Managing your toddler’s sleep transitions
Manage the shift in her napping patterns and keep your day running smoothly
Forget cats – the champion nappers of the world are tiny babies. Newborns are asleep more than they’re awake, snoozing their way through up to eight naps a day. “But as they grow, babies start to drop their naps because they need less daytime sleep,” says sleep expert Lucy Wolfe. “Their body clocks come into play, coaxing them to sleep at night and to be awake more during the day. Plus, the older they get and the more alert they are, the more they’re developing – they need to use the daytime to practise all their new skills! By the time babies are around 15–18 months old, they will have dropped down to just one nap a day.” So how do you know when your baby is ready to drop a nap? “From birth up until about eight months old, you’ll find that this happens in a natural way,” says Lucy. “Your baby will just gradually sleep less and be able to handle being awake a bit longer, until, by six to eight months old, she’s probably in a pattern of three naps a day: morning, middle of the day, and afternoon.” So, in these early months, go with the flow and let her sleep when she’s tired, and trust that she knows how much kip her growing body needs.