So Jack is almost a 1 year old!
We have had such a different year this year. 3 kids, 5 and under – need I say more?!
Well I have survived, just. I have had some hairy days (hairy weeks really – literally) but Jack is nearing 1 now, and all in all, life gets easier when they get a little more independent. For me anyhow.
So what changes are happening?
I am now transitioning Jack to 1 nap a day.
The transition is almost complete, thankfully. Let’s face it, nap transitions are the pits. It is a relief when you can get out the other side.
A lot of people may be surprised that an 11 month old is ready for 1 nap a day. As a sleep consultant, I have found that babies that are consistently sleeping through the night are often ready for the transition to 1 nap from 10 months onwards (actually I find that girls suit 10 months old, boys – 11 months old).
Often if a bub isn’t transitioned at the right time for them, a few things start to happen.
- They will start fighting that second nap – which isn’t enjoyable for bub or parent
- Bedtime can suddenly become harder – mainly because they are not ready for it because they had a late 2nd nap;
- Plus early morning wakes can start to happen. This is simply due to the fact the daily schedule the day before messed up their peaceful 11-12 hour nights sleep.
If any of these scenarios start to happen from 10 months onwards, providing you have an independent sleeper that is, then you know it’s time for the transition to 1 nap.
The best way to transition from 2 naps to 1 nap a day:
1. Move the first nap to 11am.
Bub should have been on a 10-10:30am nap for a while so this shouldn’t be too much of a push. Distraction (usually food!) is a great way to get them through to 11am.
I would avoid the car or the pram late morning because bub WILL fall asleep, and you really don’t want to prolong this transition.
Over the next few weeks, gradually move this nap time towards 12-12:30pm. That’s where I would stay for the start of the day nap going forward.
2. No more 2nd nap
You are going to need to make sure the afternoon is low key to get bub through the time he used to nap. Again, steer clear of the pram or car around this time for the first week at least.
You always want to avoid cat naps.
3. Early bedtime
Bub will be exhausted come bedtime for the next little while.
Go with a 6pm bedtime, even earlier if you feel that bub is really struggling. Do these early bedtimes for a week or so. Gradually move bedtime later as you move the nap time later.
Ideally you want bub napping for 2-3 hours in the day. It may not hit this length straight away but it will soon (based on a baby with independent sleep skills).
Another change when bub hits 1 year old: I am tapering down on the breast feeding.
Jack dropped the night feed at 6 months of age. I am now cutting down our day feeds. This time round I have found breast feeding to be very limiting as Jack didn’t take to the bottle. I am actually loving the fact that he is loving his solids and I can pull back on the number of feeds in the day. I still try the sippy cup of milk through the day, it’s fairly hit and miss but some days he happily sucks down a bit.
What can you expect going forward?
Anytime between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2, children are ready to drop their day naps altogether.
The biggest indicator they are ready to drop that nap is they start taking a long time to fall asleep at bedtime (and usually come up with a bunch of excuses to prolong the bedtime routine!).
I will be sure to post about this change when Jack hits this major milestone of dropping his nap. A very hard time for the parents indeed, as that lovely down time gets ripped away from us!
To read my other blog posts that follow Jack’s sleep journey from a newborn, please click here.