transition to 1 nap baby and toddler sleep

The Transition to 1 Nap: When and How to Do It

The phrase ‘sleep transition’ can make us parents shudder with fear and often for good reason. But, one of the best transitions has got to be moving to one nap. Consolidating your baby’s two short daytime naps into one great big nap in the middle of the day can be pretty awesome!

Now I have to warn you, this is often the most challenging nap transition you and your little one will have to navigate. However, the results can be amazing — about 2 to 2.5 hours, every 3 hours for some little ones, right in the middle of the day! 

Because your little one is going to have to adjust from what was their awake time midday to that now being nap time, it can be a challenging transition and you want to make sure your baby is ready. So let’s get down to it — when is your little one ready to transition to one nap. 

Signs your child is ready to transition to 1 nap

Age

Little ones are, on average, ready to make the transition to one nap somewhere between 14 and 16 months old. However, the range is a bit wider. It can be appropriate for your little one to transition to one nap anywhere between 12 and 18 months old. 

Nap Resistance or Refusal

Another telltale sign that your little one is ready to make this transition to 1 nap is that they are resisting or refusing their afternoon nap about 4 to 5 times a week for at least two weeks straight. 

Developmental milestones can cause some disruptions which might make you think that baby’s ready when they’re actually not. So make sure this is the pattern for a minimum of two weeks before pulling the plug on the morning nap.

Difficulty falling asleep at bedtime

Maybe your little one isn’t resisting naps yet, but it is taking them a long time to fall asleep at bedtime. This is usually a sign that your baby needs more awake time before being able to fall asleep. I first recommend capping their nap(s) to adjust their schedule to have more awake time before bed (about 4 hours). If that isn’t helping after making the shift for 2 weeks as well as baby being within the 14-18 month range, then it is likely time to think about the transition to 1 nap.

Early morning wake ups

If your 14-18 month old baby is all of a sudden waking up much earlier than normal for a period of 2+ weeks and you’ve ruled out the other common causes of early wake ups, then it may be time to look at transitioning to 1 nap. 

A change in sleep needs

This transition to 1 nap is related to a change in sleep needs. Both in the nap sleep and total sleep needed as well as the timing of sleep, or changes in wake windows. During the 12-18 month time frame as your baby becomes a toddler, they have a slight decrease in total sleep needs as well as needing more awake time in order to be tired enough to fall asleep and stay asleep. 

Once you make the transition, your baby will need about 4 to 6 hours of awake time between sleep periods as opposed to 3 to 4.5 hours when they are still taking 2 naps. 

Total sleep needs decrease from about 12-15 hours as a baby, to 11-14 hours when toddlers are 18 months to 3 years old. 

total sleep needs - baby and toddler sleep

Making the transition to 1 nap

The gradual way

This approach is to nudge the morning nap time a half hour later every three days. Do this until nap time is around 11:30 to 12:30.

As I’m sure you’re expecting, your baby is going to get a little sleepy at their usual nap time. Avoid going for a car ride, or taking them out in the stroller around that time. This is a recipe for little cat naps that could sabotage their actual naps and make this nap transition more challenging. Offering a snack or getting outside for some fresh air and sunlight at their old nap time can help provide a buffer to get them over the hump to the new nap time. 

While your baby’s nap is still pretty early (11:00 AM or earlier) or they have a short nap at their nap time (less than 1 hour), I recommend bridging the gap between nap and bedtime slightly in the afternoon. A little ride in the stroller or a quick snooze in the car seat is a good way to get a quick catnap in without putting your baby down for a full-blown nap. Temporarily moving bedtime up a little earlier might be necessary as well, until they get the hang of the new schedule.

The ‘just do it’ way

As you would expect, with this method you will just move nap straight to somewhere between 11:30 and 12:30 right away. This method can be used with any child, but is often used when daycares ‘force’ the nap transition when they move your baby into the toddler room. 

You will want to avoid being in the car or stroller at all between the times of 1 hour before their previous nap until new nap time, as this can create unnoticed microsleeps or cat naps that can make the transition a little more challenging. Offering a snack or getting outside for some fresh air and sunlight at their old nap time can help get your baby over the hump to their new nap time. 

How long does the transition to 1 nap take

Unfortunately, because it’s a tough transition for your little one’s brain you can expect that this transition can take 4 to 6 weeks before you feel like everything is really smooth. During this 4 to 6 week period it is likely that you will experience some inconsistency in your baby’s nap length. Don’t worry, this is normal. Their body is learning to consolidate the amount of daytime sleep they require into one delightful afternoon nap.

Struggling with the transition to 1 nap?

If you are struggling with the transition to 1 nap, no need to struggle through on your own, hoping things will get better. You can schedule a 30-minute sleep support call here so we can create an action plan to make sure you get this one nap thing solid for you and your baby. 

Of course, if the transition to 1 nap is the least of your worries and you’ve got other sleep challenges going on, you can schedule your free evaluation call to chat through details of what is going on, your sleep goals and how I can help you reach those goals. If you are struggling, I’d love to help.

To healthy and happy sleep,

Bonnie

204 thoughts on “The Transition to 1 Nap: When and How to Do It”

  1. So all this is good info. And you can find it mostly anywhere. But what I can’t find is what do you do if that earlier bed time leads to an even earlier wake up time?! Our usual schedule is 6:30/7 am wake up, nap 1 is 9:30-11ish, nap 2 is 2-3:30ish and bedtime is 8pm. We did a one nap day and he took a good 2 hour nap then did a bedtime at 7:30 and he woke up at 6am. What do you do with that?! We went back to a two nap that day but ugh. No one has any advice on what to do if the early bedtime causes an earlier wake up time!

    1. Hi Hannah! Yes this transition can cause earlier wake ups temporarily for 2 reasons. First as you stated, the earlier bedtime leads to an earlier wake up because baby maxes out on sleep earlier. Second, the transition can make baby a bit overtired in the process. My advice is once you start the transition, keep at it so your little one can start to consistently rely on that nap time and has a chance to start lengthening his nap to the 3 hours he was getting before. It can be a little painful in the process with the earlier wake ups and the push to get to nap time and bedtime with the longer wake windows but as long as your baby is really ready to make the transition (refusing second nap on a regular basis is the biggest sign) he should adjust fairly quickly, although there may be some bumps in the road for 4-6 weeks before nap is really consistent again. With the early wake ups I recommend keeping him in his crib until his normal wake up time so he is in the dark, calm environment and his body clock doesn’t get set to the earlier time. Then still push to normal nap time and allow his body to adjust for a few weeks. Its hard but it will pass and things will be back on track soon! If you have any questions or want to chat more, feel free to reach out!

      1. Hi my son is 13 month old and still sleeps 11-12 hours one night but for the last few month only takes 2 30 min naps. Sometimes takes a while to settle down for the naps as well but always does but very rarely sleeps over 30 mins do you think I should try him with one nap ?

        1. Hi Jodie! Sometimes as sleep needs change, kids can consolidate most of their sleep to night time and take shorter naps. If he continues to take a long time to settle or starts refusing his second nap 4-5 times a week for 2 weeks he will be ready to transition. He is close to the average age to transition so my guess is that it will becoming soon! Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

          1. Hi Anna! This transition is really about a reorganization of sleep into longer periods of being awake and a longer chunk of nap sleep and the timing of sleep so cosleeping should not really add a different dynamic to when your child’s body is ready for this. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

      2. Hi! Thanks for all the advice! I’m also having the same issue after going for the ‘cold turkey’ transition for my 17 month old. He previously woke at 630/7 but is now waking 530/6 (for the last couple of days). He always cries when he wakes up so how do I keep him in his cot till 7 when he just gets distraught? Thanks!

        1. Hi Lauren! I hope this issue has passed! However, when he is crying you can offer some brief check ins from the door, reassuring him and reminding him it is sleep time. This is also a great time to introduce an ok-to-wake light like the Hatch to help him wait until it is time to get up and encourage him to sleep longer. When you implement, you want to just turn it on right before you go into the room (you can do this from your phone) or set it for 7am and get him right at 7, then point it out and tell him what it means when you walk in. Within a week or two he should catch on and be able to start waiting a bit for the light. Hope that helps!

    2. I believe it takes time. May be confusing to your LO trying 1 nap, then the next day back to 2 naps. Consistently having your child take their nap at the same time and sticking to 1 nap will help over time. Best of luck mama!

    3. Hello! We made the transition to 1 nap right around 13 mos after continued nap refusals. Transition felt quick! Within about a week we were at 2+ hours sometimes 3 for the one nap. Now only maybe 1x a week will the nap be over 2 hours. Usually 1-1.5 hours — naturally making for very cranky days! It’s been over 6 since the transition. Did I we transition too soon? Wake up at 6/6:30 nap at 12/12:30 bedtime at 7! Thank you for any help!

      1. Hi Keeli! It’s hard to say if you transitioned too soon without more details but at this point due to how long baby has been on one nap and age, I don’t recommend going back. Looks like the schedule is appropriate for the age and one nap. You could try to move nap slightly earlier (11:45 ish) and see if it makes a difference. If after a few days it isn’t helping, move back to 12. Also, make sure you give the opportunity to fall back to sleep by leaving them in their crib for about 5-10 minutes in the dark, calm, cool environment. Giving them this chance can help encourage longer naps. Hope that helps! Please reach out if you want to chat more about what is going on and how I can help!

  2. How are you supposed to make a start when your little one is waking at 4.30/5am? They are ready for a nap at 8/8.30am Let alone stretching out there wake time. Should I wait until my little one is waking early for 2 weeks before trying to transition to 1 sleep?

    1. Hi Kayla! Yikes that is earlyyy! I know that is so frustrating in its self. If he is still taking his two naps well but waking early, you can try shortening one or both of his current naps to see if it helps before making the switch to one nap. This also helps extend the wake time before bed which may also help resolve the early wake ups. If it doesn’t and you feel your little one is ready for the transition, you would do it the same way, just starting earlier – so push to 9 for a few days and so on. If things don’t start to improve, please feel free to reach out and we can chat more about what is going on and how I may be able to help!

    2. If my little one wakes before 6 I resettle and she usually goes back to sleep quite quickly. I’ve also read if they wake at this time (before 6) either they are cold or something has woken them. It is normal when a baby wakes anywhere from 6am. That’s usually an appropriate wake time for them.

  3. Hi Bonnie,

    Great post, thank you! My biggest struggle when thinking about this transition is trying to wrap my head around the second nap. Currently, with awake windows and 2 naps etc, we have to follow a pretty tight schedule to get my daughter down to bed by 7:30pm. If i then push her first nap by only 15 – 30 mins and she goes to bed at 10:45 until say 1:15pm, am I just supposed to have her awake then until bedtime?? Seems like a big jump when you’ve only pushed the morning wake window by a little bit, but the afternoon wake window is suddenly massive!

    Thanks

    Emma

    1. Hi Emma! You can do a catnap in the afternoon in the interim while you are shifting naps. 15-30 minute nap, up by 4:00 PM if you can squeeze it in. Once nap is late enough that there isn’t time for a cat nap, yes she is just awake for a longer period of time, but you want to move bedtime earlier (up to one hour earlier) to help avoid too much overtiredness. It is definitely an adjustment period getting used to be awake for much longer times, which is why this transition can take awhile to get back to a place where you feel things are really solid. Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more about what is going on and how I may be able to help you navigate the transition. Hang in there! It’s tough but once you get on one nap it is really worth it!

  4. Hi Bonnie, thanks so much for the tips and help! We are going through the 2:1 transition now…… what to do if he does wake early from the 1 nap – say 50 minutes – how long to leave him before abandoning and moving bedtime earlier? Prior to this transition, I would always make sure he got the crib hour. Thanks!

    1. Hi Ashleigh! If he is upset, you can get him up at the hour mark. If he isn’t and it seems like he is calm and may go back to sleep, you can give him a little bit longer but if it becomes clear he isn’t going back to sleep I recommend getting him up and going with an earlier bedtime. Feel free to reach out if you need more help! Hope the transition goes smoothly for you!

      1. Breanna Buendicho

        Hi Bonnie!

        I need your expertise. I have a 11.5 month old (turns 1 on 17th of Nov) who for the past week has been starting her day at 5am/5:30am. She would normally wake at 6:30am/7am and have her first nap at 9:30am-10:30am and second at 2pm-3pm. She was originally having 2 hour naps but waking 5+ times over night, so I changed both naps to 1 hour which she then would wake 1-3 times over night. For the past week though, she’s been waking up before 6am and not resettling. I continue to put her down at 9:30am and 2pm with bed at 7pm, but she’s been resisting. She woke up at 5:30am yesterday and I deciding to push her first nap to 10am which she didn’t resist as she went straight to sleep with no fuss. I let her nap for 1 hour 45 minutes then she had her second nap at 3:15pm for 30 minutes and bed at 7:45pm. She then woke at 5:30am and I had to rock her for 30 minutes as usual, except this time she fell back asleep till 7am. So I was able to do our normal sleep routine today, though I noticed she was resisting her naps again and not showing tired signs at all. She transitioned from 3:2 naps early, so do you think I should now transition from 2:1?

        1. Hi Breanna! Sounds like she may be ready soon. If those signs continue for 2-3 weeks then start the transition. She is definitely on the earlier side, but it is not unheard of to transition right around 12 months. However, depending on how she goes to bed, you may need to take some other steps to help with all the night wake ups. Helping her fall asleep independently if she is not already, can help get her connecting sleep cycles and sleeping through the night. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more about what is going on and how I can help!

  5. My daughter is only 10 months but I am having to wake her up from her first nap daily. She would easily sleep almost 3 hours if I let her. Is 10 months too early to transition to 1 nap? I am trying to understand the science.

    1. Hi Emily! 10 months is definitely on the very early end to transition to one nap but it isn’t unheard of. Your daughter would need to be able to handle between 4-6 hours of awake time between her sleep periods, which is typically where the issue is transitioning to 1 nap too early. If she is not ready to handle that wake time, she will likely get overtired which can cause night wake ups, early wake ups and short naps. If she is not ready to handle that wake time, I recommend continuing to wake her up, she will be ready to transition soon! If you have any more questions or want to chat more, please reach out!

  6. Hi Bonnie!
    Great Info on the transition. Our 14 month old has been transitioning to one nap for five days now. He started waking pretty early too, at around 5 30. He has been sleeping poorly at night for about a month and then started resisting his naps, which we took on the transition a bit earlier than we thought. From your experience does transitioning to one nap help to get him to sleep through the night? And how can you tell that the transition is too early? Thanks!

    1. Hi Laina! Transitioning to 1 nap does not usually result in sleeping through the night unless nap timing was the cause of the wake ups. Based on the information you provided, it is hard to tell if that was the cause or something else. The biggest thing with sleeping through the night is looking at how he falls asleep at bedtime. As far as if it is too early, if you find in the next week that he really can’t handle being awake for longer periods before nap 1(some longer periods happen in the second half of the day with a more gradual transition), he isn’t extending his naps past one sleep cycle, or it is further interrupting night time sleep. However, since you have started the transition and your little one is within the average age for transitioning, I typically don’t go back to 2 naps unless he is really getting severely overtired and not able to handle wake times. Hope that helps! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and we can chat more about what is going on!

  7. Hi Bonnie! Thanks for the info! My little girl is ready for this transition. We have been struggling with several middle of the night wakings. She will wake and start crying immediately, cry for about 1-2 minutes and go back to bed. This usually happens 1-4 times a night. And she was sleeping perfectly 7-7, but now it’s more like 7-5:45/6:30… Is this because we are trying to do two naps still? Do you think switching to one 2 hour nap might help or is there something else causing this?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Mina! Without know a bit more about what is going on (age, nap schedule, other changes that may be going on in her life) it is hard to say for sure. But if she is 14-16 months, there is a good chance that getting her more awake time before bed (transition to one nap) can help get her night sleep back on track. If she just started showing signs that she is ready, I would give her a week or 2 to make sure she is ready and it isn’t something developmental that is causing the slight regression in sleep. Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more about the transition and the current issues you are seeing!

      1. Hello Bonnie! And thanks for the response! Yes, she is almost 14 months. We had a very consistent food and nap schedule (10-11:30, 2-3) and she was sleeping perfectly 7-7. About three weeks ago she started resisting her naps and was only sleeping randomly 45mins-1hour and 30. She also started waking up through the night and early in the am. No issues with going to bed. Because of all this, her schedule kind of fell apart and has been all over the place while I’ve tried to adjust things to work with her natural rhythm, but I think I may have gone down a rabbit hole because now I have no idea how to adjust for her to sleep well again. 🙁 and also because she wasn’t sleeping well/consistently during the day I just tried only laying her down at 12:30/1, which she is sleeping 1 hour for that. And keeping the 7-7 overnight. But she is struggling during the day and waking early (5:30/6)… she does have what looks like a molar coming through. So sorry for the long message. I’m a bit overwhelmed.

        1. Hi Mina! I’m so sorry to hear you are overwhelmed with how things are going. Sounds like she was ready for the transition to one nap. It is a challenging transition. I recommend moving nap back to 11:30 or so to see if you can get her sleeping a little bit longer. If she isn’t sleeping better within 2 weeks or so at the 11:30 nap, please reach out and we can chat more in depth about what is going on and how to get her back on track!

  8. Hi Bonnie
    This is a really helpful post. My guy is 14months and i think we transitioned a bit too early! We had 1 or 2 signs but perhaps not consistently for long enough. Had 1 or 2 days of good long naps and a 7pm bedtime, but more often than not its early nap 1 start and early finish (though generally sleeps 2hr) and so early bed pre 6:30pm. This morning he woke at 6am. Tried to push him to 11 for the nap but he was really tired and so was asleep by 10:40. Quite upset going for his nap. He slept until 12:40, Tried a cat nap but he would not sleep so did bed at 6:10. He was NOT happy at all where generally he loves bedtime but was asleep within minutes. Should i go back to 2naps? Thankyou

    1. Hi Tess! If you just started the transition within the last week or two, you can probably go back to two naps. If it has been longer, I generally recommend sticking with it because it can be a hard adjustment for his body clock. So I would focus on trying to get a cat nap in while he adjusts to the longer wake time in the morning. You can do a motion nap for the cat nap too if he isn’t going down in his crib. This helps push bedtime to normal time, allowing wake time to be normal wake up time, to help get to nap time easier. It can take 4-6 weeks to feel like you’ve got this transition down. Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more about what’s going on and if there are other strategies to use to get your little guy transitioning easier! Hang in there!

  9. Thanks for the quick response Bonnie. He woke at 5am this morning! We have gone back to 2 naps today and will see how this goes for another couple of weeks. My biggest problem is getting him to do the cat nap. He really resists it even if in the buggy or car. So we always end up with a 6 or 6:30pm bedtime resulting in the 5/5:30am start. If you cant get the catnap in, and end up with early bed/early rise, do you just try and push on through 11/11:30 and do 1 nap and hope that over the course of a few weeks it will settle?

    1. Hi Tess! I recommend giving it a few weeks at 2 naps again and then if the cat nap/2nd nap still isn’t going well push to 1 nap and stick with it for 4 weeks to get him on track. It can be tough but he will get there!

  10. My little one is 14 months next week. I am doing the 2:1 transition she is waking up really early 5amish usually awake 6-6:30/7:30. I am moving her first nap back by 15 mins every 3 days and bedtime is 7:30pm. She is refusing her second nap and keeps waking up really early. Can you please advise what to do until what time shall i keep moving the first nap before trying one nap and how long should her 1 nap be.

    1. Hi Sumiya! Those early wake ups are likely a result of overtiredness from the transition and refusing her second nap. I would try to get her first nap moved to about 11:30/12:00 as soon as you can to allow her to start extending her nap. Ideally, about 2-3 hours at this age. It can take a few weeks to get things back to normal with wake time and get her solidly on one nap. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out to chat more if you are still struggling in a week or so!

  11. Hi there! This is super helpful. We’ve been at it with our 15 month old for about 3 weeks now. He is now getting to 12:15 and will not sleep more than an hour. Is this something that will correct itself with time or should I push the nap a little later in a few days to help this? He is SO cranky all afternoon, goes to bed around 6:30, and is waking early. I’ve come to terms with all of that but just needed a little extra support lol!

    1. Hi Lakita! This transition can take 4-6 weeks to feel like you’ve finally got things back on track. Typically at this age I keep nap somewhere between 11:30 and 12:15 so I would stay at 12:15 and give him a few weeks to start extending his nap. If you don’t see things progressing in the next few weeks and want some more support, please feel free to reach out and we can schedule a call to chat through things and make sure you have everything you need to get his nap on track!

      1. Thanks for replying, I’m just now seeing this! We have been trying 12:30 and the nap hasn’t extended. Should I move it back to 12:15? Thanks so much!

        1. Hi Lakita! If you don’t see naps extending in the next week or so, I would recommend moving back to 12 or 12:15 and see if it helps. It takes some time. Hang in there!

  12. Hi, this is such a helpful post which has come just at the right time as our little man has refused and protested his morning nap for a good few days now, but consistently has been taking a good 1.5 hour second nap. I have always capped his morning nap at half an hour to ensure a good afternoon sleep. The last few days where he has protested, I have given up and put him down for his lunch nap earlier at 12.30, he only turned 1 last week. Is this just a blip? He does not seem tired at all for a morning nap at 10am, or am I beginning the transition? Letting him nap in the morning any later than 10am throws our whole day out of sorts.
    Thanks! Sophie

    1. Hi Sophie! It is possible that your son is ready to transition to one nap with him needing more awake time in the morning to not protest his nap. However, I would give it another week or so before really starting the transition. If he continues to protest his morning nap for the rest of the week and into next week, resulting in an earlier afternoon nap around 12:30, I would stop putting him down for the morning nap and move to one nap at 12:30 at that point. It would definitely be in the range of normal to transition at this age, so give it some time and it will likely become clear if it is a blip or if he is ready to transition. If you need any more support, please do reach out!

  13. Hello! My daughter is 14 months and we are trying to transition to 1 nap . Before her wake windows were 4/4/3.5 which led us to late bedtime a abs overtired .
    Right now she is at 4.5 in the morning so far and naps usually 1.5-1.40 waking up between 6-630.
    She is really tired around 4.5 after her last nap. Which would be around 4pm. Is it okay to give her a cat nap at 4-430? To make it to bedtime
    If so – if she does only have a 15 min nap how long should her wake windows be after that? Or when is an acceptable “early” bedtime

    1. Hi Ashley! Until you are able to push that first nap out a bit farther to bridge the gap to bedtime, doing a cat nap of 15 minutes or so is great if she will take the nap. Then you want to do a normal bedtime to align with her natural body clock as long as it is at least 3-3.5 hours of awake time. If it is less than that I recommend doing an early bedtime of up to 1 hour earlier than normal. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat or troubleshoot some more.

  14. My 11 month old sleeps 12-13 hours at night with no wake ups requiring me to go to her. But I’ve noticed she’s not napping well during the day. About 40 minutes max and wakes up crying. I’ve tried adjusting her wake time later and I’ve tried shorter. Should I be waking her up in the morning after a certain amount of night time sleep? Or should I be trying to transition her to one nap?

    1. Hi Christina! With your little one sleeping so well at night, she may be ready to transition to one nap. She is definitely on the early end age-wise but it is not unheard of. The main thing to look at to determine if she is ready to transition is can she handle longer periods of awake time during the day (4.5+ hours)? If she is, I recommend starting the transition to one nap, but if she isn’t you may need to cap night sleep a bit or let her have short naps for the time being if it isn’t effecting her overall demeanor during the day or her night sleep. If she isn’t ready now, she likely will be soon! Hope that helps. Feel free to reach out if you want to chat or troubleshoot some more!

  15. Such useful post!!!! My little one is 12 months and 1 week old, is it too early to transition to 1 nap? The last 3 weeks I have to wake him up during am nap otherwise he will sleep for 1.5-2 hours, he pushes back really hard for his pm nap and he wakes up in the morning around 6 instead of 7. He started daycare during this time so I m wondering if he s really ready for the transition or he s just upset with this change…?
    Thanks a lot

    1. Hi Maria! Your little one is definitely in the range of transitioning to one nap. If your little one has been fighting (and/or refusing) afternoon nap at least 4-5 times a week for these 3 weeks, he may be ready. However, with the transition to daycare, there is a lot more stimulation and excitement so he may still be trying to adjust. I would give him another week or so and see if he is still resisting/refusing afternoon nap, then start the transition. Hope that helps. Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more or do some more troubleshooting since you have a few moving parts.

  16. Hello!

    My 13 month old will only have his second nap if I cap his first nap at 1hr. If I let him sleep he’d happily sleep for 2 1\2 – 3hrs. He takes around 30-40 minutes to fall asleep at night toon He also wakes around 5-5:30, sometimes even 4:30, so I’m struggling to figure out how to push him until 11-12 for a long nap.

    He has very disturbed sleep and wakes anywhere between 2-6 times in the night so that makes me unsure as to whether or not he’d be ready for the transition.

    1. Hi Sarah-Jayne! Depending on how long this all has been going on, it sounds like your son is ready to transition to one nap since he can extend his first nap so well and it takes him so long to fall asleep after having a second nap. With those early wake ups, I recommend taking the slow approach for moving nap 15-30 minutes every few days and then try to do a car or stroller cat nap to get him through to bedtime without getting too much more overtired. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat or troubleshoot more to get him sleeping well for nights and naps!

  17. Hello! SO much great advise on here, thank you. Sure helps to navigate a tricky sleepless time.
    My little guy just turned 15 months and we are six days into transitioning from two to one naps a day.
    Since we transitioned he has been waking up in the night, probably 4 out of the last seven nights and is also crying 15 mins before going to sleep for the night (which is not like him!)

    His first wake window is 5 hours (which he handles well). Goes down for a nap. I have been waking him at the 2 1/2 hour mark the past few days as I thought he might be getting too much day sleep? Should I continue this or let him sleep for three hours then wake if need be?

    Then his next wake window is 4.5 to 5 hours.. but I feel like its off as he’s crying to sleep and having night wakings… HELP!!!

    1. Hi Lindsey! Sounds like your little guy has gotten overtired with those longer wake windows as he adjusts to 1 nap. Letting him sleep for 3 hours could help this, but it will likely take a few more days/a week or so to see him adjust. This is tough nap transition because what was his awake time is now his sleep time so it takes time for his body to adjust. Remember to respond consistently with how you have in the past to night wake ups to not reinforce them. It can take 4-6 weeks to feel like you are back on track after this transition so hang in there and he should be back on track soon! Hope this helps. Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more or troubleshoot more in-depth!

  18. Hi Bonnie. About a month ago my 18 month old started napping once a day, typically from 12/1230-2/230. Bedtime is at 7pm. Since she dropped to 1 nap she has started waking at 545, then 530, now in the last week 5am. I don’t know what to do..She won’t restyle herself or with my help. I’ve kept the nap at 12ish because I heard if you make it earlier it encourages early rising more, but 7 hours is a huge wake window (5am to 12pm) and only 10 hours overnight doesn’t seem like enough. Can you offer any advice?

    1. Hi Georgia! Sounds like she has gotten a bit overtired with the transition to one nap. With the early wake ups, I recommend keeping her in her crib until at least 6:00 AM to help encourage longer sleep being in the dark, cool, calm environment until that time. Additionally, doing a slightly earlier bedtime (30-60 minutes depending on how tired she is) can help her make up for missed sleep and get her more sleep at night and likely help those early wake ups too. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more or troubleshoot!

  19. My little one is about to be 15 months old. She’s going on a week and a half of waking up in the middle of the night and fighting to go back to sleep. It can take up to 4 hours for us to get her back down. She will fall back asleep, but as soon as she hits the crib, she’s up crying again. Last week we started trying to transition to one nap in the afternoon, but we don’t quite make it very far into the day and she’s usually down by 11am after waking at 6. She only naps for an hour to an hour and a half and I have been putting her down for bed around 6:15. She continues to wake in the middle of the night, and last night she woke up at 1am and would not fall back asleep until around 5:45. She napped today from 11-12:30. Should I try to give her another nap, or move bedtime earlier?

    1. Hi Tiffany! That sounds so challenging. There can be lots of reasons for long wake ups during the middle of the night but not having enough wake time before bed can be one of them. Based on her age, transitioning to one nap is likely going to help. However, it can take a bit because this is a tough transition. It sounds like you are on track and hopefully will see wake ups disappear soon (assuming she was sleeping through and falling asleep independently before these wake ups started.) I would stick with the one nap, but try to push a little longer to 11:30. Hope that helps! If you want to chat more or things aren’t going better in the next week or so, please reach out and we can set up a free call.

  20. Hello,

    Just looking for some advice. My 16 month old has only just started the transition to 1 nap, with his nap being at around 11:30 for atleast 2 hours most of the time. He then goes to bed at half 7. He is waking at around 6am most mornings, when it used to be around half 7. Will this adjust itself back with time or am I doing something wrong? Any guidance would be massively welcomed!

    Thankyou!

    1. Hi Amelia! Sounds like the transition is well on its way with his nap being 2 hours! You can temporarily move bedtime slightly earlier, around 7, to help avoid overtiredness and get his wake up closer to where it was before. Then once things are going smoothly with nap and morning wake, you can move bedtime back to the normal time. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  21. Hi Bonnie, my daughter’s 13 months and seems to refuse either a morning or afternoon nap at nursery but not consistently and is fine at home on two naps – both are usually 1 hour/1:30. She wakes around 7 and first nap is 9:30 then second around 2/2:30. Usually resists the second nap a little more at home but goes to sleep within 15 minutes. Bedtime is 7/7:30 and of course after nursery days she’s out by 7. Yesterday was a long 2 hour one nap at nursey. Question is, is it two early to move her to one nap? She does stir around 5am usually but puts herself back to sleep. Natalie

    1. Hi Natalie! It sounds like your daughter is going to be ready to transition to one nap soon, but she likely isn’t quite ready yet. Sometimes naps at nursery can be a bit harder because of the different environment and everything going on, but I would continue having them offer her 2 naps at the times you mentioned. Keep up with the 2 naps at home for now too since she is falling asleep within 15 minutes and taking a good nap. Once you see more resistance/refusal more consistently in the next few months, then start the transition to one nap. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

      1. Hi Bonnie, that’s great thank you. We’re also getting a lot more night waking’s in the last three weeks. I’d put them down to teething with some being poorly mixed in as well but also wasn’t sure if its with learning to walk? It’s also taking us a long time to get her back off to sleep. Any advise is much appreciated.

        1. Hi Natalie! Learning to walk is a huge milestone and can absolutely disrupt sleep. Her brain prioritizes learning this big skill over sleep and it creates these frustrating wake ups where she may be trying to walk or cruise around the crib or is awake and frustrated for a bit. Teething can also be a part of it, so you may have a double whammy with the disruptions. Overtiredness from short/refused nursery naps can also play a part. If things continue for more than another week or so, please reach out and we can schedule a free call to chat more about what is going on and how I may be able to help. You can schedule a call here if you are interested: sleeploveandhappiness.com/scheduling

          1. Hi Bonnie, We’ve still had a really rough week and night wake ups have been awful this week. Sometimes taking us 4 hours to get her back down. She did one long two and a half hour nap at nursery yesterday and slept until 1:15 so we moved bedtime and she was asleep by 6:45 until 6:15 this morning with no wake ups and was alot happier in herself yesterday afternoon/this morning. Do you think we should push forward with one nap?

          2. Hi Natalie! Yikes, those night wake ups sound brutal! Since she was showing signs of being close to being ready to move to one nap and the other issues don’t seem to be factors anymore, it may be time to make the switch. Hopefully she can continue to take a good long nap at daycare and replicate it at home too!

          3. My daughter is 15 months and a week ago she started to do 1 nap , but she only naps for 1 hour, 1:20 Max. She wakes up at 7:30 am(she does 12h nightsleep) and naps at 1pm. What should I do to extend this nap? Sorry for my english, I’m from Brasil.

          4. Hi Milena! It can take a few weeks to extend the nap if she needs the extra sleep. With 12 hours at night and 1hr20min during the day, she may be meeting her full sleep need in those hours. However if her sleep is significantly less than it was before the transition, give it a little time to extend. You can also do nap a bit earlier for at least a week, around 12 or 12:30 to see if it helps it extend nap sleep. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  22. Hello, fiirstly thank you for this advice. My 10 month old LO is waking up earlier than usual and is having a hard time falling asleep during nap times and night time also. His schedule was 6:30 or 7:00 wake time, 10:00 first nap 2:00 second nap and 7:00pm night time sleep (3 hours wake windows). This week he needs 4 hours wake time to fall asleep and he is waking up at 4 of 5 am. But if I let him stay awake for 4 hours then the bedtime is postponing and I dont want that. What should I do? Should I transition to 1 nap a day? Or is it too early?

    1. Hi Rita! It is not unheard of to transition to one nap at 10 months, but it is uncommon. Since it sounds like this has just been going on for a week, I would ride it out with the two naps and cap the second nap to preserve the normal bedtime. There may be something going on developmentally that is contributing the challenges you are seeing. Any big gross or fine motor milestones that LO is working on? Give him lots and lots of floor time and practice for any milestones and he will likely be back on track soon with his naps. If it isn’t, please reach out and we can do some more troubleshooting for you! Hope this helps!

  23. Hi – my (almost) 14 mo has been having shorter and shorter 2nd naps at home but at daycare they’ve been fine. His current schedule is 9:30-10:30/ 1:30-3 ish with bedtime 6:45/7p – 6:30am ish (on really good days we have to wake him up at 7am). We had been keeping the same nap schedule at home as at daycare but for the past couple weeks he’s been waking up after 35-45 minutes for nap 2 and usually fighting going down too. He’s been pretty quick to drop naps and has always been a good night sleeper but this transition scares me!
    I just tried moving his first nap to 10am and he slept for 1.5 hours then snuck in a 15 minute cat nap in the car 3:15-3:30 – we’ll see when he wakes up in the morning! (he’s home for the next few days because his daycare room is closed for cv exposure)

    thanks in advance! (we’re kind of looking forward to planning around 1 nap vs 2 on the weekends…)

    1. Hi Caroline! Since it sounds like you have started the transition with some signs your little guy was ready, I recommend sticking with it. It may be a bit challenging with daycare (hopefully they can honor his new schedule) and you may need to do a slightly earlier bedtime on the days he has daycare because it is a much more stimulating environment that it may take him some time to transition to the one nap schedule. Getting that cat nap in on days before nap is happening at about 11:30/12 PM will be helpful in getting through to bedtime. This transition takes some time but you know he has his great sleep skills to get him through any rough patches! Hope that helps. Please reach out if you want to chat more!

  24. Hi Bonnie! My 16 month old transitioned from 2-1 naps mid-Aug, and has never adjusted to it properly. He was probably a little on the younger side transitioning, but most of the signs were there.
    He wakes at 5:50/6:10am every day, and is asleep for nap 1 at 10:45am. The problem is that his naps only last one hour. We had a couple of good weeks where it was about 1.5hrs, but for the last couple of weeks it has been 1hr. He falls asleep independently, in a completely dark room with white noise, after a snack.
    He is asleep in the evening by 6:15pm, and sleeps through the night without waking (roughly 11.5hrs night sleep).

    Can you advise on how I can lengthen the nap? 1hr isn’t enough, as he wakes up cranky.

    1. Hi LK! I recommend trying to adjust his nap slightly later to about 11:30 AM and see how he does. You can bump nap to 11:05/11:10 for a few days then to 11:30. This extra bit of sleep pressure can help him sleep a bit longer. At 16 months, babies need between 12-14 hours of total sleep and he is definitely within that range, so he may be maxing out on sleep after the 1 hour nap. Pushing his nap a bit later can also push bedtime slightly later and allow a bit more sleep for nap time to help him not be as cranky after nap. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  25. Hi. My baby is 13 months and for about a minth started refusing his afternoon bap. We consolidated them both in one around 11h and everything was ok. His bedtime was still 6pm. It’s been over a week now that he wakes up in the middle of the night and is ready to play. Even if we try rocking him to sleep he doesn’t want it. Don’t know what to do as he was sleeping 12-13h per night and now we’re lucky if he does 7 in a row.

    1. Hi Priscilla! These split nights are hard. Has he been working on any big milestones like walking? Sometimes the transition of sleep timing and big milestones can cause split nights when they happen at once…kind of the perfect storm. Is his total nap time more or less than than he was getting before? If he is getting more nap sleep, capping the nap could help. There are lots of different variables with split nights so it is hard to cover all options here, but feel free to reach out and we can do some more troubleshooting if needed!

  26. Hi there,

    My son is almost 13 months old and this week has been resisting his second nap of the day. Yesterday it took us over an hour to get him to sleep. He wakes between 6/6:30 and naps around 9:30 and 2:30. I try to get him at least 4 hours of wake time before bed but sometimes that doesn’t seem like enough to make him tired. We’ve been struggling with multiple night wakings with him for months now. He’s only slept through the night a handful of times.

    I’m considering moving him to one nap, but I have to leave to pick up my daughter from pre-school at 12 pm and we don’t usually get home until 12:45ish. I worry about him falling asleep in the car and also I probably wouldn’t be able to get him down until 1 at the earliest. Do you have any recommendations? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Brittany! I would wait another week to make sure that he really is ready to transition. Without knowing more about how he is going to sleep (are you helping or is he independent) and the fact that the middle of the night wake ups have been going on so long, I’m not sure that the transition will necessarily help with those. It might but it might not. Can you leave a little early and take the “scenic route” to pick up your daughter at the beginning of the transition to help him get a decent nap starting at 11 or so until he can push his awake time to 1pm? The other option is just trying to push to 1pm (playing the ‘stay awake game’ as I call it) and if he falls asleep doing an early bedtime to account for the short nap. It may be a tough transition with preschool pick up but it will get there! Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat or troubleshoot those wake ups more.

  27. We started the transition to one nap (on day 5) but my son is waking up in the middle of the night now. Is this a normal part of the transition?

    1. Hi Jen! It can happen due to some overtiredness that comes with this transition and longer wake windows. As long as he was showing signs that he was ready for the transition those wake ups should be short lived if you respond consistently in ways he is used to. Moving up bedtime 30-60 minutes each evening during the transition can help. Also, if you are doing the gradual approach and the cat nap isn’t going well, I recommend making the jump to 11:30/12:00 PM nap so that there isn’t such a long period between nap and bed. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat or troubleshoot more!

  28. Alessandra Siciliani

    Hi, thank you for all the useful information.
    I just wondered what to do when your 12 month old has been refusing his early morning nap and it’s a struggle to get him down by 11 but happy to have his afternoon nap but wakes up after an hour at around 4pm thwn not wanting to go to sleep until about 8pm.
    How can I get him to consistently go down at 11 for 2 hours at least and bed at 6pm.
    He sleeps well at night generally 12 hours and wakes around 7 am.
    When i say refuses his nap it takes around 5 or 6 attempts of screaming. This is new to us for past 2 weeks as he used to go down no problems hour and a half at 9 ish and same again about 2 30.
    Please help

    1. Hi Alessandra! Has the morning wake up changed at all with the nap strike? Keeping that consistent will help keep his schedule on track. If he seems ready to handle 5 hours (or a bit longer) of awake time before bed he may be ready to make the transition to one nap. During the transition, it can take a few weeks to consistently see naps extend to the 2+ hour mark. This can lead to some overtiredness. If he is falling asleep independently, he should be able to handle this and continue to sleep through the night. If he is still protesting and not going down until 11, you can continue to do a cat nap in the afternoon (20-30 minutes) to get him through to bedtime until he starts extending his nap. Once it extends you can drop the cat nap and he’ll be on a 1 nap schedule! Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  29. Hi! My son is 13 months old. He is a great napper-we are currently still doing 2 naps – one at 9/9:30 and another at 2. There are some days (more than not recently) that his first nap is 2-2 hours and 15 minutes and then he refuses his second nap. I never know what to do in this situation because when I leave it at the one nap for the day, and put him to bed at 6:30, he still seems overtired during the night and wakes up several times. Do you have any suggestions on what you think is happening? Thank you!

    1. Hi Jen! He may be getting ready to transition to one nap if he has been refusing his second nap for 2 weeks or longer. You can either push to transition to one nap by pushing out nap one later until it is at about 11:30/12. Or you can cap the first nap so that he is more ready for the second nap. If you feel he really can’t handle 4-5+ hours of awake time that he would get with one nap, it may be best to cap the first nap. However, that can make it a bit harder to extend his nap when you do transition to one nap in the near future. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  30. Hi,
    My 13 month old son has slept pretty consistently 9-10 hours at night and almost never wakes up past 6am. He usually wakes around 5:30 and I let him moan until he gets upset around 5:45 or so. So we’ve been having lots of resistance to second nap and I’ve been thinking it’s time to transition to 1, but the early mornings make this so hard. I usually put him down between 9and 9:30am depending on how early he woke and he usually goes to sleep easily. Today I tried putting him down around 10am since he wasn’t fussy any earlier(most days he really is too fussy to keep him up any longer). Do I let him sleep as long as he wants in this transition or cut it off so he’ll get that cat nap?
    If he won’t cat nap I put him to bed at 6 or 6:30? I’ve found the afternoon naps are tricky cause he won’t fall asleep on his own. He’ll be quiet and babble on and off and then start screaming after 20 mins and then might fall asleep if you rock him after that. So that seems to be my cue to transition. But he wakes so early and always has! My older two had fairly easy transitions to one nap and did so around this age., but they slept longer in the morning at this point. Thanks

    1. Hi Jill! If the resistance has been going on for awhile (2 weeks+) then it is probably time to transition. it sounds like he may have a lower sleep need which means he will have more awake time before nap and after nap. I recommend pushing nap out with the gradual approach if you can, about 3 days at each step starting at 10AM. Then let him sleep as long as he wants and do a cat nap if needed. You can bump bedtime slightly earlier, but not too much or he may wake even earlier with his normal 9-10 hours of sleep. It can take 4-6 weeks to feel like you’ve fully adjusted so keep this in mind if it feels a little rough in the interim — it will get better and easier! Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  31. Hi, my 15mo old has had a pretty good routine of two 2-hour naps at 9:30 and 2:30 (one nap might be 1.5 hr). She’s been doing okay with this, but when the first nap is late, it pushes everything else back and she often doesn’t wake from her second nap till just after 5pm. It ends up pushing her bedtime to 9pm and she usually wakes at 6:45/7am. She hasn’t refused naps but the morning nap seems to move later and later these days. While I’m grateful for her 2-hour naps, I’m wondering if she’s ready for 1 nap and an earlier bedtime. I keep anchoring to the “traditional signs” that she’s ready for a single nap but she hasn’t really shown hesitation for the naps. The late bedtime is hard, but seems inevitable when you account for 2 hour naps, 3+ hour awake cycles, etc.

    1. Hi Preeti! Sounds like capping naps would be your best bet right now versus transitioning to one nap until you are seeing more signs that she is ready. Usually 2.5-3 hours of nap sleep is max at this age, so capping her first nap at 1.5 hours and then the same for second nap should get bedtime at a reasonable time, allowing her to consolidate more sleep at night. When she starts showing signs of being ready to transition to one nap (probably soon) then make the transition. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  32. Hi Bonnie,
    I have a 9 month old who is a great sleeper. He sleeps from 7pm – 6:30am and has 2 naps (9:30-11 and 2:15-3:45). He will go to daycare at 12 months and they only have one nap from 12-2:30. When should I start to try to switch him to one nap? How do I do it? I want him to be ready for it before he starts daycare. It seems like a really long time for him to be awake though! Should I shift his bedtime and wake up time? Could you suggest a sleep schedule?
    Thanks so much!
    Mikaela

    1. Hi Mikaela! Usually in these situations I recommend waiting until close to when he starts daycare before shifting his naps. You can take the gradual approach a week or two before starting, but it may be easiest to wait until he starts and just make the jump. The stimulation starting daycare will help him. It will likely be a longer adjustment period if he isn’t ready but that happens when daycare nap schedules are like that. You will want to keep him on 1 nap on the weekends as well, it may be hard to keep him up until nap time (or close to it) when he is at home because there is less stimulation at home than at daycare. Staying consistently on one nap will help him adjust best by allowing his body to get used to napping consistently at one time. The 7-6:30 will be a good schedule, just with the nap adjusted. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  33. Hi Bonnie,
    Thanks so much for the great advice!
    My little boy is just over 1 year old (always been the first in my mothers group to extend wake windows). He’s always been an early waker (5:30-6am is good for us) but recently he started waking around 4:00- 4:30 so after a few weeks of before 5:30 wakes, we pushed his bedtime ww out to 4 hrs and now he’s back to 5:30-6:00 wakes. The thing is fitting in his naps with such long wake windows. We’ve been doing 3hr15 ww in the morning, then capping morning nap at 2hrs then 3hr30 till afternoon nap which we don’t let go past 3:30pm for a 7:30pm bedtime but he is fighting both naps now for a few months and has skipped second nap or run out of time to have it if he wakes later than 6am often.. the thing is he still sleeps well.. 2-3hrs most morning after crying for anywhere from 5-15min in the morning and his afternoon naps he usually just does an hour on his own if we don’t wake him. He wakes often in the night but usually puts himself back to sleep after a little whinge and he still has one bottle a night. This morning he had 2 attempts at his morning nap as he was just standing up in his cot and only ended up falling asleep an hr later than usual. And yesterday afternoon he was just standing screaming for 10 min till I went in and lay him down and rubbed his back a bit. He has never had clear tired signs except for when he’s sick and is happy going from 11:30-6:00pm if he skips a nap but it does usually mean an early morning the next day…
    I don’t know how to extend his morning window without making a full jump from 3hr15 to 5 hrs awake so he only a 5/6 hr window before bed to avoid over tiredness. Cause his afternoon ww is already so long 🤦🏻‍♀️ Or do I cap his morning nap at only an hr (seems wrong as this has always been his long nap) so he can fit in an afternoon nap?
    Also he just screams in the car so car naps aren’t really a ‘quick’ option.
    Help please!!

    1. HI Kelly! Sounds like in this situation it would be best to start the transition to 1 nap. With the cat naps not really an option and him often resisting the 2nd nap anyways, I would make the jump to 1 nap timing right away. It may take a bit of time to adjust but this option will likely be easiest for both of you. You can slightly bump up bedtime to avoid too much overtiredness for the interim, but I recommend not doing it too much, maybe 30 minutes. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to dig in more about the feed at night or the transition! The crying going down for naps may be related to still getting that bottle at night.

  34. Hi Bonnie!
    This is such great info and it’s so great that you respond to your comments with no hesitation. As a FTM I can’t thank you enough. I have a baby boy that is days shy of turning 1. We’ve always been hit hard with the famous regressions and he was finally sleeping so so well up to about a week ago. He started with waking at 4/5:30 and has the hardest time resettling. Super restless sleep and I think last night he had a split night. He’s always been on the longer end for his wake windows, right now they are 3.25/3.75/4.5. Bedtime is already pretty late and we have absolutely no wiggle room to “sleep in” without it being past 10. He is not refusing any of his naps, they are still 1-1.5 hrs. And he goes down pretty easily for all 3 sleeps. So I I’m a bit confused if he’s ready for 1 nap? I really hope you see this. Thiss mama is exhalando could use the help! Thank you in Advance 🙏🏼♥️

    1. Hi Brenda! Happy to help! Those early wakes sound brutal! With those long wake windows, he could likely handle the transition to one nap and the longer wake windows it brings. I would make sure those early wakes persist for another week before making the transition and if they do, start the transition. Since he goes down easily for both naps currently, you can take the gradual approach and do the cat nap temporarily. You will just want to cap the second nap so that he can still go down at his normal bedtime, then once nap is at 11/11:30 bedtime will likely shift earlier. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

      1. Thank you so much for your response! I’m so glad you think he’s ready! It just confirms my suspicions. What length of wake windows should I expect with this longer nap transition? I’ve seen ranges going from 4-6 .

        1. Hi Brenda! Yes, 4-6 hours. You want to focus mainly on schedule per the clock (nap at 11:30 or 12 and bedtime at 7 or 7:30 or so) versus wake windows at this point but typically they shake out to somewhere between 4 and 6 hours. Hope that helps!

          1. Hi Bonnie! We’ve been on the transition for about 12 days now. He actually was doing so great! He handled the longer wake windows super easily and was taking a lovely 2.5-3 hr. nap. Night sleep was great. He had a couple wakes but I expected them and they were nice and short. But all of a sudden he had a 1.5 hr nap on Thursday 12/9 and then again today 12/12. Ever since the first short nap he’s been having very restless sleep and having a bit of early morning wakes. Which he will fall back asleep but not easily. Those 2 days I have followed his cues as I don’t want to confuse him with 2 naps and he’s had a bit of an earlier bedtime. My question is, is this the correct way to handle? Also, is it possible for him to be doing so well and all of a sudden go backwards? Or maybe he wasn’t ready?
            I would really appreciate any advice..
            PS could it be a possible sleep regression mixed in with the transition. He is wanting to start walking and is talking a lot..

          2. Hi Brenda! I recommend keeping with the transition now that you have started. There can be ups and downs during the transition and it can take 4-6 weeks before it feels really stable. On days with a short nap, having a slightly earlier bedtime helps avoid too much overtiredness. Starting to walk and a burst in language can also impact sleep because they are huge developmental milestones that can take priority in his brain over sleep for short periods of time. Hang in there! It will get better soon!

  35. My son has been waking up consistently before 6 am with some days lasting past 6:30. He was teething, but that’s done, and he still wakes up prior to 6. Like 5:15-5:30. He goes to sleep right around 7:45. He’s 16 months and still needs the two naps but I’m wondering if it’s time to switch. However, he’s so tired by 9:30 am from waking up so early that I can’t stretch him. Otherwise, complete melt down. Not sure what to do but I know he needs sleep and so do we! He sleeps through the night and isn’t fussy when he wakes up early. We don’t go into his room until 6:30. Help! Please and thank you!

    1. Hi Brenna! Since it seems like he still needs both naps, you can cap his second nap to give him more awake time before bed. That can helps with the early wakes until you start seeing more signs to transition to one nap, which will probably happen soon, especially if he is sleeping later in the morning. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat and troubleshoot some more! Those early wake ups can be tough, but staying out until 6:30 should help him adjust with the longer wake time before bed!

  36. Hi Bonnie, thanks so much for all the great info! I’m happy to learn from all the posts too but I’m completely perplexed with my 1 year old (11mo corrected age). She’s always been an amazing sleeper, solid 11.5-12hr nights, and used to have amazing 1-2hr naps during the day. She transitioned from 3-2 naps around 7-8 month mark. For the last two months her daytime naps have absolutely disintegrated into two half hour catnaps when she is at home. She goes to daycare 5 days per week, and sleeps amazing there 1hr and 2hr naps. Her schedule is wake up at 6-6:30, first nap at 9:15-10am second nap at 12-2pm, bed time at 6:30pm. When home I try following the daycare nap schedule, and she does go to bed on her own for the first nap that lasts half hour, but the second nap is a disaster. Takes her long time getting to sleep and only lasts 30 min if not less. Do you think she’s ready for 2-1 transition? I also tried pushing her second nap back few hours and that didn’t really work to prolong her nap. I’d appreciate your input.

    1. Hi Anastasia! Can she transition at daycare to one nap? If she can’t yet I wouldn’t recommend doing the transition at home, it would confusing for her body. Using a consistent schedule at this age helps and it seems like she does need the second nap pushed out a bit. I usually see naps at 9:30 and 2 or 10 and 2:30. She may not be as tired at home as she is at daycare because there just isn’t as much going on. Look at what you are doing between naps and adding in some more active play may help. If the short naps at home aren’t disrupting night time sleep, my advice is try not to stress (I know those short naps are super annoying) and she will likely be ready to transition to one nap soon! Hang in there! Hope that helps. Feel free to reach out if you want to chat and troubleshoot more!

  37. HI Bonnie! Thanks for this useful info. My little boy at 14.5months is trying out his one nap today since his first nap got pushed to 1130 (usually its at 1030-1045). alas, he went to bed at 1230 after lunch and got woken up half an hr later by a noisy mower machine outside (just my luck) and had a meltdown and refused to go back to bed. I am not sure how he is going to last till bedtime since it might be too late for a second nap and am I going to be headed towards a terrible night tonight? Help!!!

    1. Hi Eileen! Hopefully it isn’t a terrible night! Short naps can happen at the beginning of the nap transition so pulling bedtime a bit earlier by 30-60 minutes if he’s really tired can help him make up for missed sleep and avoid too much overtiredness going into bedtime. That helps keep night sleep on track during the transition period. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  38. Struggling big time here! My son is almost 17 months and has been taking 1 nap at daycare since 12 months. However at home on the weekends he still takes 2. We have tried to stretch them but he shows obvious tired signs and still goes right to sleep at his 2 nap times. At daycare they don’t seem to have an issue with him staying up until his 12:00 nap time, that I’m aware of. He is grouchier when he gets home though because his naps at daycare are maybe 2 hrs max. We have an early bedtime of 6:30 because of this. Have I been making this worse by giving into his 2 naps at home, while he’s been doing 1 for a while now at daycare? Any other tips on what I can do to align these schedules? Thanks so much!

    1. I just wanted to add to my comment that his wake ups are around 5:30, sometimes as early as 5, and occasionally past 6 but the average is 5:30. This has always been the case for him since he was itty bitty, and another reason why I think it’s been so hard for us to stretch it at home to 1 nap. At daycare I think he’s just so distracted maybe? We want to be able to take him out in the evenings and do stuff as a family so getting to a nice, long 1 nap would be so ideal!

      1. Hi again! Yes, once you get his body clock regulated with the one nap (as I said, it will be a push for the first few weekends) he should be able to push that bedtime out which will help push the wake time out. It can take a few weeks for the wake time to follow the bedtime. Right now he is getting 11 hours of sleep, so he may be maxing out on sleep at that time and getting bedtime pushed out a bit will help. Hope that helps!

    2. Hi Sam! This is a hard transition. I do recommend getting him to at least 11:30 before nap time at home and keeping him on one nap at home. This consistency allows his body to best adjust to his schedule. A change of scenery or a snack around the normal time he gets tired can help get him through to nap time. Unfortunately, home usually isn’t as exciting or stimulating as daycare so he has a harder time pushing through to him nap. Keep the early bedtime for now as he sleep evens out at home with the goal of extending naps so that you can push it out a bit later again. Hope this helps! Hang in there! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more or do any more troubleshooting!

  39. Hi Bonnie! Thank you so much for such great information, my LO is 14 months and she takes two naps, first one around 11 to 1 max and the second one around 4 to 5:30 in the evening. Bed time is around 10 to 10:30 and we co sleep plus she takes one night feeding too around 2 am. The problem is once she is up for her night feeding she starts struggling to go back to sleep then she will keep tossing and crying so I believe that I should try to transition her to one nap and I am struggling with night feeding too. I want to stop it but I try then I give up .

    1. Hi Karuna! It may be hard to stop the night feed while you are cosleeping, but you can try to shorten the amount of time she is feeding each night, and then tell her no more milk at night and cuddle her through any upset caused by that. As she becomes more of a toddler, setting that boundary and sticking to it will help her understand what to expect and not feel the need to test it as much. Since she is solidly taking two naps right now and sounds like not resisting or refusing any of them, you may want to start with shortening the last nap to 45-60 minutes (maybe shorter depending on how things go) and see if it helps with the night wake up. If it doesn’t after a week or so, she may be ready to push to one nap. Hope that helps! Please reach out if you want to chat more!

  40. Require us to craddle him to sleep. For the past 1 month, he wakes up within 1 hr sitting up and unable to sleep back unless we cradle him. Most of the time we have to put him inbetween us to sleep as he jumps out of his cot if we try to put him down. He also gets hungry at 12-1am and we feed him milk (150ml). Sometimes he wakes up inbetween and we try to cradle him back to sleep. If he is making a fuss, then we will try feeding water, if it doesn’t work then milk again….he used to be able to sleep through till at least 3-4am before asking for milk or we will just feed water. He is usually up by 645am
    Other than that, he drinks milk in the morning 150ml (5-7am), then breakfast, milk 150ml (9-10am++), nap (1-2 hrs), lunch (12-1pm), milk 150ml (2pm++), nap (1-2hrs), tea break – usually fruits/avocado, 120-150ml milk (5pm++), dinner 6-7pm++), 8pm++ 150-180ml milk

    1. Hi Sharon! I’m not sure how old your baby is, but assuming he is in the range being old enough to transition to one nap, working on independent sleep skills will help him get to sleep and stay asleep for longer stretches without you cradling him or feeding him. It sounds like he is dependent on your help to get to sleep and stay asleep which creates those wake ups with him needing the same scenario recreated so he can get back to sleep. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  41. Hi, my 15mth old has been refusing her 1st or 2nd nap for a week straight, I really think she is ready for the transition, can I begin now or I need to wait the 2 weeks?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Chelle! It can be a tough transition, which is why I usually recommend waiting the 2 weeks, but your little one is in the average range for transitioning, so if you feel she is ready, go for it! My advice is that even if it is rough once you go for it, don’t second guess yourself and keep going with it. It will get better! Hope that helps. Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

      1. Thank you Bonnie for your response. After a week she went back to 2 naps. It must have been a regression. I am not sure!! Glad you said to wait 2 weeks.

  42. Hi there!
    My bub is 16 months and still on 2 naps. We’ve just moved house and I’m not sure if this is causing the multiple wake ups and bedtime resistance of if she is due for the 1 nap transition. How can I tell the difference?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Victoria! I would give it a few weeks to see if she adjusts to the new house before taking on the transition to one nap. The new house and environment can definitely impact things so I would give it some time to see if it shakes out and then move to one nap if it doesn’t. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  43. Hi Bonnie,

    This is incredibly helpful! I have a 12.5 month old who has been consistently refusing her afternoon nap every day for 2 weeks straight (with the exception of 1 day). Her previous schedule was 630a wake up, 9a nap, 1-130p nap, 630-7p bed time.

    Since she has been refusing her second nap, i have tried pushing her first wake windows 4-4.5hours daily. She has been sleeping average 1.5 hours for nap time, but is cranky and exhausted before bedtime so we’ve been putting her down at 6. It’s taking her about 15 minutes to fall asleep (no fuss though) which is unusual for her and she is now consistently waking at 520. She fusses and I go in and give her a pacifier and she calms down until about 6-615a but doesn’t actually go back to sleep. I’ve been gauging the first wake window from 520 when she wakes up. She gets between 11-12hrs of sleep a night and about 1.5hrs of nap time.

    My question is, am I doing the right thing? Will the early morning wake ups stop eventually? I am hesitant to put her down later for bed because she’s so tired and wakes up multiple times a night if I do.

    She is starting daycare in two weeks and will automatically go to a one nap schedule at 1230p.

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Kelsie! Glad to hear it is helpful! Since she’s normally a 11-12 hour a night sleeper those early wake ups are likely due to her meeting her sleep need for the night. Now that you are getting on a one nap schedule, you can focus on a time on the clock versus wake windows, and just moving up bedtime if she is extra tired/has a short nap. Since she will be pushed to a 12:30 nap at daycare soon, I recommend getting her as close to that at home as you can. Pushing nap later will help push bedtime back to normal time. Hopefully her AM wake up time will follow shortly after (it can take a week or two, but sometimes is faster). Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat or troubleshoot more!

  44. Hi Bonnie,

    My daughter is 18 months. She just learned to walk, still has teeth coming through, and we also just brought a new baby home.

    We decided to try to transition her to one nap about four days ago.
    Her old schddule was wake 630, nap 930-11, nap 3-4, bedtime 8.

    All of a sudden she would scream at bedtime, would not go to sleep unless held. She was waking up screaming at night and also started having early morning wakings. So we have tried to switch to one nap at 1130-130 and bedtime at 7. We are running into the problem of her having major meltdowns during the day, she gets tired around 830 am and 330 pm before and after the midday nap. She wakes about once a night still and also has been having early wakings sometimes at 430! and she screams until we come get her. She seems to always wake upset.

    I know they say at 18 months they should be on one nap but does it sound like she still needs two?

    Weve been having to do a 10 min catnap at 830 am to get to an 1130 nap time and then she will scream at 1130 when we try to lay her down but eventually falls asleep. We have been having to wake her from the midday nap at the 2 hour mark but im sure she could go three hours if we let her.

    Today she woke around 530 but laid quietly until 615 when we got her up. She did a ten min catnap at 830. I tried laying her down for a nap at noon and she screamed so I had to hold her for her to fall asleep. We woke her at 2 and she still seemed so tired. She had meltdown after meltdown all afternoon and then she walked me to her crib at 630 tonight because she was ready for bed.

    I am defeated and at a loss on what to do to get her the sleep we all need. I feel like I am making her so tired with this schedule.

    Any advice would be appreciated please!

    1. Hi Emily! This is definitely a hard transition. Some 18 month olds can still need two naps, but it is uncommon. With everything going on, it is hard to say if it is developmental, situational (the move), purely the schedule. Since she was napping a total of 2.5 hours before the transition, I would let her sleep longer than 2 hours for her nap and see if that helps with the meltdowns and gets her early wake ups on track. You also want to keep in mind that now that she is a toddler, boundary testing becomes a big thing. Holding boundaries firm helps her feel confident and know what to expect. She may be boundary testing with seeing what she can do to get to be held to sleep, so keep that in mind because it can turn into a habit quickly. Hope that helps! Definitely feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  45. Baby is 20 months old and sleeps straight through the night mainly but she goes to bed between 9-9:30 pm (I finish from work at 8pm,that’s why)
    During the day she normally sleeps for 1-1:30 hrs around 10 or 11 o’clock and again in the afternoon around 4 o’clock for 1 hour or maybe more!But sometimes I think my husband is forcing her to sleep because he thinks that by bedtime she will be very crunky!I think it’s time to drop to 1 nap but how can i be sure?

    1. Hi Maria! That is definitely longer than I typically see to still be on 2 naps. I’m not sure what you mean by forcing her to sleep…is he rocking and holding her or something like that? If he is she may not lean towards a two nap schedule still if she was falling asleep on her own. But I am also of the mindset that if its not broken, you don’t need to fix it. With her getting good nap sleep during the day and sleeping well at night, she may just be a high sleep needs baby. Keep your eye out for signs that she is ready to transition. She likely will be soon! Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  46. Hi Bonnie! Thank you for posting this. I’ve been reading it over and over to keep me sane.

    My 15 month old daughter’s previous schedule was:
    bedtime 730a-730p
    nap 1 9:30-11a
    nap 2 2-3:30p
    No issues falling asleep (uses paci for about 2-3 minutes and is out), no issues with waking during nap and bedtime.

    However, for about 1-1.5 weeks straight, my daughter would either take forever to fall asleep for her naps (just tossing, rolling around, wide awake in bed) or not nap at all. So this past week, we transitioned to one nap, cold turkey, with nap time being around 12:30 after a 7/7:30am wake up and bedtime 7:30pm.

    We’re a week into trialing one nap, and the first two days she napped for 1.5-2.5 hours but on day 6 and 7 she only napped for 1-1.5 hours crying and unable to go back to sleep. And for the entire week, she’s been extra irritable, clingy and inconsolable an hour before bedtime, particularly with my sister who has been watching her on the nights my husband and I work. My daughter has been great around her until we started the transition. As for her night time sleep, she’s been waking frequently now, laying in bed, crying intermittently.

    I know it’ll take time for her to adjust and things to smooth out, but I just don’t know what to do when she can’t take a full 2.5-3 hour nap. I’ve tried to consistently put her down by 12:30pm and the nap length has varied day by day. Im not sure if I should be trying to put her down sooner by 12pm in case she was overtired by the time she fell asleep but I worry that if her natural nap length is 1-1.5 hours, then putting her down by 12pm would result in a 1-1:30pm wake up making it a 6 hour wake window until bedtime and I dont want to push up bedtime because it’ll push up her wake time. It’s such a vicious cycle!!

    I’m hoping you can help. We’re so desperate for sleep again since we work night shift and our day sleep is achieved during her nap time!

    Also, not sure if teething is a huge contributor to poor sleep/transition, but she has been drooling like crazy and every now and then I see her pulling or tugging her ear.

    Please help!

    1. Hi Lisa! This can definitely be a really tough transition. It sounds like your daughter is definitely overtired and it caught up to her to create some shorter naps. I recommend staying consistent with nap time were it is now if adjusting bedtime earlier temporarily isn’t an option. The reason I like a temporary early bedtime, about 30 minutes or so, is because it allows her to make up for missed nap sleep at the beginning of the night, typically without moving her normal wake up time (as long as we aren’t asking her to sleep more hours than she needs/has typically been sleeping). You should be seeing progress in the next week or so, or at least glimmers of progress! Hang in there, this transition is tough. Stay consistent and it should be on track soon (keep in mind, it can take 4-6 weeks to really feel like things are fully there.) Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  47. Hi there,

    I have a 14 month old daughter. We started the transition to 1 nap about 3 weeks ago (I know this sounds early but she was showing all the signs: she would take around 1 hour to go to sleep for her second nap and bedtime she would sometimes lie awake for 1.5hours. Bedtime was also pushing close to 10pm by the time she would fall asleep and we would have to wake her at 7am or we couldn’t fit all her naps in for the day).

    The transition has been a little rocky but overall it’s going ok. However, she has started waking around 5am. We don’t get her up until 6am and she is more than happy to lay in her cot until then, we then offer a nap around 11am which she may take 15mins to fall asleep and will sleep for 1.5hours. We then get her up around 1pm and put her to bed at 6:30pm.

    I’m not sure if this is okay for a baby her age? I understand that she is supposed to sleep for 2-3hours during the day. Did I make the transition too early?

    Overall she is sleeping more now than before (in a 24 hour period) and her mood is relatively fine most of the day and night but I just wanted some insight as to whether I made the right choice.

    She is also cutting 4 teeth at the moment so that hasn’t helped the transition but as mentioned she is generally a happy baby.

    Thanks for taking the time to read.
    Shannon

    1. Hi Shannon! Sounds like she is right where she needs to be if she is getting more sleep and doesn’t seem overtired. There may still be an adjustment with getting used to the longer periods awake but I wouldn’t worry if she’s a little low on nap sleep compared to average because that is just an average and every baby has different sleep needs. If she is getting 12-14 hours during a 24 hour period, you should be good! You may need to start pushing bedtime back a bit later to even out those early wake ups. She is likely maxing out on sleep at 5 AM. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  48. Hi Bonnie,
    I have a nearly 13 month old who goes to nursery 4 days a week and is on a 1 nap schedule there (will usually do between 1hr45 – 2h30). At home I have always kept him to 2 naps as he hasn’t seemed ready for 1 and has always gone down without too much fuss on a 3/3.5/4 schedule.
    We’ve just been through a tough 12 month regression with split nights and fighting bedtimes, but I’ve persevered with 2 naps (30 mins in morning and up to 2hr afternoon) and he seems to be through this now, though left with I think is some separation anxiety as we are needing to be close for him to settle to sleep at night.
    My question is should we be mirroring his one nap schedule at nursery? He will not do 2 naps there. I worry that I’m confusing his body clock with the split schedule. On nursery days he’s usually in bed for 6:30 as he’s tired, whereas on home days it’s closer to 7:30 due to his wake windows.
    He’s never been a fantastic sleeper, is usually up at least once in the night for milk but settles down quickly and will sometimes wake at 5:30, but mostly after 6.
    Really appreciate any guidance!

    1. Hi Sara! I’m glad you’ve got things on track after the regression! I recommend keeping him on a 1 nap schedule all the time if that is what he is doing at nursery to help not confuse his body as to when is sleep time vs not. This will help him start to extend naps and then be able to push bedtime a bit later again. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  49. Hi Bonnie!

    Great info here but after something a bit different. Our almost 14 mo son is only taking about 30 minute naps. We recently (December) stopped contact napping on our bed (I’m home til next month) and put him in his crib for naps. Goes down easily, quickly but wakes upset around 30 minutes in. These short naps happen 90% of the time. He initiates night sleep and naps. He sleeps 7/7:30 til 6:45 most days with no wake ups needing our help. I start work in March and having him on one nap is almost required for his care situation. Do you think transitioning to one nap is going to help or hurt this situation? I feel like he can’t get worse naps than what he’s currently doing 😩 thank you!

    1. HI Jenny! What do you do when he wakes up after 30 minutes? You may need to leave him in his crib for a full hour to allow him the opportunity to go back to sleep and get used to sleeping longer. You also want to evaluate if he can handle longer wake time. Even though he is falling asleep quickly (independent sleep skills!) he may not be tired enough to connect his sleep cycles. This would mean he is likely ready to start the transition to one nap. Since he has to transition soon, I recommend starting now as it can take 4-6 weeks to feel like you’ve really got things going well. This gives him time to adjust to the schedule before having to adjust to daycare too. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  50. Hi Bonnie
    Really useful to read your post and all your answers to questions. My 12MO is really struggling with her afternoon nap, it’s taking me around 20-30 minutes to get her to sleep. She’s also just starting childcare and she’s totally refused the nap/had a maximum 15 minute nap there. She just doesn’t seem tired enough. We wake her up at 7am, she goes down for her morning nap at 10 (normally asleep by about 10.10), we wake her at 11.30, and next nap is attempted at 3. We wake her by 4 at the latest for a 7.15/30 bedtime. Nights have always been variable but recently the normal was waking around 4.30am for a feed then going back to sleep. Past couple of weeks though she’s waking in the middle of the night and it’s taking 90 minutes to get her back to sleep. She does try but manages about 5 minutes before waking again, when I do get her to sleep she’ll then wake up when I try and creep out, then process starts again. It’s not teething and she’s been walking for a couple of months now. On the days she’s skipped an afternoon nap she’s coped fine and we don’t have these long wakings in the night. I don’t think I’m leaving long enough between her sleeps for her to build up enough sleep pressure but there’s not enough hours in the day to give her more awake time! Ready for 1 nap? Thanks, Eva

    1. Hi Eva! With those split nights not happening when she only has one nap and her not seeming tired enough for naps I think you are right. She needs more time to build up enough sleep pressure for her nights and transitioning to one nap is going to help. The other piece to consider is that it sounds like she is not falling asleep independently. That can also help her sleep better through the night. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  51. Elizabeth Herrick

    My son transitioned to 1 nap almost a month ago. He is 20 months. He skipped his after noon nap for almost 2 weeks. Before the nap changes he had a 6:30 bed time. He’s become so overtired and he asked to go to bed at 5pm. Which leads to a 4:45 wakeup which makes a late nap almost impossible. I’m lucky if he gets to 10 but his nas have been really short like 45- hour, I try to leave him till 90 mins before I get him out. Getting back to 6:30 seems impossible. If we are in the car past 4 he falls asleep for 25 minutes. Could he still need 2 naps? How long do I wait before I go back to 2?

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Based on his age the signs he was showing it does seem like he was ready to transition. It can take 4-6 weeks until you feel like you’ve really got this transition going well so you are getting close! I would push through to a later nap time, instead of letting him nap at 10, regardless of when he woke up to help him get back on track with bedtime which will help with the early morning. Offering a snack, a change of scenery or a new activity can help get him over that 10am hump. Once nap is consistently later (12pm ish) it will help the whole schedule shift. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  52. Hi Bonnie,

    We started this transition only because we thought he should. And only based on his brother’s nap schedules at the same age. We have dropped the first nap and he is doing well. He sleeps at 12pm for 1.5 to 2 hours only. Then bed at 7pm. But is now waking at 2am, 3am or 5am upset. He seems overtired. Should I go back to 2 naps and await the signs of needing to drop? We also dropped a morning bottle but he is getting snacks and plenty of food I my opinion.

    Laura 😃

    1. Hi Laura! If he is over 12 months and since he was doing well, I would stick with the 1 nap schedule and just know it may take a little longer to get on track since it sounds like he wasn’t showing typical signs of being ready to transition. You can use a slightly earlier bedtime temporarily (about 30 minutes earlier), to help him avoid too much overtiredness before bed which should help with the wake ups. Additionally, make sure you treat those wake ups consistently, allowing him to go back to sleep independently, if this is what he did in the first place, so that they don’t become a habit. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  53. I have read and re-read this article over a dozen times before we took the plunge to transition our 17 month twins to 1 nap. But, its absolutely overwhelmed us and the boy girl twins. I would like to understand what would be the best time to get them to nap before they get cranky. Their night nap time is 9 pm and they are up at 7 am. They toss around a little at night but go right back to nap which is a great sign. But during the day, they usually eat lunch half past noon and would nap at 2 pm – 4pm. Now they aren’t able to stretch this long and are falling asleep on their highchairs eating lunch. What do you recommend we should do and how does this impact their meal times. Thank you.

    1. Hi Dina! This can definitely be an overwhelming transition. Based on the 9p-7a schedule I recommend doing nap around 12:30/1pm. Doing an early lunch before nap and then a pretty substantial snack after nap usually works well. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  54. Hi Bonnie,

    Great info. My LO started transitioning to one nap on his own and was doing pretty well, sleeping 11/12 for 2.5 – 3 hours however after a few weeks he became extremely difficult to get down at bedtime and now takes up to one hour to get down for a nap / bedtime. Could this be due to overtiredness / transitioning too early? He was waking up at 7, napping 11ish to 1-2 and bedtime 6:30/7 but is now waking earlier at 6am and seeping 8/8:30pm 🤦🏽‍♀️

    1. Hi Angella! I know how frustrating it is when things are going so well, to all of a sudden getting over track. That wake up shortly after falling asleep at bed is often caused by overtiredness. I recommend pushing his nap closer to 11:30/12 to shorten the wake window before bed. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  55. Hi Bonnie!
    My daughter is 13.5 months and we started the nap transition a few weeks ago after she started sleeping too long for her 1st nap and refusing her 2nd nap. The transition seemed to be going okay and then she got sick, which screwed everything up since she needed more help going down, more naps, etc. She is healthy again and we are trying to get her back on track but she is refusing her 1 nap, even though she seems exhausted. She had been falling asleep on her own easily, but now she instantly screams and stands in her crib (and we can only occasionally get her to sleep if we stay with her rubbing her head until she’s down, which is a bad habit to start!) We’re putting her down b/w 12-12:15 right after lunch. Her bedtime is around 7:15. She was resisting bedtime at first too but we have been able to get that back on track by just letting her be for as long as it takes. She wakes around 6:30 (sometimes earlier, sometimes later). Any advice on how to get her back on track for her nap? Do you advice putting her down earlier for the time being as she starts getting really tired around 11am. I don’t think we can go back to 2 naps at this point.
    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Emily! Ah this can be such a hard transition especially when you get sickness thrown into it too. I do not recommend going back to two naps. I do recommend trying to do her nap a little earlier for a week or so (11:30 ish) and moving bedtime slightly earlier to make up for overtiredness. Additionally, it sounds like she got into some habits while sick that she needs help remembering her independent sleep skills. Go back to your sleep training strategy and stay consistent with it so she can get back into the groove falling asleep on her own. Hang in there! It will get better. Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more or do some more troubleshooting!

  56. My baby is 13 months adjusted age, 15 months not adjusted. I think she’s getting ready to transition to 1 nap but since she’s a preemie I’m not sure if it’s too early. She usually wakes around 7:30. She used to be ready for her nap at 10:30 and would sleep till 11:30, then take her second nap from 3-4, then bed at 8. But this Last week she’s been taking 30-50 minutes to go down for her first nap which means she’s not going to sleep until 11:15 or so. Then she sleeps till 12:45 up to 1. I try to get her to take a cat nap at 4, but she usually screams and fights me (I rock her or lay down on a mattress on the floor by her) until at least 4:30/4:45. Then she wakes at 5 (I have to wake her). She fights bedtime and usually takes an hour to go to sleep, around 9:30. Should I wait and see if this continues for another 2 weeks or is it time to try one nap?

    1. Hi Abi Kay! Great question. I would wait another week or two before moving forward with the transition. She is on the early side of the average age to transition so she may very well be ready but you want to make sure first because it is a tough transition. Be cautious laying with her because this can form a habit you may not want to continue. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  57. I’m trying to decide if my almost 14 month old girl is ready for one nap. She currently takes 2 naps, but has been fighting the afternoon nap. She has never really excelled at sleeping through the night, typically waking at least once sometimes up to 5 times. I’d say she’s slept through the night from when I put her down till the morning maybe 10 times total. Her nightime sleep usually goes from 730-630 or so with some 530 wake-ups. Sometimes at night she will be awake for ten minutes, others (like last night) she will be awake for 2 hours at a time. Im trying to figure out how to get her to sleep better at night and during the day. How should I go about transitioning her to one nap?

    1. HI Rebecca! With your daughter’s nighttime sleep it is hard to say if she is ready for one nap. Look at how she is going down for sleep and if she isn’t going down independently working on that first can be helpful. However if she continues to fight her second nap for 2 weeks 4-5 times a week, and has those long wakings at night (split nights) she is likely ready to transition to one nap even with her nighttime sleep the way it is. Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more about the nap transition or helping her fall asleep independently. That is what I do when I work with families 1-on-1. If you are interested, you can schedule a free call here – sleeploveandhappiness.com/scheduling Hang in there! Hope this helps!

  58. Hi Bonnie,

    Thanks for all the great information. My daughter is only 11.5 months old, and I never even considered transitioning to one nap so early, but I’m not sure what to do now! She has an interesting problem. She doesn’t usually wake up until 9:30-10:00am, then usually goes to sleep around 9:30-10:00pm. So, she gets her 12 hours at night, it’s just a really late and unusual schedule! However, this past week, she’s been taking her normal morning nap but refusing to go down for her normal “evening” nap around 4:00-4:30, so we’ve been putting her to sleep earlier…maybe 7:45-8:00. She has definitely been overtired at bedtime though, and we hate it! Of course, she’s woken up a couple times each night and needs help getting settled. She has always been an amazing sleeper and puts herself to sleep independently 99.9% of the time. The other problem is, she’s then been sleeping 13-14 hours at night…meaning…she again doesn’t want to take two naps the next day. We feel very confused and aren’t sure if we should just 1) give up and work our way towards one nap or 2) try to wake her up earlier in the mornings so she has time to take two naps. I’m afraid that she’ll wake up overtired though and still not nap during the day. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

    1. Hi Grace! You daughter is definitely on the very early side to transition but it is not unheard of at her age. As long as she is getting the total amount of sleep she needs, the late schedule is totally fine if it works for her. If she continues to resist/refuse her afternoon nap for the next 2 weeks, since the rest of her sleep is great, you can start moving towards one nap. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  59. Hi Bonnie! Thank you so much for this resource, and your time. I’ve read through your answers above, so I’m guessing the answer is going to be “she’s on the early side, but she may be showing she’s ready to transition if she continues to refuse her afternoon nap most days for two weeks.” But that said, I’d love to get your take!

    My daughter is 11.5 months old. For a good stretch now, she’s been waking 6:30-7:30am, having a first nap 3 hours later that lasts 1:20, awake 3-3.5 hours, second nap that lasts 1:20, being put down for sleep between 7-7:30, and usually getting herself to sleep shortly thereafter. However – she had a few days a number of weeks ago where we thought she was hitting a regression. She started taking a long time to fall asleep at night (and that’s remained prior to the nap refusals), and fussing (which is unlike her). We did a few nights of Ferber-lite. And sometimes for her afternoon naps it can take 30 min or so for her to settle, She also has had a few uncharacteristic wake up in the night. Now, in five of the last eight days, she refused her second nap (and once refused her morning nap and only did one middle-of-the-day, 2 hour nap). We put her down, sometimes she doesn’t even try to lay down over 30 min or more. We’ve tried stroller naps and car naps, and no luck (though it’s been a while since we tried either regularly, so the novelty may preclude sleepiness). She’s also *just* starting to take independent steps, so we also wonder if this is a skills-related regression and not a real transition to one nap. However, when I took all of the sleep-related changes into account, I lean towards maybe she really is ready. On the days she refuses her nap, we’ve put her down between 6:45-7 (I would consider earlier but prior to this she wasn’t actually falling asleep until 8 or later, so putting her down closer to 6 seemed too extreme even though she’s open awake for 7+ hours by that point, poor baby). She’s asleep in minutes. However today, she woke up at 6am, and conked out for her morning nap at 9am. She actually settled for her afternoon nap finally (again seemed like she was going to refuse, but made it happen after 30-40 minutes). Now my thought is to wake her by 4pm (which had been my plan that I wanted to try to help the night sleep right before she started refusing her second nap) so we can go back to putting her down by 7:30, but I imagine she’ll still take a long time to settle with only 3:30hr wake period. Anyway! This was far less straightforward than I hoped. I guess my question is this — while we continue this dance for another week to see if she mostly keeps refusing the second nap, we are just continuing the cycle of an over-tired baby by bedtime, which I think is what contributed to today’s early morning. It seems like maybe it would be less stress on her to just make the transition? She’s not losing it on these days she’s skipped a nap, but she’s clearly so, very tired. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Liz! You are right, the transition is often less straightforward than we would like as parents. I recommend giving her a little bit longer given she has just started walking. This can be a big cause of regression and you want to make sure she really is ready. However, if it continues and she is walking on her own lots during the day, you can start the transition. It can lead to overtiredness as well but likely less than having a refused second nap. Just keep that in mind, it can take 4-6 weeks to fully get through the transition and past overtiredness. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  60. Hi, Bonnie!
    First, thank you so much for the great information. Secondly, please help! My daughter turned 1 on 1/26 and has been waking at 1AM and/or 4AM constantly for a week+, while refusing or only sleeping a max of 30 minutes at her morning nap.
    She goes down at 7/7:30 and used to sleep a full 11.5 hours. I miss those nights! Interestingly, it seems as though most children refuse the afternoon nap when ready to transition, but she is the opposite. It makes me think it is part of a regression, but I’m not sure. Can you share your thoughts? I’d really appreciate any insight you could provide. Thank you!

    1. Hi Christina! Yes it does seem a bit opposite that she is refusing her first nap. Is she working on any big milestones? Starting to walk or other big milestones can cause regressions at this age. If she continues to refuse her first nap most of the time for another week or two, then you can start the transition to one nap. It can lead to some overtiredness with the longer time awake before bed, so keep that in mind. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  61. Hi Bonnie,

    Thank you so much for this post! We have been trying to adjust our daughter to the 1 nap for about a month now. She was rejecting 1 of her naps pretty consistently so we felt it was time for the transition. However, after a couple of weeks of trying… we noticed signs of overtiredness: early wakings (5am-6am), trouble falling asleep at night, and night wakings. We went back to the 2 naps this past weekend and she was taking the two naps (4 hour waketime). But once Monday hit, she began rejecting the 2nd nap. We are back on 1 nap now… Today she woke up at 530… offered her 1 nap at 10:15 and she only slept until 11:40. Tried giving her a cat nap at 3:15 and she is not taking it. We probably have to offer her an early bedtime (6am) again… which is causing her to wake up around 5-5:30am… we are not sure what to do as this seems to be a vicious cycle that doesn’t seem to end. We want to push her bedtime to later so she can have a later wakeup time but a lot of factors is preventing us to do so. Not sure where to go from here, but any advice would be super helpful and appreciated!

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Jennifer! This can be a tough transition. I recommend pushing her one nap later to 11:30 or 12 in order to get her through the day with less overtiredness. Stay really consistent about that nap time so her body can fully adjust. Going back and forth can make it harder for her body to adjust and for her to get on track. Giving her a snack or change of scenery (just not going in the car or stroller) can help push through that earlier/old nap time to her new nap time. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  62. My 11.5mo old has been waking up at 530am and refusing her 2nd nap (was 3-4pm) for close to 2 weeks. We have moved her 1st nap to 1130, but she’s only sleeping an hour. She sleeps 11 hours overnight, which is down from 12 hours (she used to wake up around 630am). How do we get her to go back to the 630am wakeups and take a longer nap mid-day? Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Rebecca! How long have you been working on the transition? It can take 4-6 weeks to fully get through it. She may just need some time to start extending her nap. Doing bedtime a bit earlier (30 min or so) can help account for overtiredness from the early wake up and shorter nap, allowing her to make up for some missed sleep. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  63. My little love is 14.5 months, we are boucning back and forth between one and two naps. WHen she does one nap she usually sleeps 11.5-12 hours. We do about 4.5 hours of wake time before her nap but laterly she is sleeping 45-1 hour 15 minutes. Its like she cant consolidate. When this happens it puts us at a weird spot of do we put her to bed at 5:30 and have her get up super early, or just her take a 4:30 cat nap? I am not trying to push one or two naps, I want her to transition at her own pace. But I would like to try and help her if she is struggling with her naps.

    1. Hi Shauna! Sometimes bouncing back and forth between 1 and 2 naps can make the transition more challenging because it doesn’t allow her body clock to adjust to the new nap time with naps not happening consistently. I recommend helping her get on a solid one nap schedule by pushing her nap to 11:30/12pm and doing an early bedtime around 6/6:30pm if needed in order to balance not getting too overtired with not going to bed too early and maxing out on sleep in the 5am hour. Give it a few weeks and she should be on track. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  64. My LO is 11months and has been refusing his afternoon nap for more than 2 weeks. For his afternoon nap he thinks it’s play time. After being in his crib for close to 30mins he starts to cry, I go in to lay him down and he cries louder, I start to rock him for 2mins and he falls asleep.

    I decided to try and transition to 1 nap but I’m very unsure considering if I rock him lightly he falls asleep even if it’s a cat nap.

    Is it the right time to transition? Is it a regression?
    So confused.

    1. Hi Tannia! This stuff can be confusing! Is he learning any new big skills, such as walking? This could cause a regression with more wake ups, trouble falling asleep or nap refusals but typically only lasts a week or so. He is on the early side to transition to one nap but he should could be ready at this age and the nap refusal for so long. If you want to avoid rocking to sleep long term, I would try to avoid using it as a strategy too much now as that can become a habit you may not want to keep. Hope this helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  65. My 11 month old has been waking up early, staying up late and fighting naps. We’ve been trying to stick to his 2 nap schedule but with no luck. He’s been getting about 10 hours overnight but only 1, sometimes 2 hours of daytime sleep. He trys to push his naps later and later (5-6 hours🥴, instead of 3-4). I’ve been trying to add more activities to his wake times to tire his out more, still no luck. I’m at a loss, I feel like he’s too young to transition to 1 nap. But I’m tired of having this fight day in and day out.

    1. Hi Sunshine! 11 months is on the early side for the transition to one nap, but it isn’t unheard of so he very well could be ready. Before making the jump to one nap, I recommend that you rule out a regression due to big milestones like learning to walk first. This can bring a regression because babies’ brains prioritize learning this new skill over sleep and can lead to the challenges you are seeing. However, it only lasts a week or so usually. If it has been going on longer and he can handle 5-6 hours of awake time without getting too overtired, then you can start the transition. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  66. Hi Bonnie are 14 month old is at a sort of weird in between stage. She gets up around 7 and can now make it to 1030 or even 11am for her first nap. The only problem is she will sleep at most for an hour and a half which puts her at a wake up time of 12 -1pm at best.

    We have used a sleep confusltant in the past and they have said that at this age to not push the baby past 5 hours of wake window. This would mean putting our daughter to sleep at 530pm or 6pm which would.not work.

    Instead we find we are stretching out her 2nd nap (which several have mentioned here) to about a 415ww or 430ww which usually puts us at 430pm or 5pm second nap. She doesn’t usually fight it because we are stretching it out but only.sleeps 45 mins either because she a)knows its a nap or b) she’s waking up from her first rem cycle and cannot go back to sleep. Usually she is cranky when she gets up from this nap.

    This has led to 930pm and even 10pm bedtimes and she will at most get 10 hours (usually 9ish) sleep at night.

    What is your best recommendation to correct this ? On occasion we have tried the 6pm bedtime stretching out our daughters first nap and removing the second but she’s either way over tired and can’t sleep or does the 45 min sleep and gets up as if its a nap

    Thanks

    Vijay

    1. Hi Vijay! I recommend pushing her nap out a bit later 11:30/12 to help you adjust her sleep times best. This will help avoid too long of a wake window before bed which can create those 45-minute false starts where she wakes up about one sleep cycle after bedtime. Giving her a snack, going outside or doing a change of scenery (without being in the car or stroller) around her current nap time can help push her through to the new nap time. Then it can take a few weeks for her nap to lengthen. Then you can get back on her normal bedtime. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  67. Hello! My 14 month old has been struggling with sleep for almost a week now. The second he is put in crib for nap or bed time, he gets up standing and will scream or cry. He used to go into crib independently for sleep with no issues at all. He also used to sleep about 11 hours at night, and take 2 1-1.5 hour naps. As of last week, we are experiencing multiple night wakings. We also have been experiencing early morning wake ups 5-5:30 am for quite a while now, and recently short naps. We are also room sharing so any noise immediately wakes him. Is he ready to transition to 1 nap? If so, how do we do this transition with a 5/5:30 am wake up? Thank you!

    1. Hi Kristina! With this only going on for about a week, I would watch it for another week to make sure that it isn’t a regression related to a milestone like learning to walk. This could lead to what you are describing too because his brain would be prioritizing learning to walk over sleeping. Keeping your responses consistent during these protests will also help you determine if he is ready to transition or just testing boundaries or developmental milestone regression. If it continues, especially the nap refusal/resistance in the afternoon for more than another week or so he may be ready to make the transition. With the early wake up, you would still want to move nap to the new nap time (11:30/12pm usually at this age) which helps overtiredness before bed which can perpetuate the early wake ups. Hope that helps! Feel free reach out if you want to chat more!

  68. Hi there… im at a complete loss now.
    We have been transitioning my 17 month old for about 6 weeks now. It’s been a disaster.

    We got caught up with her waking up between 4-5am every day… we basically ignore her until 6 (as long as she isn’t completely screaming). This is still a problem.. in the last month 11x she has woken up 6am or later, the rest were before 6am. Today she woke up at 450am… I try to follow wake windows and do 5 hours for first and 5.5 for the second (pushing it out slowly to account for early wake days). She only naps about an hour though… im exhausted… this has been causing a lot of 530-630pm bedtimes. I need help 😫 she is also a super light sleeper, we use a white noise machine, yet me going pee this morning woke her up. We are due for baby #2 at the end of April. I’m just at a loss….

    1. Hi Madison! I’m so sorry to hear you are really struggling right now. Those early wake ups are brutal. I recommend getting her on a set nap schedule versus wake windows now that she is on one nap. Doing nap around 11:30-12pm typically works well at this age. It will push her sleep later in the day, which can push out bedtime a little bit which can help with those early wake ups, because she may be maxing out on sleep in the 4-5AM hour with those super early bedtimes. Hope that helps! If you aren’t seeing improvement in the next 2 weeks or so, please reach out and we can do some more digging to help get things back on track!

        1. Hi Madison! Ideally, 6:30-7, and the more you can get to 7 will help with those early wake ups so she isn’t maxing out on sleep too early in the morning. Please reach out if you want to chat more!

  69. Hi Bonnie,

    I have a 9 month old who will be going to daycare in two months and they’ve requested that he should be able to take the daycare’s nap time at noon only. My baby still takes two naps and he stays awake 3,5 hours awake in between, we are actually pretty well adjusted to naps and bedtime schedule, so I’m freaking out with this request from the daycare, I feel he is too young for that change! What would you recommend? Thanks for your advise!

    1. Hi Angelina! That is definitely really early to transition to one nap. Typically the earliest I see babies being ready is 11 months or so. Can you adjust your schedule so that he can get a short nap (30 min or so at least), possibly in the car before you drop off or when you pick him up? This may help with the transition and then you can phase out that second short nap as he gets older. I’m sorry you are dealing with this request from daycare. This can be really tough but I have seen babies adjust this young even if they weren’t truly ready, especially with that second short nap somewhere in there. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  70. Hi there!

    I have been looking through comments to see if you have already answered a similar question. I’m sorry if I overlooked it!

    My little one just turned 1. We currently LOVE his schedule (2 naps and 12 hours at night), but are getting ready to send him to a MDO program where they only do one nap.

    Right now he wakes around 6:30am and goes down for first nap at 8:45-9 for 1-1.5 hours. Then does his second nap around 1:30-3pm with bedtime at 7pm.

    His program will be moving to one 1.5 nap during the days. Any tips on how to help adjust/add a catnap to help him make it to 7pm?

    I’m sad this change will keep us from having the big 2.5-3 hour bull nap. 😭😭

    Thanks for the help!!

    1. Hi Kimberly! It can be tough when daycare kind of forces the 2-to-1 nap transition, but your little one will definitely adjust. Depending on what time the 1 nap is he may not need a cat nap afterwards if it is still about 4-5 hours before bed when he wakes up but putting him to bed 30 minutes early those days can help make up for missed sleep and shouldn’t really impact morning wake up. Additionally, he may take a longer nap on the weekends or days he is not there. I do recommend making the transition to one nap on the weekends as well so that it is consistent for him which helps him adjust best. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  71. Hi Bonnie

    I tried to post this message yesterday, but I don’t see any record of it on this site, so let’s try it again!

    Our girl, almost 15 months old. Slept from 19:00-19:30 untill 6:30-7ish. 15” powernap between 9.30-10.00, 2 hours lunch nap between 13.00-15.00. For a little over 3 weeks now, she’s early rising. 5.15-5.30, sometimes she falls back asleep, sometimes she doesn’t.
    I am now a week into nap transition , am trying to put her on a 12.00-12.30 lunch nap. She rarely sleeps longer than 1.5hours. So she wakes up somewhere between 13.30-14.00. Then I have troubles figuring out when bedtime should be. I have read 4.5 hours max after waking up from lunch nap… so this means 18.00-18.30 depending on when she wakes up…
    Which she manages, but is very tired at the end of the day. Positive: she’s waking up again after 6.00 (6.20-6.40-7) most of the days…

    Will she be able to lengthen her nap someday? I am really afraid of putting her in bed earlier than 12.00, because then we won’t make it in the afternoon when she only takes a 1,5h nap../

    Should we keep a strict hour for lunch nap or do we take max awake times as a guideline for the lunch nap time? If yes… what’s the max awake time?
    What time should bedtime be after a 1.5h lunch nap?

    Please help 🥰

    1. Hi Berenice! Your daughter’s nap should probably lengthen in the next few weeks, it can take 4-6 weeks from when you start the nap transition. At this age I stick with a pretty set schedule for nap time this helps her get used to sleeping at the same time & helps regulate the schedule. Bedtime between 6 and 7 depending on how tired she is and how long her nap is usually works well. As her nap starts to lengthen, I recommend aiming for a consistent 7pm bedtime. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions!

  72. Hi! We are doing 1 nap but our son rarely sleeps more than an hour. How can we get him sleeping longer? We’ve never had two hours, and we’re lucky to get 1.5. He sleeps through the night and consistently wakes up at 630. He is just shy of 18 months and I just feel like he should be getting more rest during his one nap. Any advice??

    1. Hi Kristina! At 18 months kids need between 11-14 hours of total sleep in a 24 hour period. It sounds like your son is getting that, so he may have a lower sleep need than some and consolidates more of his sleep into the night compared to sleeping more during the day. If the short naps aren’t impacting night sleep and he isn’t cranky/grumpy/seems overtired during the day, he is likely getting the sleep he needs with only the hour long nap. Anything an hour or longer is what I consider a good nap! Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more!

  73. Hi! My son is almost 17 months and we have been transitioning to one nap, gradually, over the past two week. So far, he can only make it until 11am but does sleep for 2.5-3 hours. The problem is that he is waking up super early, like between 5-5:45am 🙁 which then obviously makes it harder to make it to nap time. It’s a vicious cycle. Bedtime has usually been around 6:45/7:30pm, depending on what time he wakes up from the nap. (I’m never really sure how to calculate the right bedtime!) Any tips? Is 3 hours too long for a nap? Should I shift bedtime? We try to avoid overtiredness! I feel like I need to tweak something but I don’t know what. Thank you!

    1. Hi Maria! It can become a vicious cycle! I recommend keeping him in his crib until at least 6 to encourage longer sleep again and then push to 11:30 or 12 using snacks, going outside (not in the stroller, that can lead to nap sabotage!) and change of scenery (changing toys, rooms etc). Then letting him sleep the 2.5-3 hours and have an early bedtime if needed to avoid overtiredness and get him sleeping later again. It can take a few weeks and then should adjust back to normal but pushing that nap will help things get more on track. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you need more support!

  74. Hi Bonnie!
    My little one just turned 12 months a week and a half ago. Ever since her birthday she has been waking up in the middle of the night for two or so hours at a time and is incredibly fussy when you try to get her back down. She has always been a good sleeper! I started capping her naps at 1.25-1.5 hours during the day (I’ve always had to wake her up) because she’s been having a hard time falling asleep at night and seems to need more time before bed. She doesn’t really fight naps at all, it’s just the night time sleep that is suddenly disrupted. Should we try one nap and see if that helps with sleeping better at night? I don’t mind her waking up for a feeding, but the hysterics and not going back to sleep for hours is wearing thin. 😵‍💫

    1. Hi Caitlin! That is so tough. Is she going through any big developmental milestones like learning to walk? If so, give her another week or two before deciding to transition to one nap. Also, giving her some more awake time before bed can help if she is taking awhile to fall asleep. If it is still happening in a few weeks, she may be ready to transition. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you need some more support!

  75. Hi Bonnie, thanks so much for this post! My son is 14 months now and we have been trying to transition him to 1 nap the past couple weeks. Because he is in a small daycare, they require him to take his 1 nap at 1pm. It took a little bit of adjustment, but he can make it to 12:45-1pm now for his nap and will sleep about 2 to 2.5 hours. The problem is he now is having a hard time falling asleep at bedtime. He used to go to sleep consistently at 7:30pm, but now if I put him down at 7:30 or 8pm, he still will not fall asleep until closer to 8:45 or 9pm. He used to go to bed without too much fuss, but now he cries a little when I put him down, so I’m afraid he is getting negative associations with his crib because he is rolling around in there for an hour sometimes before he falls asleep. I don’t know if I should 1) keep trying to be consistent, 2) move his bedtime even earlier, because he could be overtired, or 3) capping his nap so he has a longer wake window. Thank you for any tips!

    1. Hi Beverly! This is a tough one. I would start with #2, pushing bedtime 15-30 minutes earlier, especially if you are seeing extra energy or being wired before bedtime. I recommend trying this for 1-2 weeks then push bedtime back to his normal time as this gives him time to get out of the overtiredness. If this doesn’t help after a few weeks, you can cap his nap at 2 hours instead of 2.5. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you need more support or things don’t get on track in a few weeks!

  76. This was very helpful, Bonnie! Thank you! During our transition, do we cap naps for a certain amount of time? For example, our 15 month old usually will nap about 2 hours in the morning but as I transition him to push that nap later and later, should I cap that nap at a certain time to ensure he doesn’t sleep so long it messes up afternoon rest and therefore nighttime? He’ll usually sleep 9am-11am but when pushing it out to 9:30/10 to transition, do I wake him at 11 or let him sleep til 12 or so?

    1. Hi M! I recommend letting him sleep as long as he wants so he can practice keeping that one nap longer. If he wakes up too late to squeeze in a cat nap, move bedtime earlier for 30-60 minutes and continue adjusting the nap later. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you need more support!

  77. Great info! We’re 5 weeks in to the 1 nap transition for our 15 month old. Our challenge is making the hours work when most days she only naps for 1.5hrs and only ever sleeps 10.5-11hrs overnight.
    Ideal wake up is 6:30am – currently waking between 5:30-6:15 still
    Nap is 12pm
    Bedtime is 5 hours after waking from her nap so 6:30. We’ve tried stretching her to 7 and 7:30pm but we still get the early wake up.

    We have the odd day where she naps for 2-2.5hrs which puts out bedtime at 7-7:30pm but this isn’t consistent and even on these days she’s still waking around 6am so has obviously had all the sleep she needs.

    Any ideas on how to make the best schedule when she only naps 1.5hrs and maxes out overnight on 10.5-11hrs please!

    Thank you!!!!

    1. Oh I should add that when she wakes before 6:30am we do leave her in her cot until 6:30am. And for her nap if she wakes at 1:30pm we leave her in there until 2pm

      1. Hi Shaz! At 15 months 12 hours of sleep is in the range average of total sleep, but if it is significantly less than she was getting before, she may still be working on extending her nap. It can take 6 weeks to fully master the transition. Then once you can shift bedtime a bit later, it can take 2-3 weeks for her wake up time to adjust because wake up time is primarily controlled by the body clock and it takes a bit to shift. I do recommend continue to leave her in her cot until her ideal wake time for naps and morning. Hang in there! If it doesn’t start to improve in the next week or two, reach out and we can dig a little deeper and get you on track!

  78. My little girl is 17 months today. She is at nursery 2 days a week where they just give her one nap about 1245 and they say she stays comfortably awake until then. At home I tend to put her down around 11 as she has been waking between 4 and 5 for around 6-8 weeks. She’s also been waking a couple times during the night the last month around 12/1, 2/3. Her naps are averaging 2 hours and we aim for bedtime about 630. Thanks

    1. Hi Emma! Ugh those early wake ups can be brutal! I recommend working towards a more consistent schedule between nap and nursery. With the early wake ups, I recommend keeping her in her bed until as close to 6 as possible and not exposing her to bright lights or food before at least 6am. This plus the schedule can help get her body clock shifted again to a later wake up time. Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more about these early wake ups and scheduling!

  79. Hi. We just transitioned our 16 month old to one nap as he was consistently starting to wake earlier and only do 10.5 hours of sleep every night. He has moved so so smoothly to the one nap…. not cranky or seem overly tired before his nap and goes down easily and sleeps 2.5 hours. At 12 to 2.30… but he seems to only do max 11 hours sleep at night, never 12 hours! So now that I am putting him to sleep at bedtime of 7.30, he is waking at 6.30 and even before it…6.15 this morning! I want a 7.30 ish wake time…. even 7 will do but I can’t cope with 6.30 etc! Is it possible he just will never do 12 hours sleep at night or what is the cause or how should I fix this? There’s no noise, room is dark with black out blinds so ruling out those reasons. I know he could be overtired now because of the transition but he seems fine and I’m also v afraid to put him to bed any earlier as I just am convinced he’ll wake up even earlier! Please help! He’s a great sleeper and so good at going down to sleep happily and easily but this early morning rise is really bothering me!

    1. Hi Jenni! Glad to hear the transition to one nap went so well! That’s great! Without know what time bedtime was before, what time he was waking and how many hours overnight he was sleeping it is hard to say if there is a solution or if 6:30 may be his normal wake up time as that can be pretty normal at this age. Some kiddos only do 11 hours a night and that meets their sleep need. Sleep needs also start to slightly decrease around this age, so that could be playing a part too or you may need to alter his schedule a bit to achieve a later wake up time if that is what he was doing before. Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more details so I can give you a better answer!

  80. Hi, my 12 month old has been skipping her morning nap 6x in 2 weeks. She used to wake at 8am, nap at 10:30am- 12pm then nap at 3:30pm- 5pm and be in bed for 9pm (a later day seemed to fit her and we aren’t working so we had time to adjust for her). Now she wakes at 8am and misses the first nap and sleeps by about 1 or 2pm for 3 hours. I am pretty sure she is ready for one nap but she has been crying when being put down or just sits in her cot babbling to herself for literally hours. Is this something that will pass and I should keep trying two naps? Also, I want to get her on a better time schedule so what is a good wake up and nap time. Thank you so much! Jenny xoxo

    1. Hi Jenny! She definitely could be ready for 1 nap. If you have been working on 1 nap for over a few days, I would stick with it. If you just started, you could try increasing her wake time before nap one to 3 hours before pushing consistently to one nap if she still does not take the morning nap. At this age, I typically like to see wake up time between 6-7a, naps at 9:30/10a and 2/3p or 12p for one nap and then bed at 7p. Hope that helps! If you need more support, reach out and schedule a call with me here!

  81. Hi, my 12 months old daughter goes to bed about 9:30pm and wakens at 7:30/8am. She seems to need 4 hours awake time before she will nap so the first nap is usually around 11:30/12 and can be an hour or an hour and a half. I usually waken her before 1 as I have to try get another small nap in before 5 otherwise she won’t go down to sleep at 9:30. Do you think she might be ready for the transition as it’s hard trying to fit 2 naps in xx

    1. Hi Eimear! She may be getting close to being ready, especially if you have to wake her from her first nap. If she is having trouble going down for the second nap, or all of a sudden waking earlier than normal, it is likely time to start making the transition! Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat more about what is going on and how to handle it!

  82. Hi Bonnie,
    We have been working on transitioning my 14 month old to one nap for about a week. During this time she is waking in the middle of the night which she never did previously. She is currently starting her day about 6:00-6:30 which is a little earlier that before (6:30-7:00). We currently have nap time around 11:00 but she will only sleep an hour. So today tried to push it closer to to 12:00 and she still only slept an hour. Then she is exhausted in the afternoon but refuses a catnap so have to do an earlier bedtime and the cycle continues. Is this all normal for this transition? I was hoping to see a little improvement after a week. Is there anyway I can make it easier for her?

    1. Hi Gina! Yes, unfortunately there is some overtiredness that happens with this transition. Make sure you handle night wakings consistently as you would have if they randomly happened before so that she isn’t forming any new habits you don’t want to keep. I do recommend keeping the nap at 12 so shorten the time before bed and possibly moving bedtime 15-30 minutes earlier to make up for missed sleep with shorter nap sleep. The nap should start to extend in the next few weeks and then you will get into a good rhythm. Unfortunately this transition can take a full 4-6 weeks to feel like you’ve got it down. Hang in there and if you continue not to see progress or things go downhill, reach out and we can chat about getting things on track!

  83. My 14 month old is still on two naps. The first one is from 9.30-9.45am and the second from 1-3pm. When we drop down to one nap, would you suggest lengthening the nap? So if Isla sleeps past 2 hours then allow her to do so, Or should she only get 2 hours during the day?

    1. Hi Amelia! Great question. Usually between 2-3 hours is a good nap at this age. Typically I see that the previous total nap duration between the two naps become consolidated into one nap. Hope that helps. Feel free to reach out if you need more help with this transition!

  84. We switched to 1 nap about 3 ish weeks ago. 1st week was perfect. 720 wake up 1230-315-330 naps bed 730 and slept through. The last two weeks she has been up almost nightly sometimes we’ll get a solid nap. She’s usually up between 3am and 5 and. Sometimes we can get her back down sometimes we can’t. We usually stay in her dark room and try multiple times to put her down. I dont know if we should move nap earlier? She was sleeping great solid night prior to 1 nap. She had just been protesting and up early. She always sleeps through her nap solid 2.5-3 hrs but we are struggling with night sleep.

    1. Hi Alexis! Typically with these early wake ups and the 2to1 nap transition, it can a result of overtiredness going into bedtime because of adjusting to the longer wake window before bed. You can move bedtime 15-30 minutes earlier for 3-7 days and see if it helps with this wake up. Early wake ups and night wake ups sometimes happen during this transition, don’t form new habits of helping her to sleep if she has been sleeping independently because this can perpetuate the wake ups. As her body continues to adjust, they should go away. It is great she is taking a nice long nap as that will help her adjust more quickly. Hang in there! Feel free to reach out if you are still struggling in a week and we can dive deeper and do some more troubleshooting!

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