When Do Babies Drop To One Nap?

When do babies drop to one nap? Many parents find themselves perplexed by the fluctuating snooze patterns of their newborns, leading them to ponder when to drop to one nap. Nap transitions from two naps to one can be an exciting yet challenging time, marked by a shift in your little one’s daytime sleep schedule.

In this post, we’ll explore when and why babies drop their morning naps and move towards a one-nap schedule. We will also explore strategies for preparing for this change and how you can adjust your routine accordingly.

We won’t shy away from addressing common issues like early waking or tantrums that don’t arise during normal nap times. Lastly, we’ll share tips on maximizing rest time so your toddler’s evening routine remains undisturbed, ensuring both nighttime sleep and daytime naps are beneficial.

1. Understanding the Transition to One Nap

Transitioning from two naps to one is a big deal for your baby’s sleep game. It usually happens between 12 and 18 months, but every kid is different and may be ready at different times.

Signs your little one might be ready for this change:

  • They keep saying “no thanks” to their morning or afternoon nap.
  • Their naps are getting shorter, or they’re struggling to fall asleep during nap time.
  • They sleep like a champ at night, even when they skip a daytime snooze.

If you notice these behaviors, it could mean your baby is ready for one longer midday nap instead of two shorter ones. But don’t rush it; overtiredness can lead to sleep problems.

Baby Sleep Patterns Change Over Time

Your baby’s sleep patterns evolve as they grow. In the beginning, they need lots of short naps because of their tiny tummies and frequent feedings. As they get older and start eating solids, their sleep patterns shift towards fewer but longer snooze sessions.

Misconceptions About Baby Napping Habits

One common misconception is that skipping daytime naps makes babies sleep like night logs. Nope. An overtired baby has a harder time falling and staying asleep. Check out this article for more misconceptions.

Tips To Recognize Readiness For The Transition

Observe their behavior around nap times for several days or weeks to know if your toddler is ready to drop from two naps to one. Don’t base decisions on isolated incidents, like temporary changes due to illness or teething. Look at how easily they settle into each nap, how long they sleep, and how it affects their mood and overnight sleep patterns. You got this.

Key Takeaway: 

Babies typically transition from two naps to one between 12 and 18 months, but it varies for each child. Signs that your baby may be ready for this change include refusing or struggling with their morning or afternoon nap, having shorter naps, and sleeping well at night even without a daytime snooze. Observing your toddler’s behavior around nap times over several days or weeks is important to determine if they are truly ready for the transition.

2. Preparing for the Change

transitioning from two naps a day to just one

As your baby grows, their sleep patterns will naturally change and evolve. This includes transitioning from two naps a day to just one. Whilst this development can be thrilling, it may also be difficult for both parent and infant.

Create a Consistent Sleep Environment

Set the stage for sleep success by ensuring your baby’s room is dark, quiet, and cozy. Consider adding white noise machines or blackout curtains to create the perfect sleep sanctuary.

Gradually Adjust Nap Times

Don’t shock your baby’s system with a sudden nap time change. Ease into it by gradually shifting their nap times over a few days or weeks. It’s like a smooth transition dance.

Maintain Regular Bedtimes

Stick to a consistent bedtime routine to help your little one establish healthy sleep habits. Whether it’s reading stories or giving baths, make it a nightly ritual.

Tune Into Your Baby’s Sleep Cues

When your baby starts rubbing their eyes or yawning excessively, it’s a sign that they’re ready for some shut-eye. Pay attention to these cues and adjust nap times accordingly.

Prioritize Good Nutrition

A well-fed baby is a happy sleeper. Make sure your little one gets balanced meals with enough protein and carbs to keep hunger at bay. Check out What To Expect for tips on feeding your baby at different ages.

Remember: every child is unique; what works best may vary depending on individual temperaments and developmental stages.

“Transitioning from two naps to one can be challenging, but with a consistent sleep environment and gradual adjustments, your baby will adapt.”

3. Adjusting Your Schedule

When your baby drops to one nap, it's not just their routine that needs adjusting - yours does too

When your baby drops to one nap, it’s not just their routine that needs adjusting – yours does too. With a little perseverance and adaptability, you’ll soon discover an arrangement that suits both of you in the midst of this change.

A. Shifting Meal Times

Time to rearrange those meal times. If your baby used to have lunch after their morning nap, they may now be ready to eat earlier in the day. Try offering meals and snacks consistently each day so your little one knows what to expect.

B. Rescheduling Activities

Time to shuffle your plans. If there was an activity during the time of the dropped nap, consider moving it before or after the remaining nap time instead. Parents Magazine suggests planning active playtimes in the morning when babies tend to have more energy.

C. Creating Quiet Time

When your child seems tired mid-afternoon but isn’t quite ready for sleep yet, try implementing quiet time where they can relax with books or soft toys in a calm environment. This Baby Sleep Site guide on toddler schedules provides helpful tips on how this could work.

Daily Routine Example:

  • Morning wake-up & breakfast
  • Morning playtime/activity outing
  • Lunch, then Nap (typically early afternoon)
  • Afternoon snack & free play/quiet time
  • Dinner followed by bedtime routine & sleep

This is an example; every family’s schedule will look different based on individual needs and lifestyles. Remember, the key here is consistency.


  1. Note: The following are only suggestions; always follow cues from your child and consult with healthcare professionals as needed.
  2. Create a wind-down routine before naps, similar to bedtime routines. This helps signal them that it’s almost time for sleep.
  3. Incorporate physical activity into mornings; it encourages better daytime napping.
  4. Promote independent sleeping habits. It makes transitions smoother.

Key Takeaway: 
When babies transition to one nap, parents need to adjust their schedules as well. This includes shifting meal times, rescheduling activities, and creating quiet time in the afternoon. Consistency is key during this transition period.

4. Troubleshooting Common Issues

baby giving you sleepless nights

Is your baby giving you sleepless nights? Don’t fret; we have a variety of innovative solutions to regular infant snooze dilemmas.

A. Early Waking

Is your little one an early bird? Adjust their bedtime to ensure they get enough shut-eye. According to the Sleep Foundation, an earlier bedtime can lead to later wake-up times in the morning.

B. Difficulty Falling Asleep During Naps

Need help getting your child to nap? Create a serene environment with dim lights, soothing music, or a cozy storytime. Consistent pre-nap routines, like brushing teeth or changing into pajamas, can also work wonders.

C. Overcoming Nap Resistance

Is your baby refusing to nap? Be patient and offer quiet activities until they show signs of tiredness. Remember, they’ll snooze when they’re ready.

D. Dealing with Short Naps

Is your little one only catnapping? Don’t fret. It takes time for their internal clock to adjust. Be patient during this transition period, and remember that every child adjusts differently.

So, troubleshooting these naptime issues requires patience and flexibility. Keep your eyes on the prize: ensuring your little one gets the rest they need.

“Having trouble with your baby’s naps? Don’t worry, we’ve got solutions. Adjust bedtime, create a serene environment, be patient and flexible.”

5. Maximizing Rest Time

The transition to one nap can be challenging, but with the right strategies, you can ensure your baby gets enough rest. Here are some ideas to maximize rest time when your baby is down to one nap a day.

A. Stick to a Consistent Nap Schedule

Consistency is key for your baby’s sleep. Set a regular schedule with the single nap around the same time each day. This helps regulate their internal clock and makes it easier for them to fall asleep.

B. Create an Ideal Sleep Environment

A dark, quiet, and cool room is ideal for quality sleep. Consider using white noise machines or lullabies to soothe your baby into deep slumber.

C. Encourage Physical Activity

Physical activity during awake times helps tire out your little one before naptime. Try age-appropriate activities like crawling games or playground visits.

D. Ensure Proper Nutrition

Good nutrition promotes better sleep. Feed your child well-balanced meals before naptime, including foods rich in tryptophan like turkey or bananas.

Every kid is different, so what works for one might not be effective for another. With patience and consistency, you’ll find effective ways to maximize restfulness with just one daytime snooze.

“Maximize your baby’s rest time with these strategies for transitioning to one nap a day. Stick to a consistent schedule, create an ideal sleep environment, encourage physical activity, and ensure proper nutrition.”


In this blog post, we talked about the transition from two naps to one nap for babies. Most babies drop down to one nap between 12-18 months old, so get ready for some naptime consolidation!

Watch out for signs that your baby is ready for this change, like consistently resisting or skipping a nap – they’re little nap rebels!

To make the transition smoother, gradually adjust your schedule and create a consistent routine – babies love predictability, just like us and our morning coffee.

If you encounter issues like early wake-ups or naptime struggles, don’t panic – we’ve got troubleshooting tips to save the day!

By following these tips and maximizing rest time, you can help ensure a smooth transition and promote healthy sleep habits for your little one – because a well-rested baby is a happy baby!