Babies go through so many changes during the first 12-18 months of life, and right in there in the middle of it all is nap transitions! There will come a time when your child will no longer “need” their nap at all. I know! That’s a tough one! I’m sure I will also dread the day when my daughter stops napping since that’s the time of day that I get the most done or get a chance to nap myself!
So, how will you know when it’s time for your child to transition from 2 naps to 1, or to no nap at all?
Let’s talk about it! Here are 5 signs that could indicate that it’s time for your baby to drop a nap.
1. Your Child’s Naps Are No Longer Age-Appropriate
If you’re finding that your child’s naps no longer make sense for your child’s age, this could very well be an indication that it’s time to drop a nap.
Here are the nap recommendations by age (on average):
2. Your Child Is Rejecting The Nap
If you’re starting to notice that your child is completely rejecting one or more of their naps, it may be time to drop the nap. Before dropping the nap entirely, you do want to make sure you’re seeing consistent rejection of the nap for a few weeks to make sure it is in fact time, and the nap is not being dropped too soon!
3. Awake Windows No Longer Make Sense
If you’ve found that it’s hard to fit in your child’s naps when following the recommended awake windows for your child’s age, there’s a good chance that it’s time to drop a nap. Awake windows do get longer as children grow, so the number of naps do naturally shorten.
4. Your Child Is Waking Earlier Than Normal To Start The Day
When babies wake before 6 a.m., it’s considered an early morning rising. Oftentimes early risings can be a sign of too much daytime sleep or not enough daytime time. Either way, naps are often the reason why they occur. If your child is napping, but starting to wake earlier than normal for the day, your child is likely getting too much daytime sleep and naturally doesn’t need as much night sleep, so adjusting naps can help with this.
Usually when it’s time to drop a nap, a child’s overall sleep can suddenly be affected. The child may become harder to get down for sleep, naps could become shorter, bedtime could become more difficult, or something similar. If you’re noticing this is happening with your child, consider these four indicators that we’ve discussed:
- Are the number of daily naps age-appropriate for your child?
- Has your child been consistently rejecting one or more naps for more than a week?
- Do your child’s age-appropriate awake windows make sense for the number of naps you’re trying to fit in?
- Is your child waking earlier than normal to start the day?
If the answer is yes to one or more of those, it may be time to drop your child’s nap.
If you’d like support as you navigate naps with your child, schedule a free 15-minute call or take a look at our nap strategy guide so that I can walk you through naps with your child.