Ready to drop a nap?

Here’s some advice before you do – First, make sure your baby is ready and when I say ready I mean the correct age to be dropping a nap.  Kids will go through periods of not sleeping for some naps during the day – this doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to drop a nap.  Unless they are the right age to drop a nap then you are likely to end up awake with your overtired babe in the middle of the night and no one wants that.

Here’s how you do it

Dropping the first nap – Your child should start with three naps, (morning, lunch and afternoon) and will biologically need to drop their last nap of the day first, this happens between 6-8 months.  Prior to this the third nap should be short and getting shorter as they move towards dropping it e.g. 15-30 minutes to get through the evening routine. If this nap is not gone by 8 months actively encourage it as otherwise this may also result in 2-3am wake ups.  

Dropping the second nap – Your child will biologically want to drop their morning nap next and this happens at around 18 months, any earlier and you are likely to find that the one day nap they have gets very short at 18 months and baby gets very overtired and starts waking early.

Signs your child is ready to drop their morning nap:

  • Refusing to sleep until after 10am for at least 1 week or more
  • Happy to stay awake from 7am-12pm
  • Then Sleeping 1.5-2 hours after lunch (if they are not ready to drop the morning nap they will be overtired and won’t sleep long in PM nap)
  • NOT – refusing the lunch nap, if this happens simply cut back the length of the first nap until your baby has 2 naps again

Dropping the last nap – Yes this time will come, yes you will mourn that little bit of freedom you had but remember you can still offer quiet time. Your little one will want to biologically drop their last nap at around 2.5-3 years of age.  Holding on to it for longer can ruin night sleep, dropping it earlier can lead to wakeful evenings and nights due to overtiredness. 

TIP: Go with an earlier bedtime when first dropping a nap e.g. 15-30 minutes depending on tired signs.  When your babe starts adjusting then inch your way back to your normal bedtime 15 minutes at a time. 

If you are struggling with your child’s sleep I have tools and techniques to suit your parenting style. Contact me today for a better nights sleep.

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