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Nap Schedules: 5 Months to 25 Months

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Cara Dumaplin

baby walking with Dad during awake time between naps

Let's talk about naps and nap schedules. If naps are a struggle for you, you're not alone.

Please remember naps ARE important. We know “sleep begets sleep.” This means that adequate daytime rest leads to fewer night wakings and longer night sleep. However, naps can be so difficult to navigate through without any guidance. Let me help you.

Please use the nap schedule guidelines set forth based upon your baby’s age, watch your baby and adjust your routine accordingly. Understand that if your baby is NOT sleeping 10-12 hours at night independently, THAT is the place to start. Night sleep is typically accomplished prior to day sleep. Now, these nap schedules can be helpful, but naps may remain a bit messy until your nights are conquered.

I’ve created a free resource that will help you set up your days to get better nights.

If your baby is struggling to sleep through the night and has inconsistent naps, The 5-24 Month Collection: Everything You Need for Great Sleep is the place to begin! It includes the ABCs of Sleep: Your Plan for Great Nights, Conquering Naps: Your Plan for Great Days, and Bumps Along the Way. These online classes will help you have a great little sleeper for days and nights, now and for every bump along the way.

If you have taken the newborn class, Will I Ever Sleep Again, you may notice that the nap schedules below do NOT follow the eat, play, sleep method encouraged for newborn care. At this age, a baby’s awake time begins to lengthen, making it difficult to maintain the eat, play, sleep method while still fitting an adequate amount of calories during their day. Because of this, continue to offer feedings according to your baby’s hunger cues. Yes, continue to offer breast and bottle feedings every 2-3.5 hours throughout your baby’s first year of life. Just fit feedings in around nap times when you see true hunger cues.

Expert tip: If a feeding falls prior to a nap, try not to feed your baby to sleep. Wake him up prior to putting him in the crib. Feeding to sleep can actually lead to shorter, less productive naps. Again, if you’re struggling to implement naps, the online class Conquering Naps: Your Plan for Great Days will help.

5-7 Months

Goal Amount of Daytime Sleep: 3-4 hours

Average Number of Naps: 3

Wake Windows: 2-3 hours

Bedtime: 7-8pm

Feedings: Offer breast or bottle about every 2.5 -3.5 hours based on hunger cues.

Your Daily Routine Based Upon Wake Time:

About 2 hours after Wake Time = Nap 1

About 2.5 hours after the end of Nap 1 = Nap 2

About 2.5 hours after the end of Nap 2 = Nap 3

About 2.5 - 3 hours after the end of Nap 3 = Bedtime

(Bedtime may need to be pushed a bit earlier depending on the last nap of the day so as not to exceed three hours.)

Side note about that 3rd nap: This nap is typically a “catnap” lasting 30-45 minutes. The purpose of the third nap is to help baby make it until bedtime. Sometimes, that third nap of the day is a real BEAST! Get it however you can get it.

Signs it’s time to drop the third nap:

  • most commonly happens around 6.5-8 months

  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at nap time (when this wasn't a problem previously)

  • 3rd nap is getting so late it's interfering with bedtime

  • early morning wakings begin to manifest (because the baby is getting too much daytime sleep)

  • baby just doesn't seem tired at nap time- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

Sample Nap Schedules:

Please remember... These are just examples to see, not exact schedules to follow.

*Continue to offer solids throughout your day as advised by your pediatrician with every schedule.

Time Activity
6:00 am Wake and Feeding
8:00 am Feeding
8:15–9:45 am Nap 1
11:00 am Feeding
12:15–1:15 pm Nap 2
2:00 pm Feeding
3:45–4:15 pm Nap 3 (catnap)
4:30 pm Feeding
7:00 pm Feeding
7:15 pm Bedtime
Time Activity
6:30 am Wake and Feeding
8:30–9:30 am Nap 1
9:30 am Feeding
11:45 am Feeding
12:00–1:30 pm Nap 2
2:30 pm Feeding
4:00–4:45 pm Nap 3 (catnap)
5:00 pm Feeding
7:15 pm Feeding
7:30 pm Bedtime

7 - 10 Months

Goal Amount of Daytime Sleep: 2.5-3.5 hours

Average Number of Naps: 2

Wake Windows: 2.5-3.5 hours

Bedtime: 7-8pm

Feedings: Offer breast or bottle about every 2.5 -3.5 hours based on hunger cues.

Your Daily Routine Based Upon Wake Time:

About 2.5–3 hours after Wake Time = Nap 1

About 3 hours after the end of Nap 1 = Nap 2

About 3-3.5 hours after the end of Nap 2 = Bedtime

Bedtime may need to be pushed a bit earlier depending on the last nap of the day.

*Please offer solids throughout your day as advised by your pediatrician with every schedule.

Time Activity
7:00 am Wake and Feeding
9:30 am Feeding
9:45–11:00 am Nap 1
12:30 pm Feeding
2:00–3:30 pm Nap 2
3:30 pm Feeding
6:30 pm Feeding
7:00 pm Bedtime
Time Activity
7:00 am Wake and Feeding
9:50 am Feeding
10:00–11:30 am Nap 1
1:00 pm Feeding
2:30–4:00 pm Nap 2
4:00 pm Feeding
6:45 pm Feeding
7:00 pm Bedtime

11-14 Months

Goal Amount of Daytime Sleep: 2.5-3 hours

Average Number of Naps: 2

Wake Windows: 3-4 hours

Bedtime: 7-8pm

Feedings: About every 2.5 -3.5 hours based on hunger cues.

Your Daily Routine Based Upon Wake Time:

About 3 hours after Wake Time = Nap 1

About 3-3.5 hours after the end of Nap 1 = Nap 2

About 3.5-4 hours after the end of Nap 2 = Bedtime

As babies get closer to 12 months and beyond, they may start to show signs that they are ready for one nap. Let’s not rush this too quickly.

Signs it’s time to transition to one nap:

  • most commonly happens between ages 13-18 months

  • second nap is interfering with bedtime (bedtime suddenly becomes a battle)

  • baby is resisting second nap 3-4 days a week for two weeks

  • baby just doesn't seem tired at nap time- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

  • early morning wakings or middle of the night wakings begin

Time Activity
6:30 am Wake and Feeding
9:15 am Feeding
9:30–10:30 am Nap 1
12:00 pm Feeding
1:30–3:30 pm Nap 2
3:30 pm Feeding
7:00 pm Feeding
7:30 pm Bedtime
Time Activity
7:00 am Wake and Feeding
9:30 am Feeding
10:00–11:30 am Nap 1
12:30 pm Feeding
3:00–4:00 pm Nap 2
4:00 pm Feeding
7:30 pm Feeding
8:00 pm Bedtime

14-24 Months 

Goal Amount of Daytime Sleep: 2-3 hours

Average Number of Naps: 1

Wake Windows: 4-6

Bedtime: 7-8pm

Feedings: About every 2.5 -3.5 hours based on hunger cues

Your Daily Routine Based Upon Wake Time:

About 5-6 hours after Wake Time = Nap

About 4-5 hours after Nap = Bedtime

Time Activity
7:00 am Wake
7:30 am Breakfast
10:00 am Snack
11:45 am Lunch
12:30–2:30 pm Nap
3:00 pm Snack
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Bedtime
Time Activity
6:00 am Wake
6:15 am Breakfast
8:30 am Snack
11:00 am Lunch
12:00–3:00 pm Nap
3:00 pm Snack 
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Bedtime

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