Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dropping the Morning Nap (from 2 to 1 naps): Transition Time

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For many toddlers, there is a "transition time" where the child is not really ready to drop the morning nap, but also not really needing two full naps. This never happened with Brayden; he was pretty textbook. He continued sleeping well for his morning nap but not well for his afternoon nap. That is how I knew he was ready to drop the morning nap. We dropped it cold turkey at 17 months and he did just fine.

Kaitlyn (currently 18 months), however, has experienced this transition time. I know she isn't alone because I have received many questions about it over the last several months.

When Kaitlyn was about 14 months, she started to not sleep well for both naps. This was extremely odd to me. She has always been a really good napper. She loves to sleep. I started to wonder if perhaps she was ready to drop the morning nap. It surprised me because she didn't drop her third nap until she was 11 months old. I was sure based on past history she would be an older toddler when she was ready to drop her morning nap (18-22 months).

Kaitlyn missed her morning nap once a week for church. She would then come home, eat lunch, and go to sleep for about 4 hours--making up for her missed morning nap. She was very, very tired when we got home. Tired enough that she usually didn't eat her lunch very well. Based on this, I figured she wasn't really ready to drop her morning nap.

Instead, I started lenthening her morning waketime before her morning nap and still waking her up at the same time. So, I shortened the morning nap. I also added about 10-15 minutes to her waketime between her two naps. These actions fixed things and she was back to sleeping for both naps: 1.5 hours in the morning and 2-2.5 in the afternoon.

For some children, this morning nap might need to be shortened more than that. As I said, Kaitlyn is a sleeper. She is still taking a long morning nap though it is shorter than it was.

There is a possibility that for some children, this is just a phase. Maybe it is teething. Maybe it is all of the new skills and abilities he is getting as he gets older. Maybe it is curiosity. I suggest you rule these things out before you start to tweak waketimes and naptimes.

Some children might be able to go to a "weaning" process at this point (see Dropping a Nap: A Weaning Process: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/dropping-nap-weaning-process.html). If so, you would play the morning nap by ear. Some days you might take it. Others you might not and just have one nap. You might start off with an every-other-day approach. One day two naps, one day one.

Kaitlyn is now 18 months old. As I said, she misses her morning nap on Sunday for church. This week she also missed her morning nap for her 18 month well-baby doctor appointment. I thought this was a good opportunity to test to see if she is ready to drop the morning nap. I would love for this nap to be dropped for the holidays; it really makes things like errands and visiting friends and family much easier.

At this point, Kaitlyn handles her missed morning nap once a week really well. She is perfectly happy. However, day two was a bit different. She was still happy, but as lunch approached she got to be more clingy than usual with me. As we ate lunch (at about 11:30), she put her head down on her tray and continued to eat. I asked her if she was tired. She replied "uh-huh" and then rubbed her eyes to show me. At that point in the day, I knew she just wasn't ready to drop her nap every day. She couldn't handle two days in a row. Yesterday, she was more tired than usual all day.

I believe right now Kaitlyn could go to a weaning process. I don't think she could go to every other day yet, but I think she could do a couple of times a week. However, I will continue with the two naps unless we have reason for just one until she is ready to go down to one.

Also, don't mistake needing to adjust for not being ready. Most children will take about a week to adjust to not having a morning nap. Some will be able to adjust in a few days. That means he will either be more cranky or more tired as lunch time approaches. So how do I know Kaitlyn truly is not ready and it isn't that she simply needs to adjust? I just know. It isn't something I can put my finger on. Because Kaitlyn is as flexible as she is, I am pretty sure she could drop her morning nap right now and survive. She isn't cranky. Emtionally, I could handle her. However, she would not be operating at 100% yet. That is what I want for her. I want her waketimes to be spent learning and growing, not sitting in a zombie-like state for an hour or two.

If you think your child is ready to drop the morning nap, you can always give it a try. My guess is after two-three days in a row, you will have a good idea if he is really ready or not. I suggest doing so while having other things to do. Errands to run, people to visit, etc. I suggest that for the child who doesn't necessarily like sleep. For Brayden, if I had tried that with him at home, he would have quickly insisted that is the way things are done from now on, ready or not. Not to say that is what I would have had to do (I am the parent), but he would have "seen the light" so to speak. For Kaitlyn, it would have been okay to try just being at home. She would have most happily gone back to sleeping in the morning anyway. Keep in mind that children will have an easier time staying awake if they are out and being stimulated rather than the same old scene at home, but after a couple of days, signs will being to show of yes, he can handle this or no, he still needs some sleep in the morning.

If your child is transitioning right now, take heart that it is a fairly common thing. He is not abnormal by doing so. If he is transitioning, try one or more of the following:
  • First look into other possible reasons for the poor sleeping. Teething, cold, growth spurt, simply curious, etc.
  • Try shortening morning nap and lengthening waketimes.
  • Once you know (or suspect) the nap is ready or about ready to be dropped, try weaning from the nap if desired.
  • If you aren't sure if the nap is ready to be dropped but think it might, give it a try for 1-3 days and see how it goes.
  • Just live with the poor naps for a bit until he is fully ready to drop the nap.
See these post for more on dropping naps:

163 comments:

Robinson Family said...

I was SO needing this post! You MUS have read my mind! I may post again if I have questions...

Joanna said...

Thank you for this post! It confirmed in my mind what I had been questioning...

My son is 15mo old and a couple weeks ago all of a sudden began sleeping 2 hours in the morning and then not at all in the afternoon. I decided to try to just drop the morning nap altogether and move the afternoon nap earlier, like right after lunch. This has worked beautifully! He now sleeps 2.5-3.5 hours in that early afternoon nap, and his waketimes are much more balanced emotionally speaking.

What I had been questioning was whether or not he was ready, since he was only 14 1/2 mo old at the time (I thought this was too young), but he's never been much of a sleeper, and he functions just fine on his one nap now.

The Grewe Crew said...

I'm having a hard time with the transition of naps myself. My daughter is 4.5 months old and is still on a 3 hour schedule. At times, it's a 2.5 hour schedule. Just recently she started waking up at around 3 or 4am and not sleeping through the night anymore. I thought it was because she was getting too much sleep during the day, so I tried to transition to the 4 hour schedule. It didn't go well. Now I'm back to 3 hours and it works like a charm! But doesn't BW suggest that by now (almost 5 monhts) that she should be on a 4 hour? Should I continue with the 3 anyway? Or continue to try and get her to move to a 4? I was also thinking that it could coincide with feeding. We have decided to continue to only breastfeed through the winter. Making her starting cereal at 6months instead of now. I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but it could? Thanks for any help or direction.

Jennifer B. said...

Thanks for reading my mind too. I am about to die over this the afternoon nap struggle. Thanks for the tips. I really appreciate it.

LoveMommyhood said...

My daughter is only 10 months old but for the last month and a half she has been rarely taking her afternoon nap, maybe twice a week if I'm lucky. The rest of the week she takes a morning nap well, falls asleep relatively soon and sleeps for about an hour and a half. Then in the afternoon she stays up the entire time. I've kept a log for over 30 days. I have not found anything that could be causing the lack of sleep. She is still sleeping through the night. I've tried shortening her wake time and extending her wake time in the afternoon to get her to sleep. Nothing seems to work. Is it possible she is ready to drop the 2nd nap? I know she is not old enough based on the book so what should I do? Should I just keep sticking to the schedule until she is 14 months old? Should I try dropping the morning nap?

heather said...

Sorry this isn't a napping question....but, I'm making the switch from formula to whole milk and my daughter has done great with the switch still in a bottle. I'm ready for the switch now to a sippy and am just at a loss. She seems grossed out that milk is coming out of her sippy. How will I ever get her to drink enough milk? How much whole milk did you do with your little ones?

The Burkes said...

My LO is 4 months and I'm looking to drop her 4th nap after the time change on Nov. 2. I was curious if you'd look at our schedule and share your thoughts with me on how best to do this.

As of now we:

8am-feed
9:30-nap
11-feed
12:30-nap
2-feed
3:30-nap
5-feed
6:15(ish)-nap
7-feed
8-bed

She is sleeping 12 hours thru the night. Is a 3 hour wake time too long? Would you adjust our bedtime or our morning wake time to get an earlier start?

mommytoisabella said...

Thank you so much for posting this information. Over the next couple of months I will be referring a lot to this article.

Things have been so much better this week since the construction in the top floor of our apartment building has ended and she just cut her k'9's. There for some of the difficulties were due to circumstances out of my control.

I have found that I need to put her down earlier in the morning 9:45, I had being keeping her up till 10:15 and it turns out that she was having a hard time falling asleep due to being over tired. However I am waking her up at 11:00 rather then 11:30 (so I shortened her nap on the end rather then the beginning). I put her down earlier for her 2nd nap today (at 2:15) and she was asleep at 2:45 rather then 3 or 4 like it was last week. This seems to have been working well for us for the last two days.

Thank you so much for your help!

blessedwife_mom said...

Grewe Crew...
I had the same problem with early waking from my 5 month old. The day after we started cereal she began waking early in the morning. I had also just moved her to a 4 hour schedule. Now, in retrospect, I realize that I tried too many new things at once, which made it hard to narrow down the true culprit for her early waking. First, we moved back to a 2.5 to 4 hour combo with 5 feedings per day. Then, last week I posted a question about the introdution of solid foods relating to early waking and Emily gave me great advice. (See comments under "Baby Whisperer: Final Thoughts" Oct 8th.) I realized that my LO has a small appetite and was not hungry enough for breastmilk when she ate cereal twice a day. So now she eats cereal once a day. Since then she gone back to sleeping 9 to 10 hours a night like before. I hope that this information helps. By the way, thanks EMILY for your advice!

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Robinson Family!

Plowmanators said...

You are welcome Joanna. 14 months is completely in the normal range for dropping that nap.

Salina said...

We dropped the morning nap after a few weeks of fighting the pm nap. So now James is going down fine at 12:30, right after lunch, but the trouble is after 2 weeks, he's still only staying asleep about an hour and half. He wakes up crying, and I know is still tired, but the times I've let him cry, he never goes back to sleep. This is tough, as he's whiny after his nap and very clingy all afternoon esp. while I'm trying to cook supper. It's been rough. So when will he start sleeping longer? He's also waking a little early in the morning, even though I'm putting him to bed at his usual 7:30 bedtime. Is this normal?

Plowmanators said...

Grewe Crew, I wouldn't worry about the 4 hour schedule until she is ready. Kaitlyn didn't go to 4 hours until close to 7 months old. You can drop the nap between the 4ish feeding and 7ish feeding (the 4th nap) if she needs less sleep in the day.

There is a growth spurt at 4 months, so she just might need to eat every 3 hours for now. Many people don't start solids until 6 months or later and can move to a 4 hour schedule before then, so I wouldn't necessarily equate it with lack of solids unless you don't have enough breastmilk.

Plowmanators said...

You are welcome Jennifer!

Plowmanators said...

LoveMommyhood, it is possible that is she is just going through some sort of phase. Maybe she is excited about words she is understanding, new skills she is developing, new things she is seeing, etc. I would stick to 2 naps until she is closer to 14 months.

Plowmanators said...

Heather, she will get it. See this post:

Weaning: Breast, Bottle, and Formula: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/weaning-breast-bottle-and-formula.html

I shoot for 24 ounces of milk a day. Some do as little as 16 ounces.

Plowmanators said...

Burkes, you might need to move bedtime a little earlier for a bit, but after a week to a month she should be able to have her normal schedule. You also might be able to keep things the same.

Plowmanators said...

mommytoisabella, congrats on the improvement! Those K9s are the worst.

Plowmanators said...

blessedwifemom, good tips. It is always good to only change one thing at a time.

Plowmanators said...

Salina,

One thing I would say is to have an earlier bedtime. When they drop this morning nap, they aren't really ready to have less sleep overall, they just need to rearrange it.

I don't know how long it normally takes to have a longer nap. For Brayden, after a week he was taking a long nap. I would mess around with the time you are starting the nap. He might need to go down even earlier. Perhaps later.

mommytoisabella said...

I think I spoke too soon on things getting better. Since Thursday she just has not fallen asleep for her 2nd nap. Here is her current schedule:

9:45 down (falling asleep between 10 and 10:30) If I put her down at 10 she has not been falling asleep at all.

11:00 up

2:15 down (she was falling asleep at 2:45)
4:30 up

LoveMommyhood said...

Plowmanators - Thank you for your suggestion. Family and Friends have been telling me to drop the morning nap and quit worrying about being on a schedule, that the baby will sleep when she is tired, but I'm still inclined to believe she needs the 2 naps because she is only 10 months old. Furthermore, everyday I can see her show all of the signs of being tired and still not be able to fall asleep when I put her down. So obviously she wont sleep when she is tired and I think its my job to help her learn this skill. In fact babies probably need schedules even more so when they are struggling to get enough sleep. Even though she is not sleeping in the afternoon I will keep trying. Thank you.

Abby's Mom said...

Lovemommyhood- I am going through the exact same thing right now with my 10 month old. Today her morning nap was only 1 hour total. She woke after 30 min, played and whined on and off for 20 min and then went back to sleep for another 30 min. I put her down for her afternoon nap at the usual time and she just whined/played on and off for an entire hour. I got her up and she was perfectly happy for the rest of the day and no more cranky than usual. My plan is to keep trying with the 2 naps for a few weeks. If she continues to nap poorly or not nap in the afternoon I will try going to one nap and see what happens even though it is earlier than the book suggests. All babies are different and some might be ready much earlier than others. I know several people who had babies that went down to one nap a day before they were 12 months and did fine. I also know several people who had babies that took two naps a day until 24 months. Go with your gut. Mommy knows best most of the time! The book is a good guide but you know your child better than anyone else.

LoveMommyhood said...

Aby's Mom- Thanks for the suggestion. I have been struggling for weeks...about a month and a half and my daughter is so cranky and its really hard on me too. I think I will try to stick to the 2 naps until a week after the time change, which will give her about 2 more weeks. I already have her on the new time change and have for about a week now so I want to rule that out too. But after that I think I will try dropping the 2nd nap and see if it works for her. I feel like I have to try something soon because its been very difficult on us both. Thanks for the encouragement. As a new mom I'm not confident in my mothering abilities so I tend to try to just stick by the book but it was nice to hear that you know some moms who have went to 1 nap early and did fine. It encourages me to try something different since I have not found success with the 2 naps yet at her age. I will let everyone know what happens. Please let me know if you drop the 2nd nap and it is successful for you.

Abby's Mom said...

Lovemommyhood- I feel your pain. Abby is still not sleeping in the afternoon. I have tried to keep her up longer, shorter, etc. She will just not go to sleep. In the morning she is out in 10 minutes though. In the afternoon she just whines and cries on and off for an hour. Yesterday I didn't even try to give her a second nap and she did fine. However, she was VERY restless last night and had a hard time getting into a deep sleep. Feel free to e-mail me and we can whine to each other without everyone else having to read about it. :) amanda_bryand@yahoo.com

ckim said...

HI there.
I wondered if you could help. My son is 11 months old and obviously still needs a morning nap. but 9 times out of 10 when i put him down he just plays in his crib or stands and talks/babbles, whines for the whole two hours...I will go in once or twice and tell him to go to sleep, lay him back down, etc. but he just won't...then the two hours pass and I get him to eat and he is So cranky that I have to put him down again soon after getting up (like an hour after) when he isn't actually supposed to go down for his afternoon nap until 3 hours after he gets up. Do you have any suggestions of what might be going on with him or what i can do?
Let me add that his morning wake time is usually from 6:30-8:15, could this be too long?

Plowmanators said...

ckim,

His waketime is either too long or too short. If it was previously okay, then he most likely needs a longer waketime. Sometimes even just 5 minutes can do the trick. If you changed waketime shortly before he started staying awake, he might need a shorter waketime. It is possible he is getting a second wind before going down. Most 11 month olds can do at least two hours, but there are some who need shorter than that.

The Nilsen's Journey said...

I just came across your site as a friend had your blog linked to hers. I wanted to say thank you for this post & your advice! I've been struggling as our son was doing strange things lately with his naps, but my gut said he wasn't ready to drop them. We had tried a few things the past weeks & concluded to keep him awake a bit more between naps. Your post confirmed that for us today, bless you!! Where do you find all your knowledge (aside from experience) - is there a book you recommend?

Plowmanators said...

Nilsen's,

Thanks! I am glad to help.

Really, it is basically experience. I have read the Babywise books often. I recently read the Baby Whisperer, which is good. I have also read What to Expect... books. But mostly experience :)

Kim said...

Thank you so much for all your input. I know this must be time-consuming for you to respond to so many comments.

My son is almost 15 months old and in that rough transition where he's not sleeping well for either nap, although usually the morning nap is the more consistent of the 2. I've been considering trying to push him to just an early afternoon nap, but there's a couple of questions I have. We are a 1 car family, which means I can't go anywhere in the mornings to occupy him while he's tired. And I'm afraid he's just going to walking around all morning in a dazed state. Should I still try it or should I try what you did with Kaitlyn? (shorter morning nap) Also, I keep a consistent bed-time for him (7:30) unless he naps really poorly, then I put him down at 7. But he wakes up anytime between 6 AM - 7 AM. And when he wakes at 6, even though I don't get him until 6:30, he gets especially tired and seems to need that morning nap. So should I just try to gradually switch him to 1 nap, but still try to give him 2 on days he seems to need it? I don't want to be too inconsistent.
thanks so much!

Plowmanators said...

Kim,

He is definitely old enough to drop his morning nap if he needs it. Here is what I would do:

1- try adjusting nap times and possibly waketimes as you mentioned I did with Kaitlyn. That way you are first sure he needs to drop the nap and not shorten it.

2-If after you have done this for a week or so you find that he still isn't napping well, try dropping the morning nap. You can for sure have a nap some days and not others (see Dropping a Nap: A Weaning Process: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/dropping-nap-weaning-process.html).

On days you find you need to distract him, if possible take him for a walk or try to think of something you can do to distract him. I haven't ever left for either child for the dropping of the nap, so you can definitely do it.

Be sure to also see the blog label "dropping naps" if you haven't done so yet.

Carley said...

Wow! What a wealth of information! I happened upon your blog while doing a Google search for "dropping the morning nap." My daughter is 16 months old and has always been a solid 2-a-day napper. For the past few days she has been on a total nap strike. I don't know if she's really ready to give up her morning nap, as she gets irritable when she doesn't have it (and then won't nap in the afternoon either), so I'm going to try your suggestions about lengthening the wake time between when she wakes up and when I put her down for the first nap, and also lengthening the wake time between the first and second naps. You're a lifesaver! It's such a relief to know that someone else has dealt with this successfully.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks Carley! Good luck!

sevans said...

Thanks for the post. Very helpful. I have a question though. My daughter is 19 1/2 months and we are trying to drop the morning nap. I've tried it the last several days and our issue is that she only sleeps for 1 to 1 hour and 15 minutes at the most. I tried bumping her nap time up to 12 but still only sleeps a short time. ANy suggestions? Thank you!

Emily said...

My DD is 13 months old. For the past 2 weeks she hasn't been taking her 2nd nap well. Either she takes it or completely doesn't. I've tried changing the time I lay her down, later and earlier and that doesn't seem to help.

She wakes up around 7:45AM then sleeps from 10:15-12:15/12:30. She still falls right asleep for her morning nap so I don't think she's ready to push that one back.

I know she's tired in the afternoon b/c she does all her sleepy cues; rubbing eyes, a little fussy and clumsy, yet she won't fall asleep.

Do you have any advice for what I should do?

Thank you!

Plowmanators said...

Sevans, she might not be ready for it. A short nap like that usually indicates over tiredness. I might give it a week and if she is still not napping well, try a short morning nap for now.

Plowmanators said...

Emily, I would do as I discussed in this post. I would look into other reasons. If I were sure there was no other reason, I would slowly lengthen the time between the two naps--just by 5 minutes at a time--until I found the right interval.

You could also try a weaning process. Good luck!

Jenn said...

My son is 12 1/2 months old and I've run into some trouble with his napping as well. He used to take two 1 1/2-2 hour naps. Right before he turned 1, he started sleeping for 2 1/2 to 3 hours at a time for his first nap, and wouldn't sleep for his second nap most days. I've got him sleeping for his second nap again now, but on the days he takes both naps and sleeps 2 1/2-3 hours for both, he is waking in the middle of the night! I thought it was a fluke, but now I'm sure of the correlation. With just one nap, he sleeps 12 hours all night. With two, he wakes after 8-9 hours of nighttime sleep. Does this mean he's ready for only 1 nap? He seems so tired in the mornings that I put him back to bed after only 2 hours of wake time. Have you heard of people slowly pushing the morning nap back until it falls after lunch? He makes it through the day, although a bit tired, if he misses his 2nd nap usually. He's got me totally confused!

HRich said...

Hi- My son is 15 months and we dropped his morning nap about 2 weeks ago. the first week was going really well and then he got sick with ans ear infec. and he started cutting molars. His naps continued going well but he stopped sleeping at night. even after the tooth came through and he got meds he still goes nuts when we put him to bed. he started to throw major fits. He doesn't always seems as tired as he use to be either. This child has ALWAYS slept great without a fuss. he goes down at 7:30 and wakes between 7-7:30. we also had the time change. do you think dropping that nap has messed with his night time sleep? I moved the nap up to 11:30-11:45 and he sleeps about 3 hours. I have tried to continue to put him down by 7:30 so you think that timing sounds right?

LoveMommyhood said...

HRich - My daughter is also 15 months old and recently went through a bought of ear infections. I had to give her medication in the middle of the night for a while and then a really bad cough developed that also contributed to her night wakings. She dropped her morning nap at 10 months so I was not doing anything different with her daytime nap schedule and the time change had not hit yet. However after the night wakings for medication and health problems all of a sudden she developed this huge fear of being put to bed at night. She did fine during her daytime nap. She just would throw major fits of crying when I put her to bed at night. Twice she made herself throw up because of how upset she was and the nasal drainage etc. I had to slowly retrain her to go to bed without crying. The best thing that worked was sticking to my schedule and bedtime routine very closely and slowly extend her periods of crying it out until she realized crying did not get her picked back up. It felt like starting over and was difficult with an older baby but after about 4 nights of rough times she got back into the habbit of going to sleep without crying at night. I also had to be sure her health problems were completly resolved before I could be comfortable with letting her cry it out. She used to fall asleep in 5 minutes but now its taking about 30-45 minutes of her doing this groaning thing and then she is asleep but she is not hysterical or crying and I noticed it took a few minutes less of crying each night. I kept a log to watch for progress. I think the time change has not helped matters but we seem to be working through it. I'm no expert but based on a similiar recent experience I bet it has more to do with the recent night wakings than the nap changes. Of course the time change is hard but I think if you stick with a plan it will eventually work. When I try to change different things randomly because I'm confused what the issue is it just seems to take longer. So I recommend choosing the schedule you want your son to be on and stick with it for a good couple of weeks and see if it gets better. I bet after a few rough nights of crying it will lessen and get back on track. I hope the best for you.

Plowmanators said...

Jenn,

I don't think he is ready to drop the nap yet--but he is close. I would just shorten your morning nap. You can either move the start time of it back or wake him up after a certain amount of time.

Jamie Laslo said...

My daughter just turned 14 months. She wakes up at 7:20 and was napping 9-10:20 and 1-2:40. Three days ago out of the blue she started having trouble going to bed (highly unusual for her. She doesn't cry. She just talks anywhere from one to 1.5 hours! I go in to check on her and she looks very sleepy. She snuggles with me (which is very unusual for her). Today she didn't go down for her morning nap until 10:45. I woke her upat 12. She NEVER slept a wink for her second nap. Just talked for 2 hours. I have been experimenting with her waketime, etc. I might try this for a few more days before trying to drop her morning nap on the weekend. I still feel she is a bit young. My question is...I think she might be cutting her top two teeth. Is it likely that teething could be keeping her from napping completely? She doesn't seem to be in any pain and is happy alone in her crib. She is also sleeping well at night. With her last teeth she slept poorly at night. Would appreciate any insight.

Plowmanators said...

HRich, Consider the points of LoveMommyhood--it is nice to have some similar experience there. However, I think there is a good chance that your son wasn't fully ready to drop the morning nap. He might be really overly tired by the time he goes to bed.

I would first be sure all of the teething and ear infection issues are resolved, then give it a week of observation. If sleep still isn't good at night, I would try going back to two naps. You could even try two naps some days and not others and follow the weaning process idea of dropping naps (as linked in the post). Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Jamie,

Teething can definitely do it. I was going to say it sounds like she is sick or teething or something before you mentioned the teeth. If you give tylenol, I would give some of that about 20 minutes before naptime. If not, you can try some other remedies (see the blog lable "teething" for more). Top and bottom teeth will definitely affect her diffferently.

I wouldn't consider dropping the morning nap until she is done with the teeth coming in. If she is still having trouble several days after they have broken through, you can reevaluate.

Plowmanators said...

It looks like Brayden slept about 11 hours at night with a 3.5 hour nap in the day, giving him 14.5 hours of sleep in a day.

Kaitlyn is almost two. She sleeps 12 hours at night with a 2.5-3 hour nap, giving her 14.5-15 hours of sleep in a day.

I will eventually get to the older ages for polls; I am just working my way up the age ranges :)

TheShepardCrew said...

Jamie -
Except for the age difference, your daughter and mine could be twins in regards to the napping issues. My daughter is almost 10 months. She wakes up at 7:15 and usually naps for about 1.5 hours in the morning and about 2 hours 15 minutes in the afternoon. The past few weeks, she has talked, whined, and played her way through at least one of those naps. She has always been such a FABULOUS sleeper... never needing more than about 10 minutes of wind down time after putting her down to talk herself into getting to sleep.

Like your daughter, I'm thinking my little one is days away from cutting one of her top teeth. It has been over 6 weeks since the second bottom tooth came in, so I'm assuming we're due. She is also learning so much in the way of crawling/standing/walking that I think her brain is really excited about all those new developments. I, too, am getting pressure from a lot of people to drop her to one nap... but I just can't imagine her getting through the day on just one. She's so happy when she has good sleep... but a little tough on poor mom when she doesn't! =)

Anyway, I have resolved to keep trying the two nap schedule for now, especially considering the possibility of other triggers being the cause of her bad naps (e.g. teeting, brain development, etc.).

TheShepardCrew said...

Oops... I do have a question.
My 10 month old daughter wakes at 7:15 am (well... actually 6:45 but plays until I go get her at 7:15). When I put her down for a nap around 9:45 am, she used to fall asleep by 10:00 and then wake up around 11:30. I'd feed her lunch around 12:00. Now, when I put her down around 9:45, 50% of the time, she squeals, plays, talks and whimpers for over an hour, and falls asleep around 10:45 or 11:00. How long should I let her sleep? Do I let her sleep until 12:30 or 1:00? If I do, this usually means another squealing, talking, playing afternoon nap and then a slighter rougher evening with my baby because she hasn't had enough sleep throughout the day. It seems like lately, she's spending A LOT of time in her crib (some of it playing/talking/whining and some of it actually sleeping). At the same time, after working so hard to get her to sleep in the morning, I'm hesitant to wake her up since then she's just crabby until the next nap.

Another question: If she does have a good morning nap (say 1.5 hours), when I put her down for her afternoon nap, is it okay for me to leave her in there for another 1.5 hours, even if she doesn't sleep and starts to cry around the 45 minute mark? (I check on her of course, if the crying sounds like pain or a leg caught in the crib, etc.) I want to continue to follow the premise that "Mom decides when the nap ends", but it feels so strange to have her in there just whining/crying away when I'm pretty sure she isn't going to get herself to sleep. Just hoping I'm doing the right thing.

jencwu said...

My 12.5 month old has never been the best napper, but the last several months he has done well with them for the most part. He normally is up for about 1.5 hours in the morning, then takes a 1.5-2 hour nap, which he sleeps really well for. Then he's up for about 2 hours, and takes a shorter nap--anywhere from 1-2 hours, though he is in his crib for 2 hours. He was doing well with that too until recently. The last few days he has stayed up talking, whining, &/or crying for about 1.5 hours, and then will fall asleep finally close to when he's supposed to get up, and will sleep for about an hour. This seems really early to me to drop the morning nap, but I'm wondering if he is saying he's ready for that? Oh, and I don't think it's teething because it's never been an issue before.

Kelly said...

I just wanted to say how helpful this blog has been for me. I posted a long time ago when my twin girls were just a couple of weeks old and I was dying for them to STTN. Now they are 18, almost 19 months old and are AMAZING sleepers. They still take two naps, 2 hours each and go to bed between 6 and 7 or 7 and 8 (depending on the day but most of our days are very predictable). They wake up by 615 on the dot everyday (which is okay with us as my husband has to leave to go to work by 7, this way he can see them a bit).

I know by having twins it has not been easy, but creating routine and consistency has made things much, much easier! Thank you!!!

(I posted this here because I was just checking to see when Kaityln dropped her morning nap. My girls aren't ready just yet because today are going on 5 hours of day sleep (two naps) to make up for yesterday's (Sunday; church) one nap).

Plowmanators said...

Jencwu,

One thing to be aware of is that molars and the pointy teeth (can't remember the name right now...incicosrs?) are the most painful teeth for children.

Beyond that, there are many kids that have some disrupted sleep around one year old for whatever resaon. I would just wait it out for a bit and try to not stress about it.

Plowmanators said...

Kelly, you are welcome :) Thanks for sharing your happy story. It is always good to hear :)

Brandon & Kelly said...

My daughter is 12 1/2 months. She used to take two 2 hour naps and slept 12 hours at night. She's still sleeping 12 hours at night but waking after 1 1/2 hours from her afternoon nap. I guessed she's starting the weaning process. So I've been trying to have her nap 1 1/2 hours in the morning (keeping her up a bit longer) and put her down at the same time for her afternoon nap. She's now waking at 1 hour, falling back asleep, and waking completely at 1 1/2 hours. She was getting more sleep when she was just waking early from her afternoon nap. Should I keep trying to shorten the morning nap or is it ok that her afternoon nap is shortening?

Morgan Joy said...

I've left comments on a few posts, but never get any responses, so I wonder if I am doing something wrong? Anyway, my daughter is 13.5 months old and has been off and on again with good napping. She has been getting teeth one right after another since like 6 months, so I think that has something to do with it. But I am really frustrated right now with her napping and can't decide if I should just start her on one nap or not. During her "good napping cycles" she would lay down and fall right asleep without any fussing and sleep 1.5 to two hours both in the a.m. and p.m. and then go right to sleep at night and sleep about 10-11 hours. But suddenly one day about 3 weeks ago, she has not been napping well at all. Some days it takes her a LONG time to fall asleep because seh lays in there talking/playing (or practicing her standing / cruising which she just learned). Sometimes she doesn't go to sleep at all. She very rarely will take both naps anymore. I never know come naptime how it is going to go. When things were going well she woke between 6:30 and 7:00, would go down at 10, sleep until 11:30 or 12, go down again around 3 and sleep until 4:30 or 5:00 and then go down for the ngiht around 7:45 or 8:00. I haven't tweaked things too much yet, hoping it was teeth again or the excitement of new skills, but it's been three weeks. As I was reading this post and other nap posts in desperation, I noticed that it seems many kids at her age have a shorter waketime. I used to think that she needed more waketime because she plays in her crib a lot instead of sleep, but now I am wondering if her waketime is too LONG? Any suggestions? Also, a sidenote, today we had something going on in the morning where she didnt' get her nap. I put her down after lunch around 12:40 and she went right to sleep without a peep. It is now 3:00 and she just woke up. (I would have liked her to sleep a bit longer since she missed her a.m. nap.) But that is just one day and she was very cranky this morning. When she misses her nap at church she gets cranky too and then sometimes only sleeps two hours or less lately when we get home. (She used to sleep 3-4 hours on a Sunday afternoon.) Sorry so long. I'm just frustrated. Thanks.

Plowmanators said...

Kelly, Since she was sleeping better the other way, I would go back to it. Another option would be to wake her up 30 minutes early from the morning nap and then put her down 30 minutes early for the afternoon nap.

Plowmanators said...

Morgan Joy, there are some people that I never get notified of their comments. You might be one of them (it looks like it).

It is a common age for sleep problems. Do you have pretoddlerwise? That book offers many ideas on sleep problems for that age. We just moved two days ago and mine is packed away in a box somewhere :).

What I would do is put her down at nap time and try to not stress if she doesn't take the nap you hoped for. After she gets over whatever it is that has her so excited, she will go back to sleeping again :)

Angela said...

My son is only 9 1/2 months old and is struggling with his naps during the day. He's been sleeping through the night since 9 weeks. His last feeding is at 8:30 and he's usually up between 7:30 and 8:00 am. Generally his wake periods are 2-2 1/2 hours and up until the past week, his morning naps were 1 1/2 hours or so and his afternoon naps were 2-2 1/2. Now, I'm struggling to get him to sleep either nap for more than an hour, sometimes less. He isn't hungry when he wakes up, and he's showing signs (yawning, rubbing his eyes, etc) of being tired when I put him down. Is it possible he could go down to just his afternoon nap? He seems young; my older son was about 13-14 months. He's also teething, and we're adjusting to not having his a/c on now that it's fall. I'm going to try your lengthening his wake time suggestion from the post. If that doesn't work after a week, what do I do next? :) I know he should be sleeping longer, but I don't know how to get him to do it. I'm really frustrated. Never had this problem with my older son.

Plowmanators said...

Angela,

I would consider teething being the problem. Also, when you say you are adjusting to not having AC, was that white noise for him? If so, I would try a humidifier or white noise machine to offer him some white noise and see if that helps it.

He is too young for one nap. Hang in there! Many 10 month olds go through this, so it might just be a developmental thing (a bit early :) ).

Angela said...

Thanks. I actually just started planning for him to nap for an hour in the morning and working on a longer wake period before the afternoon nap. But after another week or so, he's pretty much back to normal (and he got another tooth!) :) Thank you for responding and for the encouragement!

brynn eyre said...

I am at a loss of what to do with my 18 month old. He was ready to drop his morning so I decided to just go cold turkey and try to keep him up until 12:30. The first time I tried he slept for 2 hours which I didn't think was too bad. The next day he slept for over 3 hours which was great! But then after that it was all over the place. Sometime he would only sleep for 1 hour 15 min. And after every nap he has been waking up so unhappy, before dropping his morning nap he would usually wake up from both naps so happy. I tried to stick it out for a couple weeks in hopes that it would even out but it has been 3 weeks and he still is all over the place. Yesterday I could not keep him up past 11:30 so I put him down and he slept for 3 hours so that really made me question everything! I don't know if I should choose one thing and stick with it or keep trying different things until something clicks and works. Should I try to keep him up longer than 12:30 to like 1:00. He has been such a good consistent napper that I am dying with having to guess and start over! Thanks for your help.

Plowmanators said...

Brynn,

With Kaitlyn, she just was not ready to go to one nap at 18 months. We did it in November of last year, so she was 19-20 months old. So if he isn't ready, then I would just go back to two for now and try again in a month or two.

Sleep deficits can occur over time. So at first, he was still well rested and able to compensate for the missed nap--he was able to be more flexible. But as time went on, he got more and more tired and unable to cope well with the lost sleep. You can see my in action dropping morning nap post for details on my decision of when to drop it with Kaitlyn. Good luck!

Ajenkstrio said...

Question! (and I hope it doesn't actually take three weeks to answer, but I promise not to wait that long to start tweaking!)

My 20 month old has been reluctant to totally drop to one nap, but I am sure this is why she now wakes up in the night more often, so I am NOT letting her sleep in the morning! However, you suggest that her taking only short naps, even when that is her only one, may be because she is staying up too long.

In this process of dropping the morning nap, what do you do with lunch? I have moved lunch a little earlier than her normal noon-time to get her down for a nap, but what if she is acting tired at 10:30 (or even earlier!)? Would you keep her up for another hour until lunch at 11:30? Would you put her to bed then and hope she doesn't wake up hungry? Would you feed her a snack and have a late lunch whenever she does wake up? I know you have lots of suggestions about trying earlier and later and have read most of your articles about weaning and transitioning but don't see anything about eating in conjunction with figuring out naps. This is the first big transition that has not gone easily for us within a few weeks. Thanks!
debbie

Jennifer said...

Debbie, just a little anecdotal help from me. My daughter is 23 months and we went to one nap at about 18 months. She still acts tired around 10:30 or 11:00 am. However, I know from experience I have to keep her up until 1:00 (used to be 12:30) otherwise she'd only sleep for an hour. I try to give her a snack around 10 am and then we often get out of the house until lunch time around 12 to keep her happy. It's better now, but it was pretty hard to keep her up for a month or two. I hope Valerie will also have some good advice for you.

Ajenkstrio said...

Jennifer, thank you for your help! After only one day of trying to let her nap earlier, we went back to running errands or something until lunch so she could nap around 1 or 1:30. She has begun napping better - 1-1/2 to 2 hours. I am looking forward to hearing more, though, about sleeping all night again! I had thought that the nap transition would help that, but it hasn't. She wakes up at least once nearly every night and has for the last three months - ugh. Today I found the posts about toddler sleep problems and was glad to hear that many other parents have dealt with the same thing. It means we'll all make it through eventually! :) I guess the questions here, to follow up are the following . . . How much sleep do they need at different ages? When she goes to only one nap, and still sleeps the same 11-12 hours at night, is that enough? What else can you do in the night to keep the child from waking the house? What else could help to solve this besides working through the nap transition? I am sure that winter - less active playing time - doesn't help, but I don't know what else to try. We've tried earlier and later bedtimes, letting her cry longer to see if she'll go back to sleep on her own (she doesn't; she just gets really agitated and then bothers the upstairs neighbors and is much harder to calm down to sleep), more or less pajamas/blankets. She has always slept in a dark room, and there isn't much noise at night. I certainly have appreciated all of the help here - from Valerie and other parents!

Plowmanators said...

Debbie,

I would treat dropping the nap as a weaning process. Some days, she might need two. Others, just one.

If she was tired at 10:30, I would put her down for a morning nap--a short one. Maybe 1-1.5 hours. Then I would have lunch and put her down for an afternoon anp around 2 or so depending on when she was tired.

Another option is to take her out of the house so she can be distracted from being tired while her body adjusts to one nap.

I usually give my kids snacks around 10ish when they are down to one nap. That is our one snack of the day because we eat an early dinner.

Plowmanators said...

Debbie,

She should be getting about the same amount of sleep per 24 hours, so if going to one nap dropped daytime sleep, move bedtime up.

Watch for molars that can disrupt nighttime sleep, as well as nightmares.

Plowmanators said...

Also, if you would like, I can post your info as a help a reader out question for more reader input. Let me know.

Ajenkstrio said...

I don't mind. Especially after reading the post and comments about toddler sleep issues, this is a problem for many of us! Do you need more information?

For our part, she now naps most days after lunch for 2 hours. If she wakes up earlier, she will sometimes lie back down. We have had more full nights than interrupted and hope to keep working toward not waking at all in the night. Not perfect, but better! What a transition . . .
debbie

KathyH said...

My 10 month old has not been sleeping for her morning naps over the past week.She is working really hard on walking.Here schedule is:7:00am eat, 9am-11am nap,11am-eat,1-3pm nap, 3pm-eat,5:30 snack,7pm-eat,7:30 bed
Do I need to change her schedule? I.e. more wake time? She seems to struggle most days to make it to 7:30pm.

Plowmanators said...

You could move her bedtime so she is in bed by 7 PM if she can't make it all the way to 7:30, but other than that, I would just wait for her to get over this phase.

Dave and Elaine said...

My daughter turned 13 months on June 27th. Near the time of her 1st bday her naps went CRAZY and have continued to be crazy!

I at first attributed it to a wonder week, then cutting molars and then she had a cold. So I didn't really tweak waketimes because I was pretty sure those were the culprits at the beginning.

But now, she is still having nap issues! She's been crying when laid down (very untypical of her), taking a long time (30 mins or so) to fall asleep and then napping only 45 minutes to at the most 1.5 hours. 2 hour naps have not happened this month at all :(

She's 13 months and she finally gave up her 3rd nap the day she turned 10 months old, so I was/am very hesitant to bring her down to only one nap a day. She's always needed a lot of sleep.

I've thought about waiting for sleepy cues to even lay her down and go from there... but I would love to hear what you (or anyone else reading this) says. THANKS!!

Plowmanators said...

Dave and Elaine, I would try tweaking her waketime. She most likely needs it lengthened some. Try adding 5-10 minutes at a time and see what happens. If she still shows reliable sleep cues, you can definitely go off of that.

Laura said...

My son is 16 months old and for about a week, he has been waking up 1 hour early in the morning. Could this be an indicator of needing to drop the morning nap? His schedule is:
7:00-wake/breakfast
9:30-nap
11:00-wake
12:00-lunch
1:45-nap
3:45-wake
5:30-dinner
6:40-start bedtime routine. in bed between 7 and 7:10.
This past week he has been waking up at 6. He doesn't cry. He's just awake. I've been waiting until close to 7 to go in and get him because I don't want 6 to be the start of our day. He was teething last week, but the painful part of that seems to be over. He has blackout curtains in his room. He does not seem to feel sick. I have tried making bed time later and earlier. This does not seem to help. Last month I started shortening his morning nap because his afternoon nap was suffering a bit. His afternoon nap is fine now.
I realize he is still getting about 10 1/2 - 11 hours of sleep at night. I would just like to keep wake-up time at 7 :)
Even though he is taking both of his naps okay, could he be ready to drop the morning nap?
Thank you very much for your blog and your help!!!!
Laura

Plowmanators said...

Laura, if it were me, I think I would wait a few weeks before any action. He might just be figuring some skill out. Since he is happy and all, I would just let him be and continue to get him up at 7. Early morning waketime is not really a sign of needing to drop to one nap a day. I guess it is possible, but not so common that I would go for it just yet without making sure it isn't just one of those stages.

Robin Urbaska said...

Help! I am a new mom with a beautiful 3.5mo dg. Currently she is on a 3 1/5 hour schedule and is bottlefed. Lately she has not been interested in some of her feedings, waking at 6:00am (she was waking at 7:00am), and is not napping well. All of which she had done beautifully before. She has been STTN since 8 wks. We are slowly dropping her dreamfeed, but I am wondering if she is ready to drop her 4th nap or will the dropping of the last feeding help. It just feels like we are disrupting her sleep at the time. Also she can only last one hour of waketime, sometimes an hour and fifteen min. HELP!!
Help! I am a new mom with a beautiful 3.5mo dg. Currently she is on a 3 1/5 hour schedule and is bottlefed. Lately she has not been interested in some of her feedings, waking at 6:00am (she was waking at 7:00am), and is not napping well. All of which she had done beautifully before. She has been STTN since 8 wks. We are slowly dropping her dreamfeed, but I am wondering if she is ready to drop her 4th nap or will the dropping of the last feeding help. It just feels like we are disrupting her sleep at the time. Also she can only last one hour of waketime, sometimes an hour and fifteen min. HELP!!

Plowmanators said...

Robin,

It might be the 19 week wonder week (see wonder week blog label for more). It might be a need to drop a nap or drop the dreamfeed...Just know that around 19 weeks old, it is a bit crazy for all babies and that is normal. It is usually something to just hunker down and wait to pass.

Sophie said...

i am not sure what is going on anymore with my baby, who is soon about to be 12 months in a week. for the past month or so we have really struggled with both naps. they vary from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. but the afternoon nap rarely goes beyond 45 minutes. he no longer drinks from a bottle (his own choice, he refuses it) and only from a sippy cup, and he usually only drinks one full sippy cup a day. which worries me by itself but my dr. says he'll drink when he wants to drink. so i leave it at that and try not to let worrying get the best of me. this is his schedule:
wake up:7:30, breakfast
1st nap around 10:30 or 11am wakes up around 12, then lunch
2nd naptime 3:30ish, and wakes up around 4:30pm.
bed time 7pm.
he sleeps a good 12 1/2 hours at night, he's a great nighttime sleeper. he used to go right to sleep when i would put him in his crib for naps, but now cries immediately and stands up in his crib, and won't lay himself back down. he's cried through his whole naptime, but now i go get him because i find if i rock him a little before sometimes he'll go to sleep. should i just let him cry it out for naptimes? will he eventually after a few days lay himself down in his crib and sleep? or should i be dropping the morning nap? it just feels too early to be doing that. i did one day skip his morning nap and i put him down at 12pm, but he only slept for 45 minutes. so his naptime lenth didn't change, which made me think i shouldn't drop the nap yet. but his naps are so short, and he is getting so hard to even put down for his naps. i don't know what else to do! help. i am at my wits end. i hope this makes sense. i'm just venting at this point. thanks. sophie buie

Plowmanators said...

Sophie, Did he consistently go down well for his first nap and sleep well with a 3 hour waketime? By consistently, I mean for longer than three weeks?

Three hours is really long for the average baby that age--especially for that first waketime. I would try cutting back to two hours. So put him down at 9:30. You can work up from there in 5-10 minute increments and see if you can hit it right on. That would be the first thing I tried.

It could also be teeth. The way to see that is to give tylenol 20-30 minutes before naptime and see if something changes.

Jen said...

Thank you for all your posts! They have been helpful for us in many stages. It's been wonderful to reference your blog when I just don't know what to do. Thank you!

My daughter is 15 months. 1.5 weeks ago we dropped her morning nap cold turkey. She did great! She is so much happier and sleeping better at night. The only problem is, she is only napping 1.5 hours. When she had two naps, she would nap 1.5 hours for each nap. I had assumed she would nap longer considering it's her only npa now. My question is, do you think she will eventually lengthen this nap? If not, do I need to worry about that missed sleep? She sleeps solid from 8pm to 8am, so counting her nap, she is getting 13.5 hours of sleep a day. Is that enough?

Thanks!
Jennifer

Christopher said...

I wanted to add an update. This weekend we went back to two naps just to see if she wasn't ready. She slept great in the morning, but the afternoon nap was a fight. I really think she is ready for 1 nap, but I just want to be sure she is getting enough sleep.

Regena said...

I have a daughter who is a little over 15 months old. We are having a difficult time trying to figure out her nap schedule. She was taking her morning and afternoon naps w/o any problems until about 3 weeks ago. She would sleep great in the morning (2 hrs) but started not sleeping at all in the afternoon. We tried to drop the am nap all together but she would only sleep about 30 min to 1 hr at the most and that was it. Then we tried to shorten her am nap (b/c she was so tired in the morning). Here is her current schedule.
9pm-9am (sleeps 12 hrs)-this is d/t working full time (so I can spend time w/ her in the evenings) but my husband is a music minister (heavily involved in church that gets us home later several times a weeks).
9am-wake up-breakfast
1130-snack
12-1pm-nap (sleeps heavily and always have to wake her up)
1pm-lunch
3-5pm-nap (doesn't do so great-maybe cat naps but talks, fusses or cries (at times) the rest of the time. We usually leave her up there the full time.
5pm-dinner
8pm-snack
9pm-bedtime.
So, We are worried that we can't figure out what to do. She really isn't sleeping very much at all if she takes a morning nap (regardless of how long or short).
If we keep her up (church days) we feed her lunch and then put her down for 3 hrs (now, she may sleep 1-1 1/2 hrs this nap and talk, cry or fuss). She has 12 of her teeth so I don't think teething is an issue. She still sleeps great at night. Any advice on what to do would be great. Thank you so much.

Plowmanators said...

Jen, yes, she should eventually lengthen the nap at some point, but this can also be a sign that she isn't quite ready for the one nap a day.

Plowmanators said...

Sorry Jen, are you and Christopher the same person?

If so, then yes, she should lengthen out.

She could also need just a short catnap in the meorning and a long nap in the afternoon.

And you might need to tweak what time the nap starts to get a longer nap out of her.

Plowmanators said...

Regena,

What time do you put her down for one nap when you have one? Since you are putting her down at noon and having to wake her from it, I might try letting that be a long nap and see how she does. You would need to do lunch at 11:30 instead of a snack. You might try pushing the nap back by 30 minutes, but not much more--at least initially.

Also, be aware that at that age, if she drops to one nap, she will need an earlier bedtime most likely.

Regena said...

Thank you so much for your advice. As far as when we put her down w/ only one nap we usually:
Wake up at 9am
Lunch at 1230 (which she become pretty fussy b/c she is so tired and usually prevents her from eating a good lunch).
Put her down for nap at 1-1:15pm to 4-4:15. She usually would fall asleep pretty quickly ( w/ a little crying at first) but will wake up anywhere from 30 min to 1 1/2hrs and won't sleep much more during that time).
So if we trying putting her down at 12pm w/ lunch at 1130, should we start waking her up earlier than 9 or is that still ok?
If dropping to this one nap seems to work, how long should I let her sleep and what time do you think she should go to bed at night (it seems like she starts getting sleepy around 8-830)?
I am so sorry for all of the questions. I am just grateful to be able to have someone as a resource to help me figure out what I am doing!! :) Thank you.

The Shrayber Family said...

Hi Val! I have been reading your blog since my son was born, and now he is 22 months old. I followed this post back when he was about 14 months old to start tweaking the morning nap and it all worked great b/c I would tweak every couple of months or so as needed. At around 20 months he started not napping in the afternoon (just like he had done in the past)but the morning nap was already so short and the space between the naps couldn't really be stretched any further without getting into the evening hours, so I dropped the morning nap. I put him down between 11:30 and 12 (He starts yawning around 11, but this is when we eat lunch) and he only sleeps around 1.5 hours, now only 1 hour! This has been going on now for 2 months! I know this is a sign that he is not ready, so I tried bringing back the morning nap, but he just will not sleep twice a day anymore. My gut tells me at 22 months he is ready for only one nap, but this seems like an unusually long transition.I moved his bedtime up from 7:30 to now 6:30pm! Should I just stick with it and wait for him to grow out of this? He has started waking about 30 min early in the morning now (I know this is b/c he is overtired) so I am just nervous how much worse this will get before it gets better! Any suggestions? Also, he has all of his teeth and is not sick.

Plowmanators said...

Regena,

I would stick with your normal waketime in the morning. This early nap would only be temporary.

She should sleep around 3 hours--at least for most kids. Anything shorter than 2 hours will tell you she isn't ready. 3-4 hours is the norm.

She will likely need an earlier bedtime for a while until she can take a long nap. Go by her cues. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Shrayber Family,

I think if it were me, I would try doing his nap at 1 for a week or so and see how it goes. You are right; at his age, he should be able to do one nap. I had to kind of force one nap with Kaitlyn, too, because she was older. Get him out of the house and keep him distracted so you can keep him up and see if his body will adjust. Good luck!

The Shrayber Family said...

Val-

Thank you for your resoponse. I need help - bigtime!! Things have changed for the worse since my last post. He is now fighting his nap (screaming and crying the second I put him in his crib) no matter what time I put him down. He will yawn a bunch during our naptime routine but he still fights it! I have kept a log the last few weeks, and tried different times, even going back to morning naptime. He will scream and cry for an hour or more no matter what time it is. He is also waking up around 5:30am, screaming and unable to settle himself. I have 2 theories. The first is that he is going through some separation axiety. When all of this first started, I would go in after he had cried for about an hour, and he would fall asleep in my arms. I can't transfer him b/c he wakes up, so I would just let him sleep on me. He was still waking early in the morning and naps were not getting better, so I thought maybe the rocking was making it worse. So I have stopped. Now after and hour of screaming (I just can't let him cry longer than this!) I go in and try to comfort him without taking him out of the crib and leave. Doesn't work. So I get him out and he doesn't nap - and the day is sooo long because he is exhausted and cranky. Since I have stopped rocking him, he wakes up even earlier in the morning (last night being the earliest at 3:30am), which leads me to theory 2 - he is just SO tired that he needs to sleep, even it it is on me..? I really don't know what to do! I did notice that he has a molar coming in, but Tylenol and/or oragel does not make a difference. Help!!

The Shrayber Family said...

Val-
It has been almost 2 weeks since my last post which means you are probably about to respond, so I thought I should give you the most up to date info :) I stayed consistent with the CIO when I put him down for his nap at noon. He would cry for an hour then sleep for an hour. After about 4 days of that, the crying subsided when I would put him down, but he would still only sleep one hour. Since he acts tired all morning, I tried putting him down at 11:30. He didn't cry at all and slept 1.5 hours. He has consistently been doing that for about a week now. There was one day he slept 2 hours (I got excited :)) but now he is back to 1.5 hours again. Also, when he wakes, he is crying really hard. Also, for a little over a week he is now waking between 6:30 and 7 which is better than what was happening a few weeks ago but still early for him and again crying hard. He is normally a champ napper, so I know something is still off. This has been going on for sooo long now (over 2 months almost 3) Really ever since I dropped his morning nap but he is 23 months now so I know he is ready for one nap! Even back when I tried 2 naps again about a month ago, he refuses the 2nd one. Do you have any suggestions?
Thanks!

Plowmanators said...

Shrayber Family, I am glad you are seeing improvement.

I would suggest you try an even earlier nap and see how that improves things. Try 11 instead. I have a friend with a 2.5 year old who goes down at noon still. He might be similar in just needing an earlier nap for now. I know it makes it hard--this transition period is hard. I would also suggest an earlier bedtime (but at least 30 minutes) until he can go down for a later nap. Good luck!

Britni said...

Hi, I could use your help, my daughter is 18months old and I think in the process of going to one nap. Up until last week she was on a perfect 2 nap schedule. She would get up around 7:30/8am down for a nap at 10:30am and again around 3:30pm. Starting earlier this week she stopped sleeping for her afternoon nap, I have had this happen before and already shortened her nap to 1hr15min max. She just played for 2 hrs for her afternoon nap. After 3 days of this I thought maybe she was ready to drop the morning nap. She had 2 good nap days, sleeping 11:30-1:30 but then today woke up at 6:22am!!!! this is not normal and definitely has me confused. Of course she needed to go down by 10:15am because she was so tired. So do I shorten her nap and try for 2 naps on a day like today? Should I base her naps on when she wakes in the morning? ahhh, I feel a little lost. Thanks for your help!!!

Plowmanators said...

Britni, yes, on those days, I would go for two naps. Make it a "weaning process" (I have a post on that)

Sophie said...

hi, it's me again. you've helped me so much already...so i'll start with a thank you! so my babe is almost 16 months, starting 2 weeks ago things started to go wacky. waking up at 5:30 am when usually he wakes up at 7-7:45am (bedtime is between 7:15-7:30pm). it lasted for several days, and i only went and got him the first morning he woke early because i thought something might be wrong. which it wasn't. it lasted for a few days and i let him play/cry until regular morning wakeup time. finally i decided maybe it's the sun coming up earlier and covered his windows, and that worked but still was getting up between 6-7am. and then his afternoon naps went out the door and he cried through his whole afternoon nap for 2 days. then i realized maybe it's time to drop a nap??
so i have, it's been a week, and the first two days he slept 2-3 hours, but now he's only sleeping 1 1/2! i was putting him down at noon. so today i put him down at 11:30am and at exactly an 1 1/2 into his nap, he wakes up. i have been letting him cio for 1/2 hour when he wakes up (like i'm doing right now), thinking he'll realize he needs more sleep. but it's not working! he used to take a morning nap for 1 1/2-2 hours, and an afternoon nap for 1 1/2, but now to only get a total of 1 1/2 of sleep? any advice would be great. thanks!!

Plowmanators said...

Sophie,

My best guess would be that he needs to drop his nap some days, but not every day. See the posts on dropping naps being a weaning process.

I agree that it sounds like he needed to drop the morning nap--or at least lesson it. You might also see the post on dropping the morning nap transition time. Sometimes you need to shorten the morning nap to 30-60 minutes before you drop it all together.

Garrett and Denise Stone said...

Hello! My daughter is 13 months and started to show what I thought were signs of readiness for 1 nap. She would occasionally not sleep well for the 2nd nap. I tried yesterday to keep her up for the am nap and she feel asleep in the car at her usual nap time. I woke her up 15 min later when we arrived at our spot and she was totally fine. A little crankier later in the day but put her down at 130 and she slept till 3. Not super long, but Im wondering if she is even ready for 1 nap. Shes had like 4 teeth coming in and one still hasnt poked through. Any tips?

Garrett and Denise Stone said...

Id love to have any tips or advice regarding my last comment Thanks!!

Plowmanators said...

Garret and Denise Stone,

At this point, maybe so. But read the post on "dropping the morning nap transition time" first to be sure she doesn't just need a transition.

Kristin L. said...

Hey Val,

Nathan is 12.5 months currently, and as you know (from all of my other questions : ) ) has had nap problems since he was 4 months old. Things improved a bit at 9 months and currently, he's FINALLY taking an hour morning nap and 2.5 hour afternoon nap. The past two nights, however, he's been waking up in the middle of the night and talked to himself for over an hour!!!!... so it makes me wonder if he's now getting too much sleep during the day. At 12.5 months I don't think he's quite ready to drop his morning nap but was wondering what you thought. He's currently cutting his molars (which has been going on for over about a month now - and it hasn't interrupted night time sleep before - and he also currently has a cold.) Either of those factors could be the culprit for the night waking, but I would think that he would wake up in the middle of the night fussing if it were from pain/discomfort of teething or sickness, not talking to himself for over an hour. Any thoughts? Thank you so much! : )

Mommy2Elias said...

Hi Val,

My son just turned one and for the past few weeks, his schedule has started to change. His wake time has been extended and he takes his morning nap beautifully. His afternoon nap, however, never goes well. He will either cry and fuss until he falls asleep (fuss/cry for about 10 minutes) or just stay awake. I have been a pro at BW since he was born, but I have found myself at a lost. I think he is not quite ready for one nap, but not really needing two naps. Here is his current sleep schedule:
6:30am up
9:30am - 11:00am nap
2:30pm - 4:00pm nap
He never seems tired at 2:30pm. I wait for sleep cues. I've waited until 3:00pm and he has no sleep cues - which is unusual. I don't want to wait to put him down any later than 3:00pm because he messes up nighttime sleep. Any advice?

Luke Neal said...

We have been in the process of dropping our 18 month old to one nap. I guess it's been about a month of alternating between two naps some days and one nap other days. When we have gone with one nap, we have tried it for several days (4-5) to see if we just need to give her body time to adjust. She has been an exhausted fussy mess for the past week (very uncharacteristic), and recently her night time sleep has been affected. She has started waking sometimes around 2 am for a while, and other times waking at 4:30 am for the day. I tell her it's time to go night night, and leave her in there until her normal wake time (6 am), but I'm at my wits end. I am exhausted and she is too. It seems like we have terrible days (fussy, tired) on the days when she takes one nap....an we have terrible nights (waking throughout the night) when she takes two naps. We have also tried cutting the morning nap short, but she still wakes at night. Any suggestions?

Kristin L. said...

Nevermind. He's back to STTN. I think for those couple of days, he was just waking up because of his cold. He was so congested that he couldn't breathe very well, causing him to wake in the middle of the night. He's also back to taking short naps though! : ( I cannot figure things out! His waketime lengths are totally inconsistent. Sometimes he starts to shows signs of tiredness after 2.5 hours and other times he seems tired after less than two hours! Every day is different and some naps are great and other naps (most) they are 45-55 minutes. Oh well, I guess I'll just keep trying to nail it down until he finally stops taking naps all together. (Sigh)

claire said...

DD is 16 months today! She has always been a GREAT sleeper & textbook BW baby. Always fell asleep easily w/ no chatting or crying. Schedule was:

7:15 wake
10 nap
11 wake her
2 nap
4 wake her
7 bedtime

In the last month she has gradually taken longer to fall asleep in the afternoon (3ish instead of 2), so just chats or shakes the crib. In the last two weeks she started doing the same thing in the morning, so I thought we should switch to one nap, but she isn't sleeping any more! I should also note that I tried letting her sleep only 30 min in the morning, but that didn't make her fall asleep any sooner in the afternoon either.

I am putting her down at 12:30 (with no signs of tiredness, fussiness, etc... but slightly more excitement and energy), and she falls asleep right away, but is up at 1:30 talking and shaking the crib (no crying). Sometimes if I leave her she will fall back asleep by 2ish, but sometimes not. So now she is only sleeping 1-1.5hrs a day (less than before!).

Does this mean she isn't ready for one nap? If she IS ready, then how do I get to 2.5/3hrs (as she was sleeping before), and is this just part of the process?

Thank you!!

Kristin L. said...

Ok, sorry to post ANOTHER question! But I need serious help because I am going to go insane trying to figure out Nathan's nap schedule and optimal wake time length. Having a moving target and no baseline to work with is driving me crazy! My question is... can pretoddler's optimal wake time length suddenly drastically shorten? Nathan was up to 2.5 hours of wake time and doing well with naps and now he sometimes shows signs of being tired at only an hour or an hour and a half!??? If he shows tired signs that early during his wake time, should I put him down for a nap that early? Any suggestions you have would be great! : ) Thank you.

Plowmanators said...

Kristin L.,

For naps, he is old enough to just have consistent times for naps. So you could say naptime is at 10 and at 2 each day. Once the child is a year old, I really don't worry about sleep cues and just do nap times.

That is not including, however, when the child is sick or maybe was up late the night before at a Christmas party or something. If he naps at the same times each day, his body will come to expect it.

Plowmanators said...

Mommy2Elias,

My advice for this situation is in this post. It is a hard time for naps. You are exactly right; they aren't ready for one nap but don't quite need two. Shorten the morning nap and/or move the afternoon nap back. Watch for signs of being ready for just one nap, which might come as early as 14 months.

Plowmanators said...

Luke Neal,

That sounds hard. Have you tried an early nap on one nap days? Have you tried different times to see what time is best? And have you tried earlier bedtime?

I think the transition point is really difficult, but you can't do much more than is outlined in this post. She should be ready pretty soon for one nap a day.

Plowmanators said...

Claire, she probably is not ready.

It could be that she needs more exercise in the day than she is getting (I know my kids are cooped up more with the weather right now).

You could also try the 10 AM nap, short, then a 2:30 or 3 afternoon nap.

Garrett and Denise Stone said...

My daughter just turned 19 months and finally made the switch it seemed to 1 nap around 18.5 months. She had always been a good sleeper going to bed at 730-8 and waking between 730-830. The last month she is waking so early, 545-645 some times during the night and taking 1 nap around 1230-1 which is on a good day 2 hours at the most. I put her to bed at 730pm hoping this will all work itself out and those early wake times are not her new morning routine. Any advice? Thanks!!

Naomi said...

My twins are 12.5 months old. They use to take 2 hour morning nap and 2 hour afternoon nap. The morning nap is still the most consistent (1.5 hours). It is the afternoon nap that I am not sure what to do with. They always sleep at least 1 hour, but it can be as long as 3 hours. I am not sure if I should limit the morning nap and that will effect the afternoon nap or if I should just let it all be. They have been sleeping 11 to 12 hours at night and don't ever skip a nap. I just feel like their afternoon nap is so unpredictable.
Wake 7am
Nap 9am
Nap 1pm
Bedtime 7 or 7:30 (depending on the afternoon nap)

Naomi said...

I forgot to mention that I have tried adjusting the afternoon naptime. It seems like if I move it later they wake up earlier, so I am back to the 1pm naptime. If you shorten the morning nap will they eventually learn to take longer naps in the afternoon?

Plowmanators said...

Denise, did this start after you moved to one nap? If so, I would consider going back to two. she might not have been ready for it. If that doesn't work, try moving her bedtime up to 6:30 or 7:00 PM.

brooke said...

My 8 month old daughter was a terrible napper for the first 6 months of her life but is a napping champ now with 2 naps of 1.5-2 hours (every now and then a 1 hr nap slips in but it's rare). My problem is that her waketime is typically about 3 hours before a nap so if I let her take 2 full naps it often pushes back bedtime. I am fine with the later bedtime right now because the latest it really gets is 8pm. I am concerned about this once the time changes next month because I don't want a 9pm bedtime. Do you recommend I start waking her earlier from 1 or both naps? I also posted on the post about dropping 4th feeding because the long naps are making it really difficult to squeeze in and she isn't hungry right when she wakes up. Last time we dropped a feeding about a month before transitioning naps. She seems to be making a lot of these transitions on the younger side. There is no way she is ready to move to 1 nap yet, but I am thinking she will make the transition sooner rather than later. Thank you for providing your blog and advice as such a great resource! I have been reading it since she was really young, just now stumped enough to write.

Plowmanators said...

Naomi,

They might, but honestly if it were me at this point, I would just leave it.

But if you really want a longer afternoon nap, you can definitely try shortening the morning nap and see if that helps.

Rebecca said...

My son recently turned one and for the past two weeks, he seems like he is moving to one nap. For months he has consistently been taking two 1 1/2 hour naps.

About two weeks ago, his morning nap (at 9:30) has become a marathon- sometimes 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Then when I put him down at 1:30 (although sometimes I wait until 2pm now), he either goofs around the entire time or falls asleep right at the end of naptime (which then means he sleeps from 3-4/4:30).

I am worried about dropping a nap too early since he is only 12 1/2 months (and I keep reading that 14 months is the earliest). Should I be instead waking him from his first nap? Or should I just go for it? Thank you so much for any input!

Plowmanators said...

Brooke, I would move her slowly like I have described in the time change posts--I wouldn't move her naps without moving her morning waketime and bedtime the same amount as you moved naps. Good luck!

Plowmanators said...

Rebecca, I would wake him earlier from his first nap--like, start by not letting it go beyond two hours and see how that goes.

Kristin L. said...

Nathan, now 16 months, may be ready to go down to one nap... but my question is, when you do decide to take them down to one nap, how do you know what time to set the one nap? Nathan used to nap at 9:30am and between 1:30 and 2pm. If I go down to one nap, I can't expect him to be awake from 7am to 1:30pm. So do you have any suggestions on what time to start the new, solo PM nap? On the one or two days a week he's taken one nap (as I'm sort of weaning him right now), I put him down at noon... but, I'm not sure if he's fully tired enough for a good long nap at that time, and then if he only sleeps for two hours (or worse yet, less than two hours!) he has such a long stretch to be awake before his 7pm bedtime. Let me know your thoughts on this! : ) Thank you!!! : )

Kristin L. said...

Also, is there an age that you stop waking them up at a specific start time in the morning and let them sleep in? For example, during the two nap weaning process, on days when they are only going to get one nap, would you still wake them up at 7am (or whatever your start time of day is), or would you let them sleep and allow them to naturally wake up on their own?

Maggie said...

Hi. My daughter is 18 months old. She is down to 1 nap a day, from 10-11:30 am. The problem is, she is very cranky in the afternoons and no matter what I do, won't take a second nap. Also, I have tried moving her bedtime up to as early as 5:30 pm, but again, no matter what, will not go to sleep until her usual 7 pm bedtime. Do you think I should keep her up all morning and not lay her down until after lunch? I am afraid because she is yawning and tired at 10 am.

Plowmanators said...

Kristin, my guess would be if he can't make it until around 1, he isn't ready for one nap yet. The one nap typically happens after lunch. Most people do about 1. I do have a friend that did one nap at noon for a long time and had an early lunch. So if you really think that he is ready for one nap, go ahead and try different times noon or later. Take note that his short nap probably means he was too tired when he went down for his nap. But it can sometimes mean he wasn't quite tired enough :)

I always wake up at a certain time in the morning. I will let the child sleep 30 minutes late, but I don't really go beyond that.

Plowmanators said...

Maggie, similar to what I told Kristin, if she can't make to after lunch, she isn't ready for one nap. So if she needs to go down at 10, I would also try for an afternoon nap.

Kristin L. said...

So, I agree that he's probably not ready for one nap yet... but two naps don't seem to be working for us! : ( When he takes a good morning nap (9:30-11ish), then in the afternoon, he either only sleeps for 30 minutes or not at all when I put him down at 2pm. Do you think I should try to shorten his AM nap from 1.5 hours to just 1 hour (from 9:30-10:30)? Or do you have any other suggestions? Uh, this transition time is tricky!

Plowmanators said...

Kristin, it really is a hard transition point.

You can try two naps some days and one other days and see how that works. Some people find doing two days of two naps, one day of one, and so forth works well.

But you can also try shotening the nap. That is definitely another approach. I don't like the weaning of two days/one day just because I like my days all the same.

What I really end up doing is picking whatever gets the most daytime sleep and stick with that and try to not stress about it. Good luck!

Katie said...

Hello!
Thanks so much for your blog!
I recently dropped my daughter's morning nap when she turned a year because she was having such a hard time falling asleep in the afternoon after a long morning nap. I did shorten the morning nap to one hour and that would help but she still seemed ready to drop it. When I finally did drop it she did totally fine, no problems at all and she now takes about a 2-3 hr afternoon nap. She recently got a bad cold and was extra tired so I brought back the morning nap while she was sick and she took both a one hour morning nap and a 2 hour afternoon nap. I noticed before she got sick she started waking up early, around 5:30, 6 and not being able to go back to sleep. She normally wakes between 6:30 and 6:45 with a 7pm bedtime. Once she got sick I thought oh her early wake up was probably her cold starting, but recently, even after her cold she is waking really early again. She has no problems in the morning cranky wise with her nap dropped, she does a great job and then eats lunch and goes down no problem in the afternoon. I can't seem to find anywhere if there is ever a link between a dropped morning nap and too early morning wake up times. I'm concerned I dropped her morning nap too early and that's what's causing her early wake up or if I need to put her to bed earlier around 6:30 instead of a little before 7. I really don't know because she is so happy during the day with no problems and she sleeps so great the rest of the night. The last two mornings she woke up early and I went in to soothe her but it made it worse, crying it out after her seeing me never worked, but this morning she woke up at 5 and I let her cry it out for almost an hour and she finally fell asleep.

Katie said...

Hello!
Thanks so much for your blog!
I recently dropped my daughter's morning nap when she turned a year because she was having such a hard time falling asleep in the afternoon after a long morning nap. I did shorten the morning nap to one hour and that would help but she still seemed ready to drop it. When I finally did drop it she did totally fine, no problems at all and she now takes about a 2-3 hr afternoon nap. She recently got a bad cold and was extra tired so I brought back the morning nap while she was sick and she took both a one hour morning nap and a 2 hour afternoon nap. I noticed before she got sick she started waking up early, around 5:30, 6 and not being able to go back to sleep. She normally wakes between 6:30 and 6:45 with a 7pm bedtime. Once she got sick I thought oh her early wake up was probably her cold starting, but recently, even after her cold she is waking really early again. She has no problems in the morning cranky wise with her nap dropped, she does a great job and then eats lunch and goes down no problem in the afternoon. I can't seem to find anywhere if there is ever a link between a dropped morning nap and too early morning wake up times. I'm concerned I dropped her morning nap too early and that's what's causing her early wake up or if I need to put her to bed earlier around 6:30 instead of a little before 7. I really don't know because she is so happy during the day with no problems and she sleeps so great the rest of the night. The last two mornings she woke up early and I went in to soothe her but it made it worse, crying it out after her seeing me never worked, but this morning she woke up at 5 and I let her cry it out for almost an hour and she finally fell asleep.

Katie said...

Hello!
Thanks so much for your blog!
I recently dropped my daughter's morning nap when she turned a year because she was having such a hard time falling asleep in the afternoon after a long morning nap. I did shorten the morning nap to one hour and that would help but she still seemed ready to drop it. When I finally did drop it she did totally fine, no problems at all and she now takes about a 2-3 hr afternoon nap. She recently got a bad cold and was extra tired so I brought back the morning nap while she was sick and she took both a one hour morning nap and a 2 hour afternoon nap. I noticed before she got sick she started waking up early, around 5:30, 6 and not being able to go back to sleep. She normally wakes between 6:30 and 6:45 with a 7pm bedtime. Once she got sick I thought oh her early wake up was probably her cold starting, but recently, even after her cold she is waking really early again. She has no problems in the morning cranky wise with her nap dropped, she does a great job and then eats lunch and goes down no problem in the afternoon. I can't seem to find anywhere if there is ever a link between a dropped morning nap and too early morning wake up times. I'm concerned I dropped her morning nap too early and that's what's causing her early wake up or if I need to put her to bed earlier around 6:30 instead of a little before 7. I really don't know because she is so happy during the day with no problems and she sleeps so great the rest of the night. The last two mornings she woke up early and I went in to soothe her but it made it worse, crying it out after her seeing me never worked, but this morning she woke up at 5 and I let her cry it out for almost an hour and she finally fell asleep.

Caitlin said...

Hi,

My son wakes up around 7 and was going down at 9 or 9:15 for a nap, and this worked for MONTHS. Then for the several weeks, on and off, and then the past three days in a row, he has taken over an hour to fall asleep. He will be fourteen months soon. In your post you said you put your daughter down later for her first nap- I'm wondering how much later- 15 min.? 45 min.?

My son is still napping his afternoon nap more than well- in fact the past two days have been naps of 2:15, and yesterday even 3 hours long- which for him is very unusual- he was a typical 1:30, twice a day napper.

a patriotic expat and her findings said...

Hi! My 14 month old has recently stopped sleeping in her first nap. It seems that everyone is saying it's time to drop a nap when they sleep well in the morning but not in the afternoon.

She has been sick for 2 months, could be teething, and is learning to walk so WHO KNOWS what the issue is. I have a 3 week old so needless to say I'm not ready for her to drop the nap if I don't have to. If she misses the morning nap she is fussy and irritable and highly annoying (ie. screaming, being frustrated, slapping).

She was never like that until two months ago when she got sick and it has been one viral infection, cold, stuffy nose after the next for almost 2 months now and my previously sweet and calm baby has turned into toddlerzilla!

Should I (a) let her fuss and CIO for a few more days and see if it passes (b) move her Waketime back 15 minutes or so or?

Thanks for any wisdom!

Kristin L. said...

Yes, more nap questions from me! : ( First off, I'm wondering how long a nap should be for an 18 month old on a one nap day? Nathan seems to do pretty well in the morning (not cranky through the morning and through lunch time) but sometimes he gets a little hyper after lunch (which I fear might be overtiredness) and then once he's down for a nap only sleeps for about an hour and a half. To me, that doesn't seem like enough of a nap for only having ONE nap, plus it makes the stretch from 2pm to bedtime (7pm) too long. What are your thoughts? Thank you for all of your help and all of your patience with me and my questions regarding my son's napping issues! : )

Plowmanators said...

Katie, Caitlin, and a patriotic expat and her findings, I wasn't notified of your comments! Sorry! if you still have questions, please let me know.

Plowmanators said...

Kristin L.,

The one nap a day shoudl be anywhere from 2-4 hours. I would agree that he needs to sleep longer. I would try moving the nap earlier--though you seem to be doing it pretty early already.

Honestly if it were me (and it was with my girls), I would do a short morning nap of about an hour and then an afternoon nap. It isn't perfect, but to me, it is better than one too-short nap in the middle of the day. I do that until the child can take one nap that is long enough.

Hannah said...

I need some advice about my son's sleeping. He is 11 months old; his birthday is on July 15th. The last three weeks or so, this last week being the worst, his napping has been different every day. Some days he won't go to sleep for his morning nap, some days it's his afternoon nap. He cries before all his naps and before bedtime. This last week he's cried for almost an hour before finally falling asleep. I am at a loss for what to do. He has always been a great sleeper; we've been doing BW since he was born. He hardly ever cried before naps and bedtime until recently. He did just learn to crawl, but that doesn't seem to be the problem when i go in to calm him down. The average total of day sleep is 2.25 hours, which is definitely not enough. If I can get him to fall asleep right at bedtime, then he will sleep for 12 hours, but like I said, lately it's only been 10 1/2 to 11 hours at night after crying. Do you think he is fatigued and his body just can't quite catch up?? I started a nap log again trying to figure out his optimal waketime, but I am struggling to figure it out since he cries for different time periods almost every time. Anyways, thanks ahead of time for your advice, I am feeling so badly for him and don't know what to do to help him :(
P.S. I have read through a lot of your blogs trying to find an answer before bugging you, but i couldn't quite find what I was looking for!

Rebecca said...

Question. My 17.5 month old son went down to one nap a few weeks ago. He just started to refuse the morning nap every day so we went to one. He has been doing great with it. Still sleeping 12 hours a night and only rarely seems cranky/tired (and that's at the end of the day). However. Before we transitioned, he was taking two 1 1/2 hour naps. Now his afternoon nap is all over the place. One day it was 3 hours, a few days it's been 2 hours, but most days it's only about 1 hour - 1.5 hours.

So, my question is if you have any advice on how to lengthen this nap and make it more consistent? He usually sleeps 7:30pm-7:30am and then naps at 1pm. I'm scared to move his nap earlier in case it stays short and then has way too long awake time before bed.

Thanks!

Caroline said...

I am beyond desperate. I have read over this blog and find it very helpful but find I am in a unique position.
My son is 18 months. He has NEVER been a great napper. Since he was born if I got 45/1 hour out of him it was a success nap.
He used to be by the clock on awake times. But over the last 5 weeks he quit wanting to take a morning or afternoon nap. Or let me rephrase. He would only sleep 15/20 minutes for either.
So we have been trying to work on one nap this week. The max he will sleep is 20 minutes. He also wakes up screaming and always has from a nap. So there is no read a book or play in your crib. But I just let him scream for at least 30/45 minutes because I have got to have some time to myself.
Currently here is our schedule:
6:30 wake time
Nap (I've tried 11/11:30/12:00/12:30/12:45) same result with all times
6:30 bedtime
Any suggestions? Thank you for your help.

Caroline said...

I wrote the last post on here so know that it takes at least a few weeks to get a response. Thought I would add a few more things I've observed since the last time I wrote.

He is going through separation anxiety like we have never dealt with before. We've even read a lot about 18 month sleep regression and he is by the books on things it says.

Lastly, I know he still needs the sleep because once he does sleep 10/15 minutes and an hour or so later we run errands he is out in the car within a matter of minutes because he's still exhausted. So I know he still needs to sleep.

Any suggestions you may have will be so helpful! I'm truly losing my mind. Our mornings are sweet together. But by 3 in the afternoon he's a beast and i'm at my wits end.

Thank you again.

Caroline

861bcdee-081f-11e2-acc7-000bcdca4d7a said...

Please help! My 12 month old takes two naps typically 1.5 hrs each. Sometimes his morning nap is 2 hrs and his afternoon nap 1hr. Lately he has started to play and fuss around in his crib for up to an hour before he finally cries himself to sleep for his afternoon nap. His morning nap has been very consistent. I can't figure out what is going on with his afternoon nap. I've tried playing with waketimes and nothing seems to make a difference. He's been on 2 hr waketimes. He is too young to be transitioning to 1 nap. Should I shorten his morning nap? Any insight would be appreciated!

Laur Laur and Trev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laur Laur and Trev said...

Hi there!

My son is 15.5 months old and we dropped his morning nap three days ago. He sleeps from 7:30-6:30 on average at night. My question for you: is there an adjustment period to moving from 2 to 1 naps per day? I am hoping there is because my son is currently napping only 45 mins which is definitely NOT long enough for him or me! I put him down right after lunch at noon. Should I move the nap up a bit? Any help would be appreciated!!

Lauren

Hannah said...

My son is 15 months old and has been non-stop teething for the last 1 1/2 months, which has made napping a disaster. Sometimes he will only sleep for 45 minutes in a day! I feel like we are totally not on a schedule and it is driving me crazy! He screams every time we lay him down and cross our fingers, hoping he'll fall asleep. If he cries for longer than 20 minutes, we usually get him up and lay him down at a later time. I feel that he is still in need of two naps, but with all the teething going on and 12-13 hours of sleep at night (he ends up going to bed early because of bad sleep during the day) we are only at one nap, which ends up being, at the most, 1.25 hours. NOT long enough. I have no idea what to do because he never used to scream before naps! I am thinking maybe I need to make nighttime sleep shorter? Or maybe he is just figuring out that if he screams long enough, I will get him up? Or maybe he needs more physical activity? He's not walking yet, but almost. Anyways, my husband and I are perplexed; any advice would be so appreciated!!!

Plowmanators said...

Hannah,

First, I would figure out the why of him having a hard time with naps. I would give him Tylenol before the nap and see how he does. If he doesn't sleep well, I would guess the reason is not related to teeth pain. I have to wonder if it is since he sleeps well at night. Look into ear infection too.

If it is teething pain, I would try to help eliminate the pain.

If it is not teething, you want to figure what it is and work on that.

Plowmanators said...

Lauren, there is an adjustment period, but 45inutes is a little short. I would try moving the nap up.

Plowmanators said...

Yes I would shorten the am nap and see of that fixes it.

Plowmanators said...

Caroline, how does he sleep at night? Him falling asleep in the car definitely shows he needs more sleep. The question is why isn't he sleeping well in his crib? Does he need te temp changed? Blackout curtains? White noise?

Hannah said...

Thank you for getting back so quickly! We are using tylenol, and my dr. said that he has the very, very beginnings of what could turn into an ear infection, but only because of extra congestion (which led to fluid in the ear) from teething. But I'm not supposed to get him the antibiotics unless he gets a fever. It's just so weird. If I can actually get him to fall asleep for a morning nap, he will not fall asleep in the afternoon, no matter how many times and ways I try. And then he ends up being up for 8 hours before bed, so as you can imagine, we have a meltdown around dinner. I guess we will just try to make it through the teething and hopefully things will look up from there! Oh, I am also going to make sure he isn't sleeping more than 12 hours at night. Maybe that will make a difference. Thanks again for the help! This blog has been a lifesaver for me.

The Russells said...

Hi there!
I am a regular follower of Babywise and your blog and I am at the breaking point with my 15 month old son. Two seeks ago we began the transition from 2 to 1 nap. He has NEVER been a sleeper and for the lst month, he refused to take the afternoon nap even after trying to move naptime up, shorten morning nap, move naptime back, etc...My husband and I decided it might be time to give the one nap a try. He has done beautifully, except for one MAJOR problem.
He either cannot or will not sleep with a poopy diaper. It seems that just about every other day, he is pooping an hour to an hour and a half into his one nap. Then he screams and cries the entire rest of the time. I have even tried to sneak in, change him quietly, and lay him back down. Then the screamfest increases in volume! Mind you, I have always been a CIO mom. I will lock myself in my bedroom on the other side of the house, so I do not have to be tempted to go in there. However, now that we are only doing one nap...it is a major problem. HE is cranky and tired and an absolute mess the rest of the day. I have tried putting him down later in the afternoon for a short catnap! NO success...just a whole lot of crying (for up to an hour), which just makes him even more tired! I have included his schedule below. I am truly at my wits ed and crying. Please help!

Waketime (between 7-7:30)
Breakfast
Pack-n-Play time
Walk dogs
Small snack (juice and some o's)
playtime or errands with mom
lunch (11:15)
nap (11:45-3:00) - rarely make it there without a lot of tears and an early wakeup)
Snack at 3:00
playtime or errands
Pack n play and movie (5:30-6:00) while I make dinner
Dinner (6 or 6:15)
walk dogs
bedtime (between 7 and 7:30- depends on nap)


HELP!!! I feel like I have done everything right and I don't know what else to do.

How do people deal with this poop situation?

Plowmanators said...

Some people find success with changing what is eaten when. Certain foods cause bowel movements so long after eating. I haven't looked into it so I don't k ow what.

Caroline said...

I wanted to respond to the questions that Plowmanators asked.
My son sleeps 12 hours at night. He does have a noise machine and black out curtains in his room.
Over the last month the only way I have gotten him to nap is to actually lay down with him. When I do that he sleeps a good hour sometimes longer.
I'm wondering if it's just separation anxiety. Have you ever heard of the two linked?

Stephanie said...

I was wondering if it's possible that waking earlier in the morning could be a sign of needing naps shortened? My daughter is 16 months. She's always slept until about 8 am. She currently takes 2 naps, first one being about 1.5-2 hrs and the second being 2.5-3 hours. She definitely needs the morning nap, I believe. She does okay not getting it on Sundays because of church, and if she slept until 8am, she would probably do okay if we were out. But just being home, she needs the nap. She falls asleep right away for both of them. But for the past 4 days, she has been waking between 5:30-6 every morning. She's not full out screaming. It's kind of an off and on cry. I'd really like to let her go and see if she'd fall back to sleep but our current house does not handle sound very well. We all sleep with fans, and even with doors closed, we can all hear her perfectly, which means my 5 yr old will also be awake at that time if I let her cry. If i go in and rock her, she will fall back asleep. She will even let me lay her down (awake) and allow me to get back in bed and start to fall asleep, but she'll start crying again. And I can repeat the process...go in and rock her and have her fall asleep. I just can't sleep sitting up and I find her rocker very uncomfortable, so I always try to lay her back down, which she'll be quiet for a few minutes and then start up again. If I bring her downstairs, she'll sit on the couch and watch Baby Einstein and sick her thumb. I know she's tired. She's also not a cuddler. She won't lay with me or anything. She'll let me rock her, but that's it. So, is it possible I may need to cut back the length of her naps? It seems strange to me because she sleeps so well for her naps, and she's clearly tired for them. Any suggestions?

Amber Wheeler Spatola said...

Hello. My daughter is currently 18 mos old (as of 2 days) and is still taking 2 naps a day. She actually still sleeps 2hrs in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. My son NEVER did that. I guess i'm just wondering, should i try to make one of her naps shorter or just let her go like this until she shows me she's ready for a change? My son dropped his morning nap at 18 mos but he wasn't a sleeper like she is.

Lovett's Third Grade said...

Hi!

My LO is 13 months old and we have done Babywise since almost the beginning. I have been very protective about her nap and sleep times, wind down routines, black out curtains, sound machine, etc. and it has made for a happy healthy baby! However, she has never been the longest napper (longest naps are 1.5 hours) and each transition has taken longer than the "average" babywise baby (atleast from what i read). That being said, right around her 1 year birthday, she started being very inconsistent in her naps, sometimes taking one but not the other, taking very short ones- i waited it out for two weeks b/c i thought it was surely too early to drop the am nap, but then decided to go for it after two weeks of missed/weird naps. She has done great with the transition. She is never grumpy, makes it till lunch time, doesn't fall asleep in the car, etc and i put her down around 12 or 12:30... so i think that was the right move. My only complaint/question is that after two weeks of this new schedule, she is still only napping 1 hour, maybe 1.5 hours for that ONLY nap... she wakes up crying (making me think she's still sleepy?) and i let her stay in there till 2 hours is up. She is happy after i get her up and eats a snack and stays pretty happy till bedtime (about 6:15... sleeps till 6:30am) I am so confused! I know there is a transition time, but does anyone have any experience with either a child that doesn't need a lot of daytime sleep or is there hope that her naps will stretch longer in the afternoon? I don't think she's overtired going down for that nap b/c she goes to sleep easily and with no crying... she just won't stay asleep for long. I can't really complain b/c she's not fussy, it just seems like SO little daytime sleep. I am 30 weeks pregnant with baby #2 and desperate for some rest time myself- and an hour is hardly time to put the lunch dishes away and lay down for a few minutes! If anybody else has an experience like this, I would love some encouragement or any ideas on how to help her nap longer in the afternoon! THANKS!

Roxanne Gauzer said...

Hello, I have a 15 month old that has never been a good napper. I’m a stay at home mom and have tried everything! He has a quiet house, no noise ever. He has a humidifier and small fan that I keep on when he naps. He has always slept so good at night since he was 7 weeks old 11 hours every night without ever waking up.
His naps have never been great, never! It makes me sad I have tried everything except talk to you I’m so happy I found you!! (His schedule at 2 naps below.)

7:00 Wake
8:00 BF
10:00 Nap (I tried 9 woke early, tried 9:30 would lay in bed for 30 min and wake up after 45 min crying.)
11:00 or 11:30 Wake
12:30-1 Lunch
3:00 nap (I tried 2:00 woke early, tried 2:30 would not nap or woke up early and did the CIO for 1 hour I tried to comfort him by going in and rubbing his back for 1 min and telling him night, night. I had to finally get him up he wasn’t having it anymore.)
4:00 or 4:30 Wake
5:30-6:00 Dinner
7:00 Bath
8:00 Bed

It usually takes him 15 min to fall asleep with no crying when going down.

Lately his been off. One day he didn’t take his morning nap. He sleeps for an only a hour and some days only 45 min. Its just has been getting worse.

So I tried switching to one nap as of yesterday.

7:00 Wake
8:00 BF
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Nap (only 1 hour of sleep and then crying out I let him CIO for 35 min and telling him night, night did not work just got worse.)
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Bath
8:00 Bed

So I tried the next day

7:00 Wake
8:00 BF
12:00 Lunch
12:30 Nap (He slept till 2 laid in bed rolling around till 3:18 and then cried out to me.)
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Bath
8:00 Bed

What am I doing worn can you help me! I feel like I have tried everything and have read every blog. Maybe I’m missing something and just do realize it. Sorry to bother you. :(

Roxanne Gauzer said...

Hello, I have a 15 month old that has never been a good napper. I’m a stay at home mom and have tried everything! He has a quiet house, no noise ever. He has a humidifier and small fan that I keep on when he naps. He has always slept so good at night since he was 7 weeks old 11 hours every night without ever waking up.
His naps have never been great, never! It makes me sad I have tried everything except talk to you I’m so happy I found you!! (His schedule at 2 naps below.)

7:00 Wake
8:00 BF
10:00 Nap (I tried 9 woke early, tried 9:30 would lay in bed for 30 min and wake up after 45 min crying.)
11:00 or 11:30 Wake
12:30-1 Lunch
3:00 nap (I tried 2:00 woke early, tried 2:30 would not nap or woke up early and did the CIO for 1 hour I tried to comfort him by going in and rubbing his back for 1 min and telling him night, night. I had to finally get him up he wasn’t having it anymore.)
4:00 or 4:30 Wake
5:30-6:00 Dinner
7:00 Bath
8:00 Bed

It usually takes him 15 min to fall asleep with no crying when going down.

Lately his been off. One day he didn’t take his morning nap. He sleeps for an only a hour and some days only 45 min. Its just has been getting worse.

So I tried switching to one nap as of yesterday.

7:00 Wake
8:00 BF
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Nap (only 1 hour of sleep and then crying out I let him CIO for 35 min and telling him night, night did not work just got worse.)
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Bath
8:00 Bed

So I tried the next day

7:00 Wake
8:00 BF
12:00 Lunch
12:30 Nap (He slept till 2 laid in bed rolling around till 3:18 and then cried out to me.)
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Bath
8:00 Bed

What am I doing worn can you help me! I feel like I have tried everything and have read every blog. Maybe I’m missing something and just do realize it. Sorry to bother you. :(

Roxanne Gauzer said...

[Chronicles of a Babywise Mom] New comment on Dropping the Morning Nap (from 2 to 1 naps): Trans....
R
Roxanne Gauzer
to me
3 days agoDetails
Roxanne Gauzer has left a new comment on the post "Dropping the Morning Nap (from 2 to 1 naps): Trans...":

Hello, I have a 15 month old that has never been a good napper. I’m a stay at home mom and have tried everything! He has a quiet house, no noise ever. He has a humidifier and small fan that I keep on when he naps. He has always slept so good at night since he was 7 weeks old 11 hours every night without ever waking up.
His naps have never been great, never! It makes me sad I have tried everything except talk to you I’m so happy I found you!! (His schedule at 2 naps below.)

7:00 Wake
8:00 BF
10:00 Nap (I tried 9 woke early, tried 9:30 would lay in bed for 30 min and wake up after 45 min crying.)
11:00 or 11:30 Wake
12:30-1 Lunch
3:00 nap (I tried 2:00 woke early, tried 2:30 would not nap or woke up early and did the CIO for 1 hour I tried to comfort him by going in and rubbing his back for 1 min and telling him night, night. I had to finally get him up he wasn’t having it anymore.)
4:00 or 4:30 Wake
5:30-6:00 Dinner
7:00 Bath
8:00 Bed

It usually takes him 15 min to fall asleep with no crying when going down.

Lately his been off. One day he didn’t take his morning nap. He sleeps for an only a hour and some days only 45 min. Its just has been getting worse.

So I tried switching to one nap as of yesterday.

7:00 Wake
8:00 BF
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Nap (only 1 hour of sleep and then crying out I let him CIO for 35 min and telling him night, night did not work just got worse.)
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Bath
8:00 Bed

So I tried the next day

7:00 Wake
8:00 BF
12:00 Lunch
12:30 Nap (He slept till 2 laid in bed rolling around till 3:18 and then cried out to me.)
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Bath
8:00 Bed

What am I doing worn can you help me! I feel like I have tried everything and have read every blog. Maybe I’m missing something and just do realize it. Sorry to bother you. :(

Rachel Harris said...

Hello, 14 mo old my daughter seemed to be ready to drop her morning nap ie starting to refuse her afternoon nap. She does well in the morning staying up from 7:30 until 12:00. However, her nap is only 1.5 hrs (to the minute). She does end up cranky in the afternoon and we've pushed bedtime back from 730 until 7. Does this mean she isn't ready for only 1 nap/day? Thanks so much.

Garrett and Denise Stone said...

My daughter is 12 months.. Lately naps have been really bad and waketime in the am earlier than normal.. I've suspected the morning nap needs to be dropped, but them my first dropped it at 18 mnths.. She'll wake now at 7 instead of 730-8 and ill put her down at usual time 10-1030.. I've tried adjusting and waking her after 45-1.. Then putting her down again at 2-230 and she only sleeps maybe an hour.. She doesn't go down early and takes a bit to go down at night at 730.. Any advice if she might be ready? And if so when do I make her one nap time??

Jennifer Tompos said...

My daughter is 14 months old and has always slept well (once we trained her using babywise). She sleeps 12 hrs a night and takes two 1.5 hr naps during the day. We have always been able to lay her down with her Binkie and her blanket and walk right out. We never hear a peep out of her until wake time. However, in the last couple weeks we decided to wean her off her binky by going cold turkey. I figured if we just took it away since she only used It when falling a sleep, it would be a rough three days or so but it would even out and she would go back to her regular sleep habits. We have a second baby coming in a month and want to avoid giving him a pacifier, which was a large part of motivation for getting rid of hers. Now she isn't sleeping well and will be awake for upwards of an hour before falling asleep. Sometimes talking and sometimes crying. I thought maybe she was ready to drop her am nap because she has also begun waking up a little earlier than usual (we used to get 13.5 hrs at night) and now closer to 12. She seems to be adjusting well to the added awake time, but the naps are so difficult!!!! I'm wondering if I made a bad judgment call in dropping the am nap or what went wrong? Is this still getting used I no binky and I need to wait it out. Getting desperate here and am worried that I have permanently screwed up our perfect sleeper.

WyattsMom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WyattsMom said...

My LO is 14.5 months and we are struggling with naps. He had been taking 2 naps a day (~2-2.5 hrs in the AM...sometimes 3, and ~1.5-2 hrs in afternoon) for quite a while, but once he hit 14 months it all seemed to change. I would put him down for his afternoon nap at his normal time...around 12:30, and he would just talk and talk in his crib for over an hour. Sometimes I would go in after a while and tell him that it's time to sleep and lay him back down, but then he would get mad when I left and then continue to talk. He would not sleep unless I sat with him for awhile and then he MIGHT sleep for only 40 min or so. That all went on for about a week. I started wondering if he might be ready for one nap so I tried that the following week. Note-he only gets one nap on Sundays because of church and he does ok with it and sleeps about 2 hrs...sometimes 3 if we are at home. I would put him down after lunch, around 11:30, and he slept for 2.5 hrs a couple days and 3 hrs another day. I was still unsure if he was still 100% ready, so this last week I have been shortening his morning nap so he will sleep longer in the afternoon. Some days that worked (1-1.5 hrs in the AM and 1.5-2 hrs in PM), but most of the days this last week BOTH naps have been super short and he just jabbers and doesn't act tired for his afternoon nap...even after a short AM nap. I feel like he has been transitioning for a couple weeks, and I don't know if he is ready to officially drop his AM nap.
Thanks!

Valerie Plowman said...

It might be that you need to keep tweaking the timing of the naps. It might be that you need to drop the morning nap. It might also just be that you are in that awkward stage of when they aren't quite ready for one but also two is too many. There is no way to tell other than experimenting and trusting your intuition. Good luck!

deena said...

Hi! I left a question on another post but haven't heard back. I have a 16 month old who has been a great sleeper. Wakes at 7am and goes to bed at 7 pm. In past month she refuses to take her morning nap. I will try different times but refuses so now feed her lunch and put her down at 12:15pm. She is up in 45min to an hr. I know she is overtired but she just refuses to take the morning nap. She cries as soon as we get to her room. I used to put her down for a nap at 9am but with her waking at 530 I don't know what to do. She used to wake up happy at each nap and now wakes at 5:30am crying and won't go back to bed. CIO isn't working since she's older. I'm stil putting her to bed at 7pm. What should I do? I'm so exhausted and 5:30am is just too early. Please any help would be appreciated.

Unknown said...

Jolene said...

My son is almost 13 months. We've been through lots of ups and downs in his napping. When he was 11 1/2 months he started doing SO good for naps, going to sleep right away, sleeping pretty well (typically about 1 1/2 hours each of two naps). But a couple weeks ago, he's been so off. Sometimes it's taking him on average 30 min. to fall asleep, sometimes more, sometimes less. In general, bedtime is at 7:00pm and I get him up at 7:00am. Naps at around 9:00/9:15, and 1:30/2:00. He seems definitely tired by the time I put him down, seems tired sometimes in the morning even when I get him up. I've been experimenting with trying to put him down earlier/later, but it's not seeming to help much. His tiredness makes me feel like he needs more sleep, but is it possible he's tired because he's not getting the amount of sleep at certain times? Like, having one bigger nap instead of two poor naps, and after a while he'll be better? Or is it possible I need to put him down even earlier? It's hard when "tired" could mean so many things...like 1) not putting him down early enough, but possibly 2) trying to get him to nap too much so that all of his sleep times aren't as good and he's just tired all the time...and he's extra cranky nearing his normal sleep times, so that's hard. Thoughts?

Valerie Plowman said...

Could she be teething? Have an ear infection? I would say she is waking in the morning early because she is overly tired from not napping, but the question is, why isn't she napping?

Valerie Plowman said...

I would go back to the length of waketime that was good when he was sleeping well. Then check and be sure it isn't a sickness or teething that is causing issues. Once you are sure it isn't that, I would add five minutes of awake time. If that doesn't work, add five more.

I don't think he would be tired from taking two good naps instead of one.

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