Ever wonder when your baby will start to drop from taking two naps a day to just one? Knowing when it’s time for the transition can be tricky. It’s an important milestone as your baby grows—which is why we’re here to explain when babies drop to one nap and what you need to expect during this journey!
We’ll provide details on signs of readiness, recommendations on nap schedules, and more so that you can make sure that your little one makes the shift with ease. Let’s get started!
When Do Babies Drop To One Nap From 2 Naps?
When it comes to nap transitions, the age babies drop to one nap from two can vary depending on several factors. Generally speaking, most babies start dropping their second nap when they reach at least 12 months of age and can stay awake comfortably for around 4-5 hours in between naps and night sleep. However, there have been a few cases where I’ve seen 10-month-olds transition nicely to only one nap.
When making this transition, gradually eliminating your baby’s morning nap over a few weeks is key. I recommend shortening the nap until you can successfully drop this nap cold turkey and move them straight into an appropriate one-nap schedule. When dropping the second nap is done slowly and patiently, it works wonders for your baby’s day’s sleep and overall restfulness!
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Signs To Transition Baby To One Nap
When deciding on a baby’s transition to one nap there are a few key signs to look out for.
- Firstly, if the nighttime sleep begins decreasing and falls significantly below ten hours, then it may be time to transition.
- Additionally, you should keep an eye out for insomnia of 1.5-2 or more hours at night throughout the week as this could be a sign your child is ready for one nap.
- Another indication is a bedtime that consistently happens after 9 PM unless your family has chosen to have an intentionally late schedule. If during nap time you can see them skipping one nap four or more times in a week then that could also signal they are ready.
- Moreover, if instead of two longer naps, they begin taking two 45-minute naps this may also be a hint that nap transitioning is necessary.
With these indicators in mind, parents should carefully assess their own babies’ needs to make the best decision when transitioning from two naps to one nap.
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5 Tips To Drop Baby To One Nap
Here are five tips to help your baby transition to one nap.
Tip 1: Get A Bassinet
If you haven’t done so already, investing in a bassinet is a great way to maximize your baby’s sleep potential and create an environment conducive to sleep. Bassinets provide safe sleeping space for your little one and typically have adjustable heights, so as your baby grows, the bassinet can grow with them. Plus, most come with rocking features that help lull your baby back asleep if they wake up during their nap time or nighttime sleep.
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Tip 2: Stick To A Bedtime Routine
Having a consistent bedtime routine is key when helping your baby transition from multiple naps to just one nap per day. Routines should include activities like bathing, changing into pajamas, brushing teeth, and reading stories before bed. This will help create structure around bedtime and set expectations for what’s coming next (sleep!).
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Tip 3: Establish An Early Bedtime
Establishing an early bedtime will help ensure your child gets enough rest each night and makes it easier to rise early in the morning for breakfast and then move on throughout the day until their afternoon nap arrives. We recommend starting with an early bedtime of 7:30 pm for younger babies (3-4 months) and 8-8:30 pm for older babies (5-10 months).
Tip 4: Keep Track Of Naps
Keeping track of your baby’s naps is important because it helps you better understand their sleep needs so that you know how much time they need during their afternoon nap each day. Be sure to keep track of how long each nap lasts or use a sleep tracking app such as My Sleep Baby (available on Google Play & App Store) which will do all the work for you!
Tip 5: Wake Up Before Baby Wakes Up
Try waking up before the baby wakes up to get prepared for the day ahead without having them around. This allows you some extra time to relax or get ready before they stir awake wanting attention and food! Make sure that you’re also setting yourself up with enough restful sleep at night so that you can be well-rested during the day too!
Are 9 Months Too Young To Transition To One Nap?
At 9 months of age, it’s too early to transition to one nap. Most babies need two naps a day until at least 14 months of age to get sufficient sleep and keep their internal clocks in sync. During this period, gradually reducing the length and number of naps is recommended instead of making a sudden switch to one nap.
Can I Distinguish Nap Transition Readiness From Sleep Regression At 18 Months?
Understanding the difference between nap transition readiness and the 18-month sleep regression can be challenging for parents. The general age to drop a nap is 18-24 months and if your child is showing signs of readiness, such as difficulty staying asleep or shortened naps, then it’s likely they need a schedule adjustment.
What Are The Risks Of Transitioning To One Nap Too Early?
Transitioning to one nap too early can have serious consequences for your child’s sleep. When toddlers drop to a single nap before they are ready, their sleep habits can be greatly affected. Overtiredness can make it harder for children to fall asleep and stay asleep at night, leading to increased fussiness, night waking, and even early morning risings.
So when do babies drop to one nap? The answer is: it differs from baby to baby. Some will take the plunge as early as 15 months, while others may not make the change until they’re 18 months old or even older. If you have questions about your little one’s sleep schedule, be sure to ask your pediatrician for guidance.
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