Guest Blog: When to Drop the Morning Nap
I miss live events. For one reason, I can't socialize with Kim anymore! She's one of the sweetest faces to see at events!
Kim helps exhausted and overwhelmed parents teach their little ones how to fall asleep and stay asleep all by themselves! Kim's a sleep consultant, aka a miracle-worker. She's the owner of Babes & Beyond: Pediatric Sleep Consulting, the Director of Mentorship and instructor with the Family Sleep Institute.
I asked Kim if she could share some tips about transitioning from 2 naps, to 1. Kim has some tricks to make it a smoother process!
Thanks for sharing your wisdom Kim!
Nat, founder of Bundle Baby
Is it time to Drop the Morning Nap?
You finally have your family on a great nap "routine/schedule" and booomm....something happens! Why is my child not sleeping in the morning? Why are they "fighting" this so badly??? Am I doing something wrong?
Does this sound familiar? Well....you are not alone.
Many of the families that I work with are concerned when their little one will not sleep in the morning anymore. Rest assured that this is completely NORMAL.
Most children start dropping their first nap (morning) around 15 months of age.
Some are as soon as 13 months and some as late as 18 months. It really all depends on your child and the quality of sleep they are getting. The main goal is to try and offer the morning nap as long as possible to ensure that they are not overtired before bedtime. There is a Developmental Leap that comes around 46 weeks
(approx. 11 months) and some parents may confuse this with it is time to drop the morning nap. Stay the course through this Leap and keep offering it to make sure they are getting the rest they need.
(To read more about Developmental Leaps check out "The Wonder Weeks" by Dr. Frans Plooij)
When is my child ready to drop the morning nap?
Are they ready? Signs to look for:
Your child will take a long time to fall asleep for the morning nap and you might also see the nap will start to shorten in length.
Your child may play in their crib the entire time of the nap and still be happy and rested until nap two arrives.
Your child refuses to take their second nap
The pattern of behaviour is at LEAST 10 days in a row.
Won't they be exhausted during the day?
Try this... A few weeks prior to dropping the nap, start capping your child's morning nap. Limit the first morning nap to an hour max.
If you have a child that is not napping at all in the morning, and cannot make it to their afternoon nap time, it is best to move the afternoon nap time. Start by moving the afternoon nap up to about 11am for the short term. Slowly increase the timing towards a 12:30/1pm nap time as your child is able to stay awake for longer periods of time during the day. The main goal is to not let them become overtired so keep a close eye on their sleep cues and adjust accordingly.
Don't forget to keep their bedtime between 4.5-5 hours after they wake from their nap. This means for a while bedtime will be a bit earlier until you have adjusted that afternoon nap to the time frame of 12:30pm /1pm.