Monday, April 28, 2014

Nap Transitioning

Since we've started Twin Talk, there are a few topic suggestions we hear over and over again. Whether it be sleep scheduling, how to make naps last longer, transitioning from the master bedroom to the nursery, SLEEP is a hot topic for sure! Today we welcome Ashley, a close twin mom friend of ours and one who seamlessly transitioned from three naps to two and two naps to one. She shares how they did it and the specific schedules they followed. You better believe we were all taking notes at our last meet-up!


Hi! I’m Ashley, mom to Harper and Keegan who are currently 18 months! I live in Texas and am fortunate enough to call both Meredith and Amber friends! I was so excited when they asked me to write a post about nap transitions! Figuring out your babies nap schedules can be tricky! 

Dropping the Third Nap 

From what I’ve read, most babies drop the third nap between 6-8 months. Before we dropped the third nap, our schedule looked something like this: 

7:15 AM Wake Up
7:30 AM Eat
9:00 - 11:00 AM Nap
11:15 AM Eat
12:45 - 2:45 PM Nap
3:30 PM Eat
4:30 - 5:30 PM Nap
6:45 PM Eat
7:15 PM Bedtime

Those times varied by +/- 30 minutes but that was pretty much it.  Around seven months this schedule started to change. Some days they would not want to sleep for their third nap. Other days I would have to wake them from their third nap at 5:30 to not impact night sleep. On a different day, they would sleep well past 3 during their second nap and that would throw off the schedule altogether. Once the schedule wasn’t as consistent, we decided it was time to drop the third nap.

At first we began to shorten the 3rd nap to 45 minutes and then to 30 minutes. Some days they didn’t even sleep but we still let them “rest” during this time. We also decided on a cut-off time for their second nap.. If they slept past 3:15 PM, there was no third nap but they went to bed early.

By eight months, they had officially dropped their third nap. 

Dropping the Second Nap 

Over the next few months, Harper and Keegan could stay awake longer after their first nap which meant the second nap got pushed back a little later in the day.

Before we dropped the second nap, this was our schedule: 

7:15 AM Wake Up
7:30 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM Snack
9:30 - 11:00 AM Nap
11:15 AM Lunch
1:45 - 3:45 PM Nap
4:00 PM Snack
5:15 PM Dinner
7:15 PM Bedtime

The age range for dropping the morning nap is pretty large. From what I have read, it seems to be anywhere between 14-22 months, most between 15-18 months.

I’ll be honest, dropping their morning nap seemed scary. They both seemed so tired by 9:30 AM! It didn’t even seem possible for them to stay awake till noon but babies know what they need and they definitely started giving us signs of readiness.

A little before 15 months Harper started only napping for about an hour in the afternoon or less or not at all. It was not fun. This went on for about two weeks. She wasn’t sick, wasn’t teething, didn’t seem to be having a growth spurt, she was full from lunch so we knew she was just getting ready to drop to one nap.

Our first step was to shorten the morning nap. We first shortened it by 15 minutes which for a few days seemed to preserve the afternoon nap but only helped for a few days. Then we shortened the morning nap again by another 15 minutes which again only helped for a few days.

Also during this time we decided to split Harper and Keegan up during naptime. They still sleep in the same room at night but Keegan is in a different room for naptime. Harper likes to wake him as soon as she wakes up which is sweet of her but not so fun. Keegan definitely requires more sleep than Harper does.

Finally a little after 15 months, we decided to power through the morning and make it till noon. It was tough but we kept Harper busy and gave her a snack around 10 just to help occupy the time. It started getting easier each day and her afternoon nap extended. We knew we’d made the right decision.

Right before they turned 16 months, Keegan started not sleeping as well for his afternoon nap. Just like we had done for Harper, we shortened his morning nap for about a week and then dropped it completely. Having them on different schedules for a few weeks was a bit tricky but it was the right decision. Keegan definitely wasn’t quite ready to drop his morning nap when Harper did. It’s just a reminder to me that even though they are twins, they don’t have to do everything the same. :)

Even though I was super nervous and a bit scared to drop the morning nap, I actually love being on a one nap schedule now. It allows us to have all morning to go run errands, play outside, or whatever we want to do. 

This is our current schedule at 18 months:
7:30 AM Wake Up
8:00 AM Breakfast
11:00 AM Lunch
12:15 -3:15 PM Nap (sometimes they sleep a little longer even!)
3:45/4:00 PM Snack
5:15 PM Dinner
7:15/7:30 PM Bedtime

I am by no means a nap expert, this is just what worked for us! Harper and Keegan have both always been pretty good sleepers. They still have random “bad nap” days but honestly, it doesn’t happen too often. Maybe we are just lucky but I think a lot of it has to do with our consistent schedule and routine.


Thanks so much, Ashley!  If you have additional questions, CLICK HERE to send Ashley an email!

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  2. Thanks for this! I can't wait for one nap a day! My 15 month olds still sleep about 3 hours a day split between 2 naps!

  3. Ah! I am in the middle of transitioning and it is the hardest thing ever and so stressful for mama! It makes me want to resort back to my comforting old schedule...