What To Expect:
Your baby is developing their own amazing personality and starting to have a sense of themselves. This may cause a disruption in sleep. No matter what, stay committed to a consistent sleep routine by allowing your child to fall asleep on their own. Try not to give in to new and more verbal requests to come in after bed time or in the middle of the night (it’s a lot harder to resist your baby when they say “mommy come” so be prepared for some serious tugging of the heart strings!). By making sure you stick to a sleep routine you are preventing bad habits from forming.
Around 15 months and almost always by 18 months, your baby will only take one nap per day. If your baby seems less willing to take a morning nap or skips afternoon naps several days in a row, this may be a sign they are starting to transition to 1 nap.
- Try to delay the morning nap more and more until it becomes a single midday nap (around noon). If the nap is still too early in the day, put your baby to bed earlier to avoid a bedtime meltdown from being over-tired.
- If your baby is ready to drop the morning nap completely, watch for signs of fatigue and figure out what time the new, single nap will be. It may take a while for this new time to become a habit.
- If the afternoon nap is lasting too long, you may need to wake your baby (after about at least an hour) so that it does not interfere with their day schedule.
- Your baby will probably only have one nap a day until they are 3 or even 4 years old. You can see how long the nap needs to be by your child’s mood. If they seem happy, they are probably getting a long enough nap. If they seem irritable, their nap may not be long enough or their bedtime may be too late. Some children nap for one hour and some for three hours.
- Try to set a bedtime between 6:30 and 8:30pm—most babies do better with an earlier bedtime.
- Night waking is common around 15 months due to separation anxiety. Try to ignore night waking unless it appears your baby may be getting sick.
- If you do need to go to your child in the middle of the night, be sure to be silent and unemotional. You do not want him or her to feel they get attention in the night hours.