March 09, 2024

Making the 2-1 nap transition a smooth journey

Making the 2-1 nap transition a smooth journey

As your baby grows, their sleep needs evolve, and one of the most significant changes you'll encounter is the 2-1 nap transition. This transition is a hallmark of toddlerhood, but it can leave many parents scratching their heads, wondering, "is it time?" and "how do we navigate this change smoothly?"


Firstly, it's crucial to recognise the signs that your little one is ready for this transition. This may include:

Longer Wake Windows: Your child stays awake for longer periods and seems less tired at their usual nap times.

Nap Resistance: They suddenly start fighting or skipping one of their naps, typically the morning one, even though you've maintained a consistent nap schedule.

Changes in Nighttime Sleep: An alteration in nighttime sleep patterns, such as waking up earlier in the morning or experiencing difficulty sleeping through the night, may indicate it's time to adjust their daytime sleep.


The 2-1 nap transition typically occurs between 15 to 18 months, but remember, every child is unique. Some may show signs earlier or later so it's not uncommon to see it happening anywhere between 12 - 20 months. It's essential to observe your child's cues and not rush the process. Patience is key! 


Gradually Adjust Nap Times: Slowly push the morning nap later in increments of 15 minutes every few days, allowing your toddler to adapt to staying awake a bit longer. This gradual shift helps their body adjust to a new sleep pattern without overwhelming them.

Offer Quiet Time: If they're resistant to napping earlier or you're in the midst of adjusting nap times, introduce quiet time in place of the morning nap. This can include reading books, playing quietly, or simply resting. Quiet time helps maintain a restful break in their day and can ease the transition.

Monitor and Adjust Bedtime: With the shift in daytime sleep, your toddler's bedtime may need adjusting. If they seem more tired earlier in the evening, move bedtime earlier to prevent overtiredness. Conversely, if they're not tired at their usual bedtime, a slight pushback may be necessary. 

It's a Transition: It might take your little one 2-4 weeks before they have made the move over to 1 nap completely and that's completely normal. Follow their lead and offer 2 naps every couple of days if still needed. 

Stay Consistent: Consistency is crucial during this transition. Keep to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible to help your child adjust. Consistency provides a sense of security and predictability, making the transition smoother for them.

Watch for Sleep Cues: Even as you work on adjusting their schedule, keep an eye on your toddler's sleep cues. 


Remember, the 2-1 nap transition is a significant milestone in your child's development. It signifies their growth and changing needs. While it may come with its set of challenges, embracing this change with patience and understanding will make the journey smoother for both you and your little one.

Should you find yourself navigating choppy sleep waters during this transition, remember, you're not alone. We're here to guide you through, ensuring you find your way back to restful sleep!

Ready for a smoother sleep journey? Let's navigate this transition together.

  • Our 12-36 Month Sleep Guide is full of information on all things toddlerhood and the sleep challenges you'll encounter at this age.
  • For parents struggling with several things such as catnapping, frequent night waking, early morning rising or things that simply no longer work, have a look at our Phone + One Week Support option.
  • Not sure what is right for you? Get on the phone to one of our experienced consultants with our FREE 15min Discovery Call