Key Points from the Video:
- Typically around 15-18 months toddlers are ready to transition to one nap
- Typical sleep for 12-18 month old:
- Total night sleep 11-12 hours
- Day sleep is 1 1/2 to 3 hours
- Should sleep 13 1/2- 14 hours total for night + naps
Signs your little one is ready for one nap:
- not acting tired when you put them down
- not calming to sleep
- Not protesting during the first nap but just chilling in the crib and not sleeping
- Fall asleep but only sleeps 30 minutes and naturally shortening that first nap
- Protesting the nap: fussing, crying, resisting going down for that first nap
- They are sleeping well during day naps but bedtime is affected. Maybe that’s a sign they are sleeping too much during the day and the second nap is too late in the day
Tips to get to One Nap:
- Gradually push back the awake time
- Keep them busy. Go outside for a few minutes and get that light and Vit D to get that change of scenery and distract them. Be careful of doing activities far from home or they might fall asleep in the car.
What’s Changed Since Our One-Year Update?!
Transitioned from 2 Naps to 1 Nap:
Transitioning to one nap is definitely the biggest change we’ve undergone since Temple’s one-year update. When Temple was about 14-months, she started showing signs that she was ready to drop her second nap. You can watch the YouTube video linked above with my sleep coach, Jessica from Sleep Happy, for more specifics on transitioning to just one nap per day. Jessica talks about all the cues parents should look for, and how long a toddler this age should be sleeping each day. That being said, you know your babe best and will likely start picking up for these cues all on your own once it’s time.
All our kiddos are different, but for Temple, the main cue I picked up on was how she acted when it was time for that first-morning nap. She just didn’t seem quite as tired, and would just relax and talk in her crib instead of sleeping the full hour like she used to. She was super comfortable and obviously considers her crib a little safe place, so she wasn’t necessarily fussing – she just wasn’t falling asleep right away, either. At that point, I gauged that Temple could’ve easily stayed up for another hour or two instead of going down for her first of two naps.
So, what did I do when I started picking up on Temple’s signals?
Pretty simple — I just let her stay up longer! Instead of putting her down at 9:30 am for her first nap (you can see that one-year schedule here), I let her stay up until about 10:00 -10:30 am. I was slowly pushing her wake time about 15-30 minutes each day or two. Obviously, if she seemed exhausted I would put her down. And remember, this is a transition and doesn’t happen overnight — the push was slow and steady and took us a few weeks to get into the swing of things.
What helped me most was keeping her super busy in the morning so that she wouldn’t get as tired and bored at home. We would go to Playstreet Museum, the park, Little Gym, etc. to keep Temple occupied — anything to distract her from thinking about that first nap! I would usually try to time our morning activity to fit between breakfast and lunchtime. We’d come home around 11:00, and then I’d feed her around 11:30 to 12:00. Once she finished eating, she’d be nice and ready for her one big nap of the day (around 12:00 – 12:30 pm)!
This is still a work in progress and some days look better than others, but overall Temple is doing great on her new schedule. Now she takes one HUGE nap which is awesome for me! She’s typically out for 2 1/2 hours, which means I get a solid block of time to get things done around the house or work on blog content. She usually wakes up HUNGRY around 2:30 pm, so we eat a snack, try to fit in an errand or two, play, and then it’s time for her dinner at 5:00 pm. After that, it’s bath time, a little more play time now that Dad is home from work, and bedtime around 7:00-7:30 pm!
Remember, every kiddo is so different and just because Temple was ready to transition to one nap around 15 months does not mean your LO will be. I highly encourage you to watch the video so you know exactly what to watch out for. Trust me – you’ll know when the time is right!
A few more notes on our latest routine…
- No more Breastfeeding:
Since my One-Year Temple update, we have stopped breastfeeding. You can read more about our approach to transitioning breast milk to other “milks” in this post.
- Going to bed later and wakes up later:
These days, Temple goes to bed between 7:00 and 7:30 pm and wakes up around 7:30 am. Before, when she was on her two-nap schedule, she was waking up between 6:30 and 7:00 am and going to bed around 6:30-7:00 pm. When we transitioned away from her first nap, she naturally started to sleep in a little later, and is ready for bed later, too. Some nights she’s super tired and goes to bed at 6:30 pm, but on average, she’s down closer to 7:00 or 7:30 pm.
I personally LOVE that she’s sleeping in a bit later cause that means more time for ME in the morning! It also gives me time to prep her breakfast, lunch and even some snacks for the day, which has been a major game-changer. Seriously – this is one of my biggest mama tips – it just makes your day go so much smoother. We all know how hard it can be to prep a healthy meal when your little babe is awake – that girl keeps me BUSY! This routine allows me to make the most of her meals, instead of having to cut corners, ensuring she gets the most nutritious food possible!
Temple was always shaking around and trying to get out of her high chair so I decided to order this booster seat and see how it went- she loves it!!! She sits at the table with us and now my favorite plates don’t fall off the corners of her high chair tray, haha. If you feel like your LO might be ready for a booster seat, I’d encourage you to try the one we have! It’s great!
Temple’s 16-Month Schedule:
7:30 am: Temple wakes up for the day! We immediately change her diaper and come out to the kitchen where I (usually) have her breakfast prepped and ready to go. Temple wakes up HUNGRY, so she likes to eat right when she wakes up!
7:40 – 8:00 am: Temple eats breakfast.
8:00 -12:00 pm: Play and Snack! We usually leave the house and go do a fun activity or class before coming home for lunch. Temple is typically craving a snack around 10:00 am, so I either pack her one if we’re planning to be on-the-go or put her in her booster seat to eat if we’re at home.
12:00 pm: Lunch!
12:30 pm: Down for her nap. This is her one and only nap of the day!
2:30 pm: Wakes up from her nap. She usually sleeps for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Sometimes its 1 1/2 hours and sometimes she naps for a full 3, but I can usually count on about 2 hours to myself.
2:30: Snack #2. Temple typically sits in her booster seat for a light snack after her nap.
3:00 – 5:00 pm: Play! Sometimes we head out for an afternoon errand, time at the park, or go on a walk in our neighborhood!
5:00 pm: Dinner!
5:30 pm: Bath time- details on her bath time & bedtime routines in this post. After her bath, we usually hang out in her playroom for about an hour or so before bedtime.
7:00 – 7:30 pm: Bedtime.
7:30 am: Wake up and do it all over again!
Meal and Snack Ideas:
I recommend checking out my Instagram highlight pages where I’m constantly adding Temple’s snacks and meals. I even have the highlight pages divided into month range of what I fed Temple at that specific time.
Our favorite Dallas Activities:
- Emler Swim Class
- Playstreet Museum
- Coffee Park
- Northpark (Free) Storytime at Bookmarks
- Little Gym Class
- MusicTogether Class
- Barnes and Nobles Storytime