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.

Sleep can be a challenge and we are always here to help with great free training, downloads, and resources. Join my free Slumber Made Simple Facebook Group, I host monthly free training on Newborn Sleep and for children from 4 months through 5 years in my Save Your Sanity Sleep Bootcamp, and share my secrets to sleep in my 7 Tips for Restful Sleep Guide, which you can access here and start changing your sleep today! Also, check out my Instagram where you can get even more tips and tricks for successful sleep!
My name is Courtney Zentz, a Pediatric Sleep Consultant from Philadelphia, PA, Postpartum Doula, Lactation Counselor and founder of Tiny Transitions. As an award-winning sleep consultant, I help exhausted parents teach their infants & toddlers to sleep well every night with gentle, customized solutions and both group and private coaching options, so your family can all be at their best. Based in Philadelphia, I work in-home and virtually to provide the support families around the globe that need to all be at their best. Join me in my Slumber Made Simple Facebook group, where you can ‘meet’ me in my live weekly Q&As, get valuable free content and build a healthy sleeper for life!