Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nap Schedule: Transitioning From Two Naps to One

Leo's sleep schedule is in upheaval.  Again.  He is moving from a two-nap schedule to a one-nap schedule and it's not pretty.  We had a nice run.  For months his sleep schedule looked something like this:

7 am: Wake-up
10 am: Nap for an hour or more
2 pm Nap for an hour or more
7:30pm Bedtime, and usually asleep by 8

It was lovely while it lasted, but lately he's been refusing to nap.  At first I thought it might be because we'd been so busy, so I cleared our schedule for a couple days and made napping our #1 goal.  Fail.  Apparently you can't force a toddler to sleep. 

Ok, so fine.  One nap.  I can dig that.  Let's start a one nap schedule.  Unfortunately that's easier said than done; it has not been a smooth transition.  I feel like we are taking two steps forward and one step back.  I'm trying to guide him towards a schedule that maintains his normal bedtime and wake-up, but just has one (hopefully longer) nap at noon or 1 pm. 

And for a day that will work great.  He'll be a little (ok, a lot) cranky at his old naptimes (but will absolutely refuse to sleep), but if we keep busy he can push through.  Then at bedtime, he's exhausted and cranky, but falls right to sleep.  Ok, so the day was full of crank, but he'll get used to the new schedule soon enough.  Right?  Right?

Then the next day he will take two loooooooong naps - or even three - to make up for the day before.  Great.  Until bedtime. Next thing I know it's 10:30 at night and he's still running circles around me.  I'm about ready to tear my hair out. 

Today has been one of those two nap days.  And the naps weren't even long!  But of course Leo is zooming around now at 9:30.  I tried to put him to bed at 8 - but it was not successful.  I nurse him to sleep each night and tonight he was squirming and squirming, so finally I closed up the milk shop and just laid with him.  He kept trying to get up to play, but I calmly laid him back down each time and explained it was time to sleep. 

He laid there for a bit.  Then he began to sign "bath".  We didn't give him a bath before bed tonight, so I guess he thought he found a loophole.  I told him, no, no bath tonight.  So he signed "eat".  I reminded him that we just finished dinner.  A few minutes later he signed "potty".  This one never fails.  So we got up and went to go sit on the potty.  Shockingly, he didn't go.  As I was putting his pjs back on he signed "water".  Are you kidding me?  The kid isn't even 14 months old.  Isn't he a little young to be hustling me for a later bedtime?

Anyway, I'm off to try and put him down again.  Wish me luck.  I'd love any advice you might have for weathering this transition.  It's driving me bonkers.


  1. No advice, just sympathy. While I was tired of being trapped at home with 2-nap-a-dayers, I do not like this transition! Now, my almost 2 year olds are ALMOST down to one nap a day. I can't believe they are still willing to take two! But we are just getting too busy for over four hours of daytime sleeping. I hope they will start to sleep a bit later in the morning, but that hasn't happened yet either!

    Good luck!

  2. bird moved from two naps to one nap at about the same age. one day, she just REFUSED to take her morning nap and that was the end of that.

    is leo sleeping in his own bed, or is he sleeping in yours still? we found that moving bird to her own bed helped with going to sleep. we do the whole routine (nursing, rocking, playing music), then put her in her bed. we try really hard to make the times consistent - 2 or 2:30 for nap, 7:30 for the night. sometimes she'll play in her crib for a while, we can hear her singing to her dolls or carrying on conversations with them, but she almost always falls asleep within a few minutes.

    sleep is HARD, i don't think there is a universal answer - you've just gotta do what works for you and your family. good luck & keep us posted!

  3. Rebekah7/13/2011

    Oh man. Etta is refusing naps at all (but still takes them at day care -- we think it's peer pressure) so either she sleeps in the car, or goes to bed cranky. We're just trying to go with it.

    Good luck!

  4. Sleep deprivation is never a good thing. I hope things settle down soon. Thanks for commenting on my blog - I love getting comments, especially from someone whose blog I enjoy as much as yours.

  5. Thanks for the support. I'm hearing the same thing at playgroup and at the playground - it sucks, but is normal. Good to know I'm not alone. Misery loves company :)