Dropping the Afternoon Nap: A Guide to Keeping Your Sanity
When will your baby go from three naps to two naps?
Great question! We all know that at some point our newborn, who seems to have no schedule at all will eventually begin to have a schedule around 3 months of age. For most babies ( there are exceptions) they will settle into a three nap routine during their day. It’s glorious, you get three consistent naps during the day to get things done or your nanny can hang out with an older sibling or get some things done around the house.
For a while you are living the three nap dream and then one day you notice that that third nap is just… not happening… You try and there is no luck, so you figure you’ll try again tomorrow. The next day your baby decides to take a short third nap, okay, maybe yesterday was a fluke. The cycle continues and before you know it half of the time your kiddo will not take a third nap and they seem to be fine with that, but there seems to be some disruption with their morning naps and they still seem tired.
Adjusting to a two nap schedule with your baby
This two nap schedule, which typically equals about 3 hours of sleep during the day, really only works if your baby is getting 12 hours at night. If your kiddo is not getting 12 hours of sleep at night, which is the recommended, they may still need that third nap during the day. Remember: sleep begets sleep for babies!
The 2-3-4 rule for a two nap schedule is great, but it may not work for every baby, so allow yourself (and your baby) some flexibility. Baby wakes, two hours later they will go down for nap #1. After waking from their first nap, they will be awake for about 3 hours and then go down for nap #2. Upon waking from their last nap, they will stay awake until bedtime, which is typically around 6:30/7pm for kiddos under 2 years of age. This may be adjusted to look like 3-2-4 or 3-3-3 or some variation of what will fit for YOUR baby.
Sleep begets sleep for babies and children
The great thing about sleep training or getting your kiddo on a schedule is that you can choose something that uniquely fits your kiddos needs as long as they are getting the recommended amount of sleep each night and day.