Ava just hit 15 months and I’ve seen the 2-1 creeping up on us for the past few weeks, meaning she was showing signs of transitioning from two naps to just one nap a day. Ironically just days after posting my ‘day in the life’, we started this new routine. I’ve loosened up a bit in being such a stickler to Ava’s nap schedule in comparison to the early months when I was a slave to it. Like if an event was happening during naptime, we weren’t going. Ava was not a great sleeper and we did do sleep training with her, so I was not willing to mess with what we worked so hard to achieve once she was on a great schedule, sleeping through the night, and taking naps for longer than 40 minutes. But, I was so attached to the two nap thing that I wasn’t letting it go without a fight. Or so I thought.
Some of the signs that your baby may be ready for a nap transition are:
- Refusing a nap
- Early morning wakings
- Having more night wakings
- Bedtime is getting later
With Ava, the main thing going on was that her bedtime was getting later and later and squeezing in that second nap was getting more difficult. She typically woke from her second nap between 1-1:30 and I’d be putting her down for a second at 4:45-5 most days. Then I’d wake her after an hour to preserve bedtime at 9 and she’d be PO’d. She was also starting to fuss a little more after being put down or would just roll around in her crib for almost half an hour before falling asleep. But she would always fall asleep (she only skipped a nap once for a birthday party) so I figured, well, I’m just going to wait until she actually doesn’t fall asleep to make the switch.
Then at the beginning of last week, it was her usual first naptime at 11:30 (she’s typically up around 8 AM) and Ava was still amped. She usually grabs her bunny and crawls into my lap, my signal that she’s getting tired and is ready to sleep. Instead she was running around, waving her toys back and forth, all smiles. It just seemed wrong to put her down when she wasn’t even showing signs of fatigue. Then I had a phone call and by the time that was over it was noon so I figured I might as well give her lunch. She ate and wasn’t falling asleep in the highchair. I ended up putting her in the crib at 1:00 for her nap and she slept for 2.5 hours. We did the same the next day and the next, she would always sleep for 2-2.5 hours and that was that. There was no big drama or back and forth between 2 naps and 1 nap, we just made the switch and it was done. And she wasn’t grumpy at all. Her bedtime has still stayed the same at 9 PM, but that’s what she’s been cueing me as the time she’s tired so I’m just going with it. I thought it would move earlier, but I’m okay with 9 as long as she still wakes between 7-8ish. I think I was expecting the worst, but honestly it was actually the easiest transition of all.
I will say that I’m still in mourning over losing the extra nap. That was my morning get ready for the day time that I could do at my own pace. Now I have to get up early to get ready if we’re going anywhere and I do it at lightning speed. I preferred having our outings in the afternoon as I’m just not a morning person anymore, but now I just find it the better option rather than waiting until the late afternoon to run errands. But I will say it’s nice not having to rush home to squeeze in the morning nap after a playdate (most of Ava’s friends have already made the transition) and I’ve noticed that most toddler activities tend to fall during or too close to her morning naptime. Now I can start bringing her to the things we couldn’t get to because of her nap schedule.
So moms, if you’ve been worrying about the process, don’t. It really might not be as bad as you think, other than losing out on a extra bit of ‘mommy time’.