In Action: Dropping the Morning Nap

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When do babies drop to one nap. How to drop the morning nap and what it looks like with a Babywise baby. How to make the transition to one nap smooth.

Toddler smiling

Kaitlyn has dropped her morning nap! I really love it when the child goes down to one nap a day. I know it sounds crazy, but those who have experienced it might understand where I am coming from. It is easier to get out and do things. You have one long chunk of time in the afternoon. For me, both kids are pretty much on the same schedule. It is lovely.

I wanted to share how we got here. I decided one day to take my own advice and start taking notes on her naps so I could visually analyze the situation. See Problem Solving Tip: Detailed Log and BW Tips and Tricks: Keep a Log.

Here is what my log looked like and how I analyzed the situation.

DAY 1:
Nap 1:

  • In bed by 10:10
  • Quiet by 11:00-11:10
  • I woke her at 11:50 (I let her sleep longer since she took so long to fall asleep).
  • MY THOUGHTS: I thought this was a great sign that perhaps she was ready to drop the nap.

Nap 2:

  • Down by 2:00
  • Quiet by 2:45
  • Noisy again at 3:15
  • Quiet by 3:30
  • Woke herself at 4:20
  • MY THOUGHTS: I was confused. This seemed very off for her. I assumed she would have one good nap a day, not two terrible naps. I did some investigating of her mouth and discovered two molars had started to break through. She was teething. This was bad news to me because I knew it would make determining if she was ready to go to one nap a day more difficult.

DAY 2:
Nap 1:

  • Gave her Tylenol before her nap
  • In bed by 10:05
  • Quiet immediately
  • Woke herself at 11:30
  • MY THOUGHTS: This was a clockwork nap. Teething was definitely a disrupter the day before.

Nap 2:

  • Gave her painkiller before her nap
  • In bed by 2:05
  • Quiet immediately
  • I woke her at 4:45
  • MY THOUGHTS: This was sad for me. Another clockwork nap. This day made me think that perhaps she wasn’t ready to drop that morning nap after all.

DAY 3:
Kaitlyn got her 18 month shots this morning as well as her second half of her flu shot. I knew it was another disruptor to my factors.

Nap 1:

  • Gave her Tylenol before her nap
  • Down by 10:05
  • Quiet immediately
  • Woke on own at 11:40
  • MY THOUGHTS: Another clockwork nap.

Nap 2:

  • Gave her Tylenol before her nap
  • Down by 2:00
  • 2:20–yelled to me about a poopy diaper. I changed it. Then quiet immediately
  • Small noises at 3:10, then quiet. Unsure if she was awake or not.
  • I woke her at 5:00
  • MY THOUGHTS: Another good napping day, but vaccinations can cause that for her.

When do babies drop to one nap. How to drop the morning nap and what it looks like with a Babywise baby. How to make the transition to one nap smooth.

DAY 4:

Nap 1:

  • Gave her Tylenol before her nap
  • Down by 10:05
  • Quiet immediately
  • Woke at 10:45
  • Quiet at 11:10
  • I woke at 12:00
  • MY THOUGHTS: This was not a clockwork nap. It gave me hope.

Nap 2:

  • Forgot to give her painkiller
  • Down by 1:55
  • Quiet immediately
  • Made small noise around 3:00, but unsure if she woke up or was just transitioning.
  • I woke at 4:30
  • MY THOUGHTS: A good nap, especially for no painkiller. I stopped giving painkiller after this.

DAY 5:

Nap 1:

  • Very fussy before her nap
  • Down by 10:05
  • Quiet immediately
  • Woke on own at 11:40
  • MY THOUGHTS: Another good nap.

Nap 2:

  • Down by 2:10
  • Noise at 3:00–then quiet. Not sure if she was awake or transitioning.
  • Noise at 3:30–then quiet.
  • I woke at 4:45
  • MY THOUGHTS: This nap seemed disrupted enough that perhaps she might be ready to drop the morning nap?

DAY 6:

Nap 1:

  • Down by 10:15 (Daddy was home and working on something loud so I kept her up for a bit)
  • Quiet immediately
  • Woke on own at 11:50
  • MY THOUGHTS: Another good morning nap

Nap 2:

  • Down by 2:40 (again, Daddy was home and working on something loud so she was up late)
  • I forgot to listen on the monitor until 3:45. She was talking at that time.
  • I woke her at 4:40
  • MY THOUGHTS: Another disrupted afternoon nap, but she went down late so that could explain it.

DAY 7:

Nap 1:

  • Skipped because of church

Nap 2:

  • Down by 1:00
  • Woke on own at 3:30
  • MY THOUGHTS: I was happy she could stay up until 1:00. That has been a road block to us dropping the morning nap.

As you view this log, you can see that there were many hindrances to an overall evaluation. Teething and vaccinations added factors to consider. There really isn’t any consistency from day to day with the napping.

In the end, I decided to just give it a try and see how it went. One reason for this is toward the end of the week, afternoon naps seemed disrupted while morning naps were great. Another reason was that she made it to 1:00 the day she skipped her morning nap for church. A final reason was that she was 19.5 months old and was in the age range for dropping the nap. I guess the ultimate reason was that I wanted it dropped and wanted to see if she could do it.

I decided Monday was a great day to skip the nap and see what happened. It would be her second day skipping the nap. Worst case scenario would be that she wasn’t ready to drop it and I would add it back in on Tuesday. No problem.

We dropped it and she did great. She has had it dropped for nearly two weeks now. Things have gone really well with it and I am glad I gave it a shot.

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