Navigating Naps

For many mothers, it may feel as soon as you get used to a nap schedule, it’s time to switch it up again. Throughout a baby’s first year of their life, you may change their sleep schedule six times!  Whether you’re curious about when to drop a nap, or preparing for when the time comes to quit naps altogether- we’ve got ya covered!


Morning and Midday naps:  Until babies are 2 months of age, about 5 naps per day with awake windows up to an hour and a half are appropriate.  At 2 months, babies typically drop to 4 naps per day with awake windows at least an hour and a half throughout the day. Around 4 months, babies ride into the morning and afternoon nap pattern with an evening catnap bridging the gap to bedtime. 


The Evening Catnap:  Around six months of age, babies may begin to refuse the last nap. Along with all the changes in your child’s development, they also have the ability to extend their awake windows. In the beginning, your baby may take their evening rest one day, and spurn it the next. Whenever your baby is consistently staying awake for a week, you can stop offering that nap and consider it dropped. 


The Morning Nap: After your baby’s first birthday, you will notice one nap is routinely harder.  Watch your baby, they will show you when it is time to move on from morning nap. Look for signs like consistently waking up early from the nap, sleeping poorly during their nap and no longer showing sleepy cues around their nap time. If you notice all of these signs steadily throughout the week, and your little one is already walking, it’s time to let the morning nap subside.  If walking is pending and one nap is harder, wait until they take off to take away a nap.  


All Naps: ​​At around age three to four, you may notice your child refusing their nap. This can cause some anxiety, but don’t let it! It is still appropriate for you and your child to get some rest. Around naptime, offer “quiet time” in their room instead. They can rest, read, or play, but they should stay in their room for at least an hour. 

Sleep transitions can be hard and nap time is precious. It is just as important for you to have that time during the day to meal prep, tackle chores, or catch up on your favorite Real Housewives! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or want any extra help with naps, or another baby related topic, don’t forget to visit our consultations page.

Author: nightingales

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