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I think it is important to establish a nap routine for babies. It helps set the stage for good sleep and cues your baby in that it is time to start winding down and go to sleep. I have found that with a short nap routine, all of my kids have slept better and longer.

Babies 0-9 weeks (1-2 Months Old)
1. Nurse
2. Diaper Change
3. Swaddle Tight
4. Place in swing or bouncer (while swaddled)
5. Watch for eyes to get heavy and begin to shut
6. Turn on sound machine, turn light off, shut curtain
7. Place in crib for nap
8. Shut door and leave

Babies 10 weeks- 4 months old
1. Nurse
2. Diaper Change
3. Activity**
4. Swaddle
5. Turn on Sound Machine, turn light off, shut curtains
6. Hold (no rocking) for a minute or two in room
7. Place in crib for nap
8. Shut door and leave

Babies 5-6 Months Old
1. Nurse
2. Diaper Change
3. Activity ***
4. Sleep Sack or Swaddle Weaning
5. Turn on Sound Machine, Shut blinds, Turn off lights
6. Lay in crib
7. Give lovely (blankie, stuffed animal)
8. Rub head, back, or belly or a minute or two
9. Shut door and leave

***Activity 10 weeks- 4 months:
1. Activity Mat
2. Read a book with Mommy
3. Lay on floor with toys
4. Bouncer Seat
5. Tummy Time
6. Bumbo Seat (depends on age and neck control)
7. Hold Baby and talk to him
8. Bath Time

***Activity at 5-6 Months
1. Same activities at 10 weeks-4 months
2. Stroller Walk (Longer Wake time you can squeeze in a stroller walk)
3. Maybe a quick errands to the store
4. Jumperoo & Exersaucer
5. High Chair with small toys or books (get while you are trying to cook)
6. Blanket Time
7. Independent Play Time
8. DVD (Baby Signing Time, Baby Einstein)

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Usually sometime between 15-18 months old, your toddler will no longer need two naps and will start the transition to one nap. The mid-day nap usually starts around 12:30/1:00pm and last 2-3 hours. However, for some young toddlers, this transition can happen soon, as was the case with my son. Right around my son’s first birthday (12 months-old), my son stopped taking good naps. This was a sign to me that it was time to start the process of weaning him off two naps and down to one nap.

Signs that your toddler might be ready for one nap:
1. Takes too long to fall asleep for the morning nap
2. Takes a very short morning nap
3. Sleeps too long for the morning nap that your child will not take an afternoon nap or will take a very late afternoon nap that effects bedtime
4. In some cases, the afternoon nap can also be effected- same reasons listed for #1-3

How I knew my son was ready to make the transition from 2 naps to 1 nap:
My son was taking pretty solid naps 2- 1.5 hours of sleep daily for each nap. Then he started taking very long to fall asleep for his morning nap and needing a longer wake time to take the afternoon nap. His also started taking a longer amount of time to fall asleep at bedtime because his afternoon sleep was too close to his nap.

What I did to help transition my son from two naps to one nap:
So I pushed the morning nap up by 1/2 hour so he would be tired enough to take the nap and shortened the morning nap to a cat nap (30-45 minutes). I also increase the amount of wake time between the two naps so he would be tired enough to take the afternoon nap. The second transition schedule worked for a very short while (2-3 weeks). Then suddenly he stopped taking his morning nap. Instead of taking a morning nap, he would just “rest in his crib”. After his morning nap was a “rest period” instead of a nap for over a week, I decided to drop the morning nap and just move to one middle of the day nap. This is what his schedules looked like during the transition:

#1 Schedule with two solid naps
7am wake up
10-11:30/12:00 nap
3:00-4:30/5:00 nap
8:00 bedtime
#2 Schedule with two naps in transition
7am wake up
10:30-11:00/ 11:15 nap
3:00-4:30 nap
8:00 bedtime

#3 Schedule with one middle of day nap
7am wake up
1:00-3:30/4:00 nap
8:00 Bedtime


Some tricks to dealing with one nap a day (when the transition is first made):

Your child is going to have a hard time at first with one nap a day. There morning wake time has lengthened considerably and they will most likely get fussy, cranky, and throw tantrums more easily. In order to deal with the late morning during the beginning stages of this transition I suggest you keep them active. Go outside to play, take them to the library for story time, have a play date with another child, go the park, run around the house…but do something to keep them busy so they will not be as agitated.  Don’t do activities that require sitting, such as watching a movie or driving in the car. They are sure fire ways to make them more cranky or even fall asleep before it is time for their nap. This will make their one nap disrupted and cause sleep problems.

There might be days when your child still needs two naps:
There might be days when after you have made the switch to one nap that your child might need two naps. I would say allow your child to take two naps only if necessary. I would try to limited your child to having two naps only once a week once you have made the switch over to one nap. Jumping from two naps to one nap will not allow your child’s body to adjust to a longer wake time in the morning.

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These are the schedules that I have kept with my son Cooper. I introduced solids at 5 months old with my son.  I will update this list of schedules as my son and twins age. So keep checking back for future schedules. What I have noticed is that his schedule changes frequently. What worked one month may not work the next. I am constantly following his cues and trying to time his naps and nighttime sleep during his “sleep windows” so he does not get over tired.
For more information on schedules for infants/ babies, check out these posts:
https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/infant-schedules/
https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/sleep-requirements-for-infants/

1 Month old (2.5/3 hour schedule)
I did not include a schedule from when my son was a month old. I was on a very flexible 2.5/3 hour schedule. I did make sure to follow the eat, wake, sleep cycle. But I allowed a little more flexibility as I was trying to figure him out and he had several growth spurts it seemed. A consistent schedule did not seem to really develop until Cooper was 2.5 months old.

2/3 Months old (3 hour schedule)

8:00 Feed
9:30-10:30/11:00 Nap – if Cooper woke early, I would just entertain him until at least 10:30 or 11:00 and then feed him

11:00 Feed
12:30-2:00 Nap

2:00 Feed
3:30-5:00 Nap

5:00 Feed
6:30-7:15 Cat Nap

7:30 Feed
9:00-10:30 Nap/ Nighttime sleep

10:30 Feed & Put right back to Bed for nighttime sleep

Cooper woke between 4:00 or 6:00 am for a short feeding. He stopped waking up in the early morning hours around 19/20/21 weeks old. Just thought you might want to know this. I stopped feeding him at 18 weeks old in the early morning hours. It was a weaning process. I would only allow him to feed for a few minutes each morning, until we were down to just a minute total. Then I started to let him cry it out. It took until he was 21 weeks old when he no longer cried at the early morning hour consistently.

*** I should also add that Cooper would wake 45 minutes into a nap and cry for 5-15 minutes before falling back to sleep to complete his nap. This continue until he was 4 months old***

4 Month Schedule (3.5/4 hour schedule)
7:00 Feed
8:30-10:30 Nap

10:30 Feed
12:30-2:30 Nap

2:30 Feed
4:30-6:30 Nap *** He stopped taking a good nap here at around 20 weeks old so I began to shorten it to a cat nap

6:30 Feed
9:00 Feed
9:15/ 9:30 Bed

5 Months Schedule #1 (3.5/ 4 hours schedule)
Starting around 21- 22 weeks

7:00 Feed (milk & solids)
8:30- 10:30 Nap (he could only stay up 1.5 hours in the am)

11:00 Feed (milk & solids)
1:00- 3:00 Nap

3:00 Feed (milk only)
5:00-5:45 Cat Nap

5:45 Feed (solids only)
8:30 Feed (milk only)
9:00 Bed

5 Months Schedule #2 (straight 4 hour schedule)
Starting around 23 weeks to current

7:00 Feed (milk & solids)
9:00-11:00 Nap

11:00 Feed (milk & solids)
1:00- 3:00 Nap

3:00 Feed (milk only)
5:00-5:45 Cat Nap

5:45 Feed (solids only)
7:45 Feed (milk only)
8:00 Bed

wake time is 2 hours, except the evening wake time which is 3 hours

6 Month Schedule
(2-3-4 Schedule) for more on this type of schedule read this post: https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/2-3-4-nap-schedule-for-older-babies/

7:00 milk & solids
9:00 nap

11:30 milk & solids
2:00/2:30 nap

3:30/4:00 milk
5:30 solids
6:30 bath & milk
7:00 bed

I wait 15-30 minutes in between milk and solid food. This helps Cooper eat better.
Nap= 1.5-2 hours each
Morning wake time is 2 hours, afternoon wake time is 3 hours, evening wake time is 3 hours

 
7 Month Schedule
(2-3-4 Schedule) for more on this type of schedule read this post: https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/2-3-4-nap-schedule-for-older-babies/
 

7:00 milk & solids
9:00 nap

11:30 milk & solids
2:00/2:30 milk** & nap

3:30/4:00 snack (Gerber puffs 10-20 pieces)
5:00 solids
6:45 bath & milk
7:30/8:00 bed

I wait 15-30 minutes in between milk and solid food. This helps Cooper eat better.
Nap= 1.5-2 hours each
Morning wake time is 2 hours, afternoon wake time is 3 hours, evening wake time is 3 hours
** I started to breastfeed Cooper before his nap because he was waking early out of his naps from hunger. This solved the early waking from his nap.

8 Month Schedule
(2-3-4 Schedule) for more on this type of schedule read this post: https://blogginaboutbabies.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/2-3-4-nap-schedule-for-older-babies/
 

7:00 milk & solids
9:30 nap

11:30 milk & solids
2:30 nap

4:30 milk (Gerber puffs 10-20 pieces)
5:30 solids
7:45 bath & milk
8:00/8:15 bed

I wait 15-30 minutes in between milk and solid food. This helps Cooper eat better.
Nap= 1.5-2 hours each
Morning wake time is 2.5 hours, afternoon wake time is 3 hours, evening wake time is 3.5 hours

9 & 10 Month Schedule
9 months was a very difficult month for having a schedule. We moved, my son cut 4 teeth, and he was dealing with separation anxiety. For a while I thought he was trying to condense to one nap a day. We did only one nap for about 2.5 weeks. (I wrote about the 9 month trouble here.) Towards the end of the 9th month, things improved and we went back to two naps a day. Here is what the schedule looked finally at the end of the 9th month and during 10 months.
 
 

7:00 wake up & play in crib
7:45 milk & solids
10:00 nap (1 hour)

11:30 milk & solids
2:00 nap (1.5 hours)

3:30 milk
5:00 solids
6:00 bath & milk
6:45/7:00 bed

I wait 15-30 minutes in between milk and solid food. This helps Cooper eat better.
Naps- I have to wake him up form both naps or he will sleep too long making his afternoon nap near impossible or his bedtime will be very late.
Morning wake time is 3 hours, afternoon wake time is 3 hours, evening wake time is 3.5 hours

11 Month Schedule
7:00 milk & breakfast
10:00- 11:00 nap

11:00 milk
12:00 lunch
2:00- 3:30 nap

3:30 milk
5:00 solids
6:00 bath & milk
6:45/7:00 bed

Naps- I have to wake him up form both naps or he will sleep too long making his afternoon nap near impossible or his bedtime will be very late.
Morning wake time is 3 hours, afternoon wake time is 3 hours, evening wake time is 3.5 hours

1 Year (12- 14 Month) Schedule
7:00 wake-up and play in crib
8:00 get out of crib & breakfast
10:00 small snack
12:15 lunch
12:45-3:45 Nap
3:45 small snack
6:00/6:30 Dinner
7:00 Bath & Bedtime Routine
8:00 Asleep
This month started as two naps, but after 1.5 weeks of not taking a morning nap, I quickly switched to only one nap.
 
1 Year (15-16 Month) Schedule
7:00/ 7:30 wake-up and play in crib
8:00 get out of crib
8:30/9 Breakfast
12:15 lunch
1:00-3:45 Nap
3:45 small snack
6:00/6:30 Dinner
7:30 Bedtime Routine
8:00 Asleep
17-23 Months Schedule
I had to move his bedtime to 8:30 because he was taking to long to fall asleep.
7:00/ 7:30 wake-up and play in crib
8:00 get out of crib
8:30/9 Breakfast
** I sometimes did a snack around 10:30 if he asked for a snack, but because he ate breakfast so late, he did not always need a snack.
12:15 lunch
1:00-3:45 Nap
3:45 small snack
6:00/6:30 Dinner
8:00 Bedtime Routine
8:30 Asleep2-3 Years Old
At two, my son made the switch to a toddler bed. This was an easy switch, as he asked to sleep in the “big boy bed”. I moved his nap time up because his twins sisters napped at 2pm and I wanted them to all nap at the same time. It worked well. However, taking a later nap, caused him to take a little longer to fall asleep at night, but it was worth it to me to have all the kids napping at the same time.

7:30-8:00 Wake and stay in bed
8:00 get out of crib
8:00 Breakfast
10:00 Snack
12:00 Lunch
1:45-4:00/4:14 Nap
4:00 small snack
6:00 Dinner
8:00 Bedtime Routine
8:30 Bedtime, Lights Out (but normally taking until almost 9pm to fall asleep)3 Years Old
I moved nap time back to 1pm since my twins were now napping at 1pm with one nap a day. I wanted them to all nap at the same time. Because I had to move the nap earlier, I had to make some adjustments to his schedule. He also needed a shorter nap or else he was taking until almost 9:30 or 10pm to fall asleep at night.

7:30-8:00 Wake and stay in bed
8:00 get out of bed
8:00 Breakfast
10:00 Snack
12:00 Lunch
1:00-3:15 Nap
4:00 small snack
6:00 Dinner
8:00 Bedtime Routine
8:30 Bedtime, Lights Out (but normally taking until almost 9pm to fall asleep)
 

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