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You’re listening to the slumber party podcast with your host Amanda Jewson, a mom of two girls, a child and infant sleep expert and general sleep lover. If you’re a tired parent who is desperate for answers, or just someone who loves sleep, this podcast was created just for you. Each episode is packed full of tips and tricks to help you maintain your sanity, as well as your social life during the early stages of parenthood. So grab your headphones, it’s time to get comfy.
Hi, everyone, welcome to another edition of the slumber party podcast, I’m Amanda Jewson, live from the most luxurious of locations, the backseat of my car, folks, because we have the renovation that just isn’t ending. I am not complaining. But my house is literally a construction site. And you’d be very mad to listen to that podcast. So we’re in my car. Thank goodness for cars. And I’m super excited today to speak with Caitlin about a topic that you’ve all been messaging me about, which is the dreaded or not so dreaded, depending on who you are. Two to one, naff transitions. So welcome, Katelyn.
Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Thank you for coming. And you look amazing. You’re like so put together and I’m in my car. So good for you. You really brought it. This is like my once a year getting ready. Yeah, yeah. Fair. I feel like cat net right now, except without a nap in beside to child booster seats. Same same. So why don’t you jump in? What I’d love for you to do is, you know, tell me a little bit about what’s going on. What you’ve tried what you haven’t. And I’ll jump in and ask any further questions. And we can kind of go from there.
Okay, sounds great. Thank you. So I have a son Cooper, he is almost 18 months old. He’ll be 18 months on the 25th. And he is still doing two naps a day. But a I’m getting feedback from daycare and things like that, that he needs to move to one nap and be or having some difficulty at night getting him down with the two naps. And so I’m trying to figure out what’s the right balance because he turns into a holy tear if we only give him one because we’ve tried that. And then with two we’ve ended up with, you know, a kid that’s up until 1130 at night,
right? And what have when you have tried to go down to one nap, can you talk to me a little bit about what you did.
Um, so I’m, I’m limited in what I can do on with the daycare side of it, because they can only do a certain amount of time. But when I’m doing it at home, I try and extend that nap for a little bit longer, and then have it a little bit, push it a little bit later. So that way, there’s not quite as much time between the two naps, or between the sleeping and so that on weekends has worked a little bit better. But between the last hour and a half, at least before he goes to bed. That’s just like Satan’s.
Okay. So it sounds like you’re trying like a kind of a gradual process where you push that first nap a little and then you’ll try to like, see if a second nap happens. And sometimes if it doesn’t, he’s kind of off the rails. Yeah. Okay. And has daycare tried any sort of solutions there? No. Okay. Yeah, you know, I would say, you know, I’ll break this down in a very roundabout way, because it is the podcast. And, you know, I talk in circles, just so everyone understands the suggestions. But you know, when we’re thinking about moving from two naps to one, I think that this is next to moving to no naps at all. One of the harder transitions that you’re going to make, generally, because it’s very, very hard to go from four to five hours of wait time or even three and a half to up to six or seven, sometimes depending on the length of your nap, your waking and bedtime. And so for a lot of kids, this transition can take up to four to six weeks to really solidify. So it would be normal for that holy terror thing to be a big part of your process while you are making that transition. Before we do that, two questions for you What time is bedtime and what time is wake time like on on your best day, not on the night where it’s taking him 400 years like what is a typical night?
So typical, honestly is about 945. Okay, and he is straight through till 830.
Okay. Okay, so we’re getting about 11 hours of sleep, which is awesome. And then what time would daycare offer the one nap?
So the first nap is at about 145. And then she will let him sleep like she lets him sleep as long as you will. But apparently he won’t sleep longer than about an hour to an hour. 20 minutes there. Mm hmm. And then I do his second nap essentially, right when he goes home with me, which is out about 545 or six. Okay. Okay. And that when I limit to 30 minutes,
okay. Yeah, so actually, you know, you’re in, um, I think what’s probably a problem with what? Not a problem? How do we say this? What’s continuing the issue for you potentially, right now, is the idea that if you were in a perfect world where you can control when the naptime is, we could probably balanced this day a little bit better, but because his nap would only be at one o’clock, that for him his 910 1112, one four hours after sleeping, right. So if you were to do two naps, that would probably be enough to get you that one decent one hour nap, right? The issue is, if he does have only that one hour nap, he’s going to be up from two to 945, which is an insane amount of time. Now, if we were to move to a one situation, we want that kind of smack in the middle of the day. So you know, most of my clients are waking anywhere between six and 7am, you have a little bit of a later body clock thing that’s happening. So it was a little bit trickier. But most of my kids are waking between six and 7am. And we’d be offering that nap at 12. So that’s at least a five to six hour week window. With the that added weight window, you’re going to get an increase of sleep pressure. So sleep pressure, for those of you who are new to the podcast is the chemical soup that happens in your brain that makes you feel tired. And sleep pressure does need to be considered when thinking about naptime and nap length. And in that way that if you imagine for those of you who are watching, I have a balloon fall in our brains that fill up with that pressure to want to fall asleep. So it feels that the balloon fills up the balloon. Now, by the time he’s at one that’s maybe three quarters of the way full. It’s not quite full, so full enough to definitely let out some air when he sleeps. But not full enough to get to that two or three hour mark right? That would require more sleep pressure. He’s just not getting it. And then what is happening is he is building up a lot of sleep pressure likely by five or six with you he is a little bit snooze, he tired. But if you think about that balloon again, okay, we go back to the balloon. He has fallen asleep, even for 30 minutes. Even if you get a 10 minute nap at some kids some time that balloon is done. It’s like halfway empty already. Literally like a balloon. Like when you let out air it’s very rare that you can be like it like a lot comes out all at once. So then you’re saying Okay, good about it. Nine 945 and he’s like, absolutely not like half of my error is gone. I have nothing in in the balloon that is super significant. And probably something that is gonna hold you back. Where is his his daycare flexible at all in terms of nap timing? Sorry. Is daycare flexible at all in terms of the time of the nap?
Yeah, so I mean, the daycare is fine with it. It’s it’s a home daycare. Oh, great. So it’s, he’s and he’s only in daycare for four hours a day. Okay,
awesome. So we will be pretty flexible. Yeah. Okay, what what are his daycare hours right now?
So he’s in daycare from 130 in the afternoon until 530.
And he’s having his nap there. His first nap. Okay, that’s amazing that you’re able to kind of drop him off and be like, here’s the nap. I that’s so good.
Essentially, yeah, because my husband works from two to 10, which is why he has the later bedtime because I’m ready to go to work. And then my husband gets up and he needs to sleep a little bit longer to be a functioning human being. Later,
right, totally. Okay. So what I think could be helpful then is if he if we want to maintain your late circadian rhythm, and this would be worth again, I’m answering this in a very long, roundabout way. If we were having a conversation, I can help you in like 10 minutes. But what I want people to understand the suggestions. So the big thing is that which kind of sucks is that most people have their kids in some sort of childcare or daycare around the age of like, 12 months plus, we are beholden to their timings. And you know, home daycare is so great for the reason that they usually are pretty flexible with the parents, and they can be like, Okay, let’s do this, like, that’s fine. We don’t care, which is so awesome. But if you’re in a daycare center, you’re generally you have nap times, which is like 1230, most kids will have lunch at around 1145. naptime is at 1230. And then what is tough is that when you have a child with a circadian rhythm that is later or earlier, for that matter, you’re going to have issues in both areas, right? Because it might be that the weak window is too long in the morning for the child, in your case, it’s too short for the child. And then you’re going to have an overtired baby, either in the morning or in the afternoon. Apologies, I’m uncomfortable in this car seat here now. Um, so yeah, so the impulse would be like, okay, let’s switch this circadian rhythm right away, let’s change it. It’s not always that easy. So if you were to say, Okay, I want my baby to go to bed earlier today, let me tell you, that’s not going to happen. And in fact, you’re going to get a lot more crying than you would want. Because your baby is like, their body doesn’t produce the same amount of hormones at that time, to allow them to fall asleep. So for those of you who are listening, and you think, well, I, I am Caitlin, except my daycare does make me have that nap at 1230, you’re going to be in a position where you’re going to in addition to probably waking up your child in the morning at an earlier time, you’re gonna want to pull back on bedtime very gently. It’s not like I have clients all the time, who get into a sticky situation where their baby is going to bed at like 1030. And they’re like, we want seven, but two and a half hours. No matter what we do that baby’s like, I’m just not ready just like you wouldn’t be ready. It’s it’s like jetlag, right, your body isn’t ready. So I want to be very careful to advise, you know, if you are in a situation where let’s say you can’t choose your nap time, but you want to make that nap time work at your daycare, you got to do it slow, you got to do it really slow. And that might be waking 30 minutes earlier, putting to bed 30 minutes earlier, until like I would say every week, every three days, depending on what your child is doing. And that first time in that first day you wake and put to bed earlier, that might not be an easy transition, but you got to keep at it until it does get easy. And then we pull back again, half an hour, half an hour, until you’re at a point where that nap is ideally falling halfway between your day. Which is what I’d like for you. So you know, I think for most people, that’s usually a six to 7am wake up. And that’s usually a six to 8pm bedtime, roughly. That’s that’s typically what I see even coming in. Now, back to your problem. Specifically, what we’re gonna do if we can is if he’s waking up at about 830 I bet he’s not even feeling like eight 910 1112 lunch. Yeah, like I don’t think I think nap would probably be best around like two, which is about six hours and
going down at that two o’clock. He might only sleep an hour and 20 minutes or so. On those days you can offer a slightly earlier bedtime because I think that that little mini cat nap in the afternoon is Still too much for him. So when it is gonna happen, you’re gonna deal with these like 1011 o’clock bedtimes, which I’m sure something you don’t love. So what I would do is, if he does an hour and a half or hour, 20 minutes fine, overtime that that will 100% lengthen. So for many people, it doesn’t lengthen in the first week and they panic, they go back to two naps, then they’re in this like Limbo of kind of what you’re in? Or do we two naps or when two naps are one? And if you’re in a part of life, where you’re constantly having this issue of like, will my child fall back to sleep? Will you or will he go to bed at all at night? Or is he a monster, I would I would probably lean on the side of Okay, he’ll be a monster, but just for a little bit, not forever. So until that that nap lengthens, and he learns how to have a longer nap. You might have to deal with a little bit of a monster. But again, it’s kind of like training that body clock like this is when sleep happens. And he will get past it probably in about two to three weeks of consistent ongoing repetition of that schedule in his body. Yeah, I had, I had another I had a client a couple of weeks ago, that was kind of doing the opposite, where the child wasn’t falling asleep. And so they were pushing the child so so so far, like, like for the babies getting up at six, and they were trying to put the baby down at 230 so that they would avoid the nap time, because she was taking so long to get down. And then she would only take 30 minute naps and it was a disaster. But I was like No, no. So we wrote it a plan for the daycare of like the baby has to go to bed at this time. This is when it happens. This will take three weeks. And it did it always goes there. So the suggestions for you would be a push out that nap a little bit have a nice balanced day on both ends. And on the days where it does seem like he had a crappy nap. Putting to bed like 30 minutes to an hour earlier shouldn’t cause you too much of an issue. You also people are worried about early bedtime creating early wakings. For sure, sometimes that does happen. But early wakings may also happen if the child is overtired. More times than not, you’re going to have a child take the first part of sleep that are the second part that he’s missing or not quite getting. And tack it on to that earlier bedtime like that first hour. And still with a similar wake time.
Unknown Speaker 17:55
Is there like a hard and fast rule of what age you should be going down to one nap?
There’s no hard and fast rules in anything, obviously. But you know, what, what my big thing is, is when there starts to be this is a great question, actually. And you’re reminding me to come back to signs of the one nap. Signs of one nap tend to be that the child rejects that second nap over and over and over again. And what I have a big asterisk around this because around 12 months old kids reject that second nap for a week. And everyone is like, it’s everyone went out? No, no, no, no, no, it’s just a phase. I’m not saying it’s not time to go down to the one nap. But I’m saying let’s give it a week or two to be sure that it’s not just a developmental leap. So I would say that number one is that they reject that second nap, that the first nap is lengthening quite significantly. So maybe it was only an hour before. And now it’s getting closer to two that shows that they’re ready to kind of have those longer stretches. And when you’re experiencing exactly what you’re experiencing lots of bedtime silliness, when you’re at a point where and this goes for any nap transition, by the way, people from like three to 243 all of the nap transitions. When you were at a point of trying to get this second nap in always or when you do bedtime is insane. It’s time to cut it. That goes also for your older kids that are actually moving out of the nap. So you know closer to three. You if you you know I see kids who have a 30 minute nap and they’re up till 10pm and that’s not when their parents want them to go to bed. So then I like to answer your question in the very roundabout. Where did is when it becomes a problem for you, when it’s a pain in the ass to keep doing it, you might want to think about transitioning. When it’s no longer just something that happens naturally, then, you know, why bother? Like sometimes I’ve had, I’ve had five month olds on to naps. I’ve had eight month olds on three naps. And that’s just what that child needs in that moment. So I’m a big fan of being responsive and not prescriptive, which I think does drive quite a few people crazy, because they want a very specific. Yes, sir. But there is no hard and fast rule. And you know, if I don’t know is, is this your only child? Do you have other children?
Um, so yeah, I have an older but he’s 10.
You’ll probably notice that there, those kids are so different from each other, like siblings, like my, my daughter’s nap so differently. And what they needed was so differently, are so different. So no hard and fast rules. Those are the signs that are pretty standard amongst any age. I will say that I see most kids transition between 14 and 18 months. Okay. So it’s right on time. Goodbye dinner prep time. Yeah, I know. There does become a whole other slew of things where, you know, ideally, this is what we’d like. But ideally, we have a very long, or a much longer stretch of time in the middle of the day, where you could do some meal prep on the weekend or something, or you might need to prep dinner the night before, but it is, I know, like sometimes the dropping of the second nap, like I get a lot of parents in your age, or they’ll call it like two years and they’re like, I have to work in that second nap. So I don’t know what to do. I’m like, I also don’t know what to do. That’s when you might want to like think about I know, it’s like pandemic times. But you know, hiring a 12 year olds babysitter to come in your house and play with your kid while you make dinner or something. 12 year old babysitters, you know, with supervision of you, of course are the best they have so much energy, maybe not in pandemic times. But that is that’s a really big helpful thing. Parents who go from one nap to no nap also really more than that. But it usually gets to the point where the bedtime battles are such a giant pain in the ass or like Fine, whatever. But in that case, I would also recommend doing a quiet time of you know, having your child in their room for you know, a set amount of time where everyone kind of like chills out and does their own thing. Okay. Awesome. Was that helpful?
It was very helpful. Yes, thank you.
Good. And I’m also so happy that, like, I know you’ve applied but it takes me so long to get through everyone’s things and I’m doing it in bunches and batches. And I was like, I really hope by the time we can get on the call, this is still a problem for her because I really want to talk about it. It’s such it’s such an issue. So thank you for continuing to have this problem as well.
Awesome. All right. Well, everyone that’s another edition of the slumber party podcast. You can check out more tips and tricks. On other episodes of the slumber party pod podcast, you may want to check out my nap transition episode as well is the my Instagram feed instagram.com slash babies best sleep the blog babies by sleep calm slash blog. And as always, if you need to book a discovery call with myself or a member of my team. You can do that a baby’s asleep calm quickly and easily. We’ll get to the bottom of your problem to have a good one everyone. Thanks for joining me in my car today.
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