Our Nap Transition: From One to None


Apr 12, 2017


It’s time for me to be 10000% real with you. 

I’ve been in nap chaos for the last month…and it’s still going on. 

You see, we flirted with taking Big Sister’s nap away. It can happen anywhere between 2.5-3 years old. Typically by 3 years old they no longer need a nap, and if they do fall asleep it just causes a LOT of protest and stalling at bedtime. 

(Sound familiar?)

So here’s what’s been going on behind the scenes:

#1  For the past couple of month’s Big Sister’s naps have been hit or miss. She would go days without sleeping, then one day sleep a full 2.5 hours. There wasn’t any rhyme or reason (no extra activities)…and sometimes I would have to go wake her up at the 3 hour mark so she WOULD go to sleep that night.

#2  When she slept 2.5-3 hours she wouldn’t fall asleep for the night until 8:45/9pm. Keep in mind that we put her in her crib at 7. She would lay there awake singing the entire Frozen soundtrack or talk to her monkey and lamby. On the nights where I knewshe wasn’t tired yet we had extra special 1:1 time. That was so much fun. We’d go through the Bedtime Routine then put Little Sister to sleep, leave the room, and read/snuggle/tickle/play for an extra 30 minutes. We’d then sneak back in their room, slip her into bed and she’d be out within 10-15 minutes.

#3  Then she started protesting naps altogether. It didn’t matter what I did or didn’t do, she played, talked, sang, did flips…in her bed for an hour or more. This went on for two straight weeks.

#4  So I threw a pity-party, got my game-plan, and sat down to tell her the news: “You don’t have to nap anymore!” She still doesn’t 100% understand that Quiet Time and Nap Time are two totally different things, but we’re working on it.

For any nap change your baby or toddler makes, it is going to take 4-6 weeks for them to fully adjust. So we’re on Week 4 of no naps, and here’s what our schedule looks like:

7:00am: Wake for the day

1:30pm: Little Sister’s nap + Big Sister’s quiet time

2:00pm: End quiet time

2:45pm: Little Sister up

5:30pm: Dinner

6:00pm: Bath

6:30pm: In the cribs

They are both OUT by 6:31pm, and we’ll hear them start stirring between 6:45-7am. 

I told a friend today that it’s going well, but we are FOR SURE in cranky zone from 5-6:30pm. This is when walks, chalk, or a little snack before dinner save the day. 

Have questions about nap transitions? Wondering how to make the jump from 3 to 2, 2 to 1, or 1 to none? Let’s talk.

Sweet Dreams,
Your Pediatric Sleep Consultant


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