Thursday, 24 May 2012

Transitioning from 3 to 2 daytime naps

You may say I'm a bit weird but I do like to try to keep track of sleeping times in our house. 

My husband and I started our parenting journey thinking that routine was a rude word and we went through nearly 15 months of highs and lows and never really knowing when anyone was going to sleep. 

We just could not cope.  We were like zombies hoping to get through the day just so that we could sleep.  So we made a plan and did three things that literally changed our lives:
  1. We found out the cause of Freddy's severe eczema and so were able to remove the associated foods from our diets (resulting in much better sleep).
  2. I started keeping records of Freddy's naps whenever things seemed to be going a bit haywire.
  3. We started a routine.
I must point out that my idea of a routine is just a sequence of activities throughout the day - a rhythm dictated by the child and not a minute by minute scheduling.  You can see how we implemented it here.

The combination of these things allowed us to know when Freddy would probably be tired and get him sleeping then rather than when he became overtired and exhausted.

Where am I going with this?

Well I have been doing the same for Henry which allows me to show you how he went from 3 day time naps to 2. 

I wanted to show it because you can see that we did not smoothly go from 3 to 2 but instead had a nearly 2 week period starting at 7.5 months where there was not a lot of daytime sleep happening at all.  I was thinking are we giving up naps altogether?  Henry was miserable (and teething) throughout this whole period so it was tempting to think that this was just as a result of the teething pain.

The numbers across the top are time from 6am to 9pm and green squares are naps (rounded up or down to make it easy to record).
This is what happened:
  • Henry was waking up earlier and earlier but going to bed later and later.
  • All naps got shorter and were more difficult.
  • Some days I had no idea when he was going to sleep.
  • There were a few days where there was only about 30 minutes of napping all day.
  • Although I haven't shown it here the nighttime wakings also became much more frequent.
  • He eventually settled down to 2 naps (10.30am and 2.30pm) and although the early mornings continue the nights also start much earlier.
I'd love to hear your experiences with this too.


  1. I love having a routine. It's awesome to know when the kids will eat and sleep, so that you can plan your days :)

    I just posted a one month summary and schedule for my second baby

    1. Thanks for sharing Kylie, it looks great!

  2. Routine, naps, sleeping... I am experimenting all this for the first time :) I have always been a "fan" of routine, not minute by minute of course but rather doing everything at the same time-ish every day (if my baby girl is tired a bit later than usual, obviously we will wait a bit). This has rather well worked for us so far (although it did take us a couple of months to manage a routine).
    She is now 9 months old, going on 10, and she sleeps twice, sometimes three times in the day. Once in the morning (Between one and two hours depending how good the night was), once after lunch (same amount) and although last week I was making her sleep late afternoon, now I am trying to just give her the dummy and her "doudou" (favourite toy which she needs to sleep) and have a rest without going to bed. Then she sleeps better at night. Going to bed fo rthe night is pretty much always between 7pm and 7.30pm, waking up two or three times, coming with us around 4am and sleeping until 6am, sometimes 7am (like today which was great!) ...
    My mother always told me that 9 months is a time when everything can change and that until 1 year old, a child rarely keeps on type of rythm... Let's see in three months how it is then!

    1. Hi Fred, I think it sounds like you have this routine thing down!
      Thanks for the headsup about the 9 month glitch - I'll be ready and waiting for it now :)

  3. I know the post if from end of May but I was wondering how things are going now with naps :)
    We are now also in a transitional phase! Baby N. is 10 and a half months and she is starting to refuse the morning nap, she also tries at times to avoid the afternoon nap, but often realises that she is too exhausted so ends up sleeping anytime which I don't like.
    So these days it is mostly: waking up around 7h30 (yeah for me!), sometimes having a sleeping cuddle with me around 9h (usually not longer than 30mn) and then nothing until 13h/14h (depending on her energy) - even then she often does not sleep longer than 50mn!!!!! Argh! no time left to do anything really ^^ -Sometimes she would then sleep a little in the pushchair during our daily walk, but more often she doesnt. Then bedtime is around 19h/19h30, being such a tired little girl, she loves that bedtime and does not complain at all!

    Anyway, that is our routine now, and as I said, I was just wondering how yours is now going (did going to Sweden for the summer make any difference?)


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