Short Afternoon Naps

Updated on March 24, 2010
R.S. asks from Raymond, ME
10 answers

My baby has been a good napper since he turned about 5 months. He will soon be 9 months old and lately, he has been having difficulty with the afternoon naps though. No problem with his morning nap - goes don't without complaining at 9:00 and wakes up around 10:30. He has a bottle around 11:30 and lunch afterwards. We then play around the house until 1:30 where I put him down for his second nap. He always complains at this time and takes three to four visits back in his room to calm him down. He then goes to sleep. Unfortunatly, he always wakes up after 45 minutes (2:15). He seems OK and rested... He is OK until his bedtime around 6:30 though.

Don't know what you guys think?
Anyone gone through this?
Shouldn't he be sleeping more in the afternoon and less in the morning as he'll transition to one nap a day...?

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answers from Boston on

My middle son also went through a period of two very short naps. His older brother actually slept more than he did! At some point (maybe a little over 1 year) he started sleeping longer in the afternoon.

I agree with others that you should give up the third nap, but otherwise just keep doing what you're doing. He'll probably shorten the morning nap on his own soon enough. At only 8 months, I doubt he's read for just one nap yet.

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answers from Boston on

try moving his morning nap later. he may be ready to start progressing to one nap. you can start moving the naps closer or try making his morning one shorter (waking him up after 45 min. or so) and to try to get him to take a longer one in the after noon, and eventually go down to one nap.


answers from San Francisco on

Maybe he doesn't want to take a second nap just yet.
Just let him decide what he wants to do (if he's still an infant)
That's what happened to me one day. When I tried to put my 6 month old for his 2nd nap at 4pm, he refused to it. He was laughing and wanted to play. So I did what he wanted, then an hour later I tried again and he still wasnt sleepy. Then bedtime came and he was fine.
Babies change, ssometimes he will sleep 30 minutes and sometime it will be 2 hours. As long as my baby is happy and well-rested, that's all that matters.



answers from Indianapolis on

You didn't mention how old he is currently.

My response will really depend upon how old he is and how active he is. Our son was around 16 months when we consolidated to 1 nap/day. Our daughter was 10.5 months when that happened so she could move to the next level in Day Care.

Based upon the information you're providing, he's not ready to nap yet at 1:30. I'd push it back 30-60 minutes and move bedtime back at least an hour if not more.

Good luck!



answers from Boston on

Hmm I think your routine is fine. At that age my little one was still solidly into three naps with the last being a short one to rest up for bedtime (seriously). SHe could never go more than 1.5-2 hrs at that age without being tired. ANd if she was fussy when we put her down, it meant we had missed her sleep "window" and she was overtired - contrary to what you might think overtired usually manifest as the appearance of more energy. From your post it sounds like you are already down to two naps, and I am sure he needs them. My little one didn't get to one nap until more like 18 months. So I don't have great advice but I don' t think one nap is the solution. Putting to nap earlier is my suggestion, sound like he's over stimulated or tired maybe because he's learning so much at that age.



answers from Springfield on

The best way to transition to one afternoon nap is to shorten the morning nap by waking up your child after a certain period of time, Try shortening his nap to one hour in the morning and see if he sleeps any later in the afternoon, it may not happen right away so keep it up for at least a week. Good Luck.



answers from Honolulu on

So, he has a morning nap, an afternoon nap, and a late afternoon nap?
I am guessing, per your profile info., that he is past 8 months old now?

What time does he wake up in the morning?
I would, keep his morning nap...
Put his afternoon nap at 2:00.
And skip the late afternoon nap.
Put him to bed same time, or make it later. 6:30 bedtime is early. Does he fall asleep at bedtime fine?

Could be he is also teething, hitting developmental changes, and what not. These things always... tweaks a child or baby's sleep. It is a phase.
Or, he is growing but is hungry and his intake is not keeping pace with his growth. Do you nurse/feed him on demand?
Does he have a lovey?

Also, let him wind-down first, before nap time. That way he can actually wind-down, pre-nap, and transition better.

All the best,


answers from Boston on

I would give up the late afternoon nap first. It's really unusual for a kid this age to keep 3 naps. Keep the morning nap the same since it seems to work and he seems to need it. Then I would tire him him out and not try to put him in at 1:30. Try 2 or 2:30 - after some fresh air (with better weather, that will be easier) or just more activities. Even if he gets up at 4, you can put him to bed just a little later (7-ish) and still have him get a really good night's sleep. The older he gets, the more fun activities you can do to fill his day and stimulate him - alternate with quiet times or non-structured play as well so that he works his little brain on his own. You may find, in time, that he gives up the morning nap and then you can go back to 1:30 for a good solid afternoon nap. Good luck



answers from Chicago on

I seem to recall my son going through a period at about that age where he took two naps, but they were both short, like 30 minutes. It didn't last very long and he went on to be a good napper. Your schedule sounds very reasonable, so I'd probably just wait it out a couple weeks and see what happens. Good luck!



answers from Boston on

I agree with the other moms that he seems ready to transition from 3 naps to 2 naps at this point. I too would recommend that you leave the morning nap alone as it seems to work for him. I would push his afternoon nap a little later to 2-2:30, his fighting it at 1:30 probably means he just isn't tired yet. At this age he should be able to handle a wakeful period of 3 1/2 - 4 hours without getting overtired. Pushing it later may mean a longer nap, but not necessarily. On 2 naps, my son usually slept 90 minutes in the morning, and 45 minutes in the afternoon.

If his mood is ok and his nighttime sleep is not being effected, then chances are he is getting enough sleep.

As for the 1 nap transition, he still hopefully has some time before that comes (my little guy didn't drop his 2nd nap until 16 months). But, usually the morning nap becomes the afternoon nap. For us, two naps were 10:30 and 3:00 and now 1 nap is usually from 12-2:30.

Good luck!

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