one nap schedule for 12 month old

Switching to a one-nap schedule for your 1-year-old can make a big difference in sleep.

As a fellow mom, I get it—finding that sweet spot for your little one’s snooze time is crucial.

We’ll chat about why this one nap thing is a game-changer, toss around some simple tricks, and create a cozy nap zone for your little sidekick.

How much sleep for a one-year-old?

According to AAP kids between the ages 1 and 2 need around 11-14 hours (including naps). I would say, 12 to 13 hours is the sweet spot for exactly 12 month old.

Here’s a typical sleep schedule for babies at this age:

Nighttime Sleep: Most one-year-olds need about 10 to 12 hours of sleep at night.

Naps: At this age, two naps per day are common. The total nap duration can range from 1.5 to 3 hours.

1 year old nap

Can a 1-year-old only nap once a day?

Between 14 to 18 months, many toddlers naturally shift to one nap a day. 

While your 12-month-old may still be on a two-nap schedule, you can adjust their schedule to take only one nap. Just ensure that the total sleep duration remains at least 12 hours to support their well-being during this transition to a one-nap routine.

Signs baby is ready to drop to one nap

Signs your toddler is ready for one nap a day:

  • Consistently resists morning nap.
  • Extended wake periods between naps.
  • Shortened afternoon nap.
  • Difficulty falling asleep at bedtime.
  • Increased nighttime wake-ups.
  • Improved mood and behavior.
  • Flexibility in routine.
  • Maintains consistent total sleep hours.

However, your 12-month-old may not show most of these signs yet. 


Benefits of one nap for a 12-month-old:

  • Improved night sleep.
  • Simplified bedtime routine.
  • More daytime flexibility.
  • Enhanced sleep quality.
  • Supports transition to toddlerhood.
  • Improved mood and alertness.
  • Consistent sleep schedule.
  • Easier adaptation to family routine.

How to transition from two naps to a single nap

Here are simple tips to transition from two naps to one:

  1. Shift Gradually: Move morning nap 15 minutes later every few days.
  2. Extend Wake Times: Increase time awake between morning and afternoon naps.
  3. Watch for Cues: Look for signs of nap readiness, like resisting one consistently.
  4. Choose Midday Nap: Settle on a midday naptime.
  5. Adjust Bedtime: Tweak bedtime if needed for enough daily sleep.
  6. Stay Flexible: Be open to adjusting based on your child’s cues.
  7. Consult Pediatrician: Seek guidance if needed.

Sample 1-nap schedule for 12-month-old

Even though I prefer two naps for babies at this age, but not every family is the same. You may find one nap more suitable for your requirements and lifestyle. 

Here is a sample one-nap schedule for a 12-month-old

7:00 AM: Wake Up

8:30 AM: Breakfast

10:00 AM: Morning Playtime

12:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 PM: Afternoon Nap

3:30 PM: Wake Up from Nap

4:30 PM: Snack

6:30 PM: Dinner

7:30 PM: Bedtime Routine

8:00 PM: Bedtime

Adjust the schedule based on your child’s cues and preferences, ensuring a total sleep duration of at least 12 hours in a 24-hour period.

This sample schedule is suitable for the baby’s 13.5 hours of sleep. 

Is it okay to wake a 12-month-old from napping?

Yes, you can wake a 12-month-old from a nap when you are setting up a schedule for them. Waking them up at the same time each day will help their internal clock set.

But if the baby is sick or didn’t sleep well at night, consider letting them sleep to fulfill their healthy sleep requirement. 

Mom-approved tips to manage your little one’s sleep with one nap

Here are straightforward tips to ensure your little one not only receives sufficient sleep hours but also experiences high-quality sleep, contributing to their overall well-being.

Stretch nighttime sleep

First up, let’s talk about giving your little one a solid 11 to 12 hours of uninterrupted nighttime sleep. 

When your baby sleeps great at night for straight 12 hours, they will do just fine with one nap during the day. 

If you haven’t tried it yet, consider diving into the world of sleep training—it can be a game-changer for both you and your baby!

This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

Switch to overnight diapers 

Opting for overnight diapers is like upgrading your little one’s sleep gear. These special diapers keep them comfy all night, so no need for those mid-snooze changes. 

If you change your baby’s diaper at night, they may become wide awake. 

So switching to good quality overnight diapers such as (huggies overnite diapers) is a simple move for better sleep quality and a more peaceful night for both of you!

Huggies Overnites Size 3 Overnight Diapers are great for 12-month-old

Have a very fixed schedule

Maintaining a consistent routine is like setting the stage for your baby’s day. By sticking to a fixed schedule, you’re helping their internal clock tick smoothly. 

It’s all about predictability, creating a reliable pattern that supports your little one, especially during that important nap. 

So, embrace the stability of a fixed schedule for a well-rested and happy baby!

Massage and warm water bath before bedtime

Ease your baby into a peaceful night’s sleep with a calming pre-bedtime routine. Consider incorporating a gentle massage and a warm bath. 

These simple acts work wonders, creating a serene environment that encourages a restful and deep slumber. 

Lengthen the daytime nap

If your one-year-old used to take two 2-hour naps, consider combining them into one longer, 3-hour nap.

Plus, add an extra hour of nighttime sleep for an even cozier bedtime. 

It’s a simple adjustment for a more restful day and night!

Nap in the middle of the day

Transform your baby’s naptime routine by shifting to a single, magical nap right in the middle of the day. 

If they used to snooze at 10 am and 3 pm, consider adjusting it to a cozy nap at 1 pm, stretching from 1 pm to 3:30-4 pm. 

It’s like finding the perfect nap sweet spot for a happier and more relaxed little one!

Make the naps more comfortable

Enhance your baby’s nap experience with blackout curtains and soothing white noise

Think of it as setting the stage for a peaceful and comfortable nap, where darkness and gentle sounds create a serene sleep haven. 

It’s a simple tweak for a cozier and more restful naptime.

Outdoor Playtime

Incorporate a healthy dose of outdoor playtime into your little one’s day.

A bit of sunshine and fresh air not only contribute to overall well-being but can also help regulate their sleep-wake cycle.

In conclusion, 

Transitioning a 12-month-old to a one-nap schedule is an exciting journey that involves a bit of adjustment and a lot of tender care. 

From choosing overnight diapers to sticking to a consistent routine, providing a calming bedtime routine, and making naptime environments cozy, these simple yet effective tips can create a harmonious and restful routine for both you and your little one. 

Remember, every child is unique, so be flexible and attuned to your baby’s cues as you embark on this delightful adventure of helping them thrive with a single, satisfying nap.

Read more:

Can 1-Year-Old Sleep With A Blanket? (Safe Alternatives)

Can A 1-Year-Old Wear Pull-Ups? – (A Parent’s Guide)

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