Transitioning from 3 naps to 2 naps

by | Aug 3, 2023 | bumps in the road, Quick Baby Sleep Tips, Template, transitions | 0 comments


Parenting is a beautiful yet ever-changing adventure. As your little one grows, so do their sleep patterns. One significant milestone in your baby’s sleep journey is transitioning from 3 naps to 2. While this transition can feel daunting, understanding the signs and adjusting your routine accordingly can make the process smoother for both you and your child.  I want to help you along with the transition by explaining the the signs that indicate it’s time to make the change, as well as tips for a successful transition, andthe ideal nap times for this new stage..


Recognizing the Signs:

Every baby is unique, but around the age of 6 to 9 months, you may begin to notice signs that your child is ready to drop one of their naps. Common indicators include resisting the third nap, shortened naps, and increased wakefulness during the day. Your baby might also start to show more stamina during playtime, indicating that they can stay awake longer without becoming overly tired.


Tips for a Smooth Transition:

  1. Gradual Approach: Abrupt changes can be unsettling for your baby. Instead, gradually start to shorten the length of nap.  Odds are your little one is taking a while to fall asleep anyway.  This nap is always the shortest nap (about 45 min) so start by capping it at 30 min, then 20, and then skip all together.


  1. Observe Wake Windows: Pay attention to your baby’s awake times between naps. Typically, babies in this age group can handle awake periods of 2 to 3 hours. As you transition, slowly increase the wake windows between the second and third nap to prepare them for a longer stretch of awake time before bedtime.  A perfect nap schedule at this age is 9:30-11 and 2-3:30. 


  1. Prioritize Quality Sleep: Ensure that your child is getting enough restful sleep during their remaining two naps. Create a soothing and calm environment to promote restorative sleep, and stick to a consistent sleep routine to help them feel secure and comfortable.


  1. Flexibility: Be open to adjusting bedtime a little bit since the third nap is now eliminated.  If your little one was consistently going to bed at 7:30 they may be ready to bed at 7:00 now.  That is ok.


Remember, every baby is different, so feel free to adjust the timings to suit your child’s individual needs. The key is to maintain a balance between awake time and sleep to prevent overtiredness.


Transitioning from 3 to 2 naps can be a challenging time for both you and your baby, but with patience, flexibility, and attentiveness to your little one’s cues, you can navigate this change successfully. Remember that every baby’s sleep journey is unique, and it’s essential to be attuned to your child’s individual needs. As you adapt to the new routine, cherish these moments of growth and development, knowing that you are providing the best support for your baby’s overall well-being.

Happy napping!

Your Sleep Bestie,


AM Smiles is a highly effective baby sleep coaching service designed for busy families.

I help you harness the power of sleep training to improve the spirits and lives of you and your family through proper rest. I’d love to talk to you about your little one and help you get back to living life well rested! ❤️