Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tell Me How ... To Transition to One Nap

I'm long overdue for another "tell me how" post. This time, I need you to tell me how to transition Spencer from two daily naps to one. He's such a good napper... well, was a good napper. He'd go down at 10, sleep for 1.5 hours, wake up so happy and pleasant. Then he'd go down around 2, sleep for another 1.5 hours, and wake up happy and pleasant. I loved the pattern of our days. This past week has been a whole 'nother story. He's driving me crazy.

I got sick and then he got sick, too, so in fairness, the week was crappy to begin with. When he gets sick, he doesn't sleep. Won't nap, and wakes up frequently at night. So it was a long week. He seems to be getting over his cold, but he still won't nap. He won't go down for a morning nap, but by 12 or so, he's super tired and ornery (and so am I!) I put him down and he sleeps for 1.5 hours but wakes up still tired and ornery. He's used to getting 3 hours of sleep during the day, and now will only sleep 1.5. By 5 in the afternoon, I'm frustrated and ready to sell him, cause he's tired and cranky and clingy and all other fun things. I'm sure this rhetoric sounds familiar to many of you...

So... what do I do? All the stupid "help" books say when you make the switch to one nap, they'll sleep longer to make up for only taking one, instead of two. HA! I'd love him to continue to take 2 naps, since we had such a nice pattern to our days. Now it's chaos. Maybe he'll go back to taking 2 when he's feeling all the way better, but probably not. He's 14 months, so close to the average that kids transition to one nap (it's 15 months, according to some sleep expert dude).

What time(s) do your kids nap? One or two? How long do they sleep? How did you know it was time to make the switch to just one nap? I realize that all kids are different... blah, blah, blah... but please help anyway. Your own personal experiences are welcome. Or if you don't have advice, feel free to bid. Like I said, he's driving me crazy... :) Good thing he's so adorable and I love him like mad... otherwise I really might sell him.

13 comments:

Andrea said...

I wish I could help but all I can offer is that you're a great mother and I'll be asking you these questions in the future. :)

MiriamR said...

I used to put Eva down at 12 because she would get SUPER grouchy if I waited too long and she seemed to sleep longer. she is now 3 and I still try to force a nap in there because if not she passes out on the floor in the day. She napped 2 times a day until she was two years old though. That was because I made her. I felt like I would rather her become grumpy after nap #2 for 3 hours rather than for half the day. Jamison is only 9 months and I just switched him to 2 naps and he needs them badly. Sorry I can't really help. My memory is extremely foggy on how it was accomplished.

NaDell said...

For us it usually takes a good month of them trying to fall asleep earlier at night before they figure out that they need to sleep for more than 1 1/2 hours. If he's acting grouchy, just lay him back down. If he starts crying, put him in his bed. Is his diaper all wet when he wakes up or does he just need a drink or a hug or maybe a book?

You can look forward to this again when he starts transitioning to no nap. =) Elizabeth would fight naps so bad that if I put her in her bed at noon, sometimes she'd stay in there talking to herself quietly until 4pm before she'd finally go to sleep. This wasn't the best schedule at all because then she wasn't tired at bedtime, but we've always put our kids to be a little later than some people do anyway. When they're babies we keep them up a few extra hours with us.
Good luck.

Kirsten said...

I definitely didn't have a plan with B. he was still on two naps until he was almost 2. Then he started taking his morning nap later because he wasn't as tired. I think it started out being kind of short because he was used to two, but it got longer and longer. Eventually it was about noon-3. Now, he does like 2 till 4:30. Then goes to bed about 8 or 8:30. Good luck!

Cassidy said...

I have no good advice. I have no idea how this is done, and Addie is 17 months and still taking two 1.5 hour naps because I don't know how to transition her. Trying for one nap only cuts out some of her sleep for the day. So, I'm sticking with two naps until further notice.

And I'll be watching for follow-up advice.

Sarah said...

I wish we could keep 2 naps! But Spencer refuses the morning one... leaving me with not a lot of choice...

Leons said...

Well Sarah, I wish I could tell you how, but I don't remember what I did with Alexander. I think he just did it on his own. His always transitioned to the afternoon. At least your little guy will take a nap. My little man is 2 1/2 and he's too young to stop taking his naps, but he rarely will take them. Be grateful you're not at that point yet! Just keep trying, don't give up. Sooner or later he'll do, they somehow put themselves on their own schedule when they grow.

Jenny said...

The transition to one nap wasn't easy for my kids. There was a good month or more where one nap was insufficient and two naps was too many. But after that awkward period, the single afternoon nap settled in and worked well for almost a year. When to drop from 2 to 1 is really variable. My kids were around a year old, but I know others who were much earlier or later. I'd follow Spencer's lead: if he's not falling asleep for his morning nap then he's ready to drop to one nap. Hope the transition goes alright. :)

Melvin and Carly said...

That's a hard one. Every kid is different. Maren could still use 2 naps a day but I always had to go pick up Audrey from school at that time - the more kids you have, the trickier naptime gets. :) So Maren only has one nap, usually in the morning, but I've been trying to push it back a little so that she's not so cranky in the afternoon. Now that it's summer, though, the routine is changing a little. Since Spencer's tired by noon, maybe try giving him an early lunch and see if he'll go down after that. Good luck!

Brett and Emily said...

Cute Spencer! I love to try and wear them out as much as possible by going to do something outside or doing something that requires energy, that way the kid is ready for a good LONG nap in the afternoon. :)

hapi said...
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The Jones Family said...

I never read any sleep books or anything, but Dax didn't go down to 1 nap a day until 18 months or so. I was like you-LOVED our routine, and it worked for him. I didn't see a reason to change the routine if it worked for him. I hope you are able to get through this and Spencer starts taking better naps, sounds like he still isn't feeling too well. There are still days at 2 1/2 that Dax could use 2 naps. Sometimes we take a late morning nap and then have some quiet time in the afternoon. If not, he is a grump! I don't know how we transitioned though, my memory is a bit foggy on that one. I am guessing that daycare helped with that one, but that isn't much help to you, sorry! Good luck!!

Stacy said...

Ug! Calister is 6 months and he thinks he doesn't need a nap during the day. It's driving me crazy. Weird thing is he is just happy as can be. I however need a little down time during the day when the little two are asleep. He was such an awesome napper. It's like he discovered that its summer and we do fun things and he doesn't want to sleep though all of them. So he stays awake no matter where we go and what we do. If we are just home he still wants to hang out with us. So not fun this whole napping thing. Just know that as a mother of 5 I am still feeling your napping pain. You are not alone my friend.