed? Did he wake early as a result of the early bed time?

OP’s posts: |

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Stacii Thu 15-Apr-21 17:33:21

LetsGoChamp

My DS just started refusing his first nap. Our routine was similar to yours.

7am wake up.
9.30-11 nap 1.
2-3 nap 2.
7/8pm bedtime.

He then started napping 11-1 after just pushing it back and back. The first few days are a bit rough with earlier mornings but now his routine is -

7am wake up
12-2/2.30 nap
7.30pm bedtime

He is usually really good and drops at bedtime and nap time now. We find that keeping him busy particularly in the morning really helped get him in the routine so we’d take him to the park, supermarket etc, anything to keep him awake. By the time we got home and he had a bottle he was fast asleep and it got much easier.

Thats good to know, maybe I should bite the bullet and just accept some early waking until he settles into the new routine. He does get overtired really quickly so I think that's what's held me back. He does quite need 2 naps but 1 isnt enough 😒

OP’s posts: |
Stacii Thu 15-Apr-21 17:36:09

SeaTurtles92

DS 21 months has one nap a day now usually around 1-3:30/4 and goes to bed at 8:30/9.

He kind of dropped the morning nap himself so I just went with it but when I could see him falling asleep in the morning I'd do something to keep him awake and now he doesn't try to nap in the pushchair when we're out in the morning.

I've never had that problem, my ds wont sleep anywhere but his bed. Being in lockdown the majority of his life has made him very antisocial (does not like strangers) and even after a long day out at the park, farm zoo etc he will NOT fall asleep in the carseat or pushchair... I dont think I would worry as much if he did. Knowing he would go to sleep if he was tired, regardless of location would take some pressure off xx

OP’s posts: |
CupcakesK Thu 15-Apr-21 18:33:20

He actually didn’t wake up that early, always after 6am. We went to one nap as with two his sleep was all over the place, he was regularly waking up at 5am, refusing afternoon naps.

Just be prepared for your LO to go to bed early - we didn’t have a set time, just judged on how tired he was getting in the evening at first. Worked out at 5:30 some days until the morning nap got later, then it was back to 7pm

Good luck!

Stacii Thu 15-Apr-21 19:18:33

Thanks cupcakes, that makes sense. How old was your LO when you transitioned?xx

OP’s posts: |
CupcakesK Thu 15-Apr-21 19:23:31

He was only 12 months! We kept thinking surely it’s too early but his sleep has been so much better since. Only wakes once in the night now, has a 2 hour nap in the day (was often previously only 45mins) and asleep by 7:30 at night

FATEdestiny Thu 15-Apr-21 19:47:48

2 naps are not necessarily a problem, but sometimes we have early wakes or late nights because hes not tired enough. I think more of a structure would be good for both of us, regardless of 1 or 2 naps but I'm stuck where to start

I'd keep 2 naps. Your posts don't give any reasons to suggest he's ready for 1- nap days.

What he's lacking is routine and structure, as you've suggested yourself. So i'd start with that.

As a guide for where to begin with a routine, it's generally ideal if each awake window is longer than the last. It's called the 234 rule- so 2h from waking to Nap 1, 3h from Nap 1 to Nap 2 and 4h from Nap 2 to Bedtime. This is just a guide though, not a set in stone rule. It might be that 225 works better for you, or 244, or whatever works for you.

Include meal times in your routine. So have dinner at the same time every day. Likewise lunch. No distinction between weekend and weekday for toddlers, the ideal routine will be identical 365 days a year. Get up the same time, sleep at the same time, eat at the same time, every day, week in week out.

So it starts with a wake up time. Not an "fingers crossed he sleep a to 7am" wake up. But a realistic one. So if he usually wakes at 6am, then 6am it is every day. So that means setting an alarm (just while you're establishing a routine, not long term) and waking baby up at 6am if not already awake.

This routined wake up, gives you a by-the-clock time for Nap 1, with a 2h awake window so 8am.

Then have another wake-by time. 1h30m sleep is good, so that gives you 9.30am. If baby isn't already by then, wake him up.

By having a finite end time for Nap 1, it gives you a more predictable time for Nap 2. 3h awake time give a you 12.30.

I'd aim for 2h for this one, but your routine says 1h. It might be that earlier timing will give you a longer nap. Or maybe aiming for 1h30m nap is better. Give it a week and see how it goes, but I'd hope for 2h - so set a wake-by time of 2.30pm.

Then 4h to bedtime means ideally it's 6.30pm bed (which works about right with a 6am wake up). It might be that once you are more routined, you can then start pushing the whole routine an hour later, so 7am wake and 7.30pm bed.

Or it might be that 345 suits your DS better than 234. So 6am wake. Nap 1 9am-10.30 (wake him up if not awake). Nap 2 2.30pm-4.30pm (wake him up). 9.30pm bed (Or earlier if Nap 2 was shorter).

It's about finding something that works and then being very consistent. Every day, no matter what, nap and eat at the same times, always.

Stacii Fri 16-Apr-21 06:34:58

That's great cupcakes hopefully my ds will follow suit when the time comes.

FATE thank you so much for taking the time to come a respond, I really appreciate it and it's what I wanted to hear, I think he still needs the 2 naps but everyone/everything points towards transitioning to 1.

234 kind of structure used to work well for us but he started no longer needing to sleep so soon. his last routine was:

5am wake
8-930 nap
1-2.30 nap
6.30/7 bed

The reason weve fallen into a bit of a pickle is again he was no longer ready to sleep at those times and he reverted to 4.30 wakes so since I've been tweaking and I'm just finding with the wake windows he wants, it's a struggle to fit the 2 naps. Also, food times have been all over the place of late, depending on sleep and I knew this was not helping. I had no idea 345 was a thing and that sounds much better for what he now needs wake time wise so I'll give that a shot starting today.

Yesterday went like this:

6.30 wake
9.25-11 nap (was woken)
3.25-4.10 (was woken)
8.15 sleep until 5.40 this morning.

He seems to want 9.5-10 hours over night,I thought capping day sleep might help extend but actually it either makes it worse or does nothing.

I hadnt ever thought about waking him for the morning, that would stop the random 7ams which throw everything off xx

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Fri 16-Apr-21 11:09:56

Is he completely self settling for sleep, or given a feed / helped in other ways?

Might be worth limiting the morning nap as a means to lengthen second nap.

RedSauceSpaghetti Fri 16-Apr-21 11:29:57

I just thought I'd mention my DD2 who wouldn't drop the morning nap but would gladly go from 11:45-bedtime (7ish). I don't know why she was like this but we couldn't drop the morning nap for love nor money. She slept 7-7 at night and nap at 9:45-11:45am.

Scubalubs87 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:44:39

Hi OP, my son is 2 now. I haven't read all of the advice you've been given, but, my now 2.5 yo was a bit of a killer for early rising. Capping naps never ever helped despite everyone's well-meaning 'advice'. Mine had two naps until about 16months and I only transitioned him because he was often only getting one nap at nursery and struggling - I'd have kept both naps for longer other wise. When we moved to one nap, the nap was early (10:30ish) and bedtime moved earlier too. As he's got older, the nap has gradually moved later - 11:00, 11:30ish etc. He now naps 12:30-3:00. I can push it later if we're out and about but he's also a very rigid cot napper. My SIL always expresses shock that he's still napping (hers dropped naps very very early) but he needs that nap and struggles without it. I wake him up from pretty much every nap. Night sleep is now roughly 7:30 - 7:00 and a good nap helps enable that to happen. If two naps are working for you and your little one I'd keep them.

Stacii Fri 16-Apr-21 11:49:38

FATE up until a couple of weeks ago I rocked him to sleep in the carrier, he had an inguinal hernia which was operated on in January so I had to be very careful to not let him cry for risk of strangulation... once that had gone his sleep improved so much, he started sleeping though miraculously so he was obviously in a lot of pain. Randomly a few weeks back he decided he didnt want the cuddles anymore and now says bed and points to his bed. Since then, he will go into his cot with my dressing gown (he will not accept any other comforter, I've really tried lol) and go to sleep. Night times I have to lay with him more often than not. I'll usually leave him around 20-30 minutes before going in and laying down (I've sidecared his cot) and he doesnt cry in this time. He just kicks around and has a little chat. Naps are easier, I kiss him say good night and leave. Hes usually off in 5-10 minutes. Although that said, this morning he went off in the carrier but I suspect that may be his 3 molar which seems to be playing him up again today.

That's really interesting redsauce I've read so much about the morning nap needing to go but he loves his morning nap. He can also go 6+ hours to bedtime, but the mornings, hes overtired when I've pushed 4 hours... maybe when it's time to transition we too should keep the morning nap but perhaps push it back in 15 minute increments until we find the sweet spot.

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Sat 17-Apr-21 11:00:45

up until a couple of weeks ago I rocked him to sleep in the carrier

This is very relivent.

It's likely that all if the times you think baby won't sleep, or doesn't need to sleep. These are actually that baby isn't able to sleep (but needs and wants to) because self settling isn't engrained fully yet.

An example for this is very early morning. Very early morning (4am onwards) is the time when the body's pressure to sleep lowest. We sleep most lightly in the early morning and are most susceptible to disturbances in sleep. A baby who doesn't find self settling easy is most likely to wake at this time and then once waking, will find it hardest to get back to sleep. It's not that baby doesn't want or need to stay asleep, they almost certainly do. But it's too hard for them and they can't.

hamandcgeese Sat 17-Apr-21 12:41:02

I usually wake my 15 month old at 7am for the school run. She then has one nap, some times it's 11.30 or even 12 or 1pm. It just depends on what we are doing and how tired she has got. Quite often on a Monday she's tired from the weekend and will sleep at 10am.

Today she woke at 6am and went to sleep at 11.30. She did wake briefly, but went back to sleep once I went to her and will probably sleep 2 hours total.

I know routine is easy, but if you want to go anywhere, do any activities then it's quite helpful for them to be flexible.

Just beware of the late afternoon danger nap ⚠️ it's a post 3pm snooze which means they will be up until midnight.

Stacii Sat 17-Apr-21 14:25:46

FATEdestiny

*up until a couple of weeks ago I rocked him to sleep in the carrier*

This is very relivent.

It's likely that all if the times you think baby won't sleep, or doesn't need to sleep. These are actually that baby isn't able to sleep (but needs and wants to) because self settling isn't engrained fully yet.

An example for this is very early morning. Very early morning (4am onwards) is the time when the body's pressure to sleep lowest. We sleep most lightly in the early morning and are most susceptible to disturbances in sleep. A baby who doesn't find self settling easy is most likely to wake at this time and then once waking, will find it hardest to get back to sleep. It's not that baby doesn't want or need to stay asleep, they almost certainly do. But it's too hard for them and they can't.

I had thought that. we had a really rough patch a few months back where I was so sleep deprived and he was exhausted when he woke up so I got really strict with routine and it all kind of fell into place. Now, when we have those early wakes, I know something is not right and I need to tweak.

I didnt purposely stop rocking although I should have by now, he instigated it. I'm not forcing it either, I'm happy to accommodate his needs while hes young because I wlmt get this time again, that said, I want to teach him healthy sleep habits so I have began leaving once hes in bed. If however he is struggling i will go and lay with him while he drops off,this is mostly night time he needs me now but we do co sleep anyway with the side car so makes complete sense he would want this. When he 1st started settling just lay next to be I was gobsmacked, I thought I'd be rocking him until he was 5 lol, and then when id just left the room for something and he dropped off I was even more surprised. But now I know he can, id like to keep encouraging it as I think it will be better for him as he gets older to not always need me.

Just an update from taking your advice, yesterday and today's routine are going really well:

5.45 wake
8.45-10.15 nap
2 - 3.15 nap
8.15 bed

This was yesterday and also naps today (although he is napping at present so may wake sooner, will adjust bed time as needed) already were both much happier and knowing what to expect so thank you for confirming 2 naps was the right way to go

OP’s posts: |
Stacii Sat 17-Apr-21 14:28:18

hamandcgeese

I usually wake my 15 month old at 7am for the school run. She then has one nap, some times it's 11.30 or even 12 or 1pm. It just depends on what we are doing and how tired she has got. Quite often on a Monday she's tired from the weekend and will sleep at 10am.

Today she woke at 6am and went to sleep at 11.30. She did wake briefly, but went back to sleep once I went to her and will probably sleep 2 hours total.

I know routine is easy, but if you want to go anywhere, do any activities then it's quite helpful for them to be flexible.

Just beware of the late afternoon danger nap ⚠️ it's a post 3pm snooze which means they will be up until midnight.

When did you swap to 1 nap, your dc is younger than mine but I now know he definitely does still need the 2 naps. We tried a 1 nap day and it was awful.

Definitely hear you on the danger nap, 3.15 is a cut off here unless we want to be up all night lol

OP’s posts: |
Stacii Sat 22-May-21 20:50:37

Reviving this as we're back in the same boat. We were able to keep the 2 naps an extra 4-5 weeks by being very structured and waking LO. It went like this

6 wake
9-10.30 nap
3-4 nap
9 bed

However over the couple of weeks he's constantly fighting sleep, both naps and bedtime was taking up to an hour some nights, meaning 10pm bed and 6am up to start again. He was having to be woke from every nap to try and fit the next and only havin 8.5 hours over night sometimes.

I should mention I have let him sleep in 4 times and he woke after 7, on these days I jumped to 1 nap and he had a lovely 2.5-3 hour nap. So I figured he was ready to drop one. Yesterday was a fail, he woke at 6.20, I put him down at 10.20 and he slept for only 45 minutes hmm

I'm struggling with his 1st wake window. 3 hours 45 = nice long nap, I tried 4 hours yday and got 45 minutes, tired, crying baby and had to do another nap which meant late to bed again last night. Today he woke at 6.30, napped 10.10-12.20 and asleep for 7pm. He woke and grumble after 40 minutes but was back asleep straight away.

The plan is to push this back until we have 11-1ish or even 12-2 but I have a couple of concerns:

Is him being awake longer than 6 hours before bed a huge problem? I've read that it is but for DS, he simply cannot nap properly if OT and surely its better to have a nice long nap, albeit earlier, than a later, short nap that means he needs another? How long should j wait before pushing nap another 15 minutes later? Some days he wakes at 6 so only nap for the day will begin at 9.45 hmm plan to give 2nd short nap on days where needed, does 30min seem OK to get us to bedtime without bedtime getting really late?

Any other suggestions I have overlooked? I'd like to make the adjustment as easy as possible for him. He is 17 months.

Thanks for reading this far

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Sun 23-May-21 10:24:55

6h before bedtime isn't a problem at all. When on 1-nap days, this is not unusual at all.

Waking at 6am is not too early to be able to get through to an 11am single lunchtime nap. Why do you feel he must nap at 9.45 on these days? It is quite normal to need to work at keeping baby busy and distracted in the mornings, to keep them awake until lunchtime. When they first change to 1-nap days this period of keeping them going in the mornings is something most families go though.

Stacii Sun 23-May-21 11:08:24

Simply because when I tried to stretch him for 4 hours he woke crying and grumpy after 45 minutes. Usually he will roll over and go back to sleep but he didn't, which is why I'm worrying a bit. Last night he slept from 7pm until 6.40 this morning, the longest night stretch in over 6 months. I tried to put him down at 10.30 and he resisted until 10.50, so my guess is as he had a much better sleep last night than usually, he wasn't quite ready for his nap yet.

You are 100% right with your comment on the other thread, I am definitely overthinking it. I've always worried about his sleep as once upon a time it was terrible. He's much better now so maybe I should start relaxing more about it. He's just so clingy and cries a lot when he's tired and it breaks my heart

OP’s posts: |

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