For many mothers, it may feel as soon as you get used to a nap schedule; it’s time to switch it up again. You may change your sleep schedule six times throughout a baby’s first year! Whether you’re curious about when to drop a nap or to prepare for when the time comes to quit naps altogether- we’ve got ya covered!
You may notice your child refusing their nap around age three to four. 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.
Morning and Midday naps:
Until babies are two months of age, about five naps per day with awake windows of up to an hour and a half are appropriate. At two months, babies typically drop to 4 naps per day with awake windows of at least an hour and a half throughout the day. Around four 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 can extend their awake windows. Initially, your baby may take their evening rest one day and spurn it the next. You can stop offering that nap whenever your baby consistently stays awake for a week 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.
Sleep transitions can be challenging, and nap time is precious. It is just as crucial 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 consultation page.