How many naps a day should my newborn take? When does it change? How many more times will it change? When do naps stop entirely?
This parenting thing is hard and naps are another facet to figure out. It’s often difficult to figure out the difference between and overtired baby, a sleep regression, and a child that is really ready to drop a nap from their schedule.
We’ll go over some pretty general guidelines here but it’s important to remember that every child is different and their sleep needs can be contingent on a number of outside factors. The most important thing is to trust your gut and follow your child’s lead on what seems to make their days seem the easiest.
Newborn – 3 months
Your newborn will sleep much more than they are awake during this period. They will average around five naps a day. This can change during growth spurts, daily activities, and cluster feeds!
3 – 5 months
You will likely see a nap drop in this time and go to four naps with an uptick in the amount of day time wakeful periods. This can vary depending on the amount of solid sleep your baby is getting at night. Enjoy seeing those bright eyes a little more!
5 – 8 months
Another one bites the dust! Your baby will probably be down to three naps now. They’re ready to spend some time awake and start exploring the world! If they tend to take long day time naps they may even be down to two naps a day.
9 – 18 months
Two naps are the norm now! You may find your new toddler trying to fight the second nap around 12 months. More often than not that resistance is part of a sleep regression than them not really needing the nap anymore.
18 months – 4 years
One and done! Naps around this age average around an hour and a half. Some children are of course ready to drop their nap before they turn 4 years old. Spurts of taking naps off and on again for several weeks are fairly common before they truly drop their last nap. As long as they are getting adequate sleep at night (10-12 hours) follow their cues!
Naps are still a great idea when your child is ill, going through a growth spurt, or had a late night!
Struggling to get your baby or toddler on a regular nap time schedule? A postpartum doula can help!