I wanted to quickly post how we transitioned from two naps down to one. I had been dreading this and had read that it’s the toughest of the nap transitions for babies to make. At the time, I felt very limited by two naps. We couldn’t go anywhere between the hours of 8-11 and 1-4, unless we planned ahead to have the twins nap in the car. I joyfully looked forward to the day that they took one giant, long nap.
But what if, after making the transition, the one nap is still as short as the two naps were!? Ugh. I’m not entirely sure our transition is complete, but here’s what happened:
The twins stopped being ready and tired for their first nap at the ever-so-trusty 9:30. (This was rough at first, because they transitioned to two naps from three early on, at only 7 months. We stayed at the 9 and 2 schedule for so many months!) And then after a few weeks, 10:00 was also too early. We got into a rhythm of a 10:30 nap for a week or so, which would last until 11:45-12:00. During that time, I’d put the babies down for a power second nap around 3:30. I only let them sleep 30 minutes, max. And when they napped that way, they’d go to bed around 8:00. I knew this was just step one in our transition.
Then B started refusing his second nap. Even if his first nap was early and he woke at 11:00, he fought and screamed his way through the second nap no matter what time I put him down. For a week there, I drove around whenever I could just to get him to power nap in the car around 4:00. But then he stopped falling asleep in the car.
I knew we were on our way to switching over to the one nap. I even started pushing back the first nap a little later, around 10:45, and then 11:00, and then 11:15, assuming the transition needed to be slow and gradual (it does not). And right in the middle of that, the babies got roseola (with a high fever lasting a week….separate weeks). Two weeks later, they both got nasty colds that turned into bronchitis for B and a double ear infection for C. That was a week in itself. All this illness completely botched up any nap transition we were attempting and we just let them nap whenever they wanted to for as long as they could.
When it was over, I decided to bite the bullet and go for a normal-timed one nap. I moved lunch up a half hour to 11:30 and they currently nap around 12:30. It’s been over a week, and there’s no turning back now. Our two nap days are totally over. Unfortunately, I was envisioning two kids who take a three-hour nap. I don’t believe I have those kinds of kids. C has slept for 2.5 hours a few times, which is lovely and I will let her sleep as long as she can, but it doesn’t give me any rest if B isn’t doing the same thing! B’s longest nap now has been 1.5 hours. Most days it’s between 45 minutes to an hour. I understand that this isn’t normal. So either he’s in a bit of a Wonder Week (which supposedly at 18 months is a thing) or he’s still getting accustomed to this transition. Either way, I’m now regretting wishing for 1 nap. We’re on baby duty from 7:00-12:30, and then 1:30 until bedtime! Where’s the break? I’m really hoping B learns to nap for a longer period of time over the coming weeks. We’ll see.
The one thing I can say and recommend to anyone about to embark on this transition is to move bedtime way up. When kids first start taking only one nap, they’ll be tired by 6:00. It’s been a challenge for us but we’re attempting a 6:30 bed while this is still in transition. Most nights it’s more like 7:00, especially if they took a good nap. Tonight, after only an hour nap, we had them sleeping for 6:45 and it really should have been earlier. They would’ve easily gone down. And I’m sorry, I love those twins more than life itself, but there’s nothing more satisfying than closing their bedroom door at night and breathing a sigh of relief. The earlier the bedtime, the better!
It’s tough growing into big kids!