1 nap schedules for 10 month olds

Hi -

I am a first time mom and my 10 month old goes to day care center in Berkeley. They are planning to graduate her to Waddlers because she meets all the requisite milestones. While we are  excited for her to join the waddlers, they have a much more rigid schedule where-in there is only 1 nap offered throughout the day. I know a lot of kids transition to 1-nap schedule between 13-15 months but 10 months seems a little too young to make that switch. We love her day care and her teachers - they are incredibly thoughtful and loving. Seeking advice on how others have navigated this.


P.S. - She has rough nights when she switches to 1 nap (usually sleeps at 6 pm or earlier and up several times at night). Her sleep consultant and pediatrician thought it was too soon to transition as well.

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FWIW, not identical circumstances, but we transitioned our son to 1 nap around 10.5 months because he started skipping his second nap and it worked out great for us. Once he transitioned, the other baby in our nanny share at the time of the same age also transitioned without issue even though she probably wouldnt have if we hadnt transitioned. I think the key is to put them to bed earlier especially at the beginning so they dont get overtired and try to transition gradually so its less of a shock (by either pushing back the first nap a bit at a time, or capping the first nap at shorter and shorter intervals). There is a great Facebook group called Respectful Sleep Training/Learning that has helpful files on how to handle making the transition to 1 nap that might be useful. I have also read that any kid can handle a 1 nap schedule by 1 year old. Good luck!

I'm definitely not an expert, but my feeling is sleep is more important than anything else at this point.  Do you know why they are trying to graduate her? Are they trying to solve a space issue or do they really think it would be better for your child?  If it's ultimately a convenience for them issue I'd push back -- I definitely wouldn't want to deal with a kid who is not napping as much as they need.  And usually "my pediatrician says" is a good card to play in situations like this!

That is nuts. You’re the parent - and your pediatrician agrees with you! She stays where she is until YOU decide she moves. Or find a new daycare. Try Blue Skies - they’re wonderful. 

Trust your instincts, mama! They’ll serve you well for the next 18 years … You’re in charge here!

I would weigh the recommendations of your sleep consultant, pediatrician and your gut first before your day care center. What would happen if you did nothing - i.e. kept your daughter in the classroom she is already in? Sounds like she meets most of the requisite milestones to transition to the Waddlers, but not all if she is not ready to transition to one nap. For what its worth, 10 months strikes me as probably too early for one nap, but, again, your sleep consultant and pediatrician would have better insight and you know your daughter best. Congrats on having a great kiddo and best of luck!

It sounds like transitioning to 1 nap a day is not a real possibility for your daughter right now. I think it's appropriate to have a conversation with the day care where you lay that out as the foundation for the discussion (you have a pediatrician and a sleep consultant to back you up) and see what options they're able to offer. If they can't accommodate her napping twice a day in the Waddler class, would it be detrimental to her development if she stayed in the class/cohort she's already in? (Seems doubtful.) Sleep is super important to her development (and your sanity) so don't feel bad about making it a priority. 

Good luck! 

I think 10 months is too early to drop to 1 nap. I would say 12 months is the earliest a child should go down to 1 nap intentionally. I think you should tell the daycare you would prefer for her to stay with the group that has 2 naps a day until she turns 1 year old because your pediatrician said 10 months is too young for 1 nap a day. They should really accommodate you on that, if they don't I would start looking for a new daycare. 

We were in a similar situation. My daughter started a new daycare around 10 months old at the start of the pandemic. All the other kids were older than her, with the next youngest being around 12 months old. And they were all on a 1 nap schedule. She very quickly joined the 1 nap party. I've always thought that either she did it of her own personal will as she has serious fomo, even today, and doesn't like napping alone in a room. Or the providers just put her on the same schedule as the other kids for simplicity. Either way, there was no turning back. We dealt with a lot of grumpy evenings. I found that putting her to bed super early, like 5:30 or even 5:15 pm, definitely helped. It's hard because the biggest problem was getting home and getting dinner (breastfeeding & solids) before then. Many times she would fall asleep while breastfeeding, kind of like a mini nap. But the earlier she went to bed, the better she slept through the night. I will qualify this by saying that we did CIO around 4 months and she's been a solid sleeper ever since then with no night wakings. Most of her "night" wakings during this 1 nap transition period would happen in the first 1-2 hours of putting her down and we'd let her CIO. Transitions are hard. Hang in there, stick with what works for you, and it'll all work out fine!

10 months sounds way too early! The range I have read for switching to one nap (without it being too early) is 15-20 months. And you can see that trying to switch negatively affects her night sleep, so there is no reason to think she is a rare outlier who is ready much sooner. Maybe your daycare has thought about a way for her to have two naps while participating in the older classroom? If not, and they really expect her to take only one nap, I would just tell them you (and your pediatrician) don't think she's ready.