Transitioning From Three Naps To TwoEmily Malone
Cullen’s sleep schedule is a constantly evolving thing. He started out as a super sleepy newborn. So much that as a nervous new mom, I found myself googling things like does my baby sleep too much? – turns out the joke was on me. In the next months that followed, we sort of fell into an every three hour eat, activity, sleep schedule. After an hour or two of playtime, he needed to recharge again – the cycle continued from sunrise to bedtime.
Now at eight months old, everything is different. While sleep is still critical for both his development and his mood, he requires much less than he used to. He seems to be in an in between stage right now – seemingly ready to go down to two naps a day, but still not quite willing to give up the third.
How do we make the transition complete?
Right now, Cullen goes down for his morning nap around 9am, and usually sleeps between 1.5 and 2 glorious hours. After that, we head out for the afternoon. Walks, playing in the park, visiting the zoo, playing with baby friends – we spend the middle of our day keeping busy and usually running around outside of the house.
While we’re out, Cullen tends to take a short snooze in either the car seat or his stroller – never more than 30 minutes or so – but I can’t seem to get him to give up this nap. It doesn’t seem like it should be much of an issue, but I often find that this short mid-day snooze interferes with the longer afternoon nap he so desperately needs. If he falls asleep for a short nap around 1pm, he will push and push and sometimes not take his afternoon nap until almost 4pm. At this point, he sleeps until it’s almost dinnertime (which is followed by bedtime!).
I wish I could get him to drop the mid-day nap, since I know by 8 months two naps is pretty standard. At the same time, I don’t want to force him into a schedule that doesn’t work with his needs. I’m just continuing to watch his cues, wait for the eye rubs, and help him get whatever rest he needs. Babies seem to have an amazing way of regulating themselves. Hopefully we’re down to two sooner than later!