Nap transitions happen so frequently during the first year that it may seem you finally have a predictable sleep schedule and, then it suddenly changes again!
Many parents can be left puzzled by whether their baby should continue with three naps a day or make the switch to two. If you are not quite sure and your baby is 6 months of age or older, here are some typical signs to look for before making this transition:
- One or more naps are under one hour each. Track your baby’s naps to see if frequent short naps happening regularly. If so, expanding the awake window by 10-15 minutes can help encourage a longer nap. This will often result in less time for a third nap, and you can always move bedtime to prevent over tiredness at bedtime.
- Waking early in the morning: If your little one is waking up super early (5 A.M. is not normally an appropriate time to begin the day!), this usually means some daytime sleep hours need to be shifted to evening sleep hours. Eliminating the third nap will assist with extending the morning wake up time.
- Difficulty falling asleep: If your child is not tired and is having a difficult time falling asleep, it often means that the awake window can be lengthened. This will enable your baby to fall asleep more quickly and easily. Lengthening his awake window also means he will likely not have time to take three naps and will adjust naturally to two naps instead.
Once your baby makes the transition to two naps from three, most will take a morning nap at 9/9:30 A.M. and an afternoon nap at 1:30/2:00 P.M. If you are having challenges with this transition or faced with any other sleep challenges, please schedule a complimentary call with me here!