nap transition


Your Baby Sleep Consultant expert.

Transitioning from 3 Naps to 2 (2022)

Every child is different, so make sure to observe your little one’s sleep habits and figure out when the time’s right to wean them off the third nap or drop it all together! Get in touch with a baby sleep consultant if you want to learn more.

As your little one changes and grows, so will their napping schedule. So, when is the right time to drop that third nap? How can nap transition be done in a way that does not leave your child overtired?


Newborns and babies sleep far more than adults because they are developing physically and mentally at a rapid rate. Sleep plays an important role in their development and it lets them grow in a healthy way. Due to this, we see babies and children taking naps during the day.

Sleep Debt

When naps are missed or sleep is delayed, your child might accrue a sleep debt. A sleep debt is pretty much exactly what it sounds like; it’s a cumulative difference between the sleep they need and sleep they have. If your baby is missing out on sleep consistently, their sleep debt grows, causing them to become overtired. This can create sleep issues such as night wakings, short naps, early morning rising, and more.

When transitioning from 3 naps to 2, it can be easy for a sleep debt to occur if your baby is not ready for the change. By keeping on track with an age-appropriate nap routine, you can gauge when your child is ready to drop the third nap. 

When does the transition occur?

Generally speaking, your little one will be ready to transition from 3 naps to 2 when they are between 6-9 months of age. However, if your child is an independent sleeper and takes longer naps, they might be able to drop the third nap earlier.

Is my child ready for nap transition?

It can be confusing to figure out when, exactly, your own child is ready to drop their third nap of the day, also known as their ‘catnap’. The third nap is shorter than the other two and can last up to one sleep cycle, which is approximately 45 minutes.

Once your baby is 6-9 months, it will be a good time to start this transition. A sign that your child is ready to drop this nap is that their routine is starting to shift slightly. If their two longer naps are well established, it shows that your child’s inner sleep clock, also known as sleep circadian rhythm, is aligned. Another sign is that you just can’t seem to put them down for their third nap, no matter how hard you try!

Signs that your baby still needs the third nap

If you find your little one taking their third nap more days than not, it’s a pretty solid sign they still need that catnap in the afternoon. They also might need their catnap if a big developmental milestone is happening, such as rolling or crawling. When your baby is going through a developmental change, they will need more sleep as they are using up more brain and body power.

If your baby has not learnt to sleep independently, or they are going through a difficult sleep regression, getting expert advice from a sleep consultant might be a good idea for your family. You will be able to get personalised advice you need about when your little one is ready for the transition from 3 to 2 naps as well as tips and tricks on how to help your baby sleep better. 

How can I transition from 3 to 2 naps?

To make the transition work and to avoid a sleep debt, you have to make sure that naps 1 and 2 are restorative enough to help combat the greater awake time before bed. For a baby under 5-6 months of age, naps can still be short because their sleep cycle has not fully matured yet, which is why it is extremely uncommon to transition to a 2 nap schedule before this age.

Once that third nap of the day is dropped, moving bedtime earlier is important. When babies drop their third nap, it’s common to settle into a bedtime of 6-7pm. It’s important to avoid a sleep debt at this stage so moving your baby’s bedtime up to avoid prolonged wake windows is vital. This earlier bedtime won’t be a permanent change but rather, it will help ease them into longer wake periods after dropping their catnap.

In conclusion

Every child is different, so make sure to observe your little one’s sleep habits and figure out when the time’s right to wean them off the third nap or drop it all together! Get in touch with a baby sleep consultant if you want to learn more.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Share on email

Google Rating

5 stars

Based on 300+ reviews

Terms & Conditions

Jennifer is a qualified IMI Maternity and Child Sleep Consultant, Doula and MNT Maternity Nurse. These qualifications enable her to assist pregnant women with their sleep issues, support women during labour and the birthing process, guide parents during the postpartum period and educate families about their baby’s sleeping habits. Jennifer provides safe and gentle sleep training methods based on knowledge obtained during her studies, successful qualifications and 16+ years experience.

Jennifer has obtained her paediatric First Aid Training through KidZAid and is registered to work with babies and children in Australia and Europe. Techniques and methods used are all derived directly from her qualifications and from her many years of experience.

Jennifer’s advice does not replace the advice from your Doctor or Paediatrician, and her advice should not be relied upon as medical advice. For medical advice, you should always seek the advice from your medical practitioner. Therefore, you should consult with your health-care professional should you have any healthcare related questions or before embarking on a new sleep program. If a medical problem appears or persists, do not disregard or delay seeking medical advice from doctor. Accordingly, Jennifer expressly disclaims any liability, loss, damage, or injury caused by information provided to the client.

Jennifer will educate, support you and guide you through the sleep challenges needed to make change in your baby’s sleeping habits. As a Baby Sleep Consultant, Jennifer is not responsible for your application of the sleep solutions once the consultation has concluded. Once the sleep consultation has concluded it is the responsibility of the parent(s) to apply the agreed methods and solutions. Jennifer has an extremely high success rate, however, the success of Jennifer solutions is in the hands of the parents’ commitment & perseverance once the sleep consultation has ended; therefore Jennifer cannot make any guarantees of success. However, Jennifer will use her best endeavours to support you until the desired result has been achieved.

  • I agree to check with my healthcare provider/doctor if my baby has any medical conditions, which prevent them from being trained safely.
  • I agree to follow safe sleeping practices in line with SIDS recommendations (
  • I agree to disclose any medical conditions to Jennifer, which my baby has or has had previously.
  • I understand that my customised baby sleep program is meant for my baby only and should not be shared with a third party. I acknowledge the information might not be suitable for another baby.
  • Any changes I make to my baby’s sleeping or eating arrangements are my decision and Jennifer will only make suggestions for change, of which I am responsible for choosing to implement.
  • It is my responsibility to contact Jennifer for my follow up support and send the sleep log information through to be assessed for feedback as frequently as suggested.


In-Home Cancellation Policy
To confirm any In-Home Program, the client will be required to pay a 25% non-refundable deposit to secure the booking. The remaining amount of the In-Home Program will be required to be paid on the day after Jennifer leaves your home. Any cancellations barring medical or other emergencies will forfeit the deposit. If  you cancel less than 48 hours before the scheduled visit, the full amount will be required, unless Jennifer can backfill your place with someone on the waiting list.

If your baby is a little under the weather and does not have a temperature, the program can generally proceed as planned. If your baby is sick with a temperature or has been diagnosed with a medical condition by a doctor, the program will be postponed until your baby is better. A doctors certificate may be requested.

Remote Program/Phone Consultation
To confirm the Remote Program or Phone Consultation Jennifer will be required to be paid in full before sleep plans are constructed and the phone consultation takes place.

Remote Program Cancellation policy
The Remote Program and Phone Consultations are non-refundable after the start of sleep work (i.e. when any sleep advice has been delivered to the client via email, text, phone).

Acts of God or suspected medical conditions
If an act of God, such as a fire, flood, earthquake or other natural calamity shall cause you to cancel the sleep services, Jennifer will require payment only for the time actually spent sleep consulting. 

If during the In Home program, Jennifer feels the consultation should cease due to an underlying or undisclosed medical condition, Jennifer will require payment only for the time actually spent in your home. In this case, to keep the situation fair on both parties, the hourly rate is reduced down from the normal sleep consulting fees (as per the program booked) and charged at $50ph. 

Doctor’s appointment
Jennifer requests that every client has an appointment with their doctor to ensure their baby is developmentally on track and fit for sleep training. Written medical approval may be requested for certain circumstances.

Within 25km from Bondi Beach. An additional fee of $25ph travelled will be charged if travel is over 25kms.

As the client, you knowingly and voluntarily agree to waive and release Jennifer from any and all claims of liability or demands for compensation that you may acquire during the time working with Jennifer.

By checking this Agreement, you agree to the terms and conditions detailed within.