Figuring out when babies go to one nap is very important because it helps you figure out how to prepare and make this transition process faster. Generally, babies that are 4-5 months old will need 3-4 naps during the day. When they get to be 6-8 months old, they shift to only 2 or 3 naps. Once babies hit 9-12 months, they typically get 12 hours of sleep at night and up to 4 hours of sleep during the day split between 2 naps.
Transitioning to a single nap
It’s important to note that babies move to a single nap when they are between 14 to 18 months. Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach since some babies might switch to a single nap a lot faster. There’s no general answer to the question “when do babies go to one nap,” although, on average it should be after your child is over a year old. Speaking of that, some kids will drop naps completely before they reach the pre-school years, while others nap even if they reach kindergarten age.
Are there any signs that your baby is ready to go to a single nap?
If you are trying to figure out when babies go to one nap, it’s a very good idea to look out for various signs. For example, if your baby is taking a long time to fall asleep at the regular nap time and skips naps multiple days in a row, then you have to address the situation as quickly as possible. If your kid falls asleep on his own, it is a sign that the second nap is still required. But if the second nap is skipped on a daily basis, then this shows your kid is ready to have just a single nap every day. Also, you want to watch out for signs like yawning, eye rubbing, or low energy levels.
Another sign appears when missed naps have little to no impact. If your child needs more than a single nap, he’s tired and yawning during the day. However, if you see that missing a nap has no impact on your baby, that means he is ready to go for one nap. You do want to check this out for multiple days. A lack of sleep leads to mean behavior, hyperactivity, irritability, and many unwanted issues or concerns.
The same thing can be said if your baby struggles with nighttime sleep. It’s important to note that daytime sleep will affect how much time your child sleeps during the night. That being said, if you see that the nighttime sleep is not going very well, then you want to address the situation as much as you can. Increase the activity levels during the day and switch to one nap.
Are daytime naps mandatory?
Yes, naps are helpful because they are important for your kid’s brain development. Studies show that naps are actually ideal for generalizing information and consolidating memories. The thing to note here is that naps aren’t as important when your kid’s brain matures. But in the case of babies, they have a major developmental role. That’s why babies up to a year old have 2-4 naps. But when babies go to one nap, it’s clear that in a year or so they won’t need any nap. It’s something normal, and a part of the growth process for kids.
Tips and tricks to help you drop your baby to a single nap:
- It’s a very good idea to delay the morning nap by up to 30 minutes if you can. Not only that, but you should also try to move meals, the second nap, and even the regular bedtime with up to 30 minutes. Do this even if your baby wakes up early. It’s a very good idea and it can help bring in great results while eliminating any possible concerns that might arise.
- In case the nap is shorter than 2 hours, it’s a good idea to move the bedtime earlier, but try to avoid making it earlier than 6 PM. This way you can avoid early waking. Experimenting with bedtime is a good idea, but once you get results, try to stick to a more solid schedule.
- Offer your child 2 naps either once or twice per week. You can attempt the one nap schedule for a few days, then switch for a day to 2 naps and so on. It won’t always work to switch it right from the start, so experimentation is key until you get it right for your kid.
- It makes a lot of sense to keep your baby in bed for 2 hours so you can make the nap longer. A single nap should be 2-3 hours long, so try to take that into consideration for the best possible results.
- We recommend stopping the morning nap if the toddler stays awake for 5 hours. Try to keep this in mind, as it might help you quite a bit.
Is there any danger if you drop a nap too soon?
Naps are important because they help your child develop properly. But the truth is that no two babies are the same. Some will need 2 naps per day for 2 years or so, others can drop naps altogether and not sleep at all during the day. It’s a very important aspect to focus on, which is why you want to study your baby’s sleep schedule.
It will offer a good insight into the situation and you can see if your baby is ready to drop a nap or not. Don’t force this on your child. Instead, assess the situation and try to ease your child into the process. It will help quite a lot, and that’s exactly the thing you need to consider here. It’s definitely not going to be easy, but the results can be very impressive.
The end goal is to try and have the nap take place near 12.30 PM, 5 hours after the baby woke up. Bedtime should be around 5 hours after the nap ends. This way your kid will be awake for 10.5 hours that day. So, once you have a good understanding of your baby’s sleeping needs, you must establish a schedule like this and try your best to stick to it. Otherwise, there will be issues and you want to avoid that as much as possible.
How much time does it take to transition to a single nap?
Believe it or not, this can take multiple weeks. The transition process is quicker for some kids but harder for others. That’s why you want to focus on eliminating any concerns and fully focus on making the entire process as quick as possible. The way you do that is by tracking your kid’s sleep schedule and slowly adjusting it. Patience is required here since it won’t always happen overnight. That’s what makes it well worth it, the fact that you can experiment and figure out what works for you.
Is it too early to try and transition to one nap when your baby is 9 months old?
It all depends on the baby. As we mentioned earlier, most babies will end up dropping the second nap when they are 1-2 years old. While dropping the second nap at 9 months is entirely possible, you should never force your child to do that. If it happens naturally, sure, you can leave it to happen. But generally, it’s important to allow your kid to show signs that he/she is ready to drop that second nap and just sleep once during the day. Once that happens, you can use our tips above to try and ease this process and make it easier for your kid.
Remember, it’s important to see any signs before you start helping your kid drop that second nap. Since there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, this involves a lot of patience and commitment to helping your kid maintain a high level of comfort.
Learning when do babies go to one nap is very important if you want to prepare your kid for this unique process. It’s something that happens naturally, yet you want to be there, fully prepared and ready to tackle any of the issues and challenges that can arise. Babies enjoy a single, long nap, and it’s great for the brain and general development. That’s why it makes a lot of sense to help your kid go to one nap, but avoid any pressure or forced systems that might lead to discomfort for your child. Make it feel natural, experiment and see what works, then adapt your child’s sleep schedule accordingly. In the end, this will make the process simpler and more convenient, and your child will certainly appreciate it as well!