Ah, naps. As an adult, you may be jealous with how much your toddler is napping. They nap multiple times a day and then sleep at night. With time, your baby will need less sleep, and therefore nap less.
Eventually, it’s time to transition your baby to one nap instead of two. For most parents, the baby naps in the morning, the afternoon, and then falls asleep at night.
You may wonder when a baby will transition from one to two naps. We will explain why.
Napping Is Important!
During the baby and toddler stage, babies need lots of sleep. This is because they are quickly developing, and all that growing needs energy. A baby usually gets this rest by napping a few times a day and sleeping at night. However, as a baby grows, they need less sleep. They’ll stop napping, then drop naps altogether. This is a natural part of childhood development. If your baby sleeps a lot, it’s perfectly normal and you should let them rest!
When Do Babies Transition?
When it comes to baby goals, it all depends on the child. Some babies will transition early, others a bit later. Usually, around the 12-18 month range is usually when babies are ready. On average, it’s 15 months. Some babies do transition early, while others are a bit later. There is nothing wrong if your baby wants to nap a little bit more. Eventually, they will grow out of it, so let them have some sleep.
Don’t Force it
If your baby is in the age range to transition from two naps to one, you shouldn’t force it. Forcing your baby to make the change when they’re not ready will lead to a fussy baby and an angrier parent. It’s just not the ideal thing to do. The same applies to any other transition. Forcing your baby to walk, potty, and do anything else can make the problem a lot worse.
Instead, look for the signs. When babies are ready to transition, they will often show signs. Let’s look at the signs.
Your Baby Refuses One Of The Naps
Have you tried to let your baby nap and they refuse? They may have a hard time falling asleep, say no, or continue playing. It may be because your baby no longer needs a nap.
Now, if they do this once, they may just have a little extra energy that day or a bit of insomnia. Make sure your baby is consistently refusing their nap for two weeks before you make the transition. Otherwise, you may end up having a false positive and making the problem a lot worse.
The First Or Second Nap Is Shorter
Babies who refuse the nap may not skip it altogether. Instead, they may make it shorter and it seems like there is no point in doing it at all. This may mean that your child is ready to transition into one nap. If the nap times start to vary, this may be a sign that it’s time to give your baby a new sleep schedule.
Your Baby Is All Right Despite Missing A Nap
When a baby who is a two-time napper misses a nap, you’ll know. They’ll be fussy, crying, and grumpy. This is because they aren’t getting the amount of sleep they need. But what happens when your baby seems okay with missing a nap or two? This can mean that your baby is ready to transition to one nap, especially if they’ve been okay with missing a nap for two weeks or so.
Car Rides Don’t Make Them Sleepy
A nappy baby will usually fall asleep in the stroller or the car. This is just a natural part of babydom. However, if your baby is still wide awake while in the car, especially during naptime, this can be a sign. Usually, a car ride just makes the baby more tired.
There Isn’t A Major Life Change Going On
Sometimes, your baby may have signs that they’re ready to transition from one nap to two. However, they may be in the middle of another transition. In this case, maybe it’s not time for your baby to transition, and that’s okay. Examples of life changes include the baby transitioning into another stage, a major move, the arrival of a sibling, and more. Let your baby learn to talk or walk first, then do it.
The Baby’s Night Sleeping Isn’t Off
If your baby’s night sleep feels like it’s been a little off, such as the baby waking up at night at more or waking up too early, fix that before working on any nap. You want to make sure that your baby is getting the most out of their night sleep before you transition naps.
Again, Two Weeks
It’s important to stress that your baby needs to show signs of needing just one nap for more than two weeks. It may be a phase, and you want about two weeks to make sure. Otherwise, you may end up with one cranky baby.
Here are some tips to make the transition easier.
- Start Slow
The most helpful tip is to embrace gradual change. Sometimes, you may need to transition slowly and not too fast. Reduce the first nap’s time slowly, or slowly push back the time of the first nap until it matches up with the second nap. This can allow the baby to transition from two to one naps much easier.
- Be Consistent
Have a napping schedule and stick to it. Any deviations from the napping schedule can set you back quite a bit. Make sure you baby has a schedule and stick to it.
Naptime is a great time, but when the baby is ready to reduce their naps, listen to them and follow the signs. Your baby is ready for more playtime and more learning, so make sure they are dealing with it the best way possible.
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