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3-2 nap transition

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3-2 nap transition


Making the transition from three naps a day to just two is a natural progression in a child’s sleep cycle. Let’s look at the 3-2 nap transition in more detail.

Signs your child is ready

Around 6 to 8 months old, babies typically establish a two-nap schedule—one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Signs that your child might be ready for this transition include early mornings (before 6am), difficulty settling for the second nap, bedtime is beyond 8pm on a 3-nap day (based on a 6-8am wake up time), increasing night wake ups, or extended wakefulness before bedtime.

Making the Transition Smooth

  1. Gradual Shift: Start by gradually pushing the naps later by 15 minutes every few days. Your baby may get tired at the usual nap time, encourage them to stay awake with some fresh air and/or some natural sugars e.g. a banana.
  2. Adapt to the New Routine: Embrace flexibility during this transition period. Some days, your child might need two naps, while on others, they may need three (with the third being a short 20-minute cat nap). Remember that a cat nap will reduce the length of the last awake window before bedtime as this nap is only short so your little one will get tired sooner.
  3. Adjusting Bedtime: On 2 nap days, your child will become tired earlier in the evening. Bedtime may be as early as 6pm on some days, for a few weeks.
  4. Consistency: Maintain a consistent sleep environment and routine. This helps signal to your child that it’s time to wind down and sleep.


The 3-2 nap transition is a natural progression in a child’s development. As your child grows and their sleep needs change, being attuned to their cues and adjusting their schedule accordingly can make this transition smoother. Remember, every child is different, so what works for one might not work for another. Patience, flexibility, and a consistent sleep routine will help navigate this change successfully.

If you are feeling like you need extra support with the 3-2 nap transition, or with your little one’s sleep in general, get in touch! Check out my packages here or book in for a free 15 minute call here

Do you need help or support with your child’s anxiety at bedtime? Click here to book a free 15-minute consultation to chat about any challenges you’re facing and to discuss how to move forward.

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