Although an infant’s naps will eventually come to an end sometimes the end can’t come soon enough for exhausted parents.
Thankfully, we are going to cover some of the ins and outs when it comes to your infant’s nap schedule and dropping naps plus some helpful hints to will help make the transition process operate like a well-oiled machine.
The nap transition process
Within the first 12 months after birth, it is likely that your infant will cut their naps from five or six naps a day, to about two.
In the next year sometime, those two naps should become one. This is usually when your toddler is about 15 to 18 months old. If your child drops their one nap too soon, this may in turn affect their night sleep, where your child may start waking too early in the morning.
Some toddlers may drop their day nap all together but this is the exception to the rule. Regardless, at this age, all kindergartens and daycare centres insist that children nap (or at least rest) as part of the daily schedule.
Transitioning from two naps to one nap a day
Signs your child still needs two naps a day
- When you put your child down for a nap, she plays, resists, or fusses for a while, but always ends up sleeping for an hour or more
- When you take your child for car rides during the day, she usually falls asleep
- If your child misses a nap she’s fussy or acts tired until the next nap or bedtime
- Your child misses naps when you’re on the go, but at home she takes two good naps
Signs your child is ready to cut back to one nap
- When you put your child down for a nap she plays or fusses before falling asleep, and then takes only a short nap, or doesn’t fall asleep at all
- Your child can go for car rides early in the day and not fall asleep in the car
- When your child misses a nap she’s happy and energetic until the next nap or bedtime
- Your child sleeps well for one of her naps, but totally resists the other nap.
Transitioning from one nap to no naps
Signs your child is done with their daytime nap
- If your child doesn’t seem tired and has trouble falling asleep at naptime.
- If your child is taking naps and staying up later in the evening or has a hard time falling asleep at night after taking an afternoon nap
- If your child is skipping naps with no negative side effects, it is likely that your child has already made the transition on their own
- The older your child gets, the more they can tolerate being awake all day.
The no-nap transition process won’t happen overnight. It is something that will occur, as the child gets older. A good way to look at it is a change in schedule. Some parents choose to give their child an hour of quiet time, whether is be watching a movie or reading, but it is mostly up to your child’s biological clock and your patience in getting them through the no-nap transition process.