How late should I let my little one nap? Well, that depends...
...on the number of naps they are taking during the day and their bedtime!
As a general rule of thumb, as all kiddos have their own unique needs, here are the times naps should end by:
3-4 Naps: 5pm*
2 naps: 4pm*
1 nap: 3pm*
Does this mean you’re going to have to wake your little one up even though they are sleeping soundly and it’s nearing nap end time? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. We do this because naps that run too late into the day can disrupt sleep drive for bedtime!
Babies have a very specific number of sleep hours they need over a 24-hour period and in order to aim for an 11-12 hour sleep period overnight we want to cap daytime sleep otherwise they will sleep less at night because they've already had enough sleep within that 24-hour window. We focus on having solid, uninterrupted night sleep because this is when your baby does most of their growing and developing, as well as adults.⠀⠀
Max daytime sleep with 11-12 hour nights:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3-4 months = 5 hours⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
5-7 months = 4 hours⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
7-9 months = 3.5 hours⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
10-24 months = 3 hours⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2-3 years: 2 hours⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3+ years: 1-1.5 hours⠀⠀
In order to aim for an 11-12 hour sleep period overnight we want to cap daytime sleep otherwise they will sleep less at night because they've already had enough sleep within that 24-hour window. We focus on having 𝐬𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐝, 𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐮𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐬𝐥𝐞𝐞𝐩 because this is when your little one does most of their growing and developing!⠀
Many babies and toddlers biologically like a bedtime around 7-8pm, but for some, pending on what stage they are in in their sleep journey, may even need a bedtime as early as 6pm.⠀
Have questions about naps, night-time sleep, and/or are you ready to reclaim your family’s sleep? The first step is to schedule a FREE discovery call to begin building your customized sleep plan!