How to Manage Nap Transitions – Baby Brezza
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How to Manage Nap Transitions

By Molly Leighton, Certified Pediatric Sleep Coach, Sleep Shore Sleep Consulting

Nap transitions can be exhausting and confusing. Knowing when your baby should be napping– and for how long– can seem like some crazy, impossible riddle. But it doesn’t have to be! Want to handle nap transitions like a pro? Follow these guidelines for a smooth nap transition, all the way from 4-5 months to 3-5 years.

Nap transitions are inevitable and a normal part of sleep! Sometimes the signs and how-to’s aren’t as easy. Let’s dig into this! Below you’ll find our trusty nap chart to help you and your little one navigate those tough-yet-sleepy nap transitions– even down to the more difficult phases, such as the 2 to 1 and 3 to 2 transition. Study up on our quick guide to finding the perfect nap formula and crack the code with your sleepy snoozer.

Signs to look out for during nap transitions:

Nap refusals — Specifically, when a baby or toddler starts fighting a nap on a daily basis (typically in the afternoon), this can be a sign that it’s time to let that nap go, and to focus on the next nap transition.

Sudden erratic schedule — Usually when a baby or toddler is about to drop a nap, you’ll start to see their normally consistent schedule begin to go haywire– so you know it’s about time to take a look at the nap transition chart again. You may see bedtime struggles, middle-of-the-night wakings, or sudden early wakeups that appear seemingly out of nowhere– get ready to recalibrate that nap formula!

When do babies transition to one nap? As our chart above reads, you can expect your sprout to start needing only one nap throughout the day around the 3-5 mark. Of course, every toddler’s nap transitions are a little different, so don’t be too surprised if your 3-4-year-old is still napping twice throughout the day– but expect it to decrease soon!

Shorter naps — Your baby or toddler may begin taking shorter naps, indicating that a nap transition may be coming. This could lead you to believe you should ADD a nap when a nap should likely be dropped.

Ok, but HOW do you drop this nap?!

Take a deep breath and realize that it may be kind of funky for a little bit. Typically, the first nap transitions are the easiest.

#1 - Back up bedtime temporarily to cushion the nap transitions — To ensure that your baby or toddler doesn’t grow overtired, an earlier bedtime will be your best friend. Put your baby or toddler to bed 30-60 minutes earlier during a nap transition. This will help keep your baby well-rested.

#2 - Give it time — In the midst of it, a day may feel like a week. Remember, it takes time for everyone to adjust to a new schedule, and nap transitions are no different– especially for a growing baby or toddler! Know that it may take a week or two for your baby or toddler to adjust.

#3 - Enjoy early bedtime — Nap time can be a nice respite for parents, and the toughness of a nap transition can come with a little reward for all of your patience. Dropping a nap can seem overwhelming for this reason. You may not get the extra “me time” during the day anymore but enjoy your evenings. Early bedtimes are great for everyone!

Need some guidance on how to transition naps without hiccups? Set up a 1:1 call with me to plan your nap transition with ease. 

Ready to work with an expert to get your baby on a solid schedule? Want to get your newborn, infant, toddler or school-age child sleeping an extra hour? Perhaps the goal is your child sleeping the entire night?

Baby Brezza is proud to partner with sleep coach & Mom Molly Leighton. She can help you get your your baby on a solid schedule and achieve your goals. Contact Molly at, visit her website at or follow her on Instagram (@sleep.shore) or Facebook (@sleepshore) 


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