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Giving Up the Morning Nap
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Naps > Giving Up the Morning Nap
I have an 8 1/2 month old boy who has always had a strange
relationships w/naps. My husband and I have basically been slaves
for his naps - we've taken it really seriously and work hard to
make sure he gets them b/c he he has always had trouble w/them.
For the first 6 months he seemed to only take them on the go
mostly stroller, but sometimes in the car or being held (b/c if
you put him down he'd wake up).
Around six months we started to be able to get him to nap in the
crib (which was a good thing, b/c everything started to wake him
up outside)- the times were somewhat irregular, but at least he
predictably slept (could be 1/2 hour, could be 2 hours). Lately,
around the time he used to nap in the morning (10:30/11) - he
might get really drowsy eating his bottle, but when I put him
down he almost bounces awake! and then precedes to be busy
crawling around in the crib for over half an hour before I give
up and let him play on the floor. Today this happened and he
didn't go down till 1pm. He will probably sleep about 1.5 - 2.5
At night he generally sleeps from 7pm till 7:30am w/1-2 wake-ups
for eating - so he gets a lot of sleep at night (at least 12
hours). So the question is: is this okay? should I be trying
harder to get him to take that morning nap? is he just ahead of
where he is supposed to be developmentally (he's a big boy for
his age and he started crawling pretty early (7.5 months) ? or,
like many things w/babies, could this just be a stage and he'll
revert to 2 naps eventually?
Thanks for your advice!
just want my baby to get his sleep
Eight months seems awfully early to be down to one nap....Have
you tried putting him down earlier for the first nap? My son
always had a shorter period of time before morning waking and nap
#1--around 1-2 hours. He was an early crawler, too (6 months!),
and didn't go down to one nap until almost 18 months.
I just wanted to share that my niece never really took two naps
a day. Even when she was a baby she took one long nap at lunch
time. My sister-in-law then gave up on trying to put her on a
regular schedule (2 naps a day) and just let her go until lunch
time, where she took a long long nap (usually 2 and a half
hour). It really sounds like your daughter sleeps so much at
night that she probably isn't tired enough by 10:30am.
My niece is still at 5 a very good sleeper, and still takes
Our pediatrician told us that as long as our children were getting 13 hours of sleep
per 24 hours, that it was okay. When they slept didn't matter, so long as our
children were getting enough sleep, weren't too cranky, and weren't rubbing their
eyes from sleepiness. They consolidated their nap times at about 11 mos. and
moved to one nap after lunch. Both were rather small girls.
Good advice the doctor gave us was to expect them to start waking at night around
10-11 months, due to teething. He urged us to soothe them, but not to feed them,
since hunger would not be the problem. If we fed them, their stomachs would keep
waking them up, even after teeth came in, and we would be stuck with a big
problem. We knew other families who had not been given this hint, and whose
babies had real problems sleeping after that. So while we are on the topic of sleep. I
thought I'd pass this on, too.
My third had to adjust to only one nap around that age (once he
was too big to sleep in the carrier while we were out and
about). Just make sure he has as much time as he needs for the
nap that comes a little later.
Different schedules for different kids
My son will turn 11 months in a few days. This past week, he's had 4
out of 5 days where he will only take one nap (after complete
exhaustion & possibly in car) or won't nap at all! He used to go down
twice/day with a bottle, but lately that's not working. We've
increased his naptime bottles to 8 oz. He seems very sleepy (almost
asleep), but once he realizes that bottle is empty, he cries/screams &
wakes up. (I'm also worried we're feeding him too much since we're
giving him so much more formula to try and help him sleep ...)
Could this behavior be due to teething? It's possible that he's
teething right now. If so, will he go back to two naps? Have you had a
child who had a temporary upheaval like this and went back to two
Another note - when he goes so long without sleep, he remains a pretty
happy baby. He's kind of a little energizer bunny, he just keeps going
& going. Putting him down earlier definitely does NOT help. But I can
also tell that, though he deals with it pretty well, he's still tired
& kind of running on empty when he only gets one nap (and certainly
the case the one day he didn't nap at all).
Again, is it possible he'll go back to two naps or should I just help
him to a one-nap transition? It's so hard to plan my day when I don't
know when/whether he will nap. I work from home and have other
obligations sometimes that makes this quite challenging. Thoughts and
Wishing my baby had a schedule!
I feel your pain, my first daughter did just what you describe.
The daycare where she was at the time said, 'she is giving us
such hell in the morning when we try to put her down, that we
have to transition her to one nap.' I was slightly skeptical,
thinking that she wasn't ready, but after the transition
occurred, which took a couple of weeks, she was absolutely
fine--taking one, long beautiful nap a day. She was exactly 11
months when this happened, so I think some kids are just ready
for the transition earlier than others. Just be sure to get your
little energy babe into bed early, at 7:30 or 8pm since he'll be
pretty worn out.
mom who loves naps
Maybe...maybe not...my elder dropped her second nap at about
11-months. My younger tried the same thing, but couldn't hack
it, so she was back to two naps until 18-months. But, she gave
up her final nap before turning three (drat), unlike my elder
gave up her final nap at four.
My (almost) 8 month old daughter has consistently taken 2
naps/day for the last few months (although sometimes only 20
min/nap). She recently had a cold & is starting to crawl, so
her sleeping has been off, and we're currently reinforcing her
sleep training. The past 3 mornings, she didn't sleep at all,
and cried through the 40 minutes that we left her in the crib
(checking about evry 10 mins as per ferber). Her afternoon naps
the last 2 days were pretty typical.
Today, she went to sleep very easily at 12:30, and slept for
almost 2-1/2 hours, much longer than her usual naptime. She
woke up happy and calm.
At night, she usually sleeps about 10-11 hours.
Is it possible that she's ready to transition to 1 nap/ day??
From what I understand, it's really early, but at least today it
seemed to work great for her (we'll see how it impacts her
There are many times I thought my daughter was ready to
transition to just one nap a day. And everytime I thought that,
I pulled out my favorite sleep book, Good Night, Sleep Tight by
Kim West and read the senetence about how parents' #1 nap
mistake was to transition kids to one nap a day too early. I
have read every sleep book on the market and the consensus
seems to be that kids don't transition to one nap until they
are 15-18 months. Everytime after a few days my daughter
settled back into her 2 nap schedule. So my daughter, still
taking 2 naps a day, turns 15 months today!
hang in there for 2 naps
My son just turned 19 months old and has been gradually
transitioning from 2 naps to 1 over the past 2 months. He used
to sleep for an hour and a half in the morning and 2 hours in
the afternoon (approx). He sleeps at night from 7:45-7, and
has since he was 11 months old. He now decidedly wants just
one nap, around 1. The problem is, he's only sleeping for an
hour and a half, maybe a little more, and it seems like he
needs more sleep. He wakes up crying and irritable now, before
he'd wake up happy and ready to play, but won't go back to
sleep. I've tried putting his down for his nap earlier, later,
putting him down to bed earlier, I just can't seem to get him
any more sleep. I know that the number of total hours of sleep
he's getting is ''enough'' for his age, but he just seems to need
more. His pediatrician said ''everyone has a hard time with the
nap transition'' but that's easy for him to say, he doesn't have
a crabby toddler following him around!! So I'm just wondering
if anyone has any advice, I would so sincerely appreciate it
i know you tried it, but try again - move that nap earlier -
12:30ish? and move that bedtime to 6:30ish for a while. it does
take a little time to make the adjustment, even with the
earlier naptime but it should get there.
i have a 2.5 yr old and a 1 yr old. # 2 dropped her first nap a
few weeks ago and now she is at 12:30nap and 6:30pm bedtime and
it has been getting us a better nap in the afternoon.
I am not sure my advice will be any better than your doctor's,
but our son had a similar nap transition pattern. Two differences
that might be of use to you:
1. It took him well over 3 months to make the full change. I
think the extra morning naps every few days helped balance out
the too-short afternoon nap. Even as you prepare for 1 nap days,
keep looking for those signs of tiredness in the early morning
hours, at least until the 2nd nap gets longer.
2. On the one nap days, the nap was much earlier for a long
time--11 am, sometimes even as early as 10:30 am. 11-1 was his
pattern until age 2, when it is finally settled into more of an
actual ''afternoon'' nap, around 1:30-2 pm. You might try a few
days in a row of 10:30 naps to see if you get a longer nap.
3. With all these changes came an earlier bed time--6 or 6:30 on
the short, early, one-nap days. We were able to move it back to
7, and now 7:30 once the nap lengthened and moved toward the
It is a long and frustrating process, but he will get there!
My little girl transitioned to one nap at just over a year. She's
now 14 months. She just started refusing to take her second nap
even though she was tired, so we waited till 1:00 to put her down
for her nap. For the first probably 2 weeks, she would only nap
45 minutes, then wake up, groggy, unhappy, and still sleepy but
now she usually sleeps at least an hour and a half, sometimes 2
hours. I think it just took her some time to adjust. So, I guess
my advice is just wait it out.
Hi Grumpy's Mom,
My first idea is to continue trying to get him down a little
earlier. Maybe it won't work, but you could try a wind-down 30
minutes earlier with books and lullabyes. Is he tired at all
earlier in the morning and you're missing that narrow window?
This won't work for all styles, especially those who tend more
but I've found that on the days I just care for one 17month
old, if I nap with him, he'll sleep longer. When he wakes much
earlier than would be a full nap (barking dogs, construction
noises), he sees I'm there and goes back to sleep. If needed, I
stroke his hand and whisper ''Shh, go back to sleep''. When he
finally wakes up, he's in a rested, pleasant mood and the rest
of the day is quite nice.
If I'm tooling around the house picking up or prepping food,
sometimes he wakes up crying, unhappy and grumpy, even though
the sleeping set up is such that he can get up and get out of
the room on his own.
Sometimes I'm restless and don't feel like a nap. He can sense
my body tension and won't go to sleep easily. However, if I
force my body to relax and pretend to sleep, he'll drift off
much faster. I also usually ask him if he'd like a song, and
then I sing something gentle while stroking his head, ending
with a kiss and I love you.
I realize many will disagree with this style, but if you like
it, you may find that a rested child makes life much, much
nicer for everyone.
P.S. If he's had a good night's sleep, we go down sometime
between 10-11 (closer to 11), and he sleeps up to 2.5 hours,
and is up til bedtime.
The presence of a resting adult body is very comforting
Our daughter goes to sleep at night around 7:30 and wakes up in
the morning around 7am. She seems to me to get tired about 3-3.5
hours after waking. After a lot of walking and going outside, I
usually put her down for a nap around 10:15. At worst she takes
an hour to fall asleep and lately sleeps for only 1/2 hour.
She's usually up between 11:30-noon. I then put her down for a
second nap around 2:45. She might fall asleep quickly, but
sometimes it takes her a long time. Again she sleeps for only
1/2 hour. Is it time to transition to one nap? It just seems
like an hour is a short span for daytime naps, though her night
sleep is really good. I thought most babies transitioned to one
nap at about 18 months, so she'd be very early for that. Any
Confused about naps
My daughter is almost 13 months, and we transitioned her to one long mid-day nap
just after she turned one. Like your child, my daughter started taking ''bad'' naps or
even no naps when we had her on a two-nap schedule. I took that as a sign that she
was ready for stay up longer in the morning and then konk out (hopefully!) for a nice,
long nap after lunch. The transition period has been a bit patchy. She will sometimes
get a little fussy around 10 am, when she used to take her morning nap, but if she is
distracted with toys or playing outside, she tends to get a burst of energy until lunch.
Mama to one-nap baby
My son started wanting only one nap a day at around ten and a
half months. He was a good napper and a good night sleeper.
After a month or so of transition to one nap, he was doing a
two-three hour nap and 12-13 hours of night sleep. You can
always try and if it doesn't work, switch her back to two naps
for a while.
Pro Nap Mama
My older transitioned to one nap at eleven-months. My younger
one transitioned at 18-months.
I transitioned to one nap 'early,' because she clearly couldn't
fit two into a day before bedtime at 7:00, and the twelve hours
at night were really working for her (and me). I think that I
started giving her one nap at 11 and slowly worked it back to
about 12:30 or one. At first she couldn't put together long
blocks of sleep. I moved from two naps (one of about 45-mintues
and one of about an hour) to a one hour nap. That was a tough
few months. But all of sudden, I started getting these wonderful
three hour naps. She would sleep 12:30 to 3:30 and then go to
bed at 7:30. It was beautiful.
My son, now 19 mos, started transitioning to 1 nap at about 10
mos. He has always needed less sleep than average. Babies, as
I'm sure you already know, can really vary in many ways. By about
13 mos he was down to 1 nap, largely because we became pretty
consistent about his routine (largely for all of our sanity!). I
really liked Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child, but our son never
really needed a super early bedtime; he always seemed to wake up
at the crack of dawn! I'd encourage you (which we did around 1
yr) was try to slowly push out the morning nap - maybe 15 mins
per day until your baby goes down around 11:15, then, 11:30 then
11:45, then noon.. Our son started napping before lunch until
about 15 mos. We had to be good about not being in a car or
stroller around 10:30 in the morning, or else, he would fall
asleep..Now he goes to bed about 8:15, wakes at 6:15 and naps at
about 12:30 for 2 hours.. This works well for us these days.
know what you're talking about
You may consider moving up the morning nap. Throughout his first
year, the time between waking and the first nap was always very
short for my son. When he was taking two naps, the first would be
around 9 am--just two hours after waking. The second nap would be
later in the day. Each would be around and hour and a half.
I remember reading about the short morning in Weissbluth, I think
it was. It was reassuring to know that this was normal, and it
helped us keep his naps regular and restful. Worth a try.
My daughter is about to turn one and we have been undergoing
similar things with the nap thing. Some days she has refused
to take a morning nap altogether. After reading a few books,
I decided to move her morning nap up to about 9:30 (she also
gets up around 7 and goes down between 7:30 and 8) which made
her sleep longer and go down without too much fuss. However,
if she sleeps longer than an hour, I open her blinds to let her
wake up (I know it sound crazy) because if she sleeps too long
in the morning, she doesn't want to take an afternoon nap. Her
second nap is usually around 2 and I get about 75 minutes.
It's been working for about a week now. As far as
transitioning to one nap, I've heard as early as 12 or 13
months, but more usually 15-18 months. Good luck!
your child may be ready to drop to one nap a day, however, your
timing might be slightly off and this may increase nap times.
try to get the morning nap closer to 9:30/10am. even if you put
her in awake and not too tired and she plays for a little while
prior to sleeping. then the afternoon nap should be closer to 1pm.
if she is truly ready to drop to one nap, you need to try to push
your child to stay awake until around noon and then eventually to
1pm for afternoon naptime.
my son is 2 yrs and kept his morning nap until 16 months. it was
a very smooth transition - but i moved that afternoon nap close
to noon for a couple months to help with the transition. then
early bedtime helps for a while as well.
you seem to have good night-time timing for you child, and this
helps with good naps as well. just try and get both the naps
earlier and see if you can keep them both until your child is
My son had been taking 1 nap a day starting somewhere between 11:30 & 1:30
depending on what we are doing and how tired he is. He has been doing this since
before he was a year old (he is now 20 months). The length of that nap has changed
from being 3+ hours to being about 1 1/2 hours now.
Hi there....I too have a one year old and recently spoke w/a
friend w/kids about nap issues. She stated that a year is not
too early to transition to one nap and that she knew one kid who
dropped napping all together!! EEK! I would encourage you to
read Dr. Brazelton's ''Touchpoints'' book as he discusses what is
going on for kids at certain developmental stages (as you can
imagine 12 mo. is a huge milestone for most kids). Good luck
and happy napping.....anon
So I've checked out the archives and didn't see this particular
topic. My son, 14 months old, is beginning to transition to one
nap a day. However, he will only nap for 40 minutes- he has never
been a long napper. So on days when he only wants one nap, he is
a complete mess by early evening. His bedtime is 7:30-7:45, and
has been that for 6 months. On days that he gets two naps, it is
not only hard to fit in, but then he is just not ready for bed,
so he has a hard time putting himself to sleep, and usually won't
fall asleep until after 8, which means he sleeps later the next
day, and the cycle continues. I don't want to put him to bed too
much earlier, because his schedule is fluctuating so much, that I
don't want to randomly move around an established bedtime. (He
does sleep through the night, and puts himself to sleep for both
naps and bedtime.)
All of my friends who have babies who only nap once a day tell me
how their baby naps for 2-3 hours during that one nap. My
question is whether anyone else has gone through this? Is there
anyone who has seen their child adjust to the one nap a day by
gradually taking longer naps? He clearly needs a longer nap if it
is just one during the day.
I have also tried letting him cry when he wakes up after his
short nap to see if he will go back down, but he won't. And I
have also tried picking him up, and doing his nap routine and
then putting him down right away after the 40 minutes, but that
also hasn't worked. Help please!
You didn't say what time the nap was, but I think that is the
problem. I imagine that his 2 naps were about an hour each, so if
he takes his one nap at the time he took his ''morning'' nap, he
takes it for the same amount of time and is just not that tired.
The trick is to make the one nap later, so he is tired enough to
take the two naps combined into one. For us, this involved not
going anywhere in the stroller or car between 10-12 because that
would make my daughter fall asleep. Basically, keep him awake
until after 12 and see how that works out for you.
We have an active ten-month-old who has been quite happy this
past week taking one two- to three-hour nap after lunch. Attempts
the past few days to get a morning nap in have utterly failed. My
mom thinks it's too early for her to be one-napping it. I'm sure
it depends on the kid, but I'm looking for a general survey here:
when do people's kids shift from two naps to one? Should I keep
trying for two naps?
-sleep is weird.
Ten months is early, but that's when my son showed signs of
wanting to switch from two naps to one. I fought it for about
a month and then gave in, and we were both a lot happier. Now
at just over two my always good napper is not napping at least
half the time (though he cheerfully accepts quiet time in his
crib). I think he's going to be one of those kids who gives up
napping early (sigh).
Mama of early switcher
My son gave up his morning nap at nine months. It took me by surprise and took
me awhile to figure out that that was just his sleep pattern. Like your child, he then
took one long (2-3) hour nap in the afternoon. At two years, he gave up napping
entirely. I was thrown by both of these changes, and tried to get him to nap like the
books say. Finally, I just gave up. He sleeps twelve hours straight through the night,
and the tradeoff was that whenever he gave up a nap he slept more soundly at
night. I wouldn't worry about two naps if your child is getting enough sleep overall.
Around 11-12 months, my son started giving up morning naps every
other day or so. The clue for me was that he wasn't happy with
only one nap, and was cranky and fussy at the end of those days.
After a few weeks of that, he picked up the morning nap again.
We're at 14 months and still on two naps.
twice a day
Is your 10 month old walking yet? I've heard that kids tend to
shift to one nap right around the same time they start
walking. That was true of my son, although in his case he
started walking at 15 months, and it took him 2-3 months to
complete the transition to one nap, starting at 15 months.
Anyway, if your baby seems happy and well rested with one nap,
I wouldn't worry about it.
I checked my journal - it was around 11 months for my daughter.
My two children shifted to one nap by 14 months. However, especially at first they
would sometimes fall asleep in the car in the late morning even if on most days they
were able to wait until early afternoon to sleep (so expect this to happen for a while).
It is SO much easier to deal with one long nap during the day than to set your schedule
up around 2 shorter naps. If your baby is not pooping out by 10 or 11 am and seems
well rested most of the day with the longer nap, I say 10 months is not too young to
your child is uncommon. most shift after one year. mine had two
naps until about 18 months!
the book, ''healthy sleep habits, happy child'' has info on this
kind of stuff. i use it often for my two kids, 3 months and 21
Baby one went to one-nap at eleven months. Baby two went to
one-nap at 15-months.
I enrolled my baby in daycare at 10 months, and at that point
she was taking 2 naps a day. The 2 other kids at her daycare
were 13 months old and were already down to 1 nap a day. The
daycare provider slowly weaned her off the morning nap but
keeping her active and involved, and moving up her afternoon
nap an hour or so. It worked after a couple of weeks. But in
general it was pretty natural, she didn't force it. So if your
baby is ready for it, go ahead and try; otherwise don't worry,
she will do it on her own soon enough.
I was wondering about the details of transitions from 2 to 1 naps
for your babies and toddlers. My 18 month old still takes two
naps, but I have been wondering if she is ready to go to one now
since there are many days recently that she skips one of her naps
altogether. So how do you all know? Another reason I am
wondering: she used to go to bed very early, like 6 p.m. Now, if
she takes a 1.5 hour nap starting at 2 pm, then she won't fall
asleep until 7:30-8:00. On the days where she only takes a
morning nap, she is out at 6:30 or so. Otherwise, she just lies
in bed talking/whining for a long time (we try to put her down
I hope this makes sense. Just looking for general tips on how you
made this transition.
It sounds like your child is ready to skip nap-time. My sons both gave
the same signs that they were ready for the transition but it is a tough
period. I had the best luck with unstructured, open-ended activities
and avoiding car rides.
Listening to stories on tape or waterplay and play-dough works well.
Social interaction can be tough as well. Quiet activities that don't
involve a lot of coordination or thinking are good. Your child may
still take a catch-up nap once a week or so until 4 years old or so.
best of luck
From everything you describe, it sounds like your child is showing all
the signs of being ready for the switch to one nap.
We just recently did the two to one nap switch with my 16 month old
daughter. Our situation is probably a little different than most
people's since our daughter was (atempting) to take one nap at day care
three days a week, but sitll doing two at home.
However, like the person who posted, she started either having a hard
time falling asleep for the a.m. nap or not falling asleep for the p.m.
nap when she was home. And when she was at day care, she was having a
harder time even taking her one nap.
So, a couple weeks ago we decided to just go for it. We felt that our
daughter was giving us all the signs that she was ready for it and that
it was in her best interest to help her fully make the transition. Once
we decided to go for it, we have not looked back. Since naptime is
around noon at day care, we decided to shoot for that at home as well to
keep things consistent. We now plan for lunch around 11:30 and then do
the naptime routine. What I noticed right away is that my daughter
started going to sleep MUCH faster; no more of the long babbling and
singing before falling asleep. For the first 3-4 days, the naps were
only about 1 hour, but now about two weeks into it, her naps have
extended to about 2 hours. We are still trying to get the bedtime down,
but everything I have read and heard is that it's best to go back to an
early bedtime (6 p.m.
for her) when the transition from one to two naps is happening to help
them catch up on missed sleep. This seems to be working for us. I keep
wondering when I should start inching the bedtime later, but I notice
that when she goes down later than 6:30 p.m. she either wakes up more
during the night or earlier in the morning. I will say that making the
transition has also been good for the entire family. We now feel like we
have some sense of a schedule again instead of wondering if she is or
isn't going to get one of the naps in and then trying to decide each day
when to put her down for the night.
I hope this helps!
Ours switched to one nap a little bit before yours, probably around 14
Anyway, for us, she was kind of willing to take a nap at the time of the
old morning nap (10-11ish) but was not tired enough to take the old p.m.
-4ish) and instead would just be really cranky in the late afternoon
evening. We stopped encouraging the morning nap (didn't put her down, no
car rides or stroller rides during that time window) and put her down a
little later (12 noon).
She takes a nice long nap (2-3 hours!) and is refreshed for snack, play,
dinner, and bedtime.
Wow, it sounds like you have one sleepy girl! My kids never slept so
well, but I did need to consolidate my daugher's naps when she was
almost a year old. She was taking a half hour nap in the morning and a
half hour nap in the afternoon. She had done this for about half a year
and it drove me nuts. I had just enough time to eat a sandwich before
she woke up again.
Out of desperation I decided to skip her morning nap and put her down
around noon for her afternoon nap. It took about a week before she was
able to comfortably skip her morning nap without much fussing (she was
still tired around 10 AM, but I just kept her going), but she
immediately started taking a 1
1/2 hr nap!
So, based on my experience I would say that you should just go ahead and
change her schedule. But just for the record: your daughter is a record
sleeper! She used to go to bed around 6 PM? Wow! Just amazing. Count
your blessing, girl!
After 3 months of a very tough 2 to 1 nap transition, my 16.5
month old sleeps only 45 minutes for the WHOLE day. He is
grumpy, cranky and tired. He wakes up around 5:30 am (hate
that!)-7:00 (rare) and goes down for his nap around 11:30. We
usually go our for fresh air and exercise, followed by a big
lunch before nap. His night time sleep is at 6:30pm. What am I
doing wrong or not doing? Too early or late of a nap? Not
enough protein in his lunch? My son will sleep another 45
minutes if he is held, but my lower back can't sustain that much
longer. Also, we don't go in right away when he first wakes
up. We will let him complain up to 20 minutes. Any suggestions
will be very appreciated.
I went through this, although my son was a bit younger (9
months?) and took two 20-minute naps -- not even enough time to
catch my breath, and certainly not enough time for him to feel
rested. I finally decided to let him cry it out for up to an
hour because that was the limit that Weisbluth recommends.
After two days of both of us suffering for that hour, he was
sleeping for an hour or more. He would still occasionally wake
up after 20 minutes, cry for a minute or two, but then would
put himself back to sleep again. He was in a better mood and
even slept better at night after we did it, so while it is
heartbreaking, I highly recommend it. Some kids are just too
eager to play and resist sleep, but you are not doing them a
favor by allowing themselves to get chronically overtired.
Fellow mother of a sleep-avoider
just wait. he's in transition. it will all work out i promise. don't be
frazzeled. just remember one day he will sleep good again. my kids
we're the same way. patience is a virture.
Maybe I'm a terrible mother, but 6:30 seems awfully early to go
to bed. We have put our son down at 8pm pretty much since he
was about 10 months old. He'll sleep for about 10 hours. He
gave up his second nap around 16 months. We retain some
flexibility on his nap. We try to feed lunch around 11:30 and
napping by noon. He will sleep anywhere from 45 minutes to 3
hours. I will wake him up at 3 hours though. There have been
times when he did not want to go to sleep at noon so I let him
play a little. I try not to turn it into a big fight, but, if
he's still up at 2pm, I put him in his crib and tell myself
I'll let him in there fussy or not for 15 minutes and he will
usually fall asleep and sleep pretty well.
I'd try putting him to bed a bid later at night and see what
Count your blessings, and/or put your kid to bed later at night.
And/or hold him while your reading your favorite book. I would
have thanked my lucky stars if I thought there was any way I
could get 11-12 hrs of sleep at night plus a nap in the middle
of the day! I don't think you're doing anything wrong other than
hoping that your kid will conform to your schedule (which I did
for a long time, and still do, though at least now I get it).
At that age, my daughter went to bed around 8-830, and woke at 6-
7, and on really good days I got a 2 hr nap. (My mom complained
bitterly about my sister's lack of a daytime nap starting at
about 12 months, but she went to bed at 7 and got up at 7--
that's 12 straight hours of (mostly) predictable baby-free
hours! Even now, I would LOVE to be able to do something in the
evening after my kid is in bed.
Are you sure you are really down to one nap? My elder daughter
alternated between one nap and two nap days for a couple of
months before solidly going down to one nap (at 11 months, which
is quite early). Since his wakeup time is variable, you might
experiment with two naps on the early wakeup days and one on the
later wakeup days. I know it makes it harder to make plans, but
you can kind of predict an every other day pattern for the time
being if he takes to this routine. What happens is on the two nap
days, he'll be able to stay up a little later at night, then
sleep a little later the next day, then be able to hold out for
just one nap, but go to bed earlier, then wake up early the next
day, then it's a two nap day. Does that make sense?
We went thru a similar thing w/our now 2 1/2 yr. old son. He
dropped his second nap around 14 mos. and became a cranky
mess. We found when he was overtired he would wake up
progressively earlier every morning. We ended up putting him
down for his nap about 5 hrs. after he woke up and then put him
to bed super early (by 6pm). It took awhile for him to catch
up on sleep but eventually he started waking up at a more
civilized time and taking longer naps. For about a yr. now he
wakes up around 7am, naps from 1-3pm, and goes to bed by 7pm.
I also highly recommend Dr. Weissbluth's ''Healthy Sleep Habits,
Our 14 month old has been on a great sleeping schedule (knock on
wood) since she was 9 or 10 months old -- sleeping 11-12 hours
through the night, with 2 naps during the day (the first one at
9 for an hour to an hour and a half, the second one at 1pm for 2
to 2 and a half hours). About 3-4 weeks ago, she started taking
longer and longer to get to sleep for her naps, and sometimes
would not nap at all for one of the naps. We thought it might
be getting time to switch to one nap. We've tried it this week
for about 4 days now, with one nap at noon for 3 hours. She
seems happy in the morning and she is going to sleep right away
for her nap, sleeping solidly for 3 hours. We are putting her
to bed very early to try to give her a little extra sleep. The
problem is she seems REALLY tired a lot of the time -- crankier
in general, especially by the time she goes to sleep at night.
Plus, there is such a long interval between the time she wakes
up (usually around 6 am) and her noon nap . . . We are concerned
now that we made the switch too early. A few questions -- when
do kids usually move from 2 naps to 1? do most families make the
switch cold turkey, or make the decision day by day as to
whether to do 2 naps or 1? would this be confusing to a kid who
is a creature of habit -- i.e., seems to be happiest when on a
set schedule? is it normal to take time to adjust to the new nap
schedule -- should we expect a crankier/sleepier kid for a few
weeks? or is the tiredness an indication that it's just too
early to cut down to 1 nap?
14 mos. is a little young but it sounds like she started the
process herself. My daughter was 15 mos old when we started her
on one nap and it took a couple of months to really get her in
the routine of it. Truth be told, I think she would still take
two naps a day if I allowed it, because she does get tired
earlier than later (she's 2 1/2 now and more active, too) but
she's also old enough to understand what naps mean (no playing)
and wouldn't readily go down for two. On the bright side you
might find that your daughter starts to sleep later in the
morning as a result. Ours went from waking at 6-6:30 to sleeping
until 7:30-8! She goes down at night between 8-8:30.
Hang in there, this too shall pass!
14 months was about the time our son moved to one nap a day. We
were totally unfamiliar with the concept of us purposely
orchestrating a switch, we just followed Ben's lead. He switched
gradually, some days having one nap and some days having two.
During the time he was switching to one nap his timing was all
over the map as was the duration of the nap(s), we just went
with the flow. Ben does do better with some sort of schedule but
we're not rigid, we just looked at when he looked sleepy and
tried encourage (not mandate) the nap at about the same time
each day- for Ben it ended up being about 12:30pm. He was also
ready for bedtime earlier as he transitioned to one nap. And
it's true that on some days he did seem more tired and cranky.
If it got to be too much and he was obviously miserable weUd up
our efforts to try to get him to nap like go for a car or
stroller ride. This crankiness 'phase' did (mostly) pass for him
as he got used to the one nap schedule.
Hope this helps
our son switched to one nap at about 14 months too. he was on
the same schedule that it sounds like your daughter is on and
then he began to fight at least one nap almost everyday. i would
say that it was at least a month long transition before he was
at one nap a day. at first i would try to keep him up to 11:00
AM and then he would sleep for about 2 hours. now at 19 months
he goes down anywhere between 12:00 and 1:00 and sleeps on
average about 2 1/2 hours. i remember the switch was really
difficult but i just kept trying to stick with it and eventually
a new routine was formed. one thing that really helped was
getting out of the house until nap time. that way he wouldn't
notice as much when he started to feel tired. give it time and
Our little guy went from 2 naps to one at 16 months, so you're
right in there. It was hard for a couple of months, but
ultimately the right time. It's just one of those transitions
that you have to suffer for a bit, I think. I started with the
one nap at about 11 a.m. after a hefty snack, then another big
snack/lunch when he woke up around 1 or 1:30. It makes lunch a
little weird for a while, but you can slowly move the nap later
until you can eventually have a real lunch first, then nap.
When our twins moved to one nap, their schedule varied from day
to day for a couple of weeks. Some days they reverted back to a
two nap day, but mostly, one napped early but could not nap
late, while the other slept through an afternoon nap. For those
days when a girl slept early but not late, I'd put them in the
car in the late afternoon and let the tired girl nod off (I do
this now when either girl cannot settle down at her 1pm nap).
What we did during their transition from one nap to two naps was
put them into their cribs in the afternoon, for 15-20 minutes to
see if they wound down to take a second nap. In fact, we since
didn't realize they were transitioning to one nap until about a
week went by I was just automatically putting them into their
cribs every afternoon and wondering whey they weren't going to
sleep. For the last six months, they have been shifting their
nap time very slowing from noon to 1pm. They are 20 months now
and are just begining to go down closer to 1. We start watching
them around 11:30 to see when they are getting tired and we feed
them lunch before their nap (which is a change from the two nap
day where they got lunch when they got up from the first nap.)
Ever since they shifted to one nap (I can't remember when they
made that shift, but it could have been as early as 12 months),
they are awake from around 6:30 to 12:30. However, when they
first started the one-nap-schedule, they did sleep in until
7/7:30 often. They go to bed around 8:30 at night. I hope that
one nap mom
My 14 month old still wants his morning nap just as early (about
9ish) but though he is exhausted, has been refusing to nap
during the afternoons. We put him in his crib after the nap
routine and he will play the whole time. I've even left him for
1 1/2 hours hoping to bore him into sleep but to no avail. The
challenging part for me is that about 1/3 of the time he will
nap and is so much happier on those afternoons. Otherwise he
can be sort of grumpy. He has such an early bedtime too (6:15)
that it is hard to imagine us moving his bedtime any earlier.
But on days without 2 naps (and only on those days) he usually
wakes screaming after about 1 hour and I believe it is because
he is so overwrought from his day without naps. My questions are
1) What age have your children given up the second nap and is it
usually the afternoon nap that they give up?
2) Is there any better ways to coax them into sleep when you
know they need it (i.e., keep the two naptime routine longer)?
3)Also my son just started taking steps and I've wondered if it
could be related to excitement over this developmental feat but
not a real readiness not to nap twice. Has anyone else
My son has always been a great napper and honestly seemed to
need and crave the sleep. I've read the postings on this site
but nothing seems to cover my issue.
Thank you for any insights or suggestions you can offer.
My kiddo phased out his second nap right around the same time,
13-14 months, but it was a long process and like you are
describing, he often wouldn't nap in the afternoons but then he
would lose it. I don't have any suggestions for that other than
at least resting a bit during that time, lights out, cuddling on
the bed or whatever. He moved to a 2 hour morning nap, which we
gradually were able to move later and later until it became
midday and then afternoon. Wish I had more good advice but I
think some of it is just time.
This sounds exactly like the transition from two naps to one
that my son went through at about 16 months. As I recall the
transition period lasted for about a month, and it was
difficult; cranky nights and struggles for the second nap he
really didn't want. What we did (after it finally dawned on me
what he was doing) was we gradually moved the ''morning'' nap
later and later until it was closer to noon, while moving his
lunchtime slightly earlier. For a while he'd take a nap and
then get up for lunch, then when we moved the nap late enough,
we had lunch and then the nap. During the transition when he
seemed sleepy at around the traditional morning naptime, we'd go
outside, have a snack or do something he really enjoyed and he
stayed awake just fine. He is now almost 26 months and his one
nap is around 1:30 or 2 pm (after lunch and a bit of playtime)
and he sleeps for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. The only drawback to this
is that his bedtime has moved later, but I know he still needs
that middle of the day rest. He also now sleeps later in the
morning (7-7:30 instead of 6-6:30 when he had 2 naps). Good
My son (who is now a little over two) gave up his afternoon nap,
weaned himself and took his first steps, all on the day that he
turned 14 months. Like yours, he also had a very early bedtime
to begin with.
I, too, had a difficult timing adjusting to (and accepting) the
fact that he was giving up his second nap. I had read that most
children give up their morning naps first, so I was really
confused at the time. In fact, it was a pretty tough transition
for both of us.
I started pushing his morning nap later and later (maybe in half
hour increments per week) and putting him to bed, yes, an hour
or so earlier. On those difficult days when he didn't take his
afternoon nap, he would be ready to collapse as early as 5 or
5:30. We just did it and took advantage of the fact that we had
a longer evening to ourselves, although it often meant that my
husband wouldn't see him after work. Our son was an early riser
anyway -- luckily, the Tour de France was being broadcast live
starting at 6 am on our satellite TV so we hung out with him and
watched TV in the mornings.
My son gave up his second nap around 14 months as well -- and I was
very surprised that he seemed to give up the afternoon nap first. What
you describe -- taking naps only about a third of the time and being
grumpy on the days when he doesn't -- is exactly what we went through.
It also sounds a lot like what the moms in my mothers' group described
for their children. One of the ''experts'' (maybe Berry Brazelton)
describes this as ''needing a nap and a half.''
However, after a few weeks of unstable sleep, my son started taking the
morning nap later and later, until finally it started around noon, and then
1:00. At the same time, this nap became longer. It was really great,
because he had always taken two very short naps (barely an hour each)
and now he takes a very long, solid afternoon nap (2.5 hours on
average). Also, his bedtime, which at the time he took two naps was
also about 6:30, started to drift later at night, to about 7:30 or 8:00. It
took a bit of time, but in a month or two this new sleep pattern
consolidated, and he then did fine with it.
I think what I might do is to let your son give up the afternoon nap and
keep the early bedtime, but try to phase the morning nap a bit later every
day (maybe 10 minutes at a time). Once you get the morning nap a bit
later in the day, then try to phase his bedtime a bit later. You will
probably have some not-so-pleasant times while he consolidates to the
new pattern. Try to make everything else as stable as possible (follow a
really rigid routine in terms of meals, activities, start time for naps, etc.
if that's possible) until the new pattern consolidates.
Also, you might come up with a way to comfort him back to sleep when
he wakes upset, and then worry about phasing that out after the new
sleep pattern has consolidated. Just make everything as easy as
possible for him.
My understanding is that there is a lot of variability in terms
of when children move from 2 naps to 1. That being said, my
daughter transistioned quickly at 14 months and it was really
good timing. She had never been a great napper and before
switching to 1 each of her 2 naps were 45 minutes - 1 hour.
She took them at 10 and 2. We switched her to one nap at noon,
which now often lasts for 2.5 to 3 hours. Over a period of a
few days we pushed her morning nap from 10 to 12 and we skipped
the afternoon nap. We were careful not to be in the car late
in the morning or to have her in a situation where she might
fall asleep before her new nap time. The first couple of days
were rough because she took just 1 1-hour nap. But by day 3
she was taking 1 2-hour nap, and it has actually gotten a bit
longer over time. So I do not think that 14 months is too
early to phase out the nap.
My almost 17 month old did the same thing at about 13 months. I started
to force him to stay awake until at least 11 or 11:30. He would be pretty
grumpy, but I found that it was more bearable to have him be grumpy in
the morning than in the evenings. Eventually he just got used to the idea
and now happily goes down at noon for about 2 hours.
My daughter also started giving up her afternoon naps around 14
months almost exactly as you have described. At first, I tried
waking her up early from the morning nap (after only 20-30
minutes), but that didn't really work. So in the end, i moved
her to 1 nap. The hard part was that she was genuinely tired
around 11:00 every day for about 1 month or 2. I had to be very
careful not to let her fall asleep in the car or the stroller
before noon, because i found that if she even dozed for 10
minutes or more, she would refuse to nap again until around 3:30
or 4:00. Anyhow, within a month, she was pretty much sure to
nap from about 12:00 to 2:00, and within a few more months,
stopped getting tired too early.
My son just went through a similar transition due to moving to
day care, where they nap once a day. Prior to starting day care
he went down easily for a morning nap between 9 and 10, but he
was definitely fighting the afternoon nap. Acted like he didn't
want/need to sleep, but really cranky if he skipped it. And
yes, I think learning to walk is really exciting for them and a
big distraction at nap time.
With the transition to day care, my son now takes one long nap
starting between 11 and 12. For 2 - 3 weeks he was pretty
cranky in the evenings but that was short lived. I was worried
that it would take a lot longer to adjust than it actually did.
He is now fine in the evening and even sleeps in, another extra
perk. Occasionally after a tiring afternoon he will fall asleep
in the car, but it is now the exception, not the rule.
To transition your child, you might want to try to put off the
morning nap until late morning. For me, the easiest way to keep
my son up was to take him outside or to the park, where he is
always content checking things out and where he can go much
longer without napping and without getting cranky. You might
want to try a similar diversion. Good luck!
I had exactly the same experience that you are describing. My 14-month old
dropped her afternoon nap (or started to be very sporadic about taking it) but
couldn't make it through the day without the afternoon nap. With the support
and advice of my very experienced nanny, I just stopped giving her a morning
nap, and moved the afternoon nap to a little earlier. It worked beautifully.
For a few weeks I had to avoid being in the car, etc, at the morning nap time,
and tried to do fun things during that period, but she didn't have any trouble
making the switch. I was very worried that I was depriving her of her
two-nap-a-day schedule too early, because I had assumed that she would drop the
morning one on her own. But she just took a longer afternoon nap, and all was
When do babies usually give up their morning naps? do they just stop
being sleepy before lunch, or does the nap get later and later until it
blends into the afternoon nap, or what happens?
Our son's morning nap got later and later and finally became one afternoon
nap, but I expect you'll hear many different stories.
My first took morning naps until she started pre-school at age 2 1/2.
She was in our home with a babysitter up to that point and there was never
any effort to keep her from sleeping so much during the day. I stayed home
with number 2 and was able to accelerate the dropping of the morning nap
starting around 14 months. It didn't really merge with the afternoon nap in
a gradual way, it just sort of moved up the time the afternoon nap began
(anywhere from 12:00 to 1:00 now). I noticed that prior to that when
she was taking 2 naps a day the morning nap would always start at the same
time (around 10:00) but would last for shorter and shorter amounts of time
(from 2+ hours originally down to 30 to 45 minutes towards the end). The
afternoon nap started occuring later and later each day (sometimes not
until 3:00). If you decide to curtail the morning nap try and not be in the
car during the normal morning nap time at least for a few weeks. Take
walks, sing songs or play outside. All these are good distractions and will
help break the morning nap time ritual.
Our one year old has started switching from two to one naps each day over
the past week, so I can give you our current information. She used to sleep
for an hour (or so) from 10-11 (or so) and then for two (or so) hours from 2-4
(or so). Now she's sleeping in later in the morning (a blessing on weekends,
but not so good during the week), and goes to sleep around 11:30 for two hours.
She won't take an afternoon nap. We're assuming that the single nap will get
a bit later as time goes on.
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