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How to Transition a Toddler From 2 Naps to 1

Between 18 and 24 months, most toddlers will need to nap just once a day. Here's how to restructure your child's day around a new schedule.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Look for the signs Look for signs that your child is ready to quit sleeping in the mornings. They may take longer to drift off, wake up earlier, or play in their crib and not sleep at all. You may stop seeing the typical signals of drowsiness, like rubbing their eyes or yawning.
  • TIP: A child who does one or some of these things one day, then naps as usual the next is not ready to drop a nap.
  • Step 2: Keep them up Start by keeping your child awake for a half-hour longer in the mornings for a few days. If their nap was at 10 a.m., push it back to 10:30.
  • Step 3: Continue pushing back naptime Continue pushing their naptime later and later, in half-hour increments for a few days at a time, until their naps starts at around 12:30 or 1 p.m.
  • TIP: If your child is in day care, synchronize their new naptime to match the day care center's schedule.
  • Step 4: Change lunchtime While she's getting used to the new schedule, feed your toddler lunch a little earlier than usual.
  • Step 5: Wake them up So that they'll go to sleep at their regular bedtime at night, don't let your child sleep past 3 p.m. Wake them up gently if you have to.
  • Step 6: Enjoy your new schedule Once your child is on the one-a-day nap schedule, enjoy your extra time with them!
  • FACT: Studies show that just 10 minutes of sleep can leave grown-ups feeling more alert and refreshed.

You Will Need

  • A toddler
  • A clock
  • About two weeks of flexibility in your schedule

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