From around ages 12 to 15 months, most toddlers begin to transition from two naps to one. Where they use to take a late morning nap and an afternoon nap, now you are beginning to realize that your child may not need two naps during the day.
Some sure signs that your child is ready to transition from two naps to one are:
*Increased restlessness at bedtime.
*Waking one or more times during the course of the night.
*Increased irritability when waking from naps. (Yes, too much sleep can also cause as much irritability as lack of sleep.)
So how do you transition without screwing up your child’s routine? Start slowly at first. If your child can sleep past a descent hour in the mornings, let him sleep instead of waking him on time. The reason your toddler may seem like he needs that extra nap in the late morning is because he isn’t getting enough sleep at night. Try to let him sleep an extra hour in the mornings.
Skip the morning nap and see how your child does until lunch. If this means moving up the afternoon nap about an hour or so, that’s no problem. After lunch, put her down directly afterwards for a nap.
Bedtime may also need to be moved up an hour to accommodate less sleep time during the day.
However, all children are different so don’t base your decision on what others are doing with their children but contouring naps according to the behavior of your child. For example, my older son still needed two naps a day up until he was sixteen months. My younger son, however, gave up on two naps a day before he turned a year old. (Perhaps because of his brother romping around?) In any case, only your mom instincts can tell you if your toddler is ready for that change.
Is your child getting enough sleep at night? One reason younger toddlers may still hold on to two naps a day is because they aren’t getting enough sleep at night. Try these ideas to make the night a solid and peaceful one:
*Use white noise such as a fan in the room all night. Even if you have the heat on, having a fan in the room and pointed away from your child can softly mask the other noises of the house.
*If your child does wake up and needs a new diaper or training pants, then do so without turning on the lights. Use the night light as your source of light. Bright light can stimulate a child so that it’s difficult for them to go back to sleep.
*If your child wakes up, avoid talking to her in more then a whisper. Avoid making noises or talking loud which will also likely stimulate.
Sources: What to Expect