When Is The Right Time For Newborns To Transition From Two Naps To Only One?

Many parents of newborns learn quickly that they take several short periods of sleep a day to start out. Then, after a few months, a schedule tends to set in that includes a late morning and afternoon nap. And eventually, children transition to one nap. Nap transitions and dropping a nap are normal parts of raising a baby.

Infant sleep transition - when does a baby cut down naps?

Source: pxhere.com


So, if you had a guide to children’s sleep cycles, what would it say about the perfect time to transition to one daily nap? You probably already know that not all kids are the same. You should do what’s right for your child; you just need to stay consistent. However, there are some tips for knowing that your little one is ready for a nap transition.

When Do Babies Go From Two Naps To One?

Ultimately, there’s no way for there to be one universal guide to great parenting that will work for all families. Babies, parents, and families are all very different and lead different kinds of lifestyles. It’s important that you take that into consideration if you’re trying to figure out the right time your child should transition to one nap.

Source: flickr.com

There is an average age, though, that you can use as a guideline in determining if your child is ready to move to just one nap. Babies typically transition to one nap between 13 and 18 months. The average age is 15 months for making this transition. You could start seeing signs that your child is ready around 12 months, sometimes.

How Many Short Sleeps Should A Baby Take?

Generally, children that are one year old should still be taking two naps. They’re still usually taking a morning nap that’s about an hour and a half, as well as an afternoon nap that’s about the same length. However, as was said above, some infants will already be moving toward only taking one nap during the day, whether a morning nap or an afternoon nap. As long as they seem to be getting enough sleep and start staying awake longer during the day, it’s ok for a one-year-old to make the transition to one nap.

When Do Infants Transition From Two Naps To One?

There are certainly some signs to look for that will help you know that your child is ready to drop a nap and make the move to only one nap daily. Here’s what you’ll start to see:

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One or both short sleeps are getting consistently shorter

A child is starting to refuse to sleep during the day or doesn’t seem to need day sleep as much

They have a sleep period of 11 hours or more, and can stay asleep without interruption at night

If a nap gets skipped, the child doesn’t show signs of being overly tired

Longer awake time, which means the child is able to comfortably stay awake for long periods

If your little one is exhibiting some or all of these signs, they’re probably ready to stop taking two naps. You can start trying to make that transition.

How To Help Babies Go From Two Naps To One?

The best way to help your child transition to one nap is by starting with moving their morning nap time so that it starts later. You can do this by moving it little by little. Usually, if you move it a half hour at a time, you can get them used to it in about a week.

Respond to what you see appropriately. For instance, if your child wakes up after only a short nap, do your best to get him or her back to sleep so they get the rest they need. One nap is taking the place of two, so it needs to be longer.

As for nighttime sleep, don’t be afraid to move them to an earlier bedtime if you need to. This may also mean lengthening wake windows. Your child may need time to get used to an early bedtime during the transition period. There’s nothing wrong with that, but make sure to keep an eye out for early waking. The most important thing is that your child gets the sleep they need and that they stick to a consistent routine.

Understand that a smooth transition is rare. If there are days that come along where you feel your child could might need a second nap, it’s ok to give them one. Sometimes the best way for children to get a good night’s sleep is to get a few good nap times in.

Source: flickr.com

Which Naps Do Babies Drop First?

Infants tend to drop different naps first. You could have a child that naturally gives up the morning nap first or one that gives up the afternoon nap first. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter. Once it looks like they’re ready to transition down to one nap, you should work on moving the daily nap to the middle of the day, just after lunch.

Still Not Sure About When Should Babies Move Down To One Short Sleep A Day?

If you’re still not sure if your child should make the transition down to just one daily nap, don’t worry, you’re not alone. This is one of those things that many moms and dads are unsure of. Your child’s health is important and sleep habits affect their health in a big way. So, let’s look at some frequently asked questions asked by parents on a regular basis, together.

1. Is 11 Months Too Early for One Nap?

An 11-month old might start showing some of the signs for readiness to transition to one nap. You’ll want to look for more cues, though. You can try out doing just one nap, but you’ll likely find that after a few weeks your little one will be needing the two naps again.

2. Is 12 Months Too Early for One Nap?

One-year-olds who seem to be ready to transition to one daily nap could be ready. But this too is a little bit earlier than the average. Similarly to an 11-month old, a one year old will likely need two naps most days.

3. Is 13 Months Too Early for One Nap?

At this age, most children tend to show signs that they’re ready to transition to one nap. Could it be too early? Yes, it could be, but this is closer to the time most little ones are ready to stop taking two naps. You can try out the transition to see if it sticks, and if so, push forward with the change.

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What you need to remember is that it’s all about your child. You will see the cues by observing your child, and you’ll know that it is the right time to make this transition. And what’s more is, if you try moving down to one short sleep and it just isn’t working, it’s ok to stick with two naps and try again later.

Now We Want to Know—At What Age Did Your Baby Switch to 1 Nap a Day?

As moms and dads, we all learn by listening to each other. So, we want to know when your child made the transition down to one. Leave us a comment about your child’s napping experience. We always love to hear our readers’ comments and appreciate what you have to say!


Frequently Asked Questions

At What Age Do You Stop Taking Naps Twice?

Many infants stop having a couple of short sleeps per day at ages 12 and 24 months. Meanwhile, some toddlers stop having morning nap,  and other toddlers drop their afternoon nap.

Can You Drop One Nap Cold Turkey?

Yes, your baby may be ready to drop one nap cold turkey and transition to one nap. Some signs that he is ready for a one-nap schedule and drop one nap cold turkey are when he is energetic and cannot sleep. Or in his two-nap schedule, you notice he is having short sleeps.

Are Pre-Afternoon Or Afternoon Naps Longer?

The morning nap or afternoon nap of a child aged 10 months to age 1 is usually quite long. The morning nap is less than an hour and the afternoon nap is about one to two hours. Also, the recommended sleep averages include 3 to 5 hours of daytime sleep and 11 to 12 hours of night sleep for newborns. Toddlers must have 2 to 2.5 hours of daytime sleep and 8.75 to 11.5 hours of night sleep.

Which Baby Nap Is Most Important?

The baby nap that is most important is the first nap. However, it doe snot mean that the second one or the next nap is not important. This is because the first nap has the best sleep for toddlers and babies.

Which Sleep Of The Day Should Be The Longest For A Baby?

The afternoon is usually the longest sleep for most babies. The catnaps should not be longer than 1 hour.

Should I Let My Baby Nap After 5 PM?

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Should I Stay In The Room While My Baby Sleeps?

Why Do Infants Love Taking Naps?

How Do You Know When Your Child Is Ready For One Nap?

Is 12 Months Too Early For One Nap?

What Happens If Your Child Misses Their First Nap?

What Is The 2-3-4 Method?

Are Naps Better Than Nighttime Sleep?



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Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by Jeanne Meets

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