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Nap Transitions

How and when to drop naps is the most common question I am asked when I do my Instagram Q&A’s so I have put together a list of all my top tips which I hope you will find useful. 

3-6 months 

Most babies at this age are starting to settling into a routine of 3-4 naps per day depending on their length. At this age you are aiming for around 3-4hrs of daytime naps in total. 

7-8 months 

At this age most babies are moving towards just 2 naps a day and they loose their late afternoon nap. You can take this nap out of your babies routine once they are waking up late enough from their lunchtime nap. So for example if they wake at 2pm from their nap they can go to bed at 6pm. I don’t recommend babies at this age nap past 4pm. 

9-12 months 

At this age it’s common for naps to seemingly regress. This is usually due to one or two changes that take place 

  1. Your babies awake window has increased which means they appear to be fighting their naps 
  2. Separation anxiety kicks in due to a cognitive development change. 

If your little one is struggling with naps at this age then check their awake window, on average its around 3-4hrs at this age so make sure you are waiting until they have shown you some clear tired signs before settling them for their nap. If you are sure their awake window is right, and you are finding your little one is very distressed going down for a nap then consider staying in their room with them to help with their separation anxiety. You can also find a helpful technique called gradual retreat via my online sleep course which is perfect for supporting your little one during a period of separation anxiety.  

12-15 months 

This is the average age for babies to move to one nap. Signs that your little one is ready to move to one nap include; 

  • Taking nap 1 but refusing nap 2.  
  • Taking nap 1 so late that nap 2 is too close to bedtime. 
  • Taking ages to settle at bedtime.  
  • Waking up early, happy and ready to start the day. 

When moving onto one nap aim for this nap to take place as close to midday as possible. If you feel your little one is transitioning but not quite ready for one nap then shorten the morning nap to around 30mins initially and then shave 5 mins off every few days. 

For more tips and to join my live Q&A’s follow me on Instagram.

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