…do my babies need two naps, or three, or four?
…can my babies survive the day on only one nap?
Somebody please wave a magic wand and tell me what the heck I am supposed to do to get through a nap transition! How many naps my babies really need? When do I cut out naps all together?
It feels as though I am constantly second guessing my mom instinct and always wondering how I am supposed to know exactly what to do!
Napping is cray-z! It is unpredictable and flat out difficult.
I mean, once I nailed down a synchronized napping schedule, my life changed in all the right ways…and was AMAZING! (Need help getting your twins’ schedules synced….we have the post for you, right here.)
Fast forward a few months and BAM! I’ve been hit with another nap transition… asking myself, do my babies need 3 naps or 2 or maybe just 1? My perfectly crafted daytime routine was blown to smithereens, just when I was getting used to things AND ACTUALLY GETTING SOMETHING ACCOMPLISHED!
Well, I am no expert. Parenting is always a work in progress, and I am muddling through it just like you are.
So, I figured I would share a little insight, so unlike me, you won’t have to feel like you are swimming upstream through nap transitions.
How do you know when your kiddos are ready to lose a nap? Unfortunately, there are no concrete answers to this question, but there are some signs to look for when your kids might be ready to cut back on a little daytime sleep.
Nap Transition In Your Future? Look For These Signs:
When contemplating a nap transition or trying to solve any sort of sleep challenge, it is helpful to track habits for a short period of time. Having that data will help you determine what is going on with your baby and avoid making a transition too early.
Truly, you want to hold onto as may naps as possible for as long as possible. Be cautious about your child’s readiness to cut out a nap. An early nap transition just leads to overtired babies because they can’t developmentally stay awake long enough to make it to nap time.
How Old Are Your Babies?
Knowing the approximate ages when babies typically transition to fewer naps will be helpful to ensure that your babies’ nap challenges aren’t being disguised as an actual sleep regression. Sleep regressions, which usually correct themselves in a week or two, happen around 4 months, 8-12 months, 18 months AND 2 years old.
Typically, babies transition to fewer naps around;
- Babies between 3-5 months old will go from 4 naps to 3.
- Babies between 6-9 months old will go from 3 naps to 2.
- Babies between 15-18 months old will go from 2 naps to 1.
- Children between 3-5 will usually stop napping.
So, after you have looked at your child’s nap data, and found that the napping issues haven’t resolved themselves after a few weeks, you should probably go ahead a take the plunge!
Then, ask yourself…
Are your twins refusing to sleep lately?
Are you finding that your babies are fighting the last nap of the day or maybe their nap is slowly moving later and later in the evening? Look for this pattern to occur for at 4 days a week over the course of a few weeks.
Then, mama, it’s probably time to cut out that nap!
Are You Going to Survive This?
Yep, mama you are! When all else fails, just remember, early to bed. Offering an early bedtime helps babies make up for lost sleep and helps prevent over tiredness.
The common misconception is that putting babies to bed early means that they will get up early the next morning. Don’t buy into that…Early morning wakings are a result of an overtired baby, not one that went to bed too early. Click To Tweet
The good news is that most babies will successfully make it through a nap transition in a short amount of time. Don’t drag it out. Rip off the band-aid, readjust your schedule and cope with the fussiness with a little extra wine. It’s just a few days! You can also cheat a bit and offer cat naps in the stroller or car to help you make it through a nap-mare and avoid over tiredness.
But wait….I have two!
This is all fine and dandy until you remember that you have twins; two individuals with very different sleep needs.
The elephant in the room is obvious, that your twins won’t be ready for a nap transition at the same time.
So what’s a mama to do?
Well, remember that you want to be careful not to transition too soon, so it’s a good idea to try and hold off on that transition until the last twin is ready. But that’s not always as easy as it sounds, is it?
You will probably want to avoid transitioning your twins naps at different times because you will end up with one child sleeping and one child awake all day long. Once you have gotten to a point where both kiddos are ready for a nap transition, track their sleep, make sure it isn’t a regression and then let ‘er rip!
Naps with my twins have been and continues to be a work in progress! I struggled with when to transition my boys from two naps to one for weeks, never really sure if what I was doing was right! One of my boys wasn’t quite ready for a nap transition, so I went with my gut and added more naps back into our day. And, you know what, that’s OK! The important thing to me was ensuring that both kids were getting enough sleep throughout the day and night to thrive. I learned to not run myself ragged over this because I know in my heart it will work itself out when the time is RIGHT!
Are your babies about ready to drop a nap in the near future? Have you successfully made it through a nap transition and have tips to share? Have a question we can answer?