Babies Nap Schedule: How to Transition from 3 naps to 2


3-2 Nap Transition

Naps are a wonderful thing — for babies and for mamas! If you’re anything like me you always have a long list of things to do while the little one is sleeping. But getting your baby on a good nap schedule can be tough, especially when her sleep pattern is always changing in the first year.

So, how do you know when your baby is ready to transition from 3 naps to 2? It usually happens between 6 and 9-months-old. Watch this video for some of the signs that it’s time to drop a nap, plus a sample guide for a baby on a 3 nap schedule and one on a 2 nap schedule.

Babies Nap Schedule

Sample Guide for Baby on a 3 Nap Schedule:

Nap 1: 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Nap 2: 1:30 p.m. -3:30 p.m.

Nap 3: 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Sample Guide for Baby on 2 Nap Schedule:

Nap 1: 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Nap 2: 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

In general, once your baby is on the 2 nap schedule, try to make sure your baby is awake at least 4 hours before bedtime.  That’s what my doctor recommended and what worked best for me.

Share your experiences with this transition from 3 naps to 2 by commenting below!   Was it an easy transition for you?  How did you know your baby was ready to make the jump?  How old was your baby when he or she went to two naps?

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Thanks for stopping by and make sure to check back for more! xo


  • Ally

    Hi,

    My daughter is 8 months today & is on 3 naps/day. However, as of recently she has been showing signs of needing only 2.

    Her schedule for the last 2mths:
    7am – wake, feed
    9:30-11 nap
    11am feed
    1:30 -3pm nap
    3pm feed
    6-7nap
    8:30 asleep
    11pm feed

    New schedule:
    7am wake, feed
    9:30-11 nap
    11 feed
    2-3:30 nap
    3:30 feed
    5:30 feed????
    7pm asleep
    11pm feed

    I am prepared to drop the last nap, but am concerned about getting all of her feedings in before bedtime. She gets too tired & i know she’ll need to go down by 7. She is not a good eater, thus I’m already concerned she isn’t getting enough food/nutrition and now with dropping a nap and bumping up her bedtime I’m growing more concerned. At what do you think her last feeding should be? Also, should I bump up the 11pm feeding?

    Thanks,
    Ally

  • Hello –
    My son is 8 months next week
    He does take 3 naps
    However the first nap is @
    8:45/9-10
    Lunch @11:30
    Nap 12:30-1:30
    Bf @3
    Nap # 3
    3-4
    Dinner @ 4
    Play time
    Bath
    Bottle @ 5:30-6
    Bed 6:30-7

    The last 2 weeks.
    He has not been bf nor wants he’s bottle of 5 ounces after he’s meals
    He was sleeping from
    7-3:30
    I then bf him
    Awake 5:30-6
    Since he has not been finish he’s bottles he wakes up at 2:00 for a feeding

    What can I do to get him to nap longer
    What recommadtions do you have about he’s lack of boob/bottle
    The bottles are b milk
    My doctor said just keep offering both to him
    He has been on veggie since he was 4 moths twice a day
    6 months we add fruit /cereal for breakfast

    Since your mom of 4 you have a lot more experience

    Thank you
    Bermadette

    • HI Bernadette!!! Here is my gut reaction. Number one, his naps are pretty short for an 8 month old baby. In the morning, I would try putting him down earlier to see if he sleeps later. I would try for a good solid 1 1/2 hr nap morning and afternoon. You are feeding him his last feeding quite early at 4pm. I would try to do dinner at 5:30 and the last feeding, bottle at 7pm and put him down later at 8 and see how he does. If a baby is not sleeping through the night, I recommend very regular feeds every 3-4 hours until they get there… in terms of bottle and breast, this is controversial, but I would still give the breast or bottle BEFORE the food, this is still the priority and more important nutrition-wise than what he gets in the food — double check with your dr but these are my recommendations, LMK what happens and who you are doing – xo M

      • Bernadette

        Hello Melissa-
        Sorry I have such a delayed response to your email-
        Turns out I was/am expecting baby number 2 (found out end of aug)
        Maybe that’s why he didn’t want my milk
        I am still having issue with he’s naps being only 45-1 hour vs 2 hours
        I have noticed if he sleeps great during the night he’s naps are 1 1/2 each
        He sleeps 7-7 lately it’s 6-6 ( changed make him stay up any later )
        He started sleeping straight thought 7/8 months
        Once I was able to give him protein he sleep got 100% better 3)
        I have tried feeding him later @4 and give him snacks in between the meals 🙂

        Since i am expecting next year 4/29
        The babies will be14 moths a part
        I am exicted and a little over whelmed :/
        I know you have 5 children that are mostly on a plus you BF
        How do you accomplish that ??

        Thank you for your help and advice 🙂
        Bernadette

  • yolanda

    Im going to give this a try today…keep the little guy up longer before his morning nap (2.5 hours) and then keep him up 3.5 hours between morning and afternoon nap….the problem is he’s such an early riser…we’ll see how it goes…lol

  • ohhmmgee

    Hey Melissa!! I absolutely love your blog and vlog. I had my second child in March and even though my kids are only two and a half years apart, it is amazing how much you forget!! Your site has really helped me remember what to expect with each stage. I have a question for you…My son is now six months old. His schedule looks like this:

    6:15/6:30 – Wake up
    7:00 – 7 oz Bottle
    7:30 – Breakfast
    8:45-9:00 – Nap 1
    11:00 – 7 oz Bottle
    11:30 – Lunch
    12:30- 2:00 Nap 2
    3:00 – 7 oz Bottle
    4:00 – 4:30/5 – Nap 3
    5:30 – Dinner
    6:00 – Bath
    6:30 – Bottle and Bed

    He has all the sudden started waking up at 4:00 am. I know he is getting his four top teeth, and I have been giving him tylenol, but it seems like he is waking up for the day then. He is not hungry and he doesn’t seem to be in pain. He just wants to get up and chat. I am wondering if I need to drop the last nap because it is becoming harder to get him down and it is only about 20 minutes long. What do you recommend I do to remedy this issue?

    Thanks,

    Molly

  • Bari

    Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog in a search on how and when to transition a baby to 2 naps. My LO is 8.5 months old. I am a working mom and have her in daycare and then a nanny comes to pick her up in the afternoon. Her typical schedule is as such:

    6am wake
    615am breakfast – fruit with barley cereal
    630am BF
    830-930am 1st nap
    945a bottle of pumped breast milk
    11am lunch – jar of baby food with water or juice
    1230-130pm – 2nd nap
    145pm bottle of formula
    3pm – nanny picks up from daycare
    430pm-6pm 3rd nap (my LO does not go down easy for this nap, and then when she finally does, she sleeps for 1.5 to 2 hours and has to woken up from the nap)
    7pm bath time, bottle or BF
    8pm bed

    My LO sleeps thru the night. We have been doing a dream feed around 10-1030pm, but I think she can go without it now.

    How do I transition to 2 naps and keep the nanny’s current schedule or with small changes? Is her 3rd nap issues a sign that my LO is ready for 2 naps?

    Thank you!
    Bari

  • Bari

    Oh I forgot my LO gets a bottle after the 3rd nap.

  • Dee

    My daughter is in daycare and usually have two short 30 min naps a day. She’s comfortable going on 3-4 hour wake times. Her last nap ends at daycare about 3:30 pm. I usually put her down after her feed around 6:30 for a short nap because she gets cranky. I’m finding lately she’s been fighting her 3rd nap and fusses around for a long time. Is it time to drop a nap? If she takes a third nap, we get her up by 7:30 do dinner and bath and bed by 9ish. She sleeps thru til about 7am.

    Should we drop the third nap and have her power thru til bed time and put her down earlier? Is that enough rest for 10 months?