Most babies are ready to drop their second nap between twelve and eighteen months of age, however our recommendation is to avoid losing the nap too soon, somewhere between fifteen to eighteen months is ideal.
It’s important to remember that before you decide to drop a nap, make sure that the signs are consistent with your child being developmentally ready, this includes not just the result of a few ‘off’ days or the schedule you’d like to have. Your child’s morning naps are generally the most restorative, which makes them particularly crucial for young babies who need the nap for early brain development. Therefore, it is essential not to cut them out too early.
Here are some signs your child is ready to make the transition
- Your child is starting to resist bedtime/ takes longer to fall asleep for the morning nap which includes crying, talking or playing.
- Your child only has a short morning nap.
- Your child sleeps for a long morning nap and then refuses the afternoon nap.
- Your child is sleeping through the night consistently between 10-12 hours.
- Your child wakes up well-rested and happy from their one nap and can always make it through to bedtime without becoming too grumpy and tired.
- Your child does not fall asleep in the pram or the car at “nap” time.
What you can do to assist the transition
- During the transition, don’t allow your toddler to sleep for too long for their 1st nap, as this can create resistance for their second nap
- Watch for your child’s-tired signs and put them down for a nap accordingly.
- If your child needs to have an earlier nap some days, then I suggest moving their bedtime earlier to accommodate and to avoid them becoming overtired.
- In the event you only managed to get one nap early on, allow for ‘quiet time’ or a `power nap` in the car/pram towards the afternoon.
- Ensure you have an earlier bedtime implemented over a few weeks whilst your toddler is adjusting to the changes (6:00 pm to 6:30 pm is ideal).
- The change in routine can be a gradual one and it is not uncommon for children to still have days where they will need two naps.
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