When Do Babies Drop To One Nap?

when do babies drop to one nap

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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!

Read More: How Many Swaddles Do I Need?

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 necessaray.

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.

Read More: What Should A Baby Wear Under A Sleep Sack? 

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.

Read More: How To Swaddle With Arms Out

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!).

Read More: How To Co-Sleep With Twins

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.

when do babies drop 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.

How Long Should The One Nap Be?

Once your baby is ready to transition to one nap, that one nap should typically last between 1.5 to 3 hours. This gives your baby enough time to recharge and helps to keep them in a good mood for the rest of the day. The length of the nap can vary based on your baby’s age and individual sleep needs, so don’t worry if their nap length doesn’t exactly match this range. It’s important to pay attention to your baby’s sleep cues and adjust nap duration as needed.

The Role of Nutrition in Nap Transitions

The transition from two naps to one can often coincide with changes in your baby’s eating habits. As they grow older, they may start eating more solid foods and less breastmilk or formula, which can affect their sleep patterns. A well-balanced diet can help ensure that your baby has the energy to stay awake for longer periods during the day. Make sure to offer nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day to keep your baby satisfied and help them transition to a single nap schedule smoothly.

How To Handle A Baby Resisting The Nap Transition

If your baby is resisting the transition to one nap, it’s crucial to remain patient and persistent. Ensure you have a consistent sleep routine in place and make the environment as conducive to sleep as possible. If your baby is particularly resistant, try adjusting the timing of the nap or adding some calming pre-nap routines, such as a warm bath or reading a book. Remember, every child is unique, so what works for one might not work for another. Keep trying different strategies until you find what works best for your little one.

The Impact of Nap Transition on Baby’s Development

Nap transitions are a significant part of a baby’s development. As your baby grows, their sleep needs change, which includes transitioning from two naps to one. Adequate sleep is vital for a baby’s cognitive, physical, and emotional development. Therefore, ensuring your baby is getting enough sleep during this transition is crucial. If your baby isn’t getting enough sleep during their one nap, it might affect their mood, behavior, and overall developmental progress.

How To Make Nap Time More Comfortable for Your Baby

Making nap time comfortable for your baby can help ease the transition. Ensure your baby has a quiet, dark, and cool environment to sleep in. Using a white noise machine can help drown out any distracting noises. A comfortable sleeping surface and a well-fitted sleep sack can also contribute to better sleep. Additionally, a comforting pre-nap routine can signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep and help them wind down.

Challenges in Nap Transition and How To Overcome Them

Nap transitions can come with various challenges such as shorter naps, difficulty falling asleep, and mood swings. To overcome these challenges, it’s important to be flexible and patient. If your baby is having a hard time staying awake until their nap time, try gradually pushing back their morning nap by 15 minutes every few days until you reach the desired nap time. If your baby is having shorter naps, try extending their wake time before nap or adjusting their sleep environment to make it more conducive to sleep.

The Importance of Patience During The Nap Transition

Transitioning from two naps to one is a big change for your baby, and it might take some time for them to adjust. It’s important for parents to be patient during this transition. Don’t rush the process or get frustrated if your baby doesn’t adapt right away. Give them the time they need to adjust to this new sleep schedule. Remember, every baby is unique and will transition at their own pace. Also Read:(Why Do Babies Fight Sleep?)

How To Tell If Your Baby Is Not Ready For Nap Transition Yet

signs of being overly tired, having difficulty staying awake for extended periods, or having several night wakings, they may not be ready to transition to one nap. Also, if your baby continues to sleep well during their two naps and is content and happy, they likely aren’t ready for the transition. It’s crucial not to rush this process and wait until your baby shows signs of readiness to ensure a smooth transition.

Common Mistakes Parents Make During The Nap Transition Process

One common mistake parents make is transitioning too soon. It’s crucial to wait until your baby is truly ready to move to one nap a day. Another mistake is not being consistent with the nap schedule. Consistency helps your baby understand when it’s time to sleep. Lastly, not creating an optimal sleep environment can also hinder the transition process. Ensure your baby has a quiet, dark, and comfortable space to sleep to facilitate better-quality naps.

The Impact of Nap Transition on Parents’ Sleep

As your baby transitions from two naps to one, it can also affect your sleep schedule. You may find yourself adjusting to new sleep times or dealing with a cranky, overtired baby, which can lead to less restful sleep for you. It’s important to be patient with yourself and your baby during this time. Remember, it’s just a phase, and eventually, your baby will adapt to the new nap schedule, leading to better sleep for both of you.

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Jenny Chaines

Jenny Chaines

Having the perfect bassinet is something that every mother wants for her child.
I've been doing my own due diligence since the day I knew I was pregnant and I'm here to let you in on the ins and outs of it all...

About Me

Having the perfect bassinet is something that every mother wants for her child.
I’ve been doing my own due diligence since the day I knew I was pregnant and I’m here to let you in on the ins and outs of it all…

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