For us, one of the more challenging transitions with a baby has proven to be dropping a nap. Theo dropped to one nap “earlier” than is prescribed. Most toddlers go to one nap after their first birthday. Theo made the transition around 10.5 months. Not because he is advanced, but because homeboy loves to sleep.
We are very lucky with Theo in that he has a pretty strict schedule, not because I am super strict, but rather because he is a creature of habit! On two naps, he napped at 10 am, and at 230 pm, and bed at 7 pm. It was pretty consistent! Until it wasn’t.
Why I thought he was ready to drop to one nap: he was really fighting bedtime. Some nights he would scream for an hour before finally falling asleep. Also, his morning nap was getting increasingly longer, and I had to wake him up from it. Which, Theo and I are a lot alike in that we do not like being woken up. Because of that, his afternoon nap was really becoming a struggle. He was skipping it more often than not, which resulted in an overtired baby at bedtime (hence the screaming).
How we did it: I tried pushing his morning nap as late as possible, for a period of a week or so until he got used to a new 12 PM naptime. During the transition period, he had some early bedtimes but it didn’t impact his sleep tooooo much because his daytime nap was shorter than what he was previously used to (like… 45 minutes) so he was making up for it with his nighttime sleep.
Before Daylight Savings: I could pretty much count on a solid 12 PM TO 2 PM nap. Sometimes it would go longer, and usually I’d go get him sometime after 2:30 PM. If he was awake, he’d normally just play quietly in his crib. He does have a Dora lovey/blanket in there now, which he doesn’t sleep with but he does play with it when he wakes up.
After Daylight Savings: ugh it’s been a mess. We’ve had to go back to two naps, early bedtimes, early mealtimes. Theo’s internal clock is STRONG. After a few days, I feel like we are *finally* back on schedule.
I was really nervous for the transition to one nap, but it’s been amazing. Having one long block of uninterrupted time to do chores, nap, or relax has been a game changer for me. Also, having our entire morning to wake up, eat breakfast, and do a full activity has been really nice too.
If you’re scared of transitioning to one nap, but you think your baby is ready, don’t be scared! It took about a week of transition, and then we really hit our stride.