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Time to drop a nap?

The days of your newborn sleeping most of the day are a distant memory, and now you are wondering if it's time to drop a nap. We get asked a lot about nap transitions from 4+ naps a day, to 3 - 2 -1 naps and to none (usually somewhere between 2-4 years old).

Below are details on when they are likely to occur, along with the signs to look for.

What are the signs to look for of a nap transition?

You may notice your baby refusing a nap they previously took well, it taking much longer for them to fall asleep for the nap, or the nap being much shorter than usual. This isn't just once in a while, this would be fighting the nap day after day. Sometimes it might not effect the nap they are ready to drop, but the next nap or bedtime after.

Another clue might be early waking each morning if they are getting too much sleep each day and they are ready to adjust their day sleep.

When do nap transitions usually happen?

Nap transitions can vary from child to child, but there are typical age ranges that these can happen. This is just a guide and don't worry if your child is older or younger than shown, it is just an indication.


2 nap pattern- 6-9months

1 nap pattern- 10-18months

Dropping the last nap typically happens between 2-4years old.

Usually the third nap of the day is the first one that is dropped to settle into a two nap pattern somewhere between 6-9months.

Next up, the morning nap is usually dropped around 10-18months, and the final nap being dropped around 2-4 years old.

How to handle a nap transition?

Ideally, we would recommend you gradually scale down a nap before dropping it, but this isn't always possible so don't worry if not. For some babies a transitional period is useful in getting them used to longer stretches of awake time. This is especially true for dropping the last nap around 2-4years old- you may find some days they need the nap, but dropping it others.

If you need more help navigating a nap transition, please do get in touch.

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