One Nap for a 14 Month Old: The Benefits and How-To

One Nap for a 14 Month Old

As infants grow into toddlers, their sleep patterns evolve drastically. Many parents look forward to ditching the exhausting newborn phase of frequent night wakings and short sleep stretches.

However, new challenges arise as children near and pass their first birthday. One major milestone around 14 months is transitioning from two naps per day down to just one.

While every baby is different, most toddlers are developmentally ready for this shift by 14 months old. Dropping from two naps to one comes with advantages for little ones like better nighttime sleep and more opportunities to learn during longer wake windows.

However, the transition process takes patience and consistency from parents. In this blog post, we will share tips for changing your baby from two to One Nap.

Benefits of One Nap at 14 Months

Consolidating to one nap per day at this age comes with advantages such as:

1. Longer, higher quality daytime sleep: With around 2-3 hours for a single nap, baby can obtain more much needed REM (rapid eye movement) and slow wave sleep cycles crucial for their development and energy levels upon waking. Two shorter naps don’t allow enough time in bed to hit these deeper stages.

2. Better nighttime sleep: A wider awake window of 5-6 hours between nap end and bedtime prevents overtiredness from accruing.

Baby has more opportunity to burn energy meaning less disturbed nights as they’re able to soothe back to sleep if waking briefly.

3. More opportunities for learning: Stretching the morning and afternoon periods awake expands baby’s capacity to interact, grasp new skills through sensory play, strengthen bond with parents/caregivers, and learn through trial and error. This boosts cognitive and social-emotional growth.

4. Easier schedule coordination: One scheduled nap at the same time each day is simpler to plan around for working parents and daycare. There’s less risk of schedule changes disrupting the flow of the day due to missed or overly long naps.

Asian baby sleeping

How to Transition to One Nap Successfully

When moving your 14 month old from two naps to one, follow these tips:

1. Choose an Appropriate Nap Time

Ideally, nap time should be scheduled in the early-to-mid afternoon between 12:30pm-2:30pm. An earlier nap time like 10 or 11am may result in your toddler becoming overtired well before bedtime.

Meanwhile, a late afternoon nap closer to 4pm can make it harder for your little one to fall asleep at night. Landing nap time within that 12:30-2:30pm window helps ensure your child is tired enough to nap soundly but not overly exhausted come evening.

2. Maintain Consistent Morning Wake Time

Establish a habitual wake-up time in the morning, even on weekends or days home from daycare. Avoid letting your 14 month old sleep in or nap late in the morning before transitioning to the one nap schedule.

Maintaining consistency in when they rise for the day helps lock in their sleep-wake cycles and prevents overtiredness later in the afternoon that can derail the new single nap routine.

3. Allow a 5-6 Hour Wake Span Before Nap

Your toddler needs to be awake for an appropriate window of time before their afternoon nap in order to become tired enough to take a long, solid solo snooze.

Most experts recommend allowing about 5-6 hours between morning wake time and next nap time for 14 month olds transitioning from two naps to one. So if your child habitually wakes at 7am, have them take their one nap around 12-1pm to ensure they are sufficiently sleepy to nap well.

4. Develop a Relaxing Nap Routine

Set up cues that alert your 14 month old that nap time is approaching. Activities like reading books together, playing soft music, lowering lights, or rocking/cuddling provide familiarity and signal rest time is near.

Maintaining these relaxing rituals before each nap ensures your little one winds down, making it easier for them to drift off for that all-important afternoon snooze session.

5. Optimize the Sleep Environment

Get your toddler’s bedroom primed for great naptime sleep. Ensure the room is cool, quiet and dark with blackout curtains. Have toddler-safe, breathable bedding and crib or mattress ready.

Use a sound machine or white noise for soothing ambient background noise if needed. Offer comfort items like loveys or special blankets. A relaxing, distraction-free sleep space sets the stage for your 14 month old to get some solid zzz’s.

6. Cap Nap Duration to 2-3 Hours Max

Once your child falls asleep for their afternoon nap, allow them to snooze as long as they want up to about 2-3 hours at most. Any longer, and it may interfere with bedtime sleep.

Gently waking them after 2 to 3 hours ensures your toddler transitions smoothly out of naptime without disrupting nighttime shutdown. However, also take cues from your child once they rouse – if fairly rested, get them up to preserve night sleep.

7. Schedule Around Obligations

When first transitioning your 14 month old to one nap, try to clear big events, outings or obligations from nap time itself plus about an hour before and after. Maintaining proper nap time consistency is crucial when implementing a new sleep schedule.

Allowing sufficient winding down and waking up time also prevents grumpiness or meltdowns. Appointments and playdates are great – just schedule them strategically around precious rest periods during this initial adjustment window.

8. Consider Adjusting Bedtime

Occasionally an earlier bedtime, like 6:30 or 7pm, helps bridge the longer awake stretch created by dropping from two naps down to one. Sticking with the late bedtime they were used to with a second nap may lead to overtiredness.

Be observant of your toddler’s cues near bedtime and adjust earlier if needed while they fully transition. Tweaking bedtime ensures they enjoy enough total daily sleep.

9. Commit to Consistency

Establishing any new routine takes consistency, perseverance and time, usually at least a few weeks. Stick with the one nap schedule daily, resisting the urge to suddenly revert back to two naps some days when overtired behavior crops up.

Ride out grumpy phases knowing these are temporary and part of cementing new sleep cycles. Remain patient, attentive and lovingly consistent until your 14-month-old gets the hang of the new normal.


Switching a 14 month old from two daily naps to one longer afternoon nap is a major change. However, with some planning around proper timing, creating restful routines and sticking it out through the adjustment period, parents can make this transition smooth and successful.

The shift to solo naptime paves the way for dropping naps altogether as your toddler grows. Remaining flexible, responsive and committed to consistency throughout the process allows this major milestone to pass with less stress and more restful sleep all around.

Pay attention to your child’s cues, hold nap time sacred, and have realistic expectations for some bumps along the way. With perseverance, your 14 month old will get the hang of the one nap routine – and nights become calmer for the whole family.