Nap Transitions: 7 Signs Your Child is Ready to Drop a Nap
Updated: Mar 16
If your once perfect little sleeper starts taking short naps, skipping naps or waking multiple times during the night and you have ruled out a sleep regression - it may mean that it’s time to drop a nap.
Below describes *on average* when nap transitions occur by age for children. Keep in mind that this is a guideline, and some babies may transition earlier or later than the chart describes.
You as caregiver will know baby best!
# OF NAPS
4 - 5
4 -> 3
6 - 9
3 -> 2
10 - 18
2 -> 1
24 - 36
1 -> 0
7 Signs That Your Child May Be Ready to Transition to One Less Nap:
Your baby may be showing all the signs described below, or just one or two. Every child is different!
As the days go on, naps start to get shorter and shorter - lasting only 20-25 minutes
Able to stay awake longer between nap times.
Taking a long time to settle, protesting sleep and it is more difficult to get to sleep at their regular nap time.
Settles well for one nap, and then either flat out refuses the next nap or doesn’t sleep well during it.
Settles and sleeps well during the day for naps, but then is up multiple times during the night.
Protests bedtime, taking a long time to settle in the evening and go to sleep for the night.
Waking very early in the morning, before an “okay to wake time” of 6AM.
We will cover the specific nap transitions mentioned above in upcoming blogs, to help you navigate the transition. If you are anything like me (hello type A personality), when I was a first time mom the transitions scared me because I knew and loved his routine and he (okay, maybe more importantly I) thrived on it. The thought of my child getting less sleep made me nervous! However, I found it helpful to know and anticipate when a transition was coming, and how to navigate the transition to make sure my son didn’t get behind on his sleep needs with one less nap in his life.
My hope for this nap transitions series is to help you manage nap transitions easily, and make it so it isn’t overwhelming or stressful. For now, I encourage you to make sure your baby is following their age appropriate wake times and that you have perfected your nap and bedtime routine! Having these two things ironed out will help before the nap transition phase approaches!
You’ve got this!
If you would like to a chat with me or would like to find out more about how I can help your family nurture healthy sleep, please check out my packages and don’t hesitate to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea the owner of Sleeping Beautiezzz chats in detail about the 7 Signs Your Child is Ready to Drop a Nap on the Coffee and Cat Naps podcast! Listen here. Stay tuned for future episodes as we cover nap transitions 4 to 3, 3 to 2, 2 to 1, and 1 to 0. Our hope for this nap transitions series is to help you manage nap transitions easily, and make it so it isn’t overwhelming or stressful.