It’s that time, to drop another nap and your little toddler is now going to be chasing you around the house on just 1 nap a day!
When will this happen, how will you know it is time and how on earth do you handle this?
Today’s blog I am going to explain it all to you and help guide you through it to make it an easy transition from your child and you!
When will this transition happen?
15-18 months is usually the age bracket many toddlers start to show signs they are ready for 1 nap a day. Some children are ready to drop it earlier and some hang on to it to the bitter end!
You may wonder if it is time to drop a nap around 12/13 months as many babies start to refuse that 1ST nap of the day and this is usually down to the 12 month sleep progression. My advice would be to stick at it for a few more weeks before dropping any naps at this early age.
How will you know it really is time?
There may be a few signs you see...
How to make this transition happen easily?
This is going to be a process and you need to take you time with it. Your child for all their life has spent the day playing around naps. And suddenly they are being reduced again! It may take up to a month for this transition to happen so know that is normal and take it slowly especially if your little one is sensitive to sleep.
The awake window you are aiming for will be 5-6 hours. Some children will only cope with 5 hours on the dot and others are full of beans and keep going for 6 hours but my advice is to start slow and steady and aim for 5 hours. Then you can extend if you feel your toddler needs a little longer awake.
Toddlers on 30 minute morning nap…
Remember longer awake window for a child who is not ready for it will cause overtiredness and this in turn will aid the early waking’s to occur/continue
The earlier to bed will reduce the cortisol in the body and therefore your toddler will have a longer, peaceful sleep!
But My Toddler Takes a Long Morning Nap – What Do I Do?
Often is the case toddlers split their day sleep equally over 2 naps. If they are taking 1.5 hours in the morning and 1.5 hours at lunch what you will need to do is push that first nap forward, you do not cut it short. By pushing it forward we can fade out the current lunch nap.
But What about Lunch Time?
You want to offer lunch right before nap. This will help stave off any hunger and waking during the nap wanting food! As you push lunch nap later lunch time will get later and you will see it all pans out quite nicely!
Should You Do A Naptime Routine?
Yes! Just a short version of course, 5-10 mins is absolutely fine! Clean those fingers and faces up after lunch and of you go to the bedroom. Change nappy, ensure they have on comfy clothing, no one likes to try sleep with a full tummy and a tight waist band on right..! Read a little story, into sleep bag, cuddle, kiss, lights off and sleep time!
So there we go, you are now on the track for one nap a day and that is where it shall be until your child is 2-3 years old!
Of course if your toddler is not showing any signs just yet of needing to drop a nap and all is working for you then there is no need to change anything just yet! Have this blog in your back pocket for when the time comes and you are all ready for it!
Peaceful nights to you all,
Your Paediatric Sleep Consultant