3 naps to 2
How do you know when your baby should drop from 3 naps to 2 naps?
So, there’s no hard and fast rule but usually around 6-8 months your baby will drop to 2 naps.
If you were following my schedule I’d suggest 3 naps ~ 9am ish, 12.30pm ish and 4pm ish.
The late afternoon nap is the one to drop.
Signs of this:
baby taking ages to fall asleep at bedtime baby not falling asleep for that nap baby not sleeping long at lunch nap
Trouble is if you’re baby isn’t sleeping long at lunchtime then it’s a really long time until bedtime
Don’t drop it too soon, try an assisted/motion nap - pram, carrier, car etc and see if baby falls asleep that way.
Make the first nap of the day short 30-60 minutes depending on age of your baby.
If they wake after 45 mins for lunchtime nap - try and resettle them back to sleep.
All encourages baby to sleep longer at lunchtime which will see them through until bedtime
Dropping from 2 naps to 1
This can happen at different ages anywhere from 12 months to 18 months. (I’d encourage babies under 14 months to keep 2 naps)
but we need to look at the overall picture. Including how much day sleep and night sleep baby is getting in 24 hours.
Main signs it may be time to go from 2 naps to 1:
baby finding it hard to fall asleep at 2nd nap time of the second nap gets later and later baby refusing to fall asleep 1st nap
From 8/9 months my example nap times for baby on 2 naps could be 9.30-10.00am then 12.30/1pm - 2.30/3pm
If baby sleeps in the morning but won’t sleep after lunch - try cutting back the 1st nap, or go for a drive or try a nap every other day
If none of this works then it’s likely time for 1 nap
So - the time of their one and only nap will probably need to be earlier.
Question - what time should the nap be? Answer - not sure trial and error - depends what time their nap was before. Can your baby power through until after lunch? - aim for an early lunch 11.30ish then try baby for a nap around 12/12.30 Can you lengthen out the time of the first nap by 30 minutes every couple of days?
Often it can take 2-4 weeks for baby to settle into having only 1 nap so expect some disruption
Watch their sleepy signs to see when it’s the right time for them Keep a nap diary
If they wake early from their nap they may need an earlier bedtime
If you need any help with your baby's naps or night time sleep e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org and let's work together to get you all more sleep