THE TIMING OF NAP TRANSITIONS
There comes a day when as your little one becomes older, their daytime sleep needs do become less. Balancing this to accommodate their age appropriate day and nighttime needs can be tricky, and at times there is a breakdown in sleep - with a few classic signs we’ve included below you can watch out for. These will give you an idea of what can happen when naps are dropped either prematurely, or alternatively may need to be weaned in order to keep the balance in play, and settling & sleep effortlessly easier. Signs of Nap Deprivation: - Frequent night wakings and early rising - Difficulty settling, refusing naps or fighting naps - Cat napping - Hyperactivity - Poor feeding or oral intake - A reverse cycle in Sleep, where nighttime sleep is minimal, and daytime sleep has increased - Frequently waking after they’ve been put down for sleep, or shortly after they have fallen asleep - Need to be rocked/patted/shushed/sung or settled using a more ‘hands on’ technique - Commonly has unsettled periods in the early evening, or ‘witching hour’ ✖️ Nap deprivation occurs when a nap is either skipped repeatedly, or dropped too early, resulting in the build up of accumulated sleep debt, causing a baby or child to become overtired. ✖️ Overtired babies and children are fatigued, and our bodies naturally respond by producing and releasing a stimulating hormone to fight this fatigue. This ‘second wind’ as many call it actually causes the body to become hyper alert and hyper vigilant and biologically prevents the body from entering into sleep, or if sleep occurs, limiting the duration of sleep. Hence, why overtired babies have difficulty falling and staying asleep. Alternatively, your child may be displaying signs, similar to nap deprivation - which in actual fact are signaling the need to wean daytime sleep. These are as follows: - Frequent night wakings and early rising - Difficulty settling, refusing naps or fighting fighting bedtime/pushing bedtime later in the evening - Waking overnight and staying awake for extended periods - Cat napping or waking after a short time from falling asleep or, - All of the same above symptoms as a nap deprivation baby! Tricky... ✖️ As your child’s age appropriate daytime sleep needs decrease the older the become, their nighttime sleep needs stay relatively the same - until closer to 4 years of age. ✖️ Dropping or weaning day sleep at an age that is appropriate for your child will help to minimize regressions with sleep, and limit a breakdown in their sleep balance. ✖️ As always - timing is essential! So, to make matters easier for you our nap transitions are covered below for your reference, along with a couple of common regression and side effects that can occur at ages similar to that described. As always, every child is unique - some babies may need to drop a nap earlier or later, give or take a couple of weeks. If you’re unsure, get in contact with us to discuss.
Looking for more information regarding routine, predictability with sleep, timing for feeds, meals and even self settling techniques? Our sleep guides have it all!