How to Drop the Morning Nap

Typically, around 12-15 months of age we drop the morning nap, this can be a difficult transition. We’ve simplified dropping the nap with our keys to success and some practical tips to get you over this hurdle!

Toddlers can be unpredictable and their naps even more so! Typically, around 12-15 months of age we drop the morning nap. This can be a tricky time and we’re here to help navigate this new norm.

What number starts with the same letter as N-A-P? Yup, N and the number of days it takes for this transition is N-ine. That is typically how long it takes a child to transition from two naps a day to one nap a day.

It takes a solid nine days and in that time span you will be tempted to do the following: 

  • Turn back 
  • Start bedtime early for fussy-pants
  • Reconsider your decision to have kids

These are all normal responses to the struggle of the transition. But stick with it because our job is to stay consistent even when they are not. And it will pay off!! 

We are right there with you! We all have crazy days where we are running around and losing track of time. It’s just real life, we will not ruin it all with extra playtime in the sunshine or a late start to our afternoon. Just try to stay as consistent as possible.

Here are the Keys to Success:

  • They will be tired in the morning when they had naptime before.
    • Plan 9 activities to keep them awake for each morning of the 9 days of transition.
  • They may not sleep great at the designated naptime even though you KNOW that they need to sleep.
    • Naptime starts at the same time each day and is non-optional for a minimum of 1 ½ hours and a maximum of 3 hours – from the time the nap started, not the time they actually fell asleep. 
  • If they did not nap well, keep them awake until the regular bedtime.
    • Remember those 9 activities you planned for morning nap distraction?
      • Use those again to get cranky-pants to the right bedtime.
    • This is not for the faint-hearted nor is it permanent. You can do it! 
  • We are setting the 24 hour clock.
    • They do not “make-up” for lost sleep.
    • Keep the morning wake-up time, the naptime and the bedtime solid. 

The key is, we don’t go to bed early, we don’t give up; we get right back on schedule and stay consistent! And before you know it that beautiful, illusive 2-3 hour predictable, afternoon nap will settle in to the daily routine. Wait for it – because when it appears, you will find yourself perhaps wanting a few more of these adorable kids. Oh, they are so cute when they are sleeping! And that, dear friends, is how babies are made. 

For more toddler tips and resources, check out our Toddler Online Video Course! The period of 15 months to 4 years of age is the most dynamic time with your child. This course offers the Moms On Call No-Nonsense Toddler Seminar plus an in-depth look at each profile covered under the SMART Paradigm, answers to frequently asked questions asked by parents of toddlers, additional resources reinforcing the information provided in this course and access to the MOC Basics Videos and the popular MOC Pep Talks.  

Also be sure to check out our Toddler by Design app.  If you have every wondered why your child behaves the way they do and wanted parenting strategies based on your child’s unique design, then this App is for you!  Simply take a quiz to determine your toddler’s unique design combination, and then get tips on how that affects their sleep, tantrums, feeding and potty training. You will be parenting with more confidence and effectiveness in no time!

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