Today our question comes from Susan and she’s wondering, “How do I tell if my baby is ready to move to one nap a day?” First of all, I’ll tell you around the age when this tends to occur. I find that a good average age for this is somewhere around the 13th month.
Now, I have seen babies go as early as nine months, and I’ve also seen babies hang on to two naps a day, until, well into the 17th or 18th month. But if you are looking for an average, I would say 13 months. I’m going to share with you three signs to watch for.
Number one is that your baby will happily continue to take her morning nap. 9 times out 10, there is nothing wrong with a morning nap. In fact, most people find that it gets even longer than it’s ever been.
The trouble arrives when you put her down for that afternoon nap, and she just won’t take it. Either she plays all the way through it or she alternates between playing and some crying or she just flat out starts to cry from out of nowhere. Those are some things that you’ll start to see.
Now, the tricky part about all of this is that those signs won’t show up every single day. You’ll find that you’ll have three or four times in a row where she doesn’t take her afternoon nap, you’ll start to think to yourself, “OK, it must be time to drop that nap,” and then for three days in a row, she takes both naps beautifully. That can really throw people off.
A good rule of thumb around that is if you notice this happening, at least five days a week, then that is a good sign that it’s probably time to make the switch. Also, this needs to be going on for, I would say, at least two to three weeks, because it can just be a developmental milestone, if she’s learning a new skill, it can throw nap time off for a week or two.