Ok let’s get down to business.. What you want to know is when is the best time to cut down on a nap? How will you know its the right time? What age should they be? How do you do it?
So the first thing I want to tell you when making the changes is to expect for your life to be out of wack for a week or 2 and expect a les MISERABLE baby. Just deal with it. It shouldn’t really take too much longer than a couple of weeks to sort itself out and in the long run bub will be much more content.
So generally speaking babies go from 3 naps to 2 at about the 6-8 month mark and they stay with 2 naps a day until (hopefully) the 15-18 month mark (a little on either side is fine though). But I’m only telling you that because I know mothers like to know age/stage points of reference but to be honest I don’t actually ever go on age. I never like to count months on fingers but rather to just look at the child. I know your thinking that you do watch the child (obviously!) but your still not sure. So heres some give aways that your child is ready to transition from 2 naps to 1…. Go through these and tick them off.
1. At least 11 hours of good solid sleep a night.
2. Takes a long time to fall asleep for the morning nap.
3. Refuses an afternoon nap
4. You have that feeling “one nap just isn’t enough but two is too many”
5. They aren’t going through any particular physical milestone at the moment.
6. They are healthy – no concurrent respiratory/viral/tummy issues
Tick! Tick! Tick! Tick! Now what? Slow is key here. Slowly push the morning nap later by 20-30 minute increments. Do it over a few days. Enter miserable baby. You know your baby, push them as far as you think they go but not too far. Too far and you’ll end up with a baby fast asleep in their high chair or screaming blue murder. Try to avoid being in the car or pram at this time as they will just nod off. So over a course of a few days slowly push the sleep back to at least 12pm. 1230 is ideal.
Obviously evening bedtime will have to be made a little earlier because chances are they just won’t make it.
Be prepared that sometimes there will be days when your bub just can’t do it. Don’t push bub too hard unnecessarily – allow them to have those days. It doesn’t mean they aren’t ready for one sleep a day, they are just having a sleepy day. I would kill for one of those!
Until that day comes…sweet dreams!