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How to Help Baby Transition From 2 Naps To 1 Nap a Day

You think putting baby to sleep is difficult? You haven’t tried the transition yet. Get ready for the 2 naps to 1 nap transition a day. 

No matter how good you are at multi-tasking, getting anything done while looking after the babies feels impossible. The only time you can get something done is when the baby naps.   

Sleeping Pattern of Newborn Babies

Newborn babies sleep most part of the day and night. Sleeping for 14-17 hours out of 24 hours is pretty normal for newborns. The cycle of sleep in newborn babies is 2-3 hours. They usually wake up crying and go to sleep as soon as they are fed or changed. As the babies grow, they sleep for a longer period of time in one go. There comes a time when their sleep is divided into three parts; the whole night and two times during the day. This usually happens when they start eating solid food.

Sleeping Pattern of babies 1-2 years

By the time baby turns 1, his naps will become more regular and consistent. He will sleep throughout the night, wake up in the morning, play for a good 3-4 hours and take his first nap in the afternoon. After waking up, the same cycle will repeat, and he will take his evening nap. By the time you start enjoying the routine, the unthinkable will happen. The baby will start getting cranky, and you will wonder what has happened to him. Well, your baby is ready for the transition from 2 naps to 1 nap.

Signs your baby is ready for transition from 2 to 1 nap

Daytime naps are essential for the baby’s overall health. Most babies 12-18 months old take two naps a day, and it does not mess with their nighttime sleeping. By the time babies turn 2, they will start giving signs that you must look out for and help transition your baby from 2 to 1 nap a day. Here are the signs that your baby is ready for the transition.

He will be cranky and fussy

As the babies grow older, their sleep schedule changes. If you notice your baby unusually cranky and fussy before or after his nap time, it is a sign that he needs a change in his sleeping schedule.

He is missing his nap time and is still fresh

Babies usually become slow as their nap time nears or they become cranky. If your baby is fresh and energetic near his nap time and wants to play instead of going to bed, it is another sign he is ready for the transition.

His nap timings have changed

Most mothers know the exact nap timings of their babies. However, if the nap timings of your baby have changed, it is another sign. If your baby used to take two naps of 2 hours each, now he will sleep longer during the first nap and lesser during the second nap. Sometimes he might miss the 2nd nap altogether.

His night sleep is disturbed

There was a time when your baby would take two daily naps and would still sleep throughout the night. But if the night sleep gets disturbed, it means his daytime sleep needs to be re-adjusted.


5 Ways To Easily Transition Baby From 2 Naps To 1 Nap

Setting and maintaining a baby’s sleep routine is one of the most challenging parts of parenting. The sleep schedule of the babies changes as they grow. From sleeping in smaller chunks to 2 naps a day, you have seen major transitions in your baby’s sleep. There was a time when the baby wanted and needed to sleep more and now he wants to sleep less.

If your baby is ready for the transition and he is signaling it through his actions and behavior, this transition wouldn’t be difficult. However, some babies take time to transition and you can help them in the process. Here are some ways to transition your baby from 2 daytime naps to one nap.

1. Shift the nap time gradually

Most babies who are 2 years start taking one nap during the daytime. You can do this by shifting the nap times gradually. If your baby wakes up at 8, you can wake him up a little early. If the baby takes the first nap at 12, you can adjust the nap time a little earlier or later (see how your baby responds to the changed timings). You can do so by engaging him in different activities, take him out for a walk (if the weather is pleasant), read him a story or do something else that he likes. Put him to sleep at 1 instead of 12 and wake him up after an hour and half instead of two. Shorten the nap times and increase the interval between two naps.

2. Move nighttime a bit earlier

Since you are waking up the baby a little early, you can move bed time at night a bit earlier too. This will help make up the reduced sleep. If the baby still needs an extra nap during the day, let him nap for a brief time and don’t push him to skip the nap.

3. Make a good routine

A good bed time routine will help in smoother transition. Since the baby’s sleep time is reduced, he can be a bit fussy during bed time. A shower, bed time story, dim lights and white noise can be really helpful in putting the baby to sleep.

4. Stay Consistent

Consistency is the key to setting up any routine. When it comes to transitioning your baby from 2 naps to 1 nap, be consistent but not strict. It can take 2-4 weeks for the baby to transition completely and you need to be very patient during this time.

5. Make sure your baby has a good night’s sleep

The transitioning of day time naps depends primarily on the night sleep. If your baby has slept peacefully during the night, he will not only wakeup fresh but will need less sleep during the day time. So your main focus during the transition period should be the night time sleep. Make sure the baby is not engaged in any physical activities, is well rested and fed. Cut down the screen time and get him ready for the bed at least an hour before bed time.


Transitioning your baby from 2 naps to 1 nap may sound tricky but is not very difficult. You may find it daunting as a first time mother, but you will become a pro with the second and third child. But you must keep in mind that every child is different and not everything works for every child. You can try different methods but should be flexible and give your child time to adjust to the new routine.  

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9 thoughts on “How to Help Baby Transition From 2 Naps To 1 Nap a Day

  1. Making a proper sleeping schedule of your child is i guess most difficult task, thank you for guiding in detail about different signals. I hope this all information will help me in future.

  2. These are helpful information that will help all mothers to their kid’s transition of nap time, most especially the new mom out there.

  3. Trying to get the perfect balance of sleep for our little ones can be difficult! Thanks for sharing this informative blog to help us mamas 🙂

  4. This was definitely a tough time for us! I remember the second nap kept getting later and later until I finally had it. It was a bit rough going in the beginning, but totally worth it.

  5. Wow, moving it gradually sounds like a pretty smart idea. I have to try that. Cause ever since we’ve sleep trained Mia like a month ago with totally amazing book especially for toddlers: she sleeps perfect at night – 12-13hrs! But is a bit cranky about the naps – so this may be the time! Although I am afraid of interrupting our routine…

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