The 2 to 1 nap transition is a big transition for your toddler, they are going from staying awake for a few hours at a time to 5-6 hours! This transition takes time, and by time I mean it could take months to truly settle into one nap. The end goal is a 12/1 PM start time and a 1.5-3 hour nap! If you need more help, I created a one on one help package especially for the 2 to 1 transition. Check it out here!
Signs you are ready to transition from 2 to 1 nap:
- Baby is between 15-18 months- Any earlier than this and your toddler will likely not be able to handle the awake time. Even if you need to transiton to one nap for childcare before this, consider 2 naps on the weekends and lots of early bedtimes.
- Skipped Naps- Is your toddler playing through their morning nap or skipping the afternoon nap? When this happens for multiple weeks, it may be time to make the switch.
- Late Bedtime- Is the 2nd nap starting so late in the afternoon that bedtime is after 8 PM? If so, it's time to adjust the schedule.
- You've tried schedule adjustments- Since this is a slow transition, we want to hang on to 2 naps for dear life as long as we can. Can you adjust nap timing slightly or cap the morning nap to keep an afternoon nap? If you can make an adjustment every couple weeks, that helps the transition go smoother.
Your toddler skips the morning nap?
- Adjust schedule- This is the easier transition! If you baby simply plays through their morning nap, you can adjust the start time gradually until it is starting at 12 PM. Once it is close to noon, you are transitioned!
- Bedtime- Once you drop the 2nd nap for good, you will want to be sure the last wake window befroe bed is not stretched too far. If it is, you will know! Early mornings and short naps will start occuring. About 4 hours is a good starting place for the 15-16 month olds. For the 17-18 months old, they may handle 4.5-5 hours easily.
Your toddler skips the afternoon nap, but LOVES the morning nap?
- Adjust schedule- This is the slower, tougher transition! You will want to micromanage the schedule to slowly push the morning nap to noon, while hanging onto a 2nd nap. This may mean capping the morning nap ar 45minutes to 1 hours in order to keep the afternoon nap. Then you can start pushing the satrt time of the morning nap slowly as your toddler tolerates. It may look like this:
- Morning nap 9:30-10:30, Afternoon nap 2-3:30 Bedtime 7:30
- Morning nap 10-11, Afternoon nap 2:30-3:30, Bedtime 7:30
- Morning nap 10:30-11:15, Afternoon nap 2:30-4, Bedtime 8
- One nap 11-1, Bedtime 5:30/6
- One nap 11:30-1:30, Bedtime 6
- One nap 11:45-2, Bedtime 6:30
- One nap 12-2/3, Bedtime 6:30/7
- Bedtime- Once you drop the 2nd nap for good, you will want to be sure the last wake window before bed is not stretched too far. If it is, you will know! Early mornings and short naps will start occuring. About 4 hours is a good starting place for the 15-16 month olds. For the 17-18 months old, they may handle 4.5-5 hours easily.
I hope this helps y'all navigate your 2 to 1 transition. This one personally took Harper 3 solid months to settle into an ideal routine. At 20 months, she has finally made it to a 12:30 start time, 1.5-2.5 hour nap, with a 7:30 bedtime. Take it SLOW and be patient as your toddler adjusts to the awake time.
Nichole @ Little Peach Sleep