Transitioning from 3 Naps to 2 Naps: A Simple Guide for Babies

Is your baby ready to drop the third nap? Here's how to tell:

1. Signs Your Baby is Ready:
   - Age: Typically 8-9 months old.
   - Resisting naps or shorter nap durations.
   - Sudden night-wakings, split nights, or early rising.
   - Getting less than 10 hours of sleep at night on a 3 nap schedule.

Note: For premature babies, use their corrected age for sleep milestones.

2. Recognising the Right Wake Windows:
   - Look for wake windows stretching to 3+ hours without overtiredness.
   - Fighting naps doesn't necessarily indicate readiness.
   - Pay attention to shorter naps or nap resistance during the third nap

3. Handling the Tricky Third Nap:

   - The third nap is often a catnap, challenging for some babies to take.
   - If your baby resists the third nap, try alternative napping methods like the car, stroller, or baby carrier.

4. Wake Windows for the 3-2 Nap Transition:
   - On a 2 nap schedule, wake windows range from 2.5-4 hours.
   - Transition example schedule:
      - 6:30am- Wakeup
      - 9:15am-10:45am- Nap 1
      - 1:45pm-3:45pm- Nap 2
      - 7:00pm- Bedtime

5. Transitioning Techniques:
   - Gradually lengthen wake windows using 15-minute increments.
   - Implement a short nap time routine to signal sleep.
   - Adjust bedtime earlier when dropping the third nap.

6. Duration of Transition:
   - Transition time varies; some babies adjust quickly, while others may take 2-3 weeks.
   - It's normal for babies to switch between 2 and 3 naps during the transition period.

7. Night Wakings During the Transition:
   - Night wakings may occur if transitioning to 2 naps prematurely.
   - Reasons for night wakings include:
      - Going to bed too late.
      - Too much daytime sleep.
      - Incorrect wake window size.

   - Be patient during the 3-2 nap transition; every baby is unique.
   - Avoid moving to a 2 nap schedule too early to prevent night waking issues.

Understanding the signs and strategies for the 3-2 nap transition is crucial for a smoother experience. By recognising your baby's readiness and implementing gradual changes, you can navigate this challenging phase with confidence. For 1:1 Support please book your free consultation here