Most toddlers will drop from 2 naps to 1 nap between 15-18 months of age. There can be a nap regression around 12 months of age so don’t let them fool you! Keep offering the naps – they may or may not sleep but if you are consistent they should get back to normal with a little time. Before we drop to one nap, they may need their first nap shortened to as little as 15 minutes, especially if you are having trouble with their second nap of the day. We ideally want the second nap to be a minimum of 1.5 hours long and we really want to protect it as this will be the nap that sticks around until they no longer need a day time sleep. Signs that they may be ready to drop their first nap could be:
- not settling for nap 1 and able to wait until 12pm for the next nap
- or happily sleeping for nap 1 but then nap 2 is a struggle to settle for or very short
- shorten the first nap to 15 mins
- offer 3 hours of awake time between nap 1 and nap 2 or 2.5 hours of awake time if they take some time to settle to sleep – some children will happily chat or sing before they are ready to sleep
- make their room nice and dark – this minimises distractions or finding things they may play with and supports the production of the sleep hormone Melatonin, which is diminished by light.