Sleep - It is always something us parents are thinking about either how little sleep we had that night or if my child slept enough/too much today!
As they get older it is hard to know how is best to transition from 2 to 1 naps a day. Kathryn Stimpson- The Family Sleep Coach has 4 Tips to help you. Kathryn is great & We have been working with her to help our girls.
Drained, exhausted and unhappy; not the most ideal words to describe my very first experience of motherhood.
Even when Oliver reached 9 months, he was still up at least 4 times a night and I was lucky if he napped for 29 minutes a day.
The extreme tiredness lead to whole array of problems, such as; constantly becoming unwell, arguments with my husband, crashing the car twice, resenting our son, becoming addicted to sugar, losing belongings daily as well as regularly feeling low and very tearful.
After a quick bit of research, my husband and I hired a sleep expert, which was absolutely life changing. Fast forward 3 years, I am now a certified Gentle Sleep Coach helping families from all over the U.K to improve their health and happiness.
One of the most common questions I get asked about children’s sleep is “When does my baby or toddler need to drop from 2 naps to 1?” The short answer is that most toddlers are ready to have just 1 nap a day between the ages of 15-18 months.
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1. Wait and watch
Most mums feel that their 12 month old is showing signs of needing just 1 nap a day. To be honest before I became a sleep professional, I also thought this was this case. However, there is a sleep regression at around the age of 12 months which is usually temporary. I recommend you watch and wait this one out before making drastic changes.
As a child reaches 15-18 months their awake windows have now increased, meaning that they can be awake for longer without getting overtired. If your child consistently refuses their 2nd nap or takes a long time to fall asleep then this can be a sign that they are ready to transition from 2 to 1.
If you feel your child is ready to drop to 1 nap, start by shortening their morning nap so that you gradually reduce it over the coming month(s). You may find that on days when your toddler wakes earlier, they will need 2 naps as you start the transition and on others when they wake later, you can try an earlier lunch time nap.
4. Early to bed
Unfortunately nap transitions rarely go smoothly, it is normal for sleep to regress whilst you both find your rhythm with your new routine. This is usually just in the interim, however I do recommend an earlier bedtime for both your toddler and yourself during this time.
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There are my 4 tips on how to transition from 2 naps to 1. If you are struggling with your own sleep thief and have no idea what to do to help, then feel free to book in for your discovery session with me where we explore your sleep situation and I give you a handful of first steps.
The Family Sleep Coach