2:1 That’s a term that held little meaning to me before having kids. But, if you’re a mom, 2:1 means something very specific to you. It means that you’re making the shift from a 2 nap schedule to a 1 nap schedule. Our friends with kids older than ours told us that most kids make the transition to 1 nap between 15-18 months of age. I was eager to make the transition, because it provides longer stretches of time during the day for activities. The flip side is that you get fewer breaks since they’ll be sleeping less during the day. Nonetheless, I was ready to get out and have more fun and we needed to get down to 1 nap per day in order to do that!
How to Know They’re Ready
Up until 16 months, our boys were taking 2 naps per day that each lasted nearly 2 hours. They could barely stay awake until each nap. It was clear that the naps were necessary, and they would have been very unhappy without them. They would fall asleep as soon as they had their nap supplies (which consist of wubbies and their favorite sleep blankets). As soon as they turned 16 months, I noticed that the afternoon nap was getting shorter. It was also taking them longer to fall asleep for the second nap. We had a stretch of 3 days where they didn’t sleep at all during the second nap. That was my cue.
How to Make The Change
Well, we just kind of did it. We armed ourselves with snacks and their best toys to help them power through an extra 2 hours in the morning. The only thing that we found challenging was keeping them up until 1pm for their nap. With a big enough snack to re-energize them at 10am, we found that they rallied quite well until their nap at 1pm. After their nap (which usually lasts 2 hours), they didn’t have any trouble at all making it to bedtime.
To make the transition easier, I found that taking them on morning adventures out of the house kept them energized. I would take them on a breakfast date and stroll around outside. Running around at the park and going on the swings was another great distraction. The only thing I had to be very careful of was not letting them catnap before our official nap time. Even the shortest of catnaps can blow up their nap. We’re most prone to catnaps if we go on a drive that’s more than 2 minutes from our house. If we do venture far, we usually designate a “clown” to sit in the backseat and entertain the boys.
I would be remiss without mentioning that there are certainly other ways to ease the transition. I had read about people who change their kids schedule in 15 minute increments over the course of many weeks. That approach seemed exhausting to me which is why we just changed the schedule entirely without making small changes.
New 1 Nap Schedule
7:30am – wake up
8am – breakfast
10am – snack
12:30pm – lunch
1pm – nap
4pm – snack
6pm – dinner
6:30pm – bath, books, play like maniacs
7pm – bedtime
You can read more about the adventures of going through different phases with twins here.