Is Your Baby or Toddler Napping Too Much?

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iStock_000026837584Small I know. Some of you are probably laughing hysterically at the title of today’s article. Too much nap time sleep?! Lots of you would probably give anything to have that the problem in your house!

And we understand that. Most of the parents we work with have babies and toddlers who struggle with nap time sleep, and who need to take longer, more restorative naps. Those babies and toddlers desperately need a solid daytime nap schedule to help them get the nap time sleep they need.

Still, a number of parents end up asking themselves the “is my child sleeping too much?” question at one point or another. After all, a baby or toddler who spends long periods napping each day may not have time to work on the gross motor and cognitive skills they need to be developing. And, a baby or toddler who naps a lot could wake more frequently at night.

So, how much nap time sleep is too much? Let’s answer that.

Nap Time Sleep in the Newborn Stage (Birth – 4 months)

Newborn Baby Boy Sleeping On Back ThumbnailHere’s the thing to remember about newborns: they sleep A LOT, and that’s fine. At this stage, it’s very normal for newborns to sleep anywhere from 14 – 18 total hours during the day, and for their wake time to be an hour to 30 minutes (or even less.) As your baby grows, this wake time should lengthen, and their total amount of sleep should gradually decrease.

For these reasons, our general recommendation to parents of newborns is to let the baby sleep as long as she needs to, and to not impose any kind of rigid schedule. That said, there are two time that we recommend parents wake their newborns from long naps. First, you’ll want to wake your newborn from long sleep if your newborn seems to have day/night confusions. In order to help your newborn sort out day and night, he needs to be awake during the day for his internal clock, or circadian rhythms, to adjust to life outside the womb. Therefore, our consultants recommend limiting one nap to two hours and keep your baby up for at least 30 minutes to an hour to help “reset” his clock.

Second, you’ll want to wake your newborn from long sleep if he is not waking to feed. It’s normal for newborns to have one longish stretch of sleep each day (hopefully it happens at night!), but aside from that, your newborn should wake every 2-3 hours to feed. If your newborn isn’t waking this often to feed, then wake him yourself; it’s important that newborns eat round the clock in order to grow properly.

Nap Time Sleep in the Baby Stage (4-12 months)

Baby Sleeping RESIZEDStarting around 4 months (could be 3 months for some babies, or 5 months for others), you’ll notice your baby’s sleep patterns start to change. Your baby will start spending more time awake and less time asleep. This is normal. In fact, there’s a name for it — the 4 month sleep regression!

When your baby is sleeping 13-15 hours per day, this is within normal ranges for a very long time. If your baby is sleeping less, this may or may not be enough sleep. Depending on your baby’s age, a typical baby will sleep 11-12 hours at night and 2-3 hours during the day. Since averages are just those, your baby may indeed need more like 12 hours at night and 4 hours of sleep during the day. This is unlikely to be a cause for concern. It is a lot of sleep, but a great 12-hour night sleeper and two two-hour naps is fantastic and there is still enough up-time to learn all the wonderful skills such as rolling, crawling, walking, and talking. She likely needs more time to process all of it and simply needs more sleep than other babies her age. Watching her behavior when she is up is a good sign everything is okay.

However, what should you do if your baby is napping too much, and that’s causing her to wake too frequently at night? Remember that after the newborn stage, your baby’s napping should not surpass 3 hours total for a day, on average. Of course, there will be exceptions, but many times if naps get too long during the day, it will impact night sleep, since the amount of total sleep in a day will remain relatively constant. If you feel bad waking your baby because she is sleeping horribly at night, but let her make up a lot of lost sleep during the day, it could reinforce the very sleep problems you are trying to resolve at night. It can become a chicken and egg problem. Instead, you should solve the night sleep problem and keep naps properly balanced. After all, night sleep is more restorative.

Nap Time Sleep in the Toddler Stage (12 months – 3 or 4 years)

Toddler-Sleep ProblemsAs your little one enters toddlerhood, his sleep needs will gradually begin to decrease. At this point, most of his sleep should be happening at night, and he should be awake for most of the day. Naps will still happen, of course, but the large majority of his sleep should occur at night.

But remember, just as it’s normal to have toddlers who can sleep 12 hours at night and take a 3 hour nap, there are also toddlers who sleep 11-12 hours at night and take a 1-2 hour nap. Again, there is a wide range of “normal” and the only reason for concern would be if your toddler sleeps so much that she doesn’t have time for gross motor activity or spending awake time with you where she can learn to communicate and other life skills.

However, if you find that your toddler is taking extremely lengthy naps each day, and isn’t sleeping well at night, you may need to wake him from those naps. You may also want to consider waking your child at the same time each morning, even if he’s had a sleepless night the night before. If you have a toddler schedule that is being thrown off with a long night-waking, or insomnia, in the middle of the night, the worst thing you can do is let her sleep in the next morning. Now, I don’t mean one off day here or there. Of course, then, you’d let her sleep in. What I mean is if your toddler is staying awake for long periods night after night, you need to be proactive and help her sort out her schedule. Although there are a few exceptions, long waking at night is usually caused by a schedule problem, especially if she is sleeping enough, but in multiple fragments. When you let her sleep in, this only exacerbates the schedule problem.

All in all, having a good daytime schedule will go a long way towards helping your child sleep through the night.

A Reminder: Follow Your Instincts, and Seek Medical Care if Necessary

We can’t end the article without saying this: there are cases (rare though they may be) in which too much sleep can signal an underlying medical problem. So parents, follow your instincts. If you know your baby or toddler is sleeping too much, and you think a medical condition might be to blame, don’t hesitate to see a healthcare provider.

If You Need Sleep Help, We Are Here For You!

Schedule problems are SO frustrating – all of us who at The Baby Sleep Site® know that first-hand, because we’re all parents! Fortunately for you, we’re here to help. If you’re struggling with nap schedules and napping issues, our consultants are ready to help you! Browse our list of consultation packages, and choose one that suits your needs.

Browse our list of consultation packages here.

Once you purchase, you will instantly receive an e-mail containing information about how to get started. You can login to the Helpdesk, set up your account, complete your Family History Form, and connect with a consultant. Within a few days, you’ll have your own Personalized Sleep Plan, and you’ll be on your way to better nap (and night!) sleep! It’s that simple! :)

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

Has too much nap time sleep ever been a problem at your house? How have you coped? Share your tips with our readers!

Want to work on your baby or toddler’s nap schedule problems yourself? We have plenty of do-it-yourself resources available – check them out below!

  • Ready to get your baby or toddler on a nap schedule that works for everyone in your family? Check out our e-Book, Mastering Naps and Schedules. With over 40 samples schedules and a wealth of practical, hands-on tips, this is the resource you need to achieve better naps once and for all! Available in two affordable packages, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a great resource – and it’s available to download instantly, so you can get started today!
  • Want unlimited access to all our products, including our e-Books? Join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. Plus, you’ll get a weekly chat with a sleep consultant – perfect for those times when you need some expert help!
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38 Responses to Is Your Baby or Toddler Napping Too Much?

  1. Meagan says:

    So my son is 21 months, we juuuust got through the 18 month regression. It didn’t end on it’sown as I’d hoped – we ended up using a “wake-up” light to extend his 4:15 am wake ups (bleah :-p) to 7:15. Then we did the same for his nap, starting with him sleeping in his crib for an hour (as opposed to 2-3 hours in the car). Now he’s sleeping through the night with no trouble from about 8:30 pm to 7:15 am and naps from 12:30 – 3:00 pm. The weird consequence of this is that those times are exact… his body is totally trained to those times, and if he wakes up sleepy, but sees the wake up light on, he’s UP. As problems go, I’m ok with that, but I’ve considered moving his nap wake up to 3:30 so he has the chance to sleep a solid 3 hours if he needs it… Is 3:30 too late? He’s generally doing great, so I’m a little afraid to rock the boat.

  2. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Meagan — first, let me say kudos to you for taking matters into your own hands and solving your son’s sleep-regression issues with a wake-up light! Very creative :) Good job, mama!

    Now, as for extending his nap by an extra 30 minutes — I don’t imagine that would be a huge problem. It seems to me that (as you’d say) that would give him the chance to get a bit more sleep on the days he needs it. At the very least, it’s worth trying; if it proves disastrous or something, you can always switch back.

    Keep up posted on what happens, Meagan! And thanks for commenting.

  3. Fabi says:

    @Meagan
    What a great schedule you have! My son dropped to 1 nap and now going through what I think is this “18 month regression”. What do u mean by “wake up” light? My son normally naps 12-2pm on a good day or 1:30 the least. (Again, on a good day) …he’s in some cycle of waking so early! No matter the bedtime. During transition he was sleeping by 5:30pm and waking at 5am which helped and didn’t get too over tired. But now that his naps r lengthening- and his bed time is later- we put down but won’t sleep now. Assuming its the regression. Even when he’s tired. So he’s sleeping later than usual, almost by 8pm but still wakes at 5am. So he’s getting tired and cranky! Blah. I was excited for the later bedtime but he won’t wake later! Ahh :-/

  4. Kristin says:

    Well, my problems might be far too complex for a simple comment on this article, but I get stuck trying to figure out what to do for my little one on a daily basis. He is 6 months old now and just started daycare at 5 months. He is a terrible napper at daycare – usually he only takes two 25-30 minute naps while he is there from 9 – 3:15. When I go to get him he is always so tired so I go straight home and put him straight down for a nap at around 3:45. He will then sleep in his crib for up to 2.5 hours for this nap, as if he is making up for his bad sleep during the day. This would be fine with me if everything else was going well, but he is still waking 3-4 times at night too, and the only thing that settles him is nursing… :( I’m not sure what to do after daycare. I know putting him down at 3:45 for a long nap might be interfering with his night sleep, but what should I do? Not let him take that nap at all? Just do a super early bedtime? Wake him after 1 hour? 1.5 hours? 45 minutes? When I have tried to wake him after about 1.5 hours and then keep him up until bedtime the entire time he’s up he is SO cranky! :( Unfortunately daycare is our only option.

  5. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Fabi — Do you live in the U.S.? If so, then daylight savings (which starts on March 10th in the States) may help you with this early rising. We have a post about that coming up on 3/5.

    @ Kristin — I’m not sleep consultant, we I can’t provide a specific, customized plan for you. However, I do know that you definitely DON’T want to deny your little guy that nap in the afternoon. Overtiredness actually makes babies sleep even less; contrary to what we might think, a well-rested baby sleeps better than a baby who’s exhausted. Go figure ;)

    I totally understand your daycare dilemma. Many parents experience the same thing you’re struggling with here.

    A good place to start may be our free guide (http://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-sleep-through-night-free-ebook/) That’ll give you some constructive ways to help your baby start sleeping a little better at night.

    And, of course, if you decide you’d rather have a tailor-made plan that’s customized to your particular situation (and would include recommendations about what to do with the lack-of-napping at daycare), you could always take a look at our personalized consulting services: https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-toddler-sleep-consulting-services/

    Let us know what you end up trying, Kristin! And thanks for commenting. :)

  6. Lee says:

    Our 9 month old has been doing so much better with sleep in the last two months! We purchased a personalized sleep plan and it really made a difference. (So thank you for that!!!) He also started eating more solids and we ended up having to switch over to formula (which we hadn’t planned on) since I got pregnant again. Not sure if those things helped contribute to better night sleep.

    Anyway, as we started the night sleep training our son’s naps kind of magically got better (not sure how we lucked into that!) And now he sleeps for a combined total of 3-4 hours during the day. First nap is usually 1-1.5 hours and his second nap can be anywhere from 1.5-2.5 hours. We are not feeding him at night anymore but he is still waking at night sometimes. Sometimes he settles himself, sometimes I have to go in and comfort him, and sometimes I end up giving him the paci if it goes on for awhile. Other nights he’ll make it through without issue. I’m wondering if I should start waking him after about 1.5 hours, particularly in the afternoon? Maybe that would make his night sleep more solid?

  7. Fabi says:

    @emily thank u for ur response! Yes I do and yea I’m looking fwd to daylight savings hahaha! But I would still LOVE a 7-8am wake! One daaaaay. I think it’s the regression w/ him not sleeping when we put down. And he is tired. I see all his signs! It’s odd.

  8. Wendi says:

    My 4mth old daughter is a great sleeper for the most part. Started sleeping for 10.5-12hrs straight at night all on her own around 8 weeks. Since doing a little nap sleep training with her, she goes down for 3 naps a day with no problem and sleeps anywhere from 40mins-2hrs. On average, she gets about 14-16hrs of sleep a day. Here is my question. I have to manage her naps everday, waking her from at least one of them so that I have time for her to take her 3 naps. Ive read in another article that this shouldn’t be a long term strategy. Should she be taking 2 long naps where I dont have to wake her or is what Im doing ok? She seems a little young for only 2 naps? I don’t want to do anything to mess up my naturally good sleeper. Thanks for your advice!

  9. kolly says:

    I think we might have run into a problem with a too-long nap yesterday. Our 16-month-old guy generally sleeps @7:30pm-6:15am, and naps @11:45am-2pm. Yesterday his nap went a bit long, til 2:30pm or so, and he had SUCH a tough time falling asleep. He wasn’t asleep until 9pm! His final canine tooth is pushing through and I’m sure that’s not helping. Is it possible that an extra 30 minutes of napping would create such a ruckus at bedtime? I’m trying to get him ready for a switch from nanny to daycare in the summer, where the schedule says they nap 11:45-2:30, so I’m a bit concerned.

  10. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Lee — I’m not a sleep consultant, so I can’t offer any expert advice. But I’d be a little leery of waking your 9 month old from that afternoon nap, simply because I know that overtiredness can be tricky. Waking your little one before he’s had enough sleep may mean that he’s too tired to sleep well at bedtime, and that could just make the problem worse.

    That said, the timing of the nap may be a problem. How late is that afternoon nap happening? you could always start it a little earlier (so that it ends earlier).

    Also — SO glad to hear that the consultation worked well for your family! We love hearing from satisfied clients! :) Thanks for commenting, Lee!

  11. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Fabi — yes, the regressions have a way of wrecking everything, don’t they? ;)

    @ kolly — I wouldn’t think that 30 minutes would make that much of a difference, but then again, every toddler is different. It could be the little bit of extra sleep, combined with the tooth coming in, threw your little guy off his game.

    Regarding the preparation for daycare: you may find that when he’s at daycare, he doesn’t nap as well there as he does at home. We find that’s the case for a number of families. So, truth be told, daycare may actually help in this regard — if he doesn’t nap quite as well there, you may find that bedtime is easier at home! Something to think about, anyway.

    Thanks for commenting, kolly!

  12. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Wendi — I’d say you’re right in thinking that she’s a little too young for 2 naps at this point. Babies generally stick with three naps until they’re closer to 6 months (and some 6 month olds still need a “catnap” after dinner in order to make it until bedtime!)

    I’d say that overall, if the nap management is working okay for you, and if your baby’s sleeping well (and it sounds like yours definitely is!), then there’s nothing wrong with it. However, it’s possible that nap management won’t work indefinitely. If she hasn’t already, your daughter will soon be going through the 4 month sleep regression, and during that phase, her sleep patterns will shift. So what works now may not work as well in another month or so. (You can read more about the 4 month regression here: http://www.babysleepsite.com/how-we-sleep/4-month-old-sleep-regression/)

    Overall, I think it’s fine to stick with what’s working now, but to prepare yourself for the fact that you’ll very likely need to change (and re-change!) your strategy as your baby grows.

    Thanks for commenting, Wendi! Keep us posted on your little one’s progress. :)

  13. Wendi says:

    Thanks for the advice, I’ll keep up what I’m currently doing. And I know…the dreaded 4mth sleep regression is coming. I’m already seeing signs as she has been having some strange, unlike her, night wakings. She is a very easy going baby, so finger crossed things don’t go too crazy :)

    Thanks again! I love this site!

  14. Fabi says:

    @Wendi haha oh yea :-P

  15. Meagan says:

    Thanks Emily!

    @Fabi I’m not sure it would be good to try in the middle of a regression… We waited until the regression seemed to have run it’s course, but sleep hadnt improved enough for anyone’s sanity. For us, that meant he was going to sleep at night without crying, and either not waking at night, or waking but settling himself within a few minutes. His wake up time had actually settled between 4:45 and 5 by then. The regression had lasted about 2 months at this point (!!!). I have no idea if the wake up light thing would work while a toddler was still fighting against sleep… Maybe Emuly or Nicole can chime in.

    What we did is set up a night light (not light sensitive since it has to come on in the daytime) with a timer set to turn on 15 minutes after his normal wake up time. I think we started with 5:15. At night, when we put him down, we told him, “This is the wake up light. We’ll come and get you when the wake up light turns on.” then in the morning, we let him cry until 5:15, and went to get him. He caught on by the second day and was sleeping (or at least quiet) until 5:15 within a few days. Once he was quiet till 5:15 for two mornings in a row, we shifted it to 5:30. So on until we hit 7:15. We did the same thing for nap time, starting with 1:30, (he cried the whole nap the first day) and shifting it later gradually. I was surprised how quickly and well it worked.

    I think the most important things are:
    Don’t go up before the light goes on, or the “magic” is broken (so you have to be up for some crying to do this I think).
    Go up as promptly as possible once the light goes on AND your child is awake, or he won’t trust the light.
    Don’t try to shift the time later too quickly or your child will be too upset to take notice of the light by the time you get him.
    We remind him every night and nap time that we’ll come for him when the light comes on.

  16. Fabi says:

    @meagan oh! I see! Oh well I nvr go in until at least 6am. He just stays quiet but I mean that it’s getting him over tired. Bc he’s waking early with a late bedtime bc he’s pushing it. Regression I assume lol! But sometimes he does kick the walls and wakes hyper haha! I was hoping that light was a solution to our early wakes, but he doesn’t cry when he wakes. Isn’t refusing naps. It’s bedtime he pushes but he doesn’t cry. He just talks. Lol- we go in and help from time to time. He’s almost 18mths so I think he started regressing earlier. Blah! Thanks for ur great response! Sounds like u got it handled!

  17. Kelly says:

    I’m wondering if we’re pushing into the “too long a nap” phase with our 27 month old. He naps at 1 PM for anywhere from 1 to 2.5 hours, depending on if he’s with the nanny (weekdays, short nap) or us (weekends, long nap). Lately, he’s been wide awake at his usual bedtime which has been getting pushed back later and later. He’s now up until 9 or even 9:30 most nights, even when we put him down at 8 and is up in the morning by 6:45, perfectly awake. He’s also up for a potty break in the middle of the night for 20 minutes or so. It seems like 9 hours at night isn’t nearly enough but he definitely needs his nap. Should we be working on shortening that and increasing his nighttime sleep block?

  18. Meagan says:

    @Fabi It might still be worth a try. If he’s waking up and waiting for you (calm or not) the light could be a concrete symbol that it’s not time yet. My son wakes up early sometimes, but usually he looks for the light, and if it’s not on, just goes back to sleep.

  19. Fabi says:

    @meagan true! The lights r all off though in his room. He sleeps in a pitch black room. Only way he would sleep- MR OBSERVANT lol! And when I go in for him around 6am I switch the light on. But I have a camera in his room and he never goes back to sleep >_<

  20. Becky says:

    Nice to see this article. I was working with Nicole a few months back regarding my then 9/10-month old. He was waking at all hours in the morning (between 6AM and 7:30AM) despite a routine bedtime. He’d also have a tremendously hard time going to sleep at night, needing to be pat on the back or otherwise reassured several times before falling asleep. This was vastly different from his daytime nap routine, where he’d easily go down for both morning and afternoon naps and sleep 2-2.5 hours for BOTH naps. We couldn’t figure exactly what the issue was with his erratic morning waking and difficult bedtime (and overnight – frequent “reassurance”-type waking). Finally, as much as I didn’t want to, I limited his naptime. I kept his morning and afternoon nap to 1.5 hours max so he never got more than 3 hours during the day. Within a few days, his entire schedule regulated and ever since then, except for the occasional illness or new tooth, he follows the schedule:
    7:30am – wake
    10am – nap (1.5 – and I sometimes have to wake him)
    2:30 – nap (1 – 1.5 – and I usually have to wake him)
    7:30 – lights out

    I was exasperated with his completely inconsistent wakings, both at night and in the morning. This went on for weeks, perhaps 2+ months, before I finally gave reducing total nap time a try. I was surprised and thrilled with the results.

    It won’t work for everyone’s situation and baby’s temperament, but it’s definintely worth a try if you just can’t figure out what else might be going on.

    Best of luck to everyone.

  21. Laura says:

    Yes, we have to wake my 2 year old up from him nap after an hour and 15 min MAX or he’ll just up tossing and turning in the middle of the night. My husband had a lot of sleep issues as a kid so we’ve been very proactive about our son’s sleep.

    Now…if only my 2 year old would sleep all the night through without wanting us to fix his blanket or find his lion stuffed animal for him several times…sigh ;P

  22. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Kelly — I’m not a trained sleep consultant, but it sounds to me like your son’s nap probably isn’t too long. 1 – 2.5 hours is very, very reasonable for a toddler who’s 2 years & 3 months.

    This could just be a phase. Is this bedtime resistance fairly new? You may want to check out this article for more insights into some of the sleep issues that tend to arise around the 2 year mark: http://www.babysleepsite.com/toddlers/5-things-about-2-year-old-toddler-sleep/

    Of course, you could be absolutely right, and his nap could be the thing that’s making bedtime go haywire. You could always try waking him early from his nap (when it starts to get too long) and see what that does to bedtime.

    Keep us posted on what happens, Kelly! And thanks for commenting. :)

    @ Becky — thank you so much for this insightful tip! Very, very useful to those parents who are struggling with erratic waking. Thanks for commenting, Becky!

  23. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Laura — sounds like you’ve got your son’s sleep needs figured out! Good for you! It can take some time (and some trial and error) to arrive at those kinds of insights.

    Thanks for commenting, Laura!

  24. Helen says:

    Interesting, Im having the exact same problem with my 6.5 month old. Settles beautifully during the day & usually has 2 x 1.5 hour naps per day. However, at night won’t settle without shushing / patting. Though I try to leave the room before she falls asleep.

    She is then waking every 2 hours at night. I really don’t understand what the difference is as she has a routine we’ve been following since she was six weeks – bath, massage, BF, stories, bed – asleep 7/7.30. She’s waking for comfort & the only way to settle her is to latch her on, even tho she’s not hungry enough to nurse. All these night problems started after I managed to sort her day sleeps out. I thought good day sleeps. = good night sleeps so Im confused about where I’ve gone wrong…

  25. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Helen — I wouldn’t say you’ve done anything wrong. It’s not uncommon for a baby who naps well to have trouble sleeping at nice (and vice versa.) Naptime and nighttime sleep are very different, and are actually controlled by different parts of the brain.

    It could simply be that she’s waking from habit (that’s what it sounds like to me.) If this is the case, then it probably has little to do with her naps and more to do with her learned sleep behaviors.

    Have you checked out our free guide yet? (http://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-sleep-through-night-free-ebook/) That’s a good place to start, if you need ideas about how to encourage your baby to sleep better at night. We have paid e-books too, and consulting services, but most people like to begin with the free guide.

    Thanks for commenting, Helen! And keep us posted on what happens :)

  26. Heather says:

    Hi,
    I am a member of the baby sleep site and have read all the articles on baby sleep and seem to be getting more confused and frustrated the more I read…I think I need an outsider to look in and maybe see what I am missing…
    Naps were going pretty well for my twin 11 month olds (wake up at about 6:30, nap 1@9:30/9:45 (1 hr, 10min), nap 2 at 1:30/2-3:330), then they were taking too long to fall asleep and crying and protesting so I assumed after much researching that they needed more awake time & maybe they were starting to transition to 1 nap, so I moved naptime by 15 mins for a few days until I was putting them down at 9:50/10 instead of 9:20/9:30. The same thing was happening with their afternoon naps, it went from 1:30, to 2, to 2:15, to 2:45, til I was putting them down as late as 3 (they’d sleep-2:45/3-4/4:15), then moving bedtime a little later so I was getting 2 naps in.
    So one of my questions is; are you supposed to or should you do that? Move naptimes so they are at least getting 2-1 hr naps or should you leave them alone and if they are “skipping one” or not settling down for one without much protest should I have cut that out and moved their pm nap up? I know all babies are different and they are SO many variables (sleep regression, learning a new skill, hunger, transitioning to one nap etc..) I just want to know how to help my kids. Their nighttime sleep is tricky now too! If they wake too early in the am is it because bedtime was too early or too late? (they used to go down at 6:40 without a problem, now I put them down closer to 7) It’s hard to tell if they are over or under tired! Or are they just adjusting-I know it says it takes 1-2 weeks. But what if they are accumulating sleep debt in the meantime (last night one twin only got 101/2 hrs of sleep (norm is 11-11 ½) 7:30 when she finally settled even though I put her down at 7 until 5:50am)? HELP please! Not sure what to do?!?!

  27. Katie says:

    I read this article hoping it would help me with my 15-month-old son. He naps well, usually 1.5-2 hours in the morning and afternoon. He goes to bed fine around 8 (or a little earlier), but he’s been waking super early – around 5:30, sometimes even earlier. Are his naps too long for a toddler his age? Or is he going to bed too late? He wakes up sleepy, too, so I know he could use more nighttime sleep. What needs to change so that he naturally sleeps later in the mornings? Thanks!

  28. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Heather — you’ve got a lot of variables here (twins, tricky naps, early rising, problems falling asleep at bedtime), and since I’m not a trained sleep consultant, I can’t provide a solution that’ll fix all of them. I can only offer very general guidance.

    My recommendation would be to check our our consulting services (https://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-toddler-sleep-consulting-services/) and see which of those packages would suit you best. As a member, you receive 20% off the cost of any consultation. Truly, if you want an outside opinion, and someone to walk you through the steps you’ll need to take to get your twins sleeping better, this is the route to go.

    Thanks for commenting, Heather! And keep us posted on how things progress.

  29. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Katie — I’m no sleep consultant, but I’d suggest trying one nap, instead of 2. The average age for making the 2-to-1 nap transition is 15-18 months. That would cut down on his naptime sleep a bit, and would move his nap to the middle of the day, which would mean he’d have more awake time between his nap and bedtime. Those factors could combine to make his nighttime sleep longer.

    You can read more about nap transitions here: http://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-naps-2/how-to-manage-baby-toddler-nap-transitions/

    Thanks for commenting, Katie! :) (And great name, by the way — it’s my daughter’s! One of my favorites.)

  30. Heather says:

    Hi again Emily,
    Rereading my post it does sound complicated-I guess I should have just wrote my question which is, in your opinion and from your experience helping other parents is it wise to move or change nap times in order to get 2 naps if you know it isn’t time to transition them yet (they’re only 11 mos). I’ve been moving nap time back and forth by 15-30 in order to get 2 naps in and to make sure they are tired enough. Is that recommended?
    The girls do well sleeping through the night since 4 1/2 months, just getting up a little early lately…
    Thanks for your help.

  31. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Heather — honestly, I’m not sure. I’m not a trained sleep consultant, and I don’t know the history of your twins’ sleep, so I can’t provide any specific, tailored insights here.

    In general, I’d say that if shifting their naps is working okay for you, and for the girls, then there’s probably no harm in it. But if it’s not working for you, or if it doesn’t seem to be working for the girls, then you may want to try to carve out a more structured daytime schedule and then stick with that.

    Sorry I can’t give you more specific advice, Heather! But really, I’m not the best person to do that, since I haven’t been through the kind of training that our sleep consultants have.

  32. Rae Lyn says:

    My daughter is almost 17 months old and has not been sleeping through the night for a couple months. She wakes up 1-2 times every night anywhere between 1am-3am and wants a feeding at least once. She takes only 1 nap a day for about 1-2 hrs. She has no issue napping, its just bedtime. She used to sleep through the night with no feedings and no waking and I’m. Not sure what is causing the problem.

  33. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Rae Lyn — So it sounds like this is a new problem, then? Could be that she went through a sleep regression, or a phase, or experienced some teething/illness, and got off track and has never gotten back on. Do you think something like that may have happened?

  34. Rae Lyn says:

    It’s possible. Back around Christmas and New Years, we had to make back to back trips from Tennessee to Michigan due to family illness and then a funeral. I know it was very hard on my LO as this was the first time being away from home for that period of time. I just don’t know how to get back on track. She has a fairly regular routine.

  35. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Rae Lyn — have you done sleep training with your daughter before? If so, then I’d suggest simply re-trying some of the sleep training techniques you’ve used before to help get your daughter back on track.

    If you need more insights into your little girl’s sleep (or lack of sleep, rather!), you can check out our free toddler sleep guide here: http://www.babysleepsite.com/toddler-sleep-training-secrets-free-ebook/

    Thanks for commenting, Rae Lyn! And keep us posted on how things are going. :)

  36. Rae Lyn says:

    I cut her nap down to a little over an hour and that seemed to help. She only woke up once last night around 4am.

  37. Emily DeJeu says:

    @ Rae Lyn — good thinking! Glad that strategy helped. :)

  38. Rae Lyn says:

    Thank you! :-)