How Do You Move a Toddler to One Nap?

So, posting the other day made me realize how much I miss using this space to connect and solicit advice from all you wise people. Weirdly, doing that on Facebook or Twitter just seems so impersonal and strange to me, even if I "know" most of those folks.
But here, it seems right. 
So I leave you with a question. Not sure who "you" is anymore, considering I'm never here, but I have a question and I'm putting it out into the universe. 
How can I transition my 15-month-old to one nap? 
Here's her rough schedule: Goes to bed at 8:30(ish)p.m., wakes at 8:30 a.m., takes morning nap at 11 a.m. and an afternoon nap somewhere between 3 and 4 p.m. Both naps are about an hour each.
This was working fine, until about a month ago, when she decided to screw with me and stop taking one of those naps every other day, then all weekend, and then for a week and a half straight. She's refusing to sleep, but not taking it well.
Yesterday morning, she had a meltdown at Puppetonia because they put away the bubble machine. It was right around 11 a.m. — her usual nap time. She's overly sensitive around that time and will cry and scream at the drop of a hat. 
So why not just keep her on her normal, two nap schedule, you ask? Because lately, when I put her down, she suddenly has no interest in sleeping. She played in her crib for 45 minutes when we got back from said puppetastrophe, finally fell asleep at noon, slept until 1, and then never slept again until bedtime. By late afternoon, she was insane in the membrane, because she needs more sleep.  
I'm really happy with bedtime and wake time. 
What I'd love is to consolidate her sleeping into one longer afternoon nap, but how exactly do I do that with a child who has a mind of her own and doesn't respond well to being forced to do ANYTHING? 


  1. I would start by pushing her morning nap as long as you can (even if that means 11:05am). And then move her bedtime up. I think I lot of toddlers on one nap a day schedules go to sleep closer to 7:30pm than 8:30pm. She should slowly regulate.

    At 15 months, Tay was sleeping 7:30pm - 7am and taking a 2 hour nap at 12:30pm. Hope that helps!

  2. Cheech was always an epic napper (3-4 hours a day), but we did have a big struggle when she decided to go down to one. She would also get tired and cranky for her morning nap, take forever to go down, and then be tired and cranky for her second nap, but never take it. It took us months to get on track, but I think that's pretty common.
    So at 15 months, she still needs the same amount of sleep even though she's trying to condense it. Speaking from experience and from observing other littles I know, you can do one if two things. As Shannon mentioned above, you can try to get her in bed for bedtime a little bit earlier. This may mean that she won't nap as much as she used to because she'll be making up for it at night, but she'll still be getting the sleep she needs and therefore, won't be such a cranky pants. We tried doing that, but it didn't work AT ALL for Cheech. She likes her late bedtime, and no matter how hard I tried, she's always been really set on getting her way. So your other option, which is what we did, is to wait it out. They do all eventually get it.
    That being said, you need to ease her into her new nap schedule by getting the timing right. If she's getting tired at 11 and is a total mental case by noon, she's probably getting overly tired/simulated. Try a week of putting her down at 11:15 or 11:20, and once she's mastered that, try moving it up again. If she's going to bed and waking up at 8:30, then her one nap should probably start between noon and 12:30.
    Good luck! That was definitely no easy transition for us.

  3. Our little girl Scarlett is now 16 months and down to one nap. I'd been thinking about how we were going to move from two to one and settled for slowly shifting the morning nap from 10am to around midday and cutting back on the afternoon one. Of course, silly me, that just meant that she refused to take her 3.30pm nap. So... after a day or two of getting it all wrong we just went cold turkey, dropped the two naps for one around midday and moved bedtime closer to 7/7.30pm rather than 8.30pm. Scarlett was definitely cranky for a few days, but that's really all it took. She's now taking a decent nap in the middle of the day anywhere from 1 1/2 hrs to 2 1/2 hrs and sleeping well in the evening. Hope it all goes well for you, but I have to say the "just do it" approach, which I rarely ever take, worked great for us. All the best. Chloe

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