Transitioning to one nap - NOT HAPPENING HERE

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by daisies, May 21, 2013.

  1. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    Sorry in advance for a long post.
    My LOs are 15 months (adjusted). I have tried twice to switch them to one nap and ended up with tired, cranky, crying kids.

    I decided to switch them because their night sleep was becoming disturbed. Multiple wakings a night (i do not go in). Mostly it is just a few minutes (3 to 5) of crying and they go back to sleep but occasionally it lasts for 20, 30 minutes. This is VERY unusual for them. My saving grace has always been that they sleep well at night. (normal bed time 5:45, wake around 6:30, out of cribs at 7:00) With the disturbed sleep DD was waking earlier and earlier.

    Their naps were fine, great. 9 & 1:00 i lay them down and they usually sleep for 1.5 hours! I thought the disturbed night sleep was because two naps was going against their biological clocks during the day.

    So we switched to one nap. the first day they could only make it to 11am and slept for only one hour. the second day i put them down at 12:00 and they slept for 2.5 hours. The third and fourth day (12:00) and both had disturbed naps. they either didn't go to sleep right away or woke and cried then went back to sleep. Result was only about one hour total sleep, disturbed. On day five, i went back to 2 naps because clearly they were DONE.

    Two naps great, with 1.5 hour naps both times. Within, 2 days their night sleep was disturbed again.
    Repeat the above attempt to switch to one nap with same result.
    Yesterday we went back to 2 naps and early bed time (5:00!) and they slept last night for 13.75 hours, no wakings.


    Option 1) Are they just not ready? Should I keep them on two naps and wake them up before 1.5 hours? how long should i let them nap?
    Option 2) Try again for one nap and put them down earlier? later? move bed time up? How long should they be up before nap? Is there a time that is biologically easier to nap?

    Should i pick one and just keep with it? Or should i switch back and forth from one to two naps according to what it seems they need? (please don't say this.. I would really love to just have a plan and not have to guess each day!)

    Is there another option? What worked for you?
    Am i missing something? What would you try next?
    Help... i am so missing my happy kids.
  2. Mom2VLS

    Mom2VLS Well-Known Member

    Haven't tried it with twins yet but could you keep 2 naps and move bedtime back a smidge? Like 6 or 615?
  3. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I'd try the suggestion above, or shorten the morning nap to 45 minutes or so and see if you can gradually taper it off taking 10 minutes away every 3 or 4 days until the nap is gone. My boys had to have their afternoon nap at 11:30 or noon for a couple of months then they were finally ready to move back to 1 or so.

    Nap schedules are so annoying- you never know what will work until you give it a shot for a few days.
  4. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    I thought that too when all this first started. Before trying one nap i did 5 days of later bedtime and then 5 days of earlier bed time. Neither seemed to make a difference in the disturbed night sleep and DD early wake up time.
  5. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    This might work!
    Thanks, I will give it a try.

    What time were your boys getting up / going to bed when they moved to the 1:00 nap time?
  6. weegus

    weegus Well-Known Member

    Haha, I was going to recommend the exact opposite... start pushing the morning nap back and let them sleep as long as they want. When it comes to the afternoon nap, shorten it to 45 minutes to preserve bedtime... work the afternoon nap into extinction.

    If I remember correctly, my boys' nap schedule around 1.5 years old was wake at 6-6:30am, one nap at 12:00 pm for 2-3 hours, bedtime at 7 pm. As they got older, nap time and bed time gradually pushed back. At age 4, they still nap with wake at 6:30am, nap 1:30pm, bed 8:30pm. Good luck, I remember the transition was tough for us as well.
  7. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Mine were up at 7am and down for bed around 6:30p
  8. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    The night wakings may have nothing to do with naps - it could be developmental. A lots going on between 12-18 months for toddlers.

    That being said, I think everyone's suggestions are great. It's definitely a trial and error process. Just make sure to give each adjustment a good solid chunk of time to work before evaluating it (5-7 days). Too many changes in a row is going to make things tough too.

    I know that alternating back and forth may seem overwhelming but keep in mind that it will be only for a short time as they transition and is the most likely scenario to result in your munchkins getting the sleep they need. That being said, I don't think there's a "right" way, just the way that works for your family. Good luck!
  9. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Echoing Rachel, with my boys I sort of committed to the transition each day. With Annabelle, it's a fluid process- she takes 2 naps if we are home, otherwise 1. Currently she skips her nap about 3 days a week.
  10. Nanny88

    Nanny88 Well-Known Member

    4 weeks ago I switched this boys to 1 nap and this is what I did. They are 15 months. Their old schedule was night 8PM-8AM(they are left all night no going in) nap at 10:30AM-12 and 3-4:30PM, Now: bed 7/8PM-8AM nap 12/12:30 - 3PM. They were okay staying awake longer if I gave them a sippy cup round their normal morning nap time. If they get fussy I take them in the backyard, on a walk(sometimes one would snooze but I didn't worry about it) or put them in their play room to play alone together(they always play good this way). I made sure I saved stuff that make them happy(outside/walks/tv) for around the time I knew they would get fuzzy and they would do okay most of the time. At nap time I put them both in their cribs and left them. It took about 2 weeks of weird napping lengths before they caught on. I would leave them in their cribs 12/12:30-3 and not go in at all. Week 2 I started covering the window with a blanket and that seemed to help them sleep longer. Now it is week 4 or 5 and it is going great. It is nice for me to have a longer time slot where they are asleep and it is also great to be able to go place easily in the mornings so stick with it and it will pay off :)
  11. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    It took my kids several weeks to get used to one nap. It was definitely a process. They started refusing their morning nap entirely, but then they would be falling asleep in their lunch. It was spring, so I would try to have them outside or doing something active to keep them more alert, and try to stretch the nap time a bit later each day. So when we started, they had one nap around 11 or 11:30, and by the time we were through the transition, they had one nap that was around 12:30 or 1. That was how it went for us.

    Night sleep was never impacted for us, so I wonder if, like someone else said, it's more of a developmental issue, or teething, or something else for your kids. If they are still sleeping soundly for two naps, I would let them have two naps personally and see if the night wakings won't get better over time. My kids have always been prone to waking at night - still are at almost 3.5 - so that's more "normal" for us than it sounds like it is for you.
  12. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I agree with this. The night wakings could be a developmental kids meet new milestones and learn new things they are prone to night waking. I would say if they seem to be doing well with two naps and sleeping both times and cranky/tired without the two naps, I would continue the two naps.
    I did not go down to one nap with my two until they were firmly boycotting the morning nap and that happened around 15 months for us. Once it did happen and I got over my denial (because I was in denial), I moved up the afternoon nap an hour and then they would nap 3 hours in the afternoon.
  13. mom2gc

    mom2gc Well-Known Member

    I agree that if they are still napping well twice a day stick to that. You will definitely know when they are ready for one nap. One of the naps become “ party time” where they don’t settle. My DD gave up the morning nap first and as I was not going to do 2 nap schedules with them, DS had to just adjust. They started having their one nap at 11h00 and I slowly moved it to 13h00. Now at almost 3 they still nap for about 2 hours every day.

    As for disturbed night sleep, my kids go through phases where they sleep well and phases where they wake up 1-3 times a night. Normally this is when there are developmental milestones or big changes in their lives.
  14. mom2gc

    mom2gc Well-Known Member

    "My kids have always been prone to waking at night - still are at almost 3.5 - so that's more "normal" for us than it sounds like it is for you"

    Glad I am not the only one still getting up at night.
  15. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    Thanks ladies for sharing and for the advice.

    I am hopeful we are back on track.. not for one nap, but for STTN and happy kids. Thank goodness.

    I have keep them on the early bed time. Yesterday 5:00 and tonight 5:15. (still amazes me that they can sleep like that!) I think they were even more behind in sleep than i realized.

    I have been keeping the first nap short and so far, their night sleep has remained good. (0 to 1 wakings) Fingers crossed.

    I really appreciate all the ideas and suggestions. I know they will come in handy when we make another attempt at this one nap thing.
    I don't know what singleton moms do without you ladies to turn to. You are the best!
  16. twinkler

    twinkler Well-Known Member

    Wow Amy, your kiddos are now 15 months! Time has flown so quickly and I keep meaning to drop by and see how you all are.

    My girls are 21 months now and I had the same problem with transitioning. I tried at 14 months and with not much success I just decided to let it be until closer to 18 months. At around 17 months they started playing up at naps so, I pushed the morning nap back by 10-15 minutes every few days and there were days when they had a short catnap in the afternoon to keep them going. Those two weeks were hard but we got there eventually, just kept our morning very busy every day.

    I'm glad I went back to two naps even though so many people looked at me strangely when I said they were still sleeping two naps. There's nothing wrong with it, you just have to do it when they're ready.

    Funny thing, once they went to one nap, they now sleep 2-3 hours and their bedtime is later, which is great for DH to bath them when he gets home from work!

    Will try and pop in here more often xx
  17. daisies

    daisies Well-Known Member

    Hey Tas!
    Good to 'see' you on the forum.

    For now, we are hanging in with two naps. I think of everyone here my kiddos are most like yours in regards to sleep. Your post gives me hope that we will eventually get to that 2-3 hour nap!

    I am hoping we get paid back for late transitions when they are 3 and still napping well (we can only hope ;))
  18. jdorourk

    jdorourk Well-Known Member

    daises, I didn't get to read all the replies, but my thoughts are.... don't push to one nap unless they should obvious signs... refusing naps, taking longer to fall asleep for first nap, etc. My philosphy on nap transitions is to not force them but let the kiddos tell me when they are ready.

    Another question - could they be getting their molars? My kids sleep soundly at night but when we've got molars coming in we get some early wakeups and some night cries.

    I hope you can figure this out! It stinks when your great sleeper is a great sleeper anymore!

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