I am PUMPED for today’s post!
When I first started talking about the wonders of sleep training on Instagram, I started “running” into lots of other fans of getting babies to sleep! Enter: my new Insta-friend, Maggie Moore. Maggie is a certified pediatric sleep coach who runs her own business, Get Moore Sleep, helping parents of children of all ages to actually enjoy their little ones while getting everyone (including the parents!) the rest they need and deserve.
I used Moms On Call to sleep train Mac as an infant, but all my older-kid sleep questions have gotten volleyed to Maggie. She is an unbelievable resource and a wealth of information, and every single thing she’s advised has been right on the money for our family.
When Mac transitioned from two naps to one nap, I had a tough go of it. My previously incredible sleeper and very well sleep-trained little boy was bucking this new change in a BIG way, causing me to pull out all the hairs on my head, and causing him to only sleep 40 minutes a day (which, as you can imagine, was not healthy for EITHER of us when he’d previously been sleeping over 3 hours between his two naps). With Maggie’s help, we’ve gotten our one nap a day stretched to between 1-2 hours a day. We’re still offering him a cat nap in the late afternoon, and eventually, we’ll merge his nap and the cat nap into one SUPER NAP! None of this would’ve happened without Maggie’s guidance and support.
SO, all of that to say, she’s guest-posting on my blog today to offer you guys some free nap advice for anyone dropping a nap! With 17k followers on Instagram, she knows what she’s talking about, and I love that she was generous enough to offer some free coaching on this platform. I’m so excited to be able to share her wonderful advice with you. Meanwhile, I’ll be over on her Instagram handle taking over for the day. If you’d like to watch me be a goober and talk about sleep, please join us @getmooresleep!
Take it away, Maggie!
Why the transition to from two naps to one is so hard; and how to overcome it.
The older your little one gets, the more the amount of naps they have decrease. Which, in turn, means less of a reprieve for parents during the day. Bummer, right?
Nap transitions in general are stressful and tired times for families, but the biggest nap transitions happens when we finally drop the second nap and move to a one nap schedule.
On a two nap a day schedule, both naps pack a pretty good punch. The morning nap being a mentally restorative nap and the afternoon nap being the physically restorative nap; because toddlers are learning and growing at a rapid pace, they need those naps.
Most toddlers don’t drop their second nap until 15 to 18-months. When you are transitioning to a one nap a day schedule, you are trying to meld these two naps into one while continuing to retain those physically and mentally restorative qualities – which is so tough!
The first thing we need to know are the signs to look for to know if your little one is trying to transition. These signs start to appear around 12 to 14 months. Here are the most common ones:
Refusing the second nap
Nap two occurring too late and pushing bedtime too late
Waking up early without explanation (example: not being caused by a too-late bedtime or too little daytime naps)
Night wake-ups with no explanation.
What can you do to prevent this transition from happening too soon?
One option is to limit the naps if it becoming difficult to fit both in while maintaining a bedtime before 8 pm.
The wake times needed for one nap as opposed to two are significantly longer. If you have tried to cap the naps for a few weeks/months, but notice babe is starting to fight the afternoon nap again, or they are having early morning wake-ups that cannot be explained otherwise, or if we notice they are having more frequent night wake-ups that cannot be explained otherwise, then it is probably time to transition.
It can take over a month for the transition to happen, so be patient.
The best way to accomplish this transition is to slowly merge the two naps together. Pushing the morning nap later by 15 minutes every three to five days and then offering a small catnap in the afternoon if there is still time.
Don’t fear the early bedtime during this transition. If there is not time for a short afternoon nap, then opt for an early bedtime instead.
Remember: night sleep is the most restorative sleep your little one can get!
Maggie Moore is the Founder and Head Sleeper at Moore Sleep. She is a certified pediatric sleep consultant through the Family Sleep Institute, which means her sole focus and objective is getting your baby on a healthy sleep schedule so the whole family can get the sleep they need. Like many parents, Maggie and her husband struggled with getting their son on a healthy sleep schedule and he was unable to fall asleep independently. As a result, her family was losing precious sleep every night.
Maggie became a firm believer when, shortly after hiring a certified pediatric sleep consultant, her son began sleeping independently at bed and nap times. It was a turning point that resulted in not only restful nights, but waking up fully rested with the energy to face the day. Maggie knew right away she wanted to become a certified consultant herself so she could help other families struggling to get the sleep they need.
Maggie and her family reside in Southern Indiana (near Louisville, KY). She received her bachelor’s in Journalism and a second concentration in Communications & Culture from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. Follow Maggie on Facebook and Instagram.