Continue in App Continue in App

continue to mobile site

Nap Time Struggles

Vanessa V.
VANESSA V.
Child Sleep Consultant
Fill 1 Created with Sketch. Fill 1 Created with Sketch. Fill 1 Created with Sketch. Fill 1 Created with Sketch. Fill 1 Created with Sketch.

Is your baby refusing to nap? Are you transitioning from 2 naps to 1? Does your child nap some days but not others? Ask Tinyhood Sleep Consultant, Vanessa Vance, how to work on a nap schedule that is right for you.

Show more
Vanessa V. photo Group 2 Created with Sketch.
Have your own question?

Ask Vanessa, our Child Sleep Consultant!

Message Vanessa
VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Catnaps
ERIN, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My 5 month old sleeps for 30minutes on his own in his crib, but after that he will cry and fuss unless held. Once held he will fall back asleep for another hour+. How do we lengthen these catnaps in the crib!?

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hi Erin! You are not alone -- short naps are very common. Have you done sleep training at night yet? Can you reply with a 24 hours schedule? Include a wake up time, nap start times, nap end times, bedtime and how many wake ups at night/# of feeds.

Typically, we suggest to follow the 1 hour rule for nap #1 and #2. This means when you put him down around 9 am and 12noon. Leave him alone in the crib for one hour. He may sleep past the one hour mark. He may cry the full 1 hour. Keep showing him that naps are supposed to be longer. When you give him time and space to practice returning to sleep, you are helping with another essential skill of naptime -- extending the nap. Sounds like your son is good at falling asleep (1st skill of naps).

keep me posted! Best,
Vanessa

VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Napping again...
PAULA, PARENT OF 6 YEAR OLD

Hi Vanessa - My daughter is almost 4 and in preschool 4 days a week without nap time. When school started, she went several months without napping but in the past few months she has started to nap again. On school days, shes been falling asleep in the stroller on the way home and its just enough time for it to impact bed time. We try to go through the routine but she just jumps out of bed and its a battle each night. On the weekends we are in the car a bit and she falls asleep there too. Should we be letting her nap? Or avoiding it? If avoiding it, could you suggest ways to keep her active in the stroller or car seat? Thank you!

Vanessa
VANESSA

I would avoid naps at this point if they are impacting your bedtime being at a normal time. Bedtime should be 6-8 pm based on the afternoon mood. I would avoid motion when you know she is prone to sleeping. It usually takes 3 months to get adjusted to not having a nap. The danger zone where motion will cause a short nap -- avoid motion. Have her walk home.

Your intuition is strong on this topic. Listen to it!

Best,
Vanessa

PAULA

Thanks Vanessa! The winter didn't help because she would get too cozy in the bunting :)

VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
2 year old with variable naps
BEATRICE, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

Hi. My two year old will sometimes take a 2 hour nap and other times he will lay awake in his crib rolling around, playing and chatting. Is this normal? Is this a sign he is ready to give up his nap soon? I really want him to keep napping!!!

Vanessa
VANESSA

Naps should go away between 3-4. There is a common 2 year and 2.5 year nap regression. Keep showing him "rest time". Change the language you use to rest time. There is nothing to resist when you use the word rest. "Got to sleep" "go take a nap" = resistance. Stay consistent with offering rest time for 1-2 hours per day. the naps will come back. My son had this regression. It got better when I gave it less attention and did not care about it so much. (by day 5 of rest time on the floor. he asked to go back into his crib)

VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
1 year old naps
ALIZA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Hi. How do I know when my one year old is ready to go to one nap? He is starting to have a hard time going to bed at night (down around 7:00). Takes one nap 9:30-11:00 and the second one around 3:00-4:00. What are the signs we are ready for this transition?

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hellow Aliza, The typical transition is around 15 months. It ranges from 14 - 18 months.

I have a couple suggestions for the schedule, if you would like to hear those suggestions. You're LO sounds tired.

I would do a controlled wake up in the morning by 7 am
first nap - offer at 9 am.
Cap this nap if it goes past 10:30 am. (you wake your LO up)
Offer the second nap around 1 pm.
Bedtime between 6-8 pm (likely at 7 pm).

Best,
Vanessa