Time to Transition – BIG Time

by jessicaturner on August 7, 2009

So Elias is moving up to the Zebra room at his day care in September.

The Zebra room is a way bigger deal than the lamb room.

And you know how well I did with that transition.

Here’s what’s going to be Elias’s new normal:

  • No separate sleeping room.
  • Everyone sleeps on mats.
  • Only one nap a day.
  • Everyone sits at a little table for lunch.
  • Everyone feeds themselves.
  • No special times for a bottle.
  • No bottle. All sippy cups.

Here’s where Elias is now:

  • Separate sleeping room (but on a mat)
  • Two naps a day.
  • Eats in a high chair.
  • Feeds himself all finger foods, but can’t use a spoon worth a darn.
  • Sippy cups for water, bottles for milk (he gets MAD if his milk is in a cup)
  • Two bottles during the day+snack+meals

So our mission is to get him transitioned to the sippy cup for milk AND get him to hold it himself. He is sooo not a fan of milk in his sippy cup and he does NOT want to ever hold the bottle himself. (Lazy little thing…) He can drink out of a sippy cup just fine (has been for six months), but he likes there to be water in it.

I am not too happy that he will be going to one nap a day. Apparently, it is the law in TN that at day cares kids after 12 months have one nap a day (I can’t believe this is a LAW). I think that is a little early to go to one nap.

But, I am sure he will adapt, right?

Any tips for me as we try to transition the peanut? How about tips for this mommy who hates that her boy is growing up?

I want him to be like this again:
Update: Several folks have mentioned nuby – they are our favorite sippy cup around here too. Last week I bought three Sesame Street sippys at Walgreens for $4! They are on clearance right now. They have the same type of nuby like spout, but are more bottle shaped than our squat nuby sippys. I bought them with the intention of trying them for the milk transition. We gave Elias one tonight and he drank a few sips, then threw it to the floor. Nice. :) We offered it to him a few more times, but he wasn’t having it, so he went to bed without milk. Two can play this game, peanut. Thanks for all the feedback. I am so grateful for you all!
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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly August 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm

You will be so surprised how well he does with the zebra room. Our now 6 year old only got one nap after 12 months as well but she would sneak in a 2nd one on the way home and for about 30 minutes while Daddy cooked us dinner. My almost 3 year old was perfectly find with one nap from about 10 months until present.

As for Milk in sippys .. try the Nuby soft spout sippys. They work more like a bottle and it's how we got both kids to transition to sippys. You might try knocking the chill off it too, we used the microwave for a 10-15 seconds. It was still cool but not straight from the fridge cold.

Good luck! We're in TN too, never heard of that law but they have some humdingers for childcare so I wouldn't be surprised.


firstinmyheart August 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Why do you hate that he is growing up? Just curious :-)
I don't have any tips or advice, but good luck with the transition!


VanderbiltWife August 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm

That sounds early to me, but what do I know? I have never even seen the bigger kid rooms at my daycare. Since we're leaving daycare after next week, not a big deal, but I do know they are way more scheduled in there.

We also use the Nuby sippy and she can hold it similar to how she holds her bottle, so she CAN drink from it if she wants to. She has to be laying back on a Boppy to drink from a sippy or her bottle, though.


Jennifer August 7, 2009 at 4:01 pm

AWW… he is growing up fast! That is a *crazy* law… where do they even come up with stuff like that? They are sitting around worried about how many naps babies are taking?! lol


Rebecca (Sam's wife) August 7, 2009 at 4:06 pm

let me know if you find out any tips b/c i am the same way with my girl turning on in 19 days!

we transition too, but not sure about the one nap a day thing? that is a bit crazy but i am sure he will do fine! routines are so nice!


Therese August 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm

The nap thing would annoy me. None of my boys gave up their morning nap until they were 15-16 months at least. I like when they get to choose themselves, but I am sure that Elias will be fine! You're doing such a great job with him!!!


Jenn August 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm

No child likes their milk to come in sippy cup form…they taste milk, they think bottle. It's been that way since birth! However, I found that if I warm the milk in the sippy cup, they would take it just fine.


Anonymous August 7, 2009 at 4:31 pm

It seems so sad to force a kid into a schedule he's not ready for. My daughter didn't transition to one nap until 16 months also.

Isn't there another option? Can't he stay in the Lamb room until he has hit more of the milestones you mentioned? It seems like the CHILD should dictate what room they are in… not the date on the calendar.

I'd talk to your child care provider to see what can be done. No use forcing sweet Elias into something he's not ready for. He'll get there soon enough.

Good luck!



The O'Brien Family August 7, 2009 at 4:33 pm

We did that transition last August. I was just as worried about it, but it went so smoothly. She added so many new skills within the first couple days of going to the new room. We actually just left that room in July and miss it dearly.

To ease your mind a bit, we are in Colorado and our daycare has the same "rules" for the 1-2yr room as yours. Its totally normal to have a bit more structure and to go to one nap a day. He will probably be tired in the evenings the first couple weeks because they play so much! Morgan used to fall asleep in the car on the way home when we first did the switch.

Oh, and next year don't be surprised if they say no more sippy cups! Thats what we are dealing with now!


Ryan August 7, 2009 at 5:09 pm

I have just moved my 16 month old to one nap a day and it was a little more difficult than I expected. I would suggest "weaning" him from the morning nap. I let her sleep for an hour (rather than an hour and a half to two hours) for a few days and then 45 minutes and lastly 30 minutes. Also her afternoon nap moved up in time (from 1:00-1:30 to 12:30). It is longer than it was when she was napping twice a day. It is at least a good 2 hours and usually 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The first few days with no morning nap led to a not so great afternoon nap, but after a few days she adjusted. By the way, I cannot believe the nap thing is a law either. That is a terrible nap. Most children need two naps a day well past 12 months.

As for the bottles/sippy cups, I would just get rid of the bottles. Like you said, he is capable of drinking from the cup. You should really stop the bottle at 12 months anyway. Give him his milk in the sippy cup and he may refuse it once or twice, but he will realize that you are going to give it to him that way and he will drink it. It is almost becoming a battle of will. Also, if you don't want to go cold turkey then try adding sippy cup handles to your bottles. I am not sure what kind of bottles you use, but Avent bottles allow for Avent handles from the sippy cups to be added. This may help. I definitely think Nuby sippy cups are the best. I would start with the handled version and then move to no handles.


Anonymous August 7, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Here is a tip for "breaking" from the bottle. I have 5 kids 1-18 and used it with all of them. Check the signs in the farmers almanac, It will tell you the best time to wean from teh bottle. I have used this method with all of mine. IT WORKS!! When the signs are in the legs( or below the head it is a great time to wean, becuase they do not think about it as much. May sound crazy, but what do you have to lose?


Nurse Bee August 7, 2009 at 6:12 pm

My daughter (11 months) usually takes one nap a day at the babysitters, but often still 2 naps a day at home. Is the law that the kids only have one nap a day? or that they must have one nap a day?

For cups, I like the Munchkin sippy cups, but I will probably have the same problem. Right now she only gets water from a cup and milk from a bottle or me. And I let her feed herself with a spoon for the first time the other day….she got about half the food in her month and then it was straight to the bathtub!!


Anonymous August 7, 2009 at 6:13 pm

I felt the same way with my little guy, but you might be surprised at how well you like him only having one nap. It really frees up a lot of time to go and do things…at least for us it did. And his two short naps ended up to be one long nap which i enjoyed more that i expected.

We had to just go cold turkey on the sippy cup vs. bottle. he got mad enough that he would just give in. not fun to do, but it worked.

as far as spoons…have you tried the Boon spoon/fork set with their suction cup bowls? They are great!! You can buy them at some of the Nashville area Targets and at Once Upon a Child or you can order them online. The bowl is really handy and the spoon and spork both have a flexible neck so that you can adjust the angle of the head to make it easier to use. We used them a lot at the beginning and still use them some.

Good luck!


becca August 7, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Our 2 year old typically naps once a day at the sitter, but sometimes still requires 2 on the weekends with us. He still to this day will only drink his milk warm, and only from a take and toss sippy cup. His other sippies are for water and he refuses it any other way.

I hate mine is growing up so quickly as well! :(


Brooke August 7, 2009 at 10:12 pm

My niece had a pink cup she used to drink ONLY water from. One day her Mum put milk in it and she spat it out. Kids seem to know that water will come from one cup so maybe introduce a different type of sippy cup for Elias for his milk.

My son loves to chill out when he has his milk, it's like his meditation time. I think that's why he also doesn't like to hold a cup, he still lies down and has it in a bottle, most times. Maybe you could transition Elias to have one milk meditation time before bed so he knows he's not losing it all together. Hope this helps you guys out.


Andrea August 7, 2009 at 10:18 pm

I would also be most mad about the one nap a day. I think a child should show you on their own when they are ready to transition from 2 naps a day to 1. My boys both did this around 18 months.

As for the sippy cup thing I wouldn't worry about it too much, as all children will do things for other people way easier than for mom and dad;) If he is hungry he will drink the milk.

They do grow up too fast though:(


Sarah August 7, 2009 at 10:28 pm

My daughter was ready to switch to 1 nap just before she turned one. At first, I was dreading it, not having a break in the morning and all, but she slept a lot better with just one nap a day (and for longer!) Her average nap now is 2 hours long, sometimes 3 and she sleeps 7:30-7:30 every night.

My daughter didn't like milk out of a sippy at first either. I was washing bottles one day and got totally fed up so I told her that the bottles were going bye bye and I put milk in her Nuby cup (we've always used Nuby, I love their stuff). I gave it to her, she cried for probably 15 minutes and then drank the whole thing. Best thing I ever did!


Danielle August 8, 2009 at 12:53 am

We too are using the Nuby – it is the ONLY sippy cup that Eli will even think about drinking out of. Good luck with the transition…I am sure Elias will do great!


jayfersgirl August 8, 2009 at 2:55 am

Wow! I worked in a daycare in Texas, which has horrible laws when it comes to child:teacher ratio (I had 9 one year olds in a room by myself), and they did have to go to only one nap when they came into our room…which is way too early in my opinion.
Although, my daughter (who turns 1 tomorrow!) is pretty much down to only one mid-day nap.
Most of the kids did sit at a table and feed themselves, but we had 3 high chairs for the ones who weren't quite ready for that yet.
And, yes, they did use only sippy cups.
Wow, when I read your post, I thought "That's ridiculous!!!" but then I'm realizing it's how we did things there too…seemed awful to me at the time too though, I admit. It's why I ended up leaving that job actually…

That seems like a crazy law and perhaps a misreading — like it should say "They must have one nap" not "They must have ONLY one nap." Who knows? Daycares aren't my favorite places, though I know they serve a wonderful and necessary function for many people, and it sounds like yours is one of the better ones:)


Leslie August 8, 2009 at 3:12 am

I had a terrible time getting my daughter to drink milk from a sippy cup. We tried alot of different kinds of cups, and ended up trying one that had a straw and she drank all of her milk! That is the only kind of cup she will drink her milk out of.

As far as daycare, I would just try and stick to the same schedule that they have him on on the weekends to transition him more smoothly. When my daughter went to one nap a day, her bedtime moved up about an hour but she sleeps through the night about 12 hrs and takes a 2-3 hour nap. Good luck with everything!


Nicole August 8, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I think the one nap after 12 mos is a PA Law too :) My son is 2 1/2 now and I was in a bit of a panic when he went from 2 naps to 1 at 12 mos. In our room at least they fed them lunch super early and they were all down for their nap by 1130/12. It seemed to work for school. I think they said it was a tough transition for most of the kids for the first month or so. However at home on the weekends, he kept taking 2 naps a day until he was 18 mos old. Don't worry he will do great in the zebra room. They grow up too fast, don't they?!


Stefanie August 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm

I agree with a lot of the previous posters that he will either do REALLY well and surprise you, or he won't… and that will be miserable for the two of you.

I thought they were trying to transition my little one too early as well — and he wasn't transitioned until around 15-16 months!! But they had a room between the infant room and the toddler room where they switched to only one nap a day.

Your daycare should respect your wishes to keep him back if he isn't ready to switch to one nap — maybe a pediatrician note is in order?

And these sippies: http://www.gerber.com/Products/NUK_Learner_Cup.aspx are completely responsible for our transition from the bottle. Worked like a charm. A little more difficult to transition afterwards to a harder mouthed sippy. But WORTH it. I imagine the Nuby soft spout is similar.

Good luck!


Anonymous August 8, 2009 at 2:44 pm

I am like a few of the other moms. I think you need to talk to the childcare provider and let them know your concerns.
My 23 month old daughter just transitioned to one nap a day and it is still a struggle for her.
I hope everything works out.


Suzie Button August 8, 2009 at 11:20 pm

My daughter has her first baby, Madison, and she's 4 months old and she's struggling to get Madison to sleep in her crib! There's always something when you're a parent, right?! Good luck with the changes! You can visit her at http://www.missmadisonscharmedlife.blogspot.com. suzie


Tasha August 9, 2009 at 3:51 am

My question is how do you put one year olds in a room together on mats and expect them to sleep?My little one would be going to visit her neighbors!=)


Leonard Family August 9, 2009 at 4:24 am

Oh my what a transition indeed! My daughter is 22 months and I am not sure she'd nap in a room with other children on a mat. It seems early for a lot of that stuff but he will be ahead of most and I'm sure they'll help him with the transition. My daughter never did like any milk but when I transitioned to sippy cup for milk she stopped drinking milk all together. She just won't drink it but she gets her dairy through cheese and yogurt. I think my lil girl was still taking 2 naps until she was 15 months old. Odd law I say! Good luck with the transitions! Elisa is adorable!


Emily August 12, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Love your site! Just found it via Angie's.

I have a nine month old who is starting day care next week!

He hates to hold his own bottle too… lazy boys! :)


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