So you sleep-trained your baby and thought your sleep troubles were behind you. Then it happens – the dreaded nap battles.
Does one of these scenarios sound familiar?
Wouldn’t it be great if sleep issues were one and done?
Instead, your child’s brain and body are a virtual minefield of transitions and milestones just waiting to interfere with restful sleep.
Arm yourself with a little knowledge and you can head these changes off at the pass and enjoy smoother transitions.
Keep in mind that a two to three week adjustment period might be necessary, even when things go smoothly. During this adjustment, baby may be cranky and need a slightly earlier bedtime. There will likely be days when baby still needs two naps and others where you can get by with just one.
Avoid making the switch too soon simply because your baby refused a nap once or twice. Don’t mistake normal age and milestone-related nap disturbances as a sign that baby is ready to drop a nap.
The afternoon nap is the one you will keep, so don’t allow baby to develop a habit of taking a long morning nap and then fighting a second one. Control the length of the morning nap to ensure your baby can go down again in the afternoon.
Ensure your baby is sleeping well through the night to avoid overtiring your child.
Start by gradually pushing the morning nap later in 20-30 minute increments every few days. For example, 11:00 for a few days, then 11:30 for a few and so on until your baby has adjusted enough to make it to a midday nap (12:30 or 1:00) without growing overtired and fighting sleep.
Move bedtime earlier for a few weeks.
Be open to an occasional two nap “catch-up” day.
If your baby takes a short nap (common during this transition) try to resettle him or allow him time to resettle himself as this will be his only nap of the day.
Finally, take solace in the fact that this too shall pass. Once this transition is complete, your own schedule will become much more manageable. One daily nap makes planning and fun much easier. Congratulate yourself – you are well on your way!
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