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How can I get my toddler to take a longer afternoon nap?

Posted by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 9:02 AM
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My daughter is 15 months. We are just transitioning from the 2 naps a day (morning and afternoon) to one afternoon nap.

Previous to this my daughter would get up at 6a.m., then take a mid-morning nap around 9:30/10a.m. for 40min - 1hr. She would then go back down at 2p.m. for about an hour.

She is now sleeping a little later, so I am able to push her to around 11a.m./12p.m. I'd like her at this time to just have one long nap, instead of the two.

The problem is, when she goes down she usually only sleeps for one hour, and it's clearly not enough sleep for her. She awakes totally grumpy and is whiny for the remainder of the day.

Any tips on how I get her to sleep longer in the afternoon?

by on Dec. 1, 2009 at 9:02 AM
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goddess_alyson
by Group Owner on Dec. 1, 2009 at 9:11 AM


Quoting Mamma_Jessy:

My daughter is 15 months. We are just transitioning from the 2 naps a day (morning and afternoon) to one afternoon nap.

Previous to this my daughter would get up at 6a.m., then take a mid-morning nap around 9:30/10a.m. for 40min - 1hr. She would then go back down at 2p.m. for about an hour.

She is now sleeping a little later, so I am able to push her to around 11a.m./12p.m. I'd like her at this time to just have one long nap, instead of the two.

The problem is, when she goes down she usually only sleeps for one hour, and it's clearly not enough sleep for her. She awakes totally grumpy and is whiny for the remainder of the day.

Any tips on how I get her to sleep longer in the afternoon?

I'd keep pushing her am nap later by 10/15 min every couple of days to transition to 1 nap.      The transition from 2 - 1 nap is a tricky one but it sounds like you're on the right track.  How long do you wait to go to her when she wakes from her nap?

Mamma_Jessy
by on Dec. 2, 2009 at 8:20 AM

I usually wait 20-30 minutes to go to her (hoping she'll fall back asleep). If she could get 2 hours of naptime a day she'd be in perfect spirits, and be able to last until bedtime.

Right now it's tough b.c. she is very whiny from when she gets up, and it escalates until bedtime - which is between 7-7:30p.m...

So, I know she's just not getting enough naptime...Thoughts? Advice?

goddess_alyson
by Group Owner on Dec. 2, 2009 at 10:20 AM

While helping with the transition from 2 - 1 nap you MAY have to make bedtime earlier.  So if she only gets a 1hr. nap, maybe move bedtime to 6:30 or maybe even 6pm if she's super cranky.  You do run the risk of an earlier wakeup time, but not always.

CatFan
by on Dec. 2, 2009 at 8:40 PM

How long has it been since switching to 1 nap?  Maybe she just needs a little more time to adjust.  I don't know if you're doing this already, but my only suggestion would be to give her a nice lunch and milk before her nap. 

Mamma_Jessy
by on Dec. 3, 2009 at 8:26 AM

It's been about 2 weeks. And yes, I feed her lunch right before bed, and she has some of her milk in a sippy.

Mamma_Jessy
by on Dec. 3, 2009 at 8:29 AM

Here's my question about that. If she does get up super early. (yesterday she got up at 5:30a.m. and wouldn't go back down) it is VERY difficult for her to make it to 11 or even 12 for a nap...do I still push her to stay awake all morning?

It's such a vicious cycle, I feel like if she is up super early she can't last and needs that morning nap. She's always been a hard one to get to bed, so once she hits that "overtired" point it can take her up to an hour and a half to calm down and get to sleep...

Thoughts?

goddess_alyson
by Group Owner on Dec. 3, 2009 at 3:42 PM


Quoting Mamma_Jessy:

Here's my question about that. If she does get up super early. (yesterday she got up at 5:30a.m. and wouldn't go back down) it is VERY difficult for her to make it to 11 or even 12 for a nap...do I still push her to stay awake all morning?

I wouldn't.  That's a 5.5 hr. wake time between wake up and nap #1.  If she wakes @ 5:30am you may have to have a 2 nap day.  Nap #1 @ 9:30/10 and then #2 @ 3:30.

It's such a vicious cycle, I feel like if she is up super early she can't last and needs that morning nap. She's always been a hard one to get to bed, so once she hits that "overtired" point it can take her up to an hour and a half to calm down and get to sleep...

Thoughts?

I wouldn't let her get overtired since it takes her so long to get calmed down.  Like PP stated she may not be ready to move from 2 - 1 naps yet.


caitlynevansmom
by on Dec. 4, 2009 at 12:15 PM

My son was a difficult sleeper too.  He didn't switch to one nap a day until the 18 month mark, much to my annoyance.  I needed that 2nd nap for a nice late day break.  Anyway... What I did with him was 1st nap was 3 hours from morning wake up and then 2nd nap was 4 hours from the first nap.  The first nap lasted 1 hour to 90min and the second 45min to an hour.  From what I've read online a 45 min nap is long enough for the child to feel refreshed so it is unlikely he/she would fall back to sleep.  I keep my son's room as dark as possible and he has a white noise machine to help cover up any noise I might make around the house.  I would give a fan or white noise machine a shot because you may be making noise that is waking her up.  A sleep cycle goes from light to deep over a 90 minute time span.  You make a noise at the wrong time and that will wake the baby.

Evan and Caitlyn's Mom

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