Baby sleep is a minefield at the best of times. just when you think you've cracked it...bam...a developmental leap hits or their awake windows have stretched and their sleep has gone off again...OR they need to transition their naps and you don't know how or when do it.
Knowing when to nap transition your baby is step 1, looking for the signs they are ready is step 2.
Knowing when. The below is just an average guideline to know roughly when you can look out for when your baby might be showing signs they are ready to drop a nap:
3 nap schedule: 4-6 months
3 naps to 2 naps: 8-10 months
2 naps to 1 nap: 13-17 months
1 nap to NO NAPS: some form of quiet time or nap is recommended up until the age of 3.5 (if not slightly older)
Remember...just because your baby is in these 'ideal' age gaps for transition, it doesn't always mean that they are READY to transition. Every baby develops in their own time and space, but this is a good indication for the average baby.
It's often confused that a baby is ready to transition down a nap when they go through a developmental leap, because both will throw off their sleep game.
So a good indication of them being ready to transition will be them being in these 'ideal' age gaps AND showing the following signs:
They may refuse one or more of their naps - this is the most common sign that your little one is ready to drop their nap. As they get older, one of their naps (generally the last nap) will become shorter and shorter until they start to refuse it altogether. In some cases you may find they just start to refuse it all of a sudden, but this needs to be happening consistently for a few weeks to be sure that it's because they are ready to transition down a nap.
Naps no longer marry up with their awake window- as your baby gets older, their wakefulness naturally gets longer. So you'll find that they may still be sleeping well for naps, but then you are struggling to fit all those naps in before bedtime. Here it may be appropriate to cut that last nap and move bedtime earlier to compensate.
Naps suddenly shorten- not all babies will gradually shorten their naps. For some, this will happen quite suddenly, and it's usually their last nap of the day.
Waking up early in the morning - this happens because your baby is getting too much sleep in the day. Their 24 hour sleep tank is just done because they are having maybe one too many naps in the day time, so they naturally need less at night. If you're not ready to drop that extra nap yet, then cut it short until you're ready to drop it completely.
Little One is fighting bedtime- again, because your little one is maybe having too much sleep in the day, bedtime can become a battle because they are just not ready to fall asleep yet. They don't have enough sleep pressure built up to want/be able to fall asleep at bedtime.
If you're ready to transition your Little One's naps, but not sure where or how to do so, then please feel free to get in touch for some help and guidance.
Dipna Sleep Nanny x
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