Going from 2 naps to 1 nap

Updated: Sep 24, 2019

Every single Wednesday I do a free Q+A on my instagram story and every single time someone asks about this transition. So I figured hey, let me create a blog post on it!

So here it is mamas, the 2-1 nap transition blog post I have been meaning to write for MONTHS. There are about ten other zillion things I need to be doing but blog post writing always kind of calms me down weirdly, it's like a little brain dump for me-

OK I'll get to the topic: 2-1 Naps! First read this blog post on

'how to know when to drop a nap'

think of it as a prereq haha.

Now. ONCE you KNOW baby needs to drop a nap read below:

Some general advice first

-Babies generally need to drop the second nap, not the first one. SO we're going to want to shift the first nap a little later and then move bedtime a little earlier as baby adjusts to a new 1 nap schedule. Please know too that this transition is not always seamless and baby may go a few weeks back and forth between needing one and two naps. Hopefully that relieves some stress instead of makes you more anxious about this change!

-Don't get stressed if it isn't super clear and your kiddo looks like they're having a rough time- baby is going through a literal life-altering change, this is BIG STUFF! They may be more tired and emotional through it, help them cope and distract them more throughout the day.

Now... the HOW:

-Usually when baby is on a two nap schedule it's 7am wakeup, 9am nap, 2pm nap with a 7pm bedtime (NOT EVERY BABY but just in general). So what we're going to do in this specific scenario is move the first nap to 10am for the first few days, and move bedtime an hour earlier. Some days baby may still need a short capped nap between wakeup and bedtime- follow baby's sleep cues and offer a short 15-30 minute second nap when needed.

-This one hour shift should be fairly easy since they've been showing signs of nap dropping. The next few days are going to be the rough ones as we try to push the first nap back closer to the desired 12:30pm (again, this is for a 7am wakeup).

-Push the nap back slowly every day as you watch your baby's sleep cues like a HAWK. Maybe one day he is exhausted and can't make it past 10:15, that's ok, adjust the whole day. The next day try and see if he can make it to 10:30 or even 10:45. It's a bit of a guessing game and it CAN get stressful, so make sure you have help in the afternoon to rest and give yourself some 'me time.'

-Slowly push the nap back and adjust each day when he may need a second full nap or a capped nap.

-Ideally a one nap schedule is the following formula: 5.5/6hours after wakeup and betime is 5 hours after the nap is done. Keep that in mind but dont STRESS it to the dot.

Wow I have focused a lot on mental health during this transition. This was unintentional BUT it's because I know that nap transitions aren't actually all that difficult, but the difficult part of it is that it changes OUR lives, OUR schedules, and the way we think of OUR days. So I'll reiterate the same theme of this whole blog post: take care of yourself through this transition and take it easy, if you mess up the schedule one day... well... you've got the rest of their lives ;).

If you're having a REALLY hard time with this or have any other questions,

do contact me!

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Andrea De La Torre

Sleep Consultant 

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