I've been testing the one-nap waters for over a week now, and I can officially say there's no turning back for us. I don't know if I'm incredibly dramatic (possible, very possible) or if other mothers are just better adapters than I am, but this has been one of the trickiest transitions thus far. Maybe it's because Tory has never been the greatest sleeper and it took us an incredibly long time to find a consistent two-nap pattern that seemed to work for her. Once we found that groove (two naps a day from 8:30am - 10:30am and 1:30pm - 2:30pm), it worked liked magic. I'm hoping the same will be the case this time around. Stick to it. Stick to it. Stick to it. (My mental mantra, over and over again).
It's only been 10 days or so, but so far the one nap thing has been a bit stressful. Typically, Tory wakes up in the morning between 5:30am-5:45am, so the next SIX HOURS are full of me keeping her busy with planned activities and lots of distraction to avoid mid-morning meltdowns. The 8:30am-9:30am hour seems to be the worst because she's used to going down for a nap around then. The first few days on this new schedule, I tried to get her out of the house (running errands, grocery shopping, etc.), but she immediately fell asleep in the car. I finally realized a little downtime is okay (and probably much needed) without physical sleep. Over the last few days, I've been using this hour to read books on the couch or snuggle up and watch an episode of Curious George with her. This seems to provide enough recharge to power through the morning.
A solid six hours in the morning means my days need to be planned, or I'm scrambling to pass the time and the days feel incredibly long. In December, I had an advent calendar activity planned for each day and it gave me something fun to look forward to doing together. Along the same idea, I jotted down something fun and interactive for us to do every day in January. Next week for example ...
Monday - visit Mall of America aquarium
Tuesday - story time at the library
Wednesday - make Valentine's Day cards for the grandparents
Thursday - Lil' Explorers event at the zoo
Friday - music class
Saturday - make a Valentine's lei
Sunday - play date with friends
I'm hoping Tory adapts to the new schedule soon and hopefully takes a nice, long afternoon nap once she realizes she's only getting one nap a day. It hasn't happened so far. Yesterday she slept for 40 minutes in the afternoon. I let her fuss for a while thinking (praying!) she'd fall back asleep but she never did. It doesn't leave much recharge time for Mama when the better part of my alone time features a toddler crying for me in the next room.
There really is no turning back, though. She is a toddler now, and toddlers take one-nap a day. It's the way it has to be eventually and I know once we're adjusted it'll make things much nicer to do something fun together in the mornings. We just have to ... GET THERE.