Today let’s talk the 3 to 2 nap transition. The third nap is a nap that actually has no biological rhythm for it and its main purpose is to bridge the gap between the midday nap and bedtime. The morning and midday nap, on the other hand, both serve very important purposes. The morning nap is mentally restorative and the midday nap is physically restorative.
Sometime around 6 to 9 months you will find your baby will be ready to drop that catnap and then only have 2 naps each day. But how do you know your baby is ready to make that transition?
- Your baby is napping at least 1.5 hours for both morning and midday nap.
- Your baby is consistently refusing the third nap multiple times each week for multiple weeks. Resist the urge to transition after just a few refusals. Wait a few weeks to see if it becomes a pattern.
- Your baby is showing that he is capable of staying awake for longer periods.
- Deterioration of sleep when your baby has otherwise been a good sleeper. This could show with early risings or night wakings.
- If your baby manages to take a third nap it is starting to happen too late in the day that it is interfering with a reasonable bedtime. I suggest babies be awake from their catnap before 5 pm.
When you’ve determined that the transition to 2 naps a day is right for your baby, be sure to bring bedtime up earlier to compensate for the lack of a catnap. This will be especially important whilst your baby is getting used to the transition. Bedtime should be between 2 – 3 hours post catnap depending on the age of your baby.
Remember that the transition to no catnap can take 1 – 2 weeks.
If you are still not sure whether your baby is ready for the big 3 to 2 nap transition, or perhaps, you wonder if your baby’s deterioration in sleep is from something else. Please do not hesitate to reach out for a sleep chat. Having a certified Child Sleep Consultant as a sounding board can really help!
If you are considering engaging a Child Sleep Consultant and wonder if taking the leap is the best decision. Check out my top reasons for hiring a Certified Child Sleep Consultant here.