What Age Should You Be Cutting Naps?

KEEP NAPS AS LONG AS YOU CAN!!!  Sometimes, I hear people give advice to someone with a 1.5-2.5 year old toddler saying that they stopped naps this young because their kids just quit taking them.  Every time I hear this advice, it physically pains me!  Even as adults, we go through days where we are more tired than others, but that doesn’t mean we’re just going to stop trying to get a good amount of sleep every night.  So, when your child refuses to nap a few days, that doesn’t mean you should give up.  A lot of times they’re just going through a milestone or even something minor with their schedule changed and it messed with their ability to fall asleep that day.
I always suggest to clients when they think they’re child is dropping a nap, to give it at least 2 weeks of consistently refusing it before they make any changes!  You want to make sure they are truly ready to drop the nap, because if they aren’t ready, they will develop a sleep debt, become overtired, and start sleeping poorly at night or worse, start waking at 5am, and who wants that wake-up call every morning? 

Here is an estimate of when naps should be dropped:

·         3 to 2 naps – Generally happens around 8 months.
·         2 to 1 nap – Can happen anywhere from 12-24 months (15-18 months being the most common).  This is generally the hardest transition on our kids.  So when they’re going through this… on the days they refuse 1 or both naps, remember early bedtimes!  This allows for them to not develop a sleep debt and make the transition even harder on them (My daughter had many 5:30-6pm bedtimes through this month of transitioning)
·         1 to 0 naps – At least try until 3 years of age.  Even random days with naps can help them reboot. (Oh, how I dread this day!)
·         Quiet Time – Even 6 year olds can benefit from this.  We all need some downtime throughout the day to just relax, even if it only lasts 30 minutes.

If you’re unsure about your little one being ready to transition, contact me!  A lot of cases, the timing of sleep is slightly off and I can easily help with just a 30-minute phone consult!

#TBT to when napping happened anytime, anywhere. Haha!

 

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