Clare Fahey founder of Sleep Harmony.
Is your baby not napping well? Does your child consistently play in their bed instead of going to sleep in the morning? Do they fall asleep very late into their nap time? Do they easily go to bed for their morning sleep, but refuse the afternoon sleep? Do they fall asleep too late in the afternoon so that it mucks up their bedtime? Is your child around 15 months old?
If you have answered yes to some of these questions, and this is happening regularly your child may be ready to drop one of their naps. This can be a very trying time as a parent, and can be exhausting for your child. The more they refuse naps, the more sleep debt they accumulate. This is when night wakings and early mornings can become a problem.
If your child is refusing one or both of their naps, the best, most restorative time of the day that you can put them to bed is around 12.30/1pm. You may be thinking…..wow there is no way that they can last until then!! Try to stretch them out as much as possible (maybe 10.30-11) then each day stretch it out by an extra 15 minutes until you reach the desired time. During this time, don’t fall into the trap of giving an emergency sleep late in the afternoon if your baby is not napping well, instead make bedtime really early. This early bedtime can be implemented until their body has adjusted to this new one nap schedule.