Transitioning to One Nap (is tiring for mommy)

I've been sailing by since early spring enjoying two consistent and predictable 90 minute naps a day. I use nap time to write, to blog, to just have mommy-time. But about two weeks ago I put Olivia for her afternoon nap and she just wouldn't fall asleep. I blamed it on a fluke until the next day and the next day it happened again. You can see...she'll do anything to avoid her second nap, even brush her six seven teeth with two big-girl toothbrushes. 

 The weird thing was she was getting up from her first nap around 11 or 11:30am and not going back to sleep until 7pm.  I would, however, always put her in the crib, but she refused to fall asleep.  One day I was determined she would sleep. After two poops, a snack and two hours, she finally fell asleep.

After talking to a few friends I admitted I was in denial about what I knew all along....Olivia was trying to tell me she was ready to transition to one nap. But mommy wasn't ready...not at 14 months! According to all the books I had until at least 15 months and maybe, if I was lucky, which apparently I'm not, until 18 months.
So I reluctantly stopped fighting it and decided instead of putting her down at 9:30 am I'd keep her up as long as possible, trying to merge the two naps. My predicament, however, was when to feed her lunch. I decided I'd have to move it up temporarily until she got the hang of one nap...then I could push lunch and her nap back until around 12:30 or 1pm.  I also knew I had to keep her active...which meant being out of the house. The first day she stayed up until 11:30am but only slept an hour...thank you Verizon for making as much noise as possible outside her window. The next day she was up until 12:30pm and slept until 2:15pm and the same with day three.
Here's what I've noticed : she's getting tired earlier at night and sleeping longer at night. (Last night from 6:45pm to 7:45 am.) From everything I've read this is normal until her body gets into the swing of things. She also still does her normal tired signs around her former morning nap time. She's not cranky though, she just rubs her eyes and maybe yawns, but then it passes and she keeps on playing as normal.  While today was a tough day, she was cranky early...like 4:30 pm early...I debated putting her back down, but fought the urge. I don't want to flip flop going from one nap to two depending on the day. If after a week of one nap it seems like she's not ready for one afternoon siesta, I will move her back to the two nap schedule. But I have a feeling it's going to all work out.
What's your experience been dropping a nap - be it from 3 to 2 or 2 to 1? Leave a comment below and share your tips, insight and advice! 


elena ameres said...

I'm not sure how old your post is but I'm trying to transition my one year old to one nap from two. We just started today because, like your situation, she was taking her morning nap (approx. 930am-11am) and then not sleeping for her afternoon nap. I've been fighting with her to go down for her afternoon nap for about 3 weeks now. Everything I've read says that most kids will continue to take 2 naps until they are 18 months old so that is the reason I kept fighting it. I tried the one nap today at 11:45. She cried for about 5 min then fell asleep but only slept for 45 minutes then was up until bedtime(630pm). I'm hoping tomorrow is easier and she sleeps longer. I am just afraid she will not get enough sleep. Although, she does usually sleep 11-12 hours at night. We'll see. Guess it's just trial and error.

Melissa said...

Hi there Elena,
The post is actually very old..so old that I just transitioned to one nap with my SECOND child. I had more trouble with him than my daughter...but here's what worked. for the first week I put him down in the morning and only let him sleep an hour then I'd wake him up (usually by 10)...and put him down for the second nap around 1 or 1:30. Towards the end of the week I would only let him sleep for about 30-45 minutes. Now i only put him down in the afternoon usually between 12:30 and 1 (I have to pick my daughter up from preschool at 12 so he can't really go down any earlier). BUT I almost always go out n the morning to either run errands or whatever. I try to time it so I'm in the car around 9 or 9:30. he usually nods off for a few minutes and now that's enough to get him through til the afternoon. He is sick right now so I did put him down for a morning nap one or two days b/c he was just so clearly not feeling well.

Hope that helps! both my kids transitioned around 15 months but all kids are different!

Oh and that 45 minute thing..just leave her up there, she'll fall back asleep. maybe try a cup of water to help soothe her.

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