How this One Nap Transition is Firming up!


Cai is dropping to one nap at 15 months. He started refusing to go down for nap #2 around 14.5 months. I held onto both naps for as long as possible, which only lasted 2 more weeks.

I was honestly concerned about this. While I realize that the "books" say that babies begin dropping to one nap between 12 - 20 months, that is a huge window and most certainly a new mom may have some doubts about when. I did and I assumed I would get my child towards the later end of that spectrum if at all possible.  On top of that, most of my friend's babies seemed to do 2 naps until they were 18 months at least.

To be honest, I have worked VERY hard with Micaiah on napping since birth. He slept great those first 2 weeks, but after that it was a huge struggle that I fought over until it was achieved. Looking back, I truly believe he was a colicky baby, so I realize it was tougher, but I am so glad I persevered, because he turned into a great sleeper.

All that to say, he isn't perfect and some days he still throws me for a loop and won't take a good nap or whatever. Babies aren't robots and certainly won't do xyz the same every day.

This transition has been THAT, a transition, but I do believe it is smoothing out. We are still in it, so I am saying these things cautiously, but I feel like we are "getting there".

I really think that we all have different methods to approaching naps. Some moms wake their babies from naps in the morning to preserve the PM nap. Others, just let theirs sleep however long in the morning, get a catnap in the afternoon or use an earlier bedtime to get through. Whatever the case, I think you just have to stay consistent with your methodology and push through this rough time knowing it will pass.

I have always been a mom that HATES waking up my child from naps. For some reason I just feel like if it were me and I were asleep and someone woke me up, I would just be mad and grumpy and this seems true for my children the times I have woken them up! A sleep schedule like that isn't the end-all for me. Early on I tried the Babywise approach (which is to wake form naps, if necessary) and this left both me and my child in ruins. I am most definitely not against BW in anyway. I use some of it, just not all of it. I believe in structure, but add grace, because we are human and need it.

I read one website that talked about when making the transition to not go back and forth between 2 naps or 1, but to push past that grumpy time. I did this, but when Cai got to be overtired, in my mommy opinion, I did 2 naps again for a couple days, because that was what he needed. Then, he, on his own, pushed back to one again.

I chose to keep him up around 30 - 45 minutes longer in the morning, then put him down for the one nap and let him sleep as long as possible, even sleeping through lunch. I would give him a good bit of milk before or a snack before, then lunch after. Then, use an earlier bedtime by putting him down by 6:30 pm at night. This is how we have been getting through. Eventually, I know he will push back even later in the morning on his own and I just follow those sleepy cues, because he shows me when he is tired. Cai has slowly gone from napping for 1.5 hrs, to 2 hrs, to 2.5 hrs, then to 2 hrs 45 minutes today over a few weeks time in that one nap. Rest assured, they will get there.

All this to say, I want other moms that maybe feel like this to know that transitioning to one nap before 18 months is not a terrible thing. I AM feeling the repercussions as in "now what do I do with him all day", but you are not a terrible mom if this happens!

I will add that I think having some Independent play at least once a day helps fill that time when you need to make dinner or allowing video time. I don't think you should be ashamed to use those things at all!

Happy transitioning to you!

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