Dropping a Nap

by Andrea Elovson

Dropping a Nap

Perplexed about going from two naps to one? Here's what to know:

Is my child ready to lose a nap?

The first sign is straightforward: As naptime approaches, he stops rubbing his eyes or acting like he does when he's getting tired. Put him in his crib, but if he plays or fusses (or falls asleep, but only for a few minutes) for several days in a row, he's probably ready to stay up.

Which one needs to go?

Try to get your toddler on an early-afternoon-only nap schedule, to break up his day more evenly.

So what time should he nap?

Most kids resist the morning nap first, so go ahead and skip it. But put your child down for his afternoon nap earlier, around 12:30 p.m. or so. If he's less interested in his later nap, try delaying the morning one by 15 to 30 minutes each day until he's snoozing once.

How long is this going to take?

It'll be about two weeks until he's fully used to the new schedule. During the transition, he may need to bounce back and forth between one and two naps a day. Let his sleep cues guide you.