Giving Up the Morning Nap

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8 1/2 month old has stopped taking morning nap

Oct 2008

I have an 8 1/2 month old boy who has always had a strange relationships w/naps. My husband and I have basically been slaves for his naps - we've taken it really seriously and work hard to make sure he gets them b/c he he has always had trouble w/them. For the first 6 months he seemed to only take them on the go mostly stroller, but sometimes in the car or being held (b/c if you put him down he'd wake up). Around six months we started to be able to get him to nap in the crib (which was a good thing, b/c everything started to wake him up outside)- the times were somewhat irregular, but at least he predictably slept (could be 1/2 hour, could be 2 hours). Lately, around the time he used to nap in the morning (10:30/11) - he might get really drowsy eating his bottle, but when I put him down he almost bounces awake! and then precedes to be busy crawling around in the crib for over half an hour before I give up and let him play on the floor. Today this happened and he didn't go down till 1pm. He will probably sleep about 1.5 - 2.5 hours now. At night he generally sleeps from 7pm till 7:30am w/1-2 wake-ups for eating - so he gets a lot of sleep at night (at least 12 hours). So the question is: is this okay? should I be trying harder to get him to take that morning nap? is he just ahead of where he is supposed to be developmentally (he's a big boy for his age and he started crawling pretty early (7.5 months) ? or, like many things w/babies, could this just be a stage and he'll revert to 2 naps eventually? Thanks for your advice! just want my baby to get his sleep

Eight months seems awfully early to be down to one nap....Have you tried putting him down earlier for the first nap? My son always had a shorter period of time before morning waking and nap #1--around 1-2 hours. He was an early crawler, too (6 months!), and didn't go down to one nap until almost 18 months. Good Luck
I just wanted to share that my niece never really took two naps a day. Even when she was a baby she took one long nap at lunch time. My sister-in-law then gave up on trying to put her on a regular schedule (2 naps a day) and just let her go until lunch time, where she took a long long nap (usually 2 and a half hour). It really sounds like your daughter sleeps so much at night that she probably isn't tired enough by 10:30am. My niece is still at 5 a very good sleeper, and still takes naps occasionnally. Madeleine
Our pediatrician told us that as long as our children were getting 13 hours of sleep per 24 hours, that it was okay. When they slept didn't matter, so long as our children were getting enough sleep, weren't too cranky, and weren't rubbing their eyes from sleepiness. They consolidated their nap times at about 11 mos. and moved to one nap after lunch. Both were rather small girls. Good advice the doctor gave us was to expect them to start waking at night around 10-11 months, due to teething. He urged us to soothe them, but not to feed them, since hunger would not be the problem. If we fed them, their stomachs would keep waking them up, even after teeth came in, and we would be stuck with a big problem. We knew other families who had not been given this hint, and whose babies had real problems sleeping after that. So while we are on the topic of sleep. I thought I'd pass this on, too. Judy Another mother
My third had to adjust to only one nap around that age (once he was too big to sleep in the carrier while we were out and about). Just make sure he has as much time as he needs for the nap that comes a little later. Different schedules for different kids

11-month-old transitioning to one nap?

June 2008

My son will turn 11 months in a few days. This past week, he's had 4 out of 5 days where he will only take one nap (after complete exhaustion & possibly in car) or won't nap at all! He used to go down twice/day with a bottle, but lately that's not working. We've increased his naptime bottles to 8 oz. He seems very sleepy (almost asleep), but once he realizes that bottle is empty, he cries/screams & wakes up. (I'm also worried we're feeding him too much since we're giving him so much more formula to try and help him sleep ...)

Could this behavior be due to teething? It's possible that he's teething right now. If so, will he go back to two naps? Have you had a child who had a temporary upheaval like this and went back to two naps?

Another note - when he goes so long without sleep, he remains a pretty happy baby. He's kind of a little energizer bunny, he just keeps going & going. Putting him down earlier definitely does NOT help. But I can also tell that, though he deals with it pretty well, he's still tired & kind of running on empty when he only gets one nap (and certainly the case the one day he didn't nap at all).

Again, is it possible he'll go back to two naps or should I just help him to a one-nap transition? It's so hard to plan my day when I don't know when/whether he will nap. I work from home and have other obligations sometimes that makes this quite challenging. Thoughts and tips welcome! Wishing my baby had a schedule!

I feel your pain, my first daughter did just what you describe. The daycare where she was at the time said, 'she is giving us such hell in the morning when we try to put her down, that we have to transition her to one nap.' I was slightly skeptical, thinking that she wasn't ready, but after the transition occurred, which took a couple of weeks, she was absolutely fine--taking one, long beautiful nap a day. She was exactly 11 months when this happened, so I think some kids are just ready for the transition earlier than others. Just be sure to get your little energy babe into bed early, at 7:30 or 8pm since he'll be pretty worn out. Good luck! mom who loves naps
Maybe...maybe elder dropped her second nap at about 11-months. My younger tried the same thing, but couldn't hack it, so she was back to two naps until 18-months. But, she gave up her final nap before turning three (drat), unlike my elder who gave up her final nap at four. jan

Is 8 month old transitioning to 1 nap?

April 2008

My (almost) 8 month old daughter has consistently taken 2 naps/day for the last few months (although sometimes only 20 min/nap). She recently had a cold & is starting to crawl, so her sleeping has been off, and we're currently reinforcing her sleep training. The past 3 mornings, she didn't sleep at all, and cried through the 40 minutes that we left her in the crib (checking about evry 10 mins as per ferber). Her afternoon naps the last 2 days were pretty typical. Today, she went to sleep very easily at 12:30, and slept for almost 2-1/2 hours, much longer than her usual naptime. She woke up happy and calm. At night, she usually sleeps about 10-11 hours.

Is it possible that she's ready to transition to 1 nap/ day?? From what I understand, it's really early, but at least today it seemed to work great for her (we'll see how it impacts her sleeping tonight!) mj

There are many times I thought my daughter was ready to transition to just one nap a day. And everytime I thought that, I pulled out my favorite sleep book, Good Night, Sleep Tight by Kim West and read the senetence about how parents' #1 nap mistake was to transition kids to one nap a day too early. I have read every sleep book on the market and the consensus seems to be that kids don't transition to one nap until they are 15-18 months. Everytime after a few days my daughter settled back into her 2 nap schedule. So my daughter, still taking 2 naps a day, turns 15 months today! hang in there for 2 naps

From 2 naps to 1 = less total nap time = crabby 19mo

Jan 2008

My son just turned 19 months old and has been gradually transitioning from 2 naps to 1 over the past 2 months. He used to sleep for an hour and a half in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon (approx). He sleeps at night from 7:45-7, and has since he was 11 months old. He now decidedly wants just one nap, around 1. The problem is, he's only sleeping for an hour and a half, maybe a little more, and it seems like he needs more sleep. He wakes up crying and irritable now, before he'd wake up happy and ready to play, but won't go back to sleep. I've tried putting his down for his nap earlier, later, putting him down to bed earlier, I just can't seem to get him any more sleep. I know that the number of total hours of sleep he's getting is ''enough'' for his age, but he just seems to need more. His pediatrician said ''everyone has a hard time with the nap transition'' but that's easy for him to say, he doesn't have a crabby toddler following him around!! So I'm just wondering if anyone has any advice, I would so sincerely appreciate it Grumpy's Mom

i know you tried it, but try again - move that nap earlier - 12:30ish? and move that bedtime to 6:30ish for a while. it does take a little time to make the adjustment, even with the earlier naptime but it should get there. i have a 2.5 yr old and a 1 yr old. # 2 dropped her first nap a few weeks ago and now she is at 12:30nap and 6:30pm bedtime and it has been getting us a better nap in the afternoon. beth
I am not sure my advice will be any better than your doctor's, but our son had a similar nap transition pattern. Two differences that might be of use to you:

1. It took him well over 3 months to make the full change. I think the extra morning naps every few days helped balance out the too-short afternoon nap. Even as you prepare for 1 nap days, keep looking for those signs of tiredness in the early morning hours, at least until the 2nd nap gets longer.

2. On the one nap days, the nap was much earlier for a long time--11 am, sometimes even as early as 10:30 am. 11-1 was his pattern until age 2, when it is finally settled into more of an actual ''afternoon'' nap, around 1:30-2 pm. You might try a few days in a row of 10:30 naps to see if you get a longer nap.

3. With all these changes came an earlier bed time--6 or 6:30 on the short, early, one-nap days. We were able to move it back to 7, and now 7:30 once the nap lengthened and moved toward the afternoon.

It is a long and frustrating process, but he will get there! Good Luck

My little girl transitioned to one nap at just over a year. She's now 14 months. She just started refusing to take her second nap even though she was tired, so we waited till 1:00 to put her down for her nap. For the first probably 2 weeks, she would only nap 45 minutes, then wake up, groggy, unhappy, and still sleepy but now she usually sleeps at least an hour and a half, sometimes 2 hours. I think it just took her some time to adjust. So, I guess my advice is just wait it out. Terri
Hi Grumpy's Mom,

My first idea is to continue trying to get him down a little earlier. Maybe it won't work, but you could try a wind-down 30 minutes earlier with books and lullabyes. Is he tired at all earlier in the morning and you're missing that narrow window?

This won't work for all styles, especially those who tend more to CIO...

but I've found that on the days I just care for one 17month old, if I nap with him, he'll sleep longer. When he wakes much earlier than would be a full nap (barking dogs, construction noises), he sees I'm there and goes back to sleep. If needed, I stroke his hand and whisper ''Shh, go back to sleep''. When he finally wakes up, he's in a rested, pleasant mood and the rest of the day is quite nice.

If I'm tooling around the house picking up or prepping food, sometimes he wakes up crying, unhappy and grumpy, even though the sleeping set up is such that he can get up and get out of the room on his own.

Sometimes I'm restless and don't feel like a nap. He can sense my body tension and won't go to sleep easily. However, if I force my body to relax and pretend to sleep, he'll drift off much faster. I also usually ask him if he'd like a song, and then I sing something gentle while stroking his head, ending with a kiss and I love you.

I realize many will disagree with this style, but if you like it, you may find that a rested child makes life much, much nicer for everyone.

P.S. If he's had a good night's sleep, we go down sometime between 10-11 (closer to 11), and he sleeps up to 2.5 hours, and is up til bedtime. The presence of a resting adult body is very comforting

Is one-year-old ready to give up the morning nap?

Oct 2007

Our daughter goes to sleep at night around 7:30 and wakes up in the morning around 7am. She seems to me to get tired about 3-3.5 hours after waking. After a lot of walking and going outside, I usually put her down for a nap around 10:15. At worst she takes an hour to fall asleep and lately sleeps for only 1/2 hour. She's usually up between 11:30-noon. I then put her down for a second nap around 2:45. She might fall asleep quickly, but sometimes it takes her a long time. Again she sleeps for only 1/2 hour. Is it time to transition to one nap? It just seems like an hour is a short span for daytime naps, though her night sleep is really good. I thought most babies transitioned to one nap at about 18 months, so she'd be very early for that. Any thoughts? Confused about naps

My daughter is almost 13 months, and we transitioned her to one long mid-day nap just after she turned one. Like your child, my daughter started taking ''bad'' naps or even no naps when we had her on a two-nap schedule. I took that as a sign that she was ready for stay up longer in the morning and then konk out (hopefully!) for a nice, long nap after lunch. The transition period has been a bit patchy. She will sometimes get a little fussy around 10 am, when she used to take her morning nap, but if she is distracted with toys or playing outside, she tends to get a burst of energy until lunch. Good luck! Mama to one-nap baby
My son started wanting only one nap a day at around ten and a half months. He was a good napper and a good night sleeper. After a month or so of transition to one nap, he was doing a two-three hour nap and 12-13 hours of night sleep. You can always try and if it doesn't work, switch her back to two naps for a while. Pro Nap Mama
My older transitioned to one nap at eleven-months. My younger one transitioned at 18-months. I transitioned to one nap 'early,' because she clearly couldn't fit two into a day before bedtime at 7:00, and the twelve hours at night were really working for her (and me). I think that I started giving her one nap at 11 and slowly worked it back to about 12:30 or one. At first she couldn't put together long blocks of sleep. I moved from two naps (one of about 45-mintues and one of about an hour) to a one hour nap. That was a tough few months. But all of sudden, I started getting these wonderful three hour naps. She would sleep 12:30 to 3:30 and then go to bed at 7:30. It was beautiful. jan
My son, now 19 mos, started transitioning to 1 nap at about 10 mos. He has always needed less sleep than average. Babies, as I'm sure you already know, can really vary in many ways. By about 13 mos he was down to 1 nap, largely because we became pretty consistent about his routine (largely for all of our sanity!). I really liked Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child, but our son never really needed a super early bedtime; he always seemed to wake up at the crack of dawn! I'd encourage you (which we did around 1 yr) was try to slowly push out the morning nap - maybe 15 mins per day until your baby goes down around 11:15, then, 11:30 then 11:45, then noon.. Our son started napping before lunch until about 15 mos. We had to be good about not being in a car or stroller around 10:30 in the morning, or else, he would fall asleep..Now he goes to bed about 8:15, wakes at 6:15 and naps at about 12:30 for 2 hours.. This works well for us these days. Good luck! know what you're talking about
You may consider moving up the morning nap. Throughout his first year, the time between waking and the first nap was always very short for my son. When he was taking two naps, the first would be around 9 am--just two hours after waking. The second nap would be later in the day. Each would be around and hour and a half.

I remember reading about the short morning in Weissbluth, I think it was. It was reassuring to know that this was normal, and it helped us keep his naps regular and restful. Worth a try. Good Luck

My daughter is about to turn one and we have been undergoing similar things with the nap thing. Some days she has refused to take a morning nap altogether. After reading a few books, I decided to move her morning nap up to about 9:30 (she also gets up around 7 and goes down between 7:30 and 8) which made her sleep longer and go down without too much fuss. However, if she sleeps longer than an hour, I open her blinds to let her wake up (I know it sound crazy) because if she sleeps too long in the morning, she doesn't want to take an afternoon nap. Her second nap is usually around 2 and I get about 75 minutes. It's been working for about a week now. As far as transitioning to one nap, I've heard as early as 12 or 13 months, but more usually 15-18 months. Good luck! anon
your child may be ready to drop to one nap a day, however, your timing might be slightly off and this may increase nap times.

try to get the morning nap closer to 9:30/10am. even if you put her in awake and not too tired and she plays for a little while prior to sleeping. then the afternoon nap should be closer to 1pm.

if she is truly ready to drop to one nap, you need to try to push your child to stay awake until around noon and then eventually to 1pm for afternoon naptime.

my son is 2 yrs and kept his morning nap until 16 months. it was a very smooth transition - but i moved that afternoon nap close to noon for a couple months to help with the transition. then early bedtime helps for a while as well.

you seem to have good night-time timing for you child, and this helps with good naps as well. just try and get both the naps earlier and see if you can keep them both until your child is really ready. beth

My son had been taking 1 nap a day starting somewhere between 11:30 & 1:30 depending on what we are doing and how tired he is. He has been doing this since before he was a year old (he is now 20 months). The length of that nap has changed from being 3+ hours to being about 1 1/2 hours now. anon
Hi there....I too have a one year old and recently spoke w/a friend w/kids about nap issues. She stated that a year is not too early to transition to one nap and that she knew one kid who dropped napping all together!! EEK! I would encourage you to read Dr. Brazelton's ''Touchpoints'' book as he discusses what is going on for kids at certain developmental stages (as you can imagine 12 mo. is a huge milestone for most kids). Good luck and happy napping.....anon anon

14-m-o changing to one nap, but it's too short

April 2007

So I've checked out the archives and didn't see this particular topic. My son, 14 months old, is beginning to transition to one nap a day. However, he will only nap for 40 minutes- he has never been a long napper. So on days when he only wants one nap, he is a complete mess by early evening. His bedtime is 7:30-7:45, and has been that for 6 months. On days that he gets two naps, it is not only hard to fit in, but then he is just not ready for bed, so he has a hard time putting himself to sleep, and usually won't fall asleep until after 8, which means he sleeps later the next day, and the cycle continues. I don't want to put him to bed too much earlier, because his schedule is fluctuating so much, that I don't want to randomly move around an established bedtime. (He does sleep through the night, and puts himself to sleep for both naps and bedtime.)

All of my friends who have babies who only nap once a day tell me how their baby naps for 2-3 hours during that one nap. My question is whether anyone else has gone through this? Is there anyone who has seen their child adjust to the one nap a day by gradually taking longer naps? He clearly needs a longer nap if it is just one during the day.

I have also tried letting him cry when he wakes up after his short nap to see if he will go back down, but he won't. And I have also tried picking him up, and doing his nap routine and then putting him down right away after the 40 minutes, but that also hasn't worked. Help please! anon

You didn't say what time the nap was, but I think that is the problem. I imagine that his 2 naps were about an hour each, so if he takes his one nap at the time he took his ''morning'' nap, he takes it for the same amount of time and is just not that tired. The trick is to make the one nap later, so he is tired enough to take the two naps combined into one. For us, this involved not going anywhere in the stroller or car between 10-12 because that would make my daughter fall asleep. Basically, keep him awake until after 12 and see how that works out for you. anon

When did your baby shift to one nap?

March 2007

We have an active ten-month-old who has been quite happy this past week taking one two- to three-hour nap after lunch. Attempts the past few days to get a morning nap in have utterly failed. My mom thinks it's too early for her to be one-napping it. I'm sure it depends on the kid, but I'm looking for a general survey here: when do people's kids shift from two naps to one? Should I keep trying for two naps? -sleep is weird.

Hi, Ten months is early, but that's when my son showed signs of wanting to switch from two naps to one. I fought it for about a month and then gave in, and we were both a lot happier. Now at just over two my always good napper is not napping at least half the time (though he cheerfully accepts quiet time in his crib). I think he's going to be one of those kids who gives up napping early (sigh). Mama of early switcher
My son gave up his morning nap at nine months. It took me by surprise and took me awhile to figure out that that was just his sleep pattern. Like your child, he then took one long (2-3) hour nap in the afternoon. At two years, he gave up napping entirely. I was thrown by both of these changes, and tried to get him to nap like the books say. Finally, I just gave up. He sleeps twelve hours straight through the night, and the tradeoff was that whenever he gave up a nap he slept more soundly at night. I wouldn't worry about two naps if your child is getting enough sleep overall. Anon
Around 11-12 months, my son started giving up morning naps every other day or so. The clue for me was that he wasn't happy with only one nap, and was cranky and fussy at the end of those days. After a few weeks of that, he picked up the morning nap again. We're at 14 months and still on two naps. twice a day
Is your 10 month old walking yet? I've heard that kids tend to shift to one nap right around the same time they start walking. That was true of my son, although in his case he started walking at 15 months, and it took him 2-3 months to complete the transition to one nap, starting at 15 months. Anyway, if your baby seems happy and well rested with one nap, I wouldn't worry about it. Diane
I checked my journal - it was around 11 months for my daughter. Heather
My two children shifted to one nap by 14 months. However, especially at first they would sometimes fall asleep in the car in the late morning even if on most days they were able to wait until early afternoon to sleep (so expect this to happen for a while). It is SO much easier to deal with one long nap during the day than to set your schedule up around 2 shorter naps. If your baby is not pooping out by 10 or 11 am and seems well rested most of the day with the longer nap, I say 10 months is not too young to switch. Liz O.
your child is uncommon. most shift after one year. mine had two naps until about 18 months! the book, ''healthy sleep habits, happy child'' has info on this kind of stuff. i use it often for my two kids, 3 months and 21 months.
Baby one went to one-nap at eleven months. Baby two went to one-nap at 15-months. jan
I enrolled my baby in daycare at 10 months, and at that point she was taking 2 naps a day. The 2 other kids at her daycare were 13 months old and were already down to 1 nap a day. The daycare provider slowly weaned her off the morning nap but keeping her active and involved, and moving up her afternoon nap an hour or so. It worked after a couple of weeks. But in general it was pretty natural, she didn't force it. So if your baby is ready for it, go ahead and try; otherwise don't worry, she will do it on her own soon enough. one-nap mom

Is 18-month-old ready to move to one nap?

June 2006

I was wondering about the details of transitions from 2 to 1 naps for your babies and toddlers. My 18 month old still takes two naps, but I have been wondering if she is ready to go to one now since there are many days recently that she skips one of her naps altogether. So how do you all know? Another reason I am wondering: she used to go to bed very early, like 6 p.m. Now, if she takes a 1.5 hour nap starting at 2 pm, then she won't fall asleep until 7:30-8:00. On the days where she only takes a morning nap, she is out at 6:30 or so. Otherwise, she just lies in bed talking/whining for a long time (we try to put her down around 7-7:30). I hope this makes sense. Just looking for general tips on how you made this transition. Thanks, Nicole

It sounds like your child is ready to skip nap-time. My sons both gave the same signs that they were ready for the transition but it is a tough period. I had the best luck with unstructured, open-ended activities and avoiding car rides. Listening to stories on tape or waterplay and play-dough works well. Social interaction can be tough as well. Quiet activities that don't involve a lot of coordination or thinking are good. Your child may still take a catch-up nap once a week or so until 4 years old or so. best of luck
From everything you describe, it sounds like your child is showing all the signs of being ready for the switch to one nap.

We just recently did the two to one nap switch with my 16 month old daughter. Our situation is probably a little different than most people's since our daughter was (atempting) to take one nap at day care three days a week, but sitll doing two at home.

However, like the person who posted, she started either having a hard time falling asleep for the a.m. nap or not falling asleep for the p.m. nap when she was home. And when she was at day care, she was having a harder time even taking her one nap.

So, a couple weeks ago we decided to just go for it. We felt that our daughter was giving us all the signs that she was ready for it and that it was in her best interest to help her fully make the transition. Once we decided to go for it, we have not looked back. Since naptime is around noon at day care, we decided to shoot for that at home as well to keep things consistent. We now plan for lunch around 11:30 and then do the naptime routine. What I noticed right away is that my daughter started going to sleep MUCH faster; no more of the long babbling and singing before falling asleep. For the first 3-4 days, the naps were only about 1 hour, but now about two weeks into it, her naps have extended to about 2 hours. We are still trying to get the bedtime down, but everything I have read and heard is that it's best to go back to an early bedtime (6 p.m. for her) when the transition from one to two naps is happening to help them catch up on missed sleep. This seems to be working for us. I keep wondering when I should start inching the bedtime later, but I notice that when she goes down later than 6:30 p.m. she either wakes up more during the night or earlier in the morning. I will say that making the transition has also been good for the entire family. We now feel like we have some sense of a schedule again instead of wondering if she is or isn't going to get one of the naps in and then trying to decide each day when to put her down for the night. I hope this helps! n.r

Ours switched to one nap a little bit before yours, probably around 14 months? Anyway, for us, she was kind of willing to take a nap at the time of the old morning nap (10-11ish) but was not tired enough to take the old p.m. nap (3 -4ish) and instead would just be really cranky in the late afternoon evening. We stopped encouraging the morning nap (didn't put her down, no car rides or stroller rides during that time window) and put her down a little later (12 noon). She takes a nice long nap (2-3 hours!) and is refreshed for snack, play, dinner, and bedtime. happy napper
Wow, it sounds like you have one sleepy girl! My kids never slept so well, but I did need to consolidate my daugher's naps when she was almost a year old. She was taking a half hour nap in the morning and a half hour nap in the afternoon. She had done this for about half a year and it drove me nuts. I had just enough time to eat a sandwich before she woke up again.

Out of desperation I decided to skip her morning nap and put her down around noon for her afternoon nap. It took about a week before she was able to comfortably skip her morning nap without much fussing (she was still tired around 10 AM, but I just kept her going), but she immediately started taking a 1 1/2 hr nap!

So, based on my experience I would say that you should just go ahead and change her schedule. But just for the record: your daughter is a record sleeper! She used to go to bed around 6 PM? Wow! Just amazing. Count your blessing, girl! JOJ

One Nap Hell - 16.5 month old

Jan 2006

After 3 months of a very tough 2 to 1 nap transition, my 16.5 month old sleeps only 45 minutes for the WHOLE day. He is grumpy, cranky and tired. He wakes up around 5:30 am (hate that!)-7:00 (rare) and goes down for his nap around 11:30. We usually go our for fresh air and exercise, followed by a big lunch before nap. His night time sleep is at 6:30pm. What am I doing wrong or not doing? Too early or late of a nap? Not enough protein in his lunch? My son will sleep another 45 minutes if he is held, but my lower back can't sustain that much longer. Also, we don't go in right away when he first wakes up. We will let him complain up to 20 minutes. Any suggestions will be very appreciated. Frazzled Mom

I went through this, although my son was a bit younger (9 months?) and took two 20-minute naps -- not even enough time to catch my breath, and certainly not enough time for him to feel rested. I finally decided to let him cry it out for up to an hour because that was the limit that Weisbluth recommends. After two days of both of us suffering for that hour, he was sleeping for an hour or more. He would still occasionally wake up after 20 minutes, cry for a minute or two, but then would put himself back to sleep again. He was in a better mood and even slept better at night after we did it, so while it is heartbreaking, I highly recommend it. Some kids are just too eager to play and resist sleep, but you are not doing them a favor by allowing themselves to get chronically overtired. Fellow mother of a sleep-avoider
just wait. he's in transition. it will all work out i promise. don't be frazzeled. just remember one day he will sleep good again. my kids we're the same way. patience is a virture. peace
Maybe I'm a terrible mother, but 6:30 seems awfully early to go to bed. We have put our son down at 8pm pretty much since he was about 10 months old. He'll sleep for about 10 hours. He gave up his second nap around 16 months. We retain some flexibility on his nap. We try to feed lunch around 11:30 and napping by noon. He will sleep anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. I will wake him up at 3 hours though. There have been times when he did not want to go to sleep at noon so I let him play a little. I try not to turn it into a big fight, but, if he's still up at 2pm, I put him in his crib and tell myself I'll let him in there fussy or not for 15 minutes and he will usually fall asleep and sleep pretty well. I'd try putting him to bed a bid later at night and see what happens. anon
Count your blessings, and/or put your kid to bed later at night. And/or hold him while your reading your favorite book. I would have thanked my lucky stars if I thought there was any way I could get 11-12 hrs of sleep at night plus a nap in the middle of the day! I don't think you're doing anything wrong other than hoping that your kid will conform to your schedule (which I did for a long time, and still do, though at least now I get it). At that age, my daughter went to bed around 8-830, and woke at 6- 7, and on really good days I got a 2 hr nap. (My mom complained bitterly about my sister's lack of a daytime nap starting at about 12 months, but she went to bed at 7 and got up at 7-- that's 12 straight hours of (mostly) predictable baby-free hours! Even now, I would LOVE to be able to do something in the evening after my kid is in bed. janet
Are you sure you are really down to one nap? My elder daughter alternated between one nap and two nap days for a couple of months before solidly going down to one nap (at 11 months, which is quite early). Since his wakeup time is variable, you might experiment with two naps on the early wakeup days and one on the later wakeup days. I know it makes it harder to make plans, but you can kind of predict an every other day pattern for the time being if he takes to this routine. What happens is on the two nap days, he'll be able to stay up a little later at night, then sleep a little later the next day, then be able to hold out for just one nap, but go to bed earlier, then wake up early the next day, then it's a two nap day. Does that make sense? Montclair Mommy
We went thru a similar thing w/our now 2 1/2 yr. old son. He dropped his second nap around 14 mos. and became a cranky mess. We found when he was overtired he would wake up progressively earlier every morning. We ended up putting him down for his nap about 5 hrs. after he woke up and then put him to bed super early (by 6pm). It took awhile for him to catch up on sleep but eventually he started waking up at a more civilized time and taking longer naps. For about a yr. now he wakes up around 7am, naps from 1-3pm, and goes to bed by 7pm. I also highly recommend Dr. Weissbluth's ''Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.'' Good luck! Caroline

14-mo-old going from two naps to one

March 2004

Our 14 month old has been on a great sleeping schedule (knock on wood) since she was 9 or 10 months old -- sleeping 11-12 hours through the night, with 2 naps during the day (the first one at 9 for an hour to an hour and a half, the second one at 1pm for 2 to 2 and a half hours). About 3-4 weeks ago, she started taking longer and longer to get to sleep for her naps, and sometimes would not nap at all for one of the naps. We thought it might be getting time to switch to one nap. We've tried it this week for about 4 days now, with one nap at noon for 3 hours. She seems happy in the morning and she is going to sleep right away for her nap, sleeping solidly for 3 hours. We are putting her to bed very early to try to give her a little extra sleep. The problem is she seems REALLY tired a lot of the time -- crankier in general, especially by the time she goes to sleep at night. Plus, there is such a long interval between the time she wakes up (usually around 6 am) and her noon nap . . . We are concerned now that we made the switch too early. A few questions -- when do kids usually move from 2 naps to 1? do most families make the switch cold turkey, or make the decision day by day as to whether to do 2 naps or 1? would this be confusing to a kid who is a creature of habit -- i.e., seems to be happiest when on a set schedule? is it normal to take time to adjust to the new nap schedule -- should we expect a crankier/sleepier kid for a few weeks? or is the tiredness an indication that it's just too early to cut down to 1 nap? Thanks. anon

14 mos. is a little young but it sounds like she started the process herself. My daughter was 15 mos old when we started her on one nap and it took a couple of months to really get her in the routine of it. Truth be told, I think she would still take two naps a day if I allowed it, because she does get tired earlier than later (she's 2 1/2 now and more active, too) but she's also old enough to understand what naps mean (no playing) and wouldn't readily go down for two. On the bright side you might find that your daughter starts to sleep later in the morning as a result. Ours went from waking at 6-6:30 to sleeping until 7:30-8! She goes down at night between 8-8:30. Hang in there, this too shall pass! Been there
14 months was about the time our son moved to one nap a day. We were totally unfamiliar with the concept of us purposely orchestrating a switch, we just followed Ben's lead. He switched gradually, some days having one nap and some days having two. During the time he was switching to one nap his timing was all over the map as was the duration of the nap(s), we just went with the flow. Ben does do better with some sort of schedule but we're not rigid, we just looked at when he looked sleepy and tried encourage (not mandate) the nap at about the same time each day- for Ben it ended up being about 12:30pm. He was also ready for bedtime earlier as he transitioned to one nap. And it's true that on some days he did seem more tired and cranky. If it got to be too much and he was obviously miserable weUd up our efforts to try to get him to nap like go for a car or stroller ride. This crankiness 'phase' did (mostly) pass for him as he got used to the one nap schedule. Hope this helps Suzie
our son switched to one nap at about 14 months too. he was on the same schedule that it sounds like your daughter is on and then he began to fight at least one nap almost everyday. i would say that it was at least a month long transition before he was at one nap a day. at first i would try to keep him up to 11:00 AM and then he would sleep for about 2 hours. now at 19 months he goes down anywhere between 12:00 and 1:00 and sleeps on average about 2 1/2 hours. i remember the switch was really difficult but i just kept trying to stick with it and eventually a new routine was formed. one thing that really helped was getting out of the house until nap time. that way he wouldn't notice as much when he started to feel tired. give it time and good luck! anon
Our little guy went from 2 naps to one at 16 months, so you're right in there. It was hard for a couple of months, but ultimately the right time. It's just one of those transitions that you have to suffer for a bit, I think. I started with the one nap at about 11 a.m. after a hefty snack, then another big snack/lunch when he woke up around 1 or 1:30. It makes lunch a little weird for a while, but you can slowly move the nap later until you can eventually have a real lunch first, then nap. Good luck! Laura
When our twins moved to one nap, their schedule varied from day to day for a couple of weeks. Some days they reverted back to a two nap day, but mostly, one napped early but could not nap late, while the other slept through an afternoon nap. For those days when a girl slept early but not late, I'd put them in the car in the late afternoon and let the tired girl nod off (I do this now when either girl cannot settle down at her 1pm nap). What we did during their transition from one nap to two naps was put them into their cribs in the afternoon, for 15-20 minutes to see if they wound down to take a second nap. In fact, we since didn't realize they were transitioning to one nap until about a week went by I was just automatically putting them into their cribs every afternoon and wondering whey they weren't going to sleep. For the last six months, they have been shifting their nap time very slowing from noon to 1pm. They are 20 months now and are just begining to go down closer to 1. We start watching them around 11:30 to see when they are getting tired and we feed them lunch before their nap (which is a change from the two nap day where they got lunch when they got up from the first nap.) Ever since they shifted to one nap (I can't remember when they made that shift, but it could have been as early as 12 months), they are awake from around 6:30 to 12:30. However, when they first started the one-nap-schedule, they did sleep in until 7/7:30 often. They go to bed around 8:30 at night. I hope that info helps. one nap mom

14-mo-old still wants morning nap, but not afternoon nap

June 2003

My 14 month old still wants his morning nap just as early (about 9ish) but though he is exhausted, has been refusing to nap during the afternoons. We put him in his crib after the nap routine and he will play the whole time. I've even left him for 1 1/2 hours hoping to bore him into sleep but to no avail. The challenging part for me is that about 1/3 of the time he will nap and is so much happier on those afternoons. Otherwise he can be sort of grumpy. He has such an early bedtime too (6:15) that it is hard to imagine us moving his bedtime any earlier. But on days without 2 naps (and only on those days) he usually wakes screaming after about 1 hour and I believe it is because he is so overwrought from his day without naps. My questions are these:

1) What age have your children given up the second nap and is it usually the afternoon nap that they give up? 2) Is there any better ways to coax them into sleep when you know they need it (i.e., keep the two naptime routine longer)? 3)Also my son just started taking steps and I've wondered if it could be related to excitement over this developmental feat but not a real readiness not to nap twice. Has anyone else experienced this?

My son has always been a great napper and honestly seemed to need and crave the sleep. I've read the postings on this site but nothing seems to cover my issue. Thank you for any insights or suggestions you can offer. ilf

My kiddo phased out his second nap right around the same time, 13-14 months, but it was a long process and like you are describing, he often wouldn't nap in the afternoons but then he would lose it. I don't have any suggestions for that other than at least resting a bit during that time, lights out, cuddling on the bed or whatever. He moved to a 2 hour morning nap, which we gradually were able to move later and later until it became midday and then afternoon. Wish I had more good advice but I think some of it is just time. mamamd
This sounds exactly like the transition from two naps to one that my son went through at about 16 months. As I recall the transition period lasted for about a month, and it was difficult; cranky nights and struggles for the second nap he really didn't want. What we did (after it finally dawned on me what he was doing) was we gradually moved the ''morning'' nap later and later until it was closer to noon, while moving his lunchtime slightly earlier. For a while he'd take a nap and then get up for lunch, then when we moved the nap late enough, we had lunch and then the nap. During the transition when he seemed sleepy at around the traditional morning naptime, we'd go outside, have a snack or do something he really enjoyed and he stayed awake just fine. He is now almost 26 months and his one nap is around 1:30 or 2 pm (after lunch and a bit of playtime) and he sleeps for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. The only drawback to this is that his bedtime has moved later, but I know he still needs that middle of the day rest. He also now sleeps later in the morning (7-7:30 instead of 6-6:30 when he had 2 naps). Good luck! happy one-napper
My son (who is now a little over two) gave up his afternoon nap, weaned himself and took his first steps, all on the day that he turned 14 months. Like yours, he also had a very early bedtime to begin with.

I, too, had a difficult timing adjusting to (and accepting) the fact that he was giving up his second nap. I had read that most children give up their morning naps first, so I was really confused at the time. In fact, it was a pretty tough transition for both of us.

I started pushing his morning nap later and later (maybe in half hour increments per week) and putting him to bed, yes, an hour or so earlier. On those difficult days when he didn't take his afternoon nap, he would be ready to collapse as early as 5 or 5:30. We just did it and took advantage of the fact that we had a longer evening to ourselves, although it often meant that my husband wouldn't see him after work. Our son was an early riser anyway -- luckily, the Tour de France was being broadcast live starting at 6 am on our satellite TV so we hung out with him and watched TV in the mornings. Good luck! Teresa

My son gave up his second nap around 14 months as well -- and I was very surprised that he seemed to give up the afternoon nap first. What you describe -- taking naps only about a third of the time and being grumpy on the days when he doesn't -- is exactly what we went through. It also sounds a lot like what the moms in my mothers' group described for their children. One of the ''experts'' (maybe Berry Brazelton) describes this as ''needing a nap and a half.''

However, after a few weeks of unstable sleep, my son started taking the morning nap later and later, until finally it started around noon, and then 1:00. At the same time, this nap became longer. It was really great, because he had always taken two very short naps (barely an hour each) and now he takes a very long, solid afternoon nap (2.5 hours on average). Also, his bedtime, which at the time he took two naps was also about 6:30, started to drift later at night, to about 7:30 or 8:00. It took a bit of time, but in a month or two this new sleep pattern consolidated, and he then did fine with it.

I think what I might do is to let your son give up the afternoon nap and keep the early bedtime, but try to phase the morning nap a bit later every day (maybe 10 minutes at a time). Once you get the morning nap a bit later in the day, then try to phase his bedtime a bit later. You will probably have some not-so-pleasant times while he consolidates to the new pattern. Try to make everything else as stable as possible (follow a really rigid routine in terms of meals, activities, start time for naps, etc. if that's possible) until the new pattern consolidates. Also, you might come up with a way to comfort him back to sleep when he wakes upset, and then worry about phasing that out after the new sleep pattern has consolidated. Just make everything as easy as possible for him. Karen

My understanding is that there is a lot of variability in terms of when children move from 2 naps to 1. That being said, my daughter transistioned quickly at 14 months and it was really good timing. She had never been a great napper and before switching to 1 each of her 2 naps were 45 minutes - 1 hour. She took them at 10 and 2. We switched her to one nap at noon, which now often lasts for 2.5 to 3 hours. Over a period of a few days we pushed her morning nap from 10 to 12 and we skipped the afternoon nap. We were careful not to be in the car late in the morning or to have her in a situation where she might fall asleep before her new nap time. The first couple of days were rough because she took just 1 1-hour nap. But by day 3 she was taking 1 2-hour nap, and it has actually gotten a bit longer over time. So I do not think that 14 months is too early to phase out the nap. Liz O.
My almost 17 month old did the same thing at about 13 months. I started to force him to stay awake until at least 11 or 11:30. He would be pretty grumpy, but I found that it was more bearable to have him be grumpy in the morning than in the evenings. Eventually he just got used to the idea and now happily goes down at noon for about 2 hours. Jill
My daughter also started giving up her afternoon naps around 14 months almost exactly as you have described. At first, I tried waking her up early from the morning nap (after only 20-30 minutes), but that didn't really work. So in the end, i moved her to 1 nap. The hard part was that she was genuinely tired around 11:00 every day for about 1 month or 2. I had to be very careful not to let her fall asleep in the car or the stroller before noon, because i found that if she even dozed for 10 minutes or more, she would refuse to nap again until around 3:30 or 4:00. Anyhow, within a month, she was pretty much sure to nap from about 12:00 to 2:00, and within a few more months, stopped getting tired too early. camille s.
My son just went through a similar transition due to moving to day care, where they nap once a day. Prior to starting day care he went down easily for a morning nap between 9 and 10, but he was definitely fighting the afternoon nap. Acted like he didn't want/need to sleep, but really cranky if he skipped it. And yes, I think learning to walk is really exciting for them and a big distraction at nap time.

With the transition to day care, my son now takes one long nap starting between 11 and 12. For 2 - 3 weeks he was pretty cranky in the evenings but that was short lived. I was worried that it would take a lot longer to adjust than it actually did. He is now fine in the evening and even sleeps in, another extra perk. Occasionally after a tiring afternoon he will fall asleep in the car, but it is now the exception, not the rule.

To transition your child, you might want to try to put off the morning nap until late morning. For me, the easiest way to keep my son up was to take him outside or to the park, where he is always content checking things out and where he can go much longer without napping and without getting cranky. You might want to try a similar diversion. Good luck! Laura M.

I had exactly the same experience that you are describing. My 14-month old dropped her afternoon nap (or started to be very sporadic about taking it) but couldn't make it through the day without the afternoon nap. With the support and advice of my very experienced nanny, I just stopped giving her a morning nap, and moved the afternoon nap to a little earlier. It worked beautifully. For a few weeks I had to avoid being in the car, etc, at the morning nap time, and tried to do fun things during that period, but she didn't have any trouble making the switch. I was very worried that I was depriving her of her two-nap-a-day schedule too early, because I had assumed that she would drop the morning one on her own. But she just took a longer afternoon nap, and all was fine. Melissa T

When do babies give up morning nap?

Feb 2000

When do babies usually give up their morning naps? do they just stop being sleepy before lunch, or does the nap get later and later until it blends into the afternoon nap, or what happens?

Our son's morning nap got later and later and finally became one afternoon nap, but I expect you'll hear many different stories.
My first took morning naps until she started pre-school at age 2 1/2. She was in our home with a babysitter up to that point and there was never any effort to keep her from sleeping so much during the day. I stayed home with number 2 and was able to accelerate the dropping of the morning nap starting around 14 months. It didn't really merge with the afternoon nap in a gradual way, it just sort of moved up the time the afternoon nap began (anywhere from 12:00 to 1:00 now). I noticed that prior to that when she was taking 2 naps a day the morning nap would always start at the same time (around 10:00) but would last for shorter and shorter amounts of time (from 2+ hours originally down to 30 to 45 minutes towards the end). The afternoon nap started occuring later and later each day (sometimes not until 3:00). If you decide to curtail the morning nap try and not be in the car during the normal morning nap time at least for a few weeks. Take walks, sing songs or play outside. All these are good distractions and will help break the morning nap time ritual.
Our one year old has started switching from two to one naps each day over the past week, so I can give you our current information. She used to sleep for an hour (or so) from 10-11 (or so) and then for two (or so) hours from 2-4 (or so). Now she's sleeping in later in the morning (a blessing on weekends, but not so good during the week), and goes to sleep around 11:30 for two hours. She won't take an afternoon nap. We're assuming that the single nap will get a bit later as time goes on.