I’m certain I speak for all parents when I say-we love baby nap time! It gives mommy and baby time to rest, recharge and refocus. So at what point do babies drop a nap and go down to just one nap a day? Most babies will start to show signs of wanting to drop the second nap around 12 months, but pediatricians will recommend keeping them on 2 naps a day until they’re closer to 14 months.
The transition from 2 naps to 1 can be rocky. It's definitely not going to be smooth sailing, and they will have days when they’re super grumpy, so make sure your baby is 100% ready before you drop that extra nap. How can you tell? Here are some helpful clues:
One Nap is Always Shorter:
Your baby may nap longer for their morning nap and have a super short afternoon one. Or vice versa. One nap is clearly the outlier. It’s ok if this happens once in a while, but if it happens consistently for 2 weeks straight, you’ll know your baby is ready to drop down to 1 nap.
If your baby is suddenly protesting one of their naps and cries or refuses to sleep, it’s time to cut that nap out. And again, we’re not talking about one single day, it should be consistent. If this is happening 4 out of 5 days a week, that’s a big clue it’s time.
Playtime instead of Nap Time:
Ok, so maybe they’re not crying or fussing over taking a nap, but instead they’re playing and chatting it up the entire time they’re in the crib. Guess what? It’s time to drop it. Use the 4 out of 5 day rule here as well.
Replacing the nap with rest time:
The first few weeks of transitioning down to 1 nap a day can still be hard for your toddler. They may be extra tired or grumpy, and the best way to help them transition is to have “rest time.” Rest time can be any activity that doesn’t involve a lot of movement or loud sounds or lights. Reading and snuggling on the couch are the best ways to get them to do rest time with you. And bonus: you get some extra cute snuggles in!