Evening Nap (3rd Nap)

The evening nap nap usually disappears around 6-9 months of age. It is usually a variable length and shorter than the other two naps. If this nap continues too long then it may cause
bedtime battles because either your child isn't tired enough because the bedtime is too early, or, if bedtime is moved later, your child may be past his biological time for evening sleep.

Best time to start nap is usually around 3-5 pm to ensure an appropriate bedtime hour (see Biological Rhythms and Sleep).

Many children taking 3 naps will be napping around 9 am, 1 pm, and 4 pm.

Related posts:
Bedtime Battles


  1. My son is 6 months old. We're doing some sleep training so he has started to sleep longer for naps and nights. He generally is up between 630 and 715, naps around 915, again starts nap between 1 and 130, and then right now again around 530 with a bedtime of 845-915. Do we drop the 3rd nap for an earlier bedtime? If we drop the third nap he may be awake 5-6 hours to get to a 7 or 8 bedtime. That seems cruel! Plus will waketime be much earlier if to bed earlier?

    1. Megan,
      You should probably be aiming for a bedtime between 5:45-7:00. I'm not sure how long that second nap is, but to get between this time, you'll probably want to not have a third nap and do an early bedtime, or have a mini third nap (20-45 minutes). Bedtime may be a touch later than mentioned above until the third nap is dropped, but not much or you'll likely have less quality sleep for your son.


  2. Michelle commented on Evening Nap (3rd Nap) - My Baby Sleep Guide:

    Hi Rachel,

    My DD just turned 8 months old. And for the past two-three weeks her wake time has been creeping up, going from 6:40 a.m. to as early as 5:40 a.m., but more consistently at 6:06 a.m. She is sleep trained and we have no issues at nap time or at bedtime.

    Our schedule was as follows:

    6:40 a.m. - Wake (now 6:06 p.m.)
    9:00 a.m - Nap (now 8:45 a.m.)
    10:30 a.m. - Wake
    12:30 p.m. - Nap
    2:00 p.m. - Wake
    4:00 p.m. - Sleep
    4:40 p.m. - Wake
    7:20 p.m. - Sleep for the night

    I'm wondering if the early morning wake time is a phase or if this means m DD is getting too much day-time sleep? I notice that she poops first thing in the morning. I'm hypothesizing that the process wakes her up in the morning. Or, could she be ready to drop the late afternoon nap? Ideally, I would like her to sleep at least 11 hours at night. Waking at 6am throws us off quite a bit. I also never get her out of bed before 6:35 a.m.

    I read all of your nap posts. I can stretch her wake time up to 2.5 hours and even 3 in the evening, but it still doesn't get us much further than a 6 pm bedtime if we drop the last night. I would be thrilled with a 7am - 7pm schedule, but I only get home from work just before 6pm. My DD does get enough total sleep each day and is well rested and happy. I would just love to adjust things so that she's up closer to 6:30 or 7pm.

    Any additional advice or thoughts you have would be so appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Hi! I know this is super old, but what did you end up doing? My daughter is going through this right now and its driving me nuts. She 4.5 months so seems young to drop the 3rd nap but I am not sure! Thanks for your help!

  3. My son is 3 1/2 months old and has hit a rough spot with his nap routine and bedtime sleep. On most days, his naps are anywhere from 20-40 mins (usually right at 30 - drives me crazy!) and he's up twice during the night for feeds, once between 12-1am and again between 4-5am. Occasionally, he will sleep through that first feed, but this happens so randomly. How do we get him to be more consistent with dropping that first feed? Also on occasion, he will take a really long late nap (sleeping right now for over 2 hours at 5:40 pm). I typically try to put him to bed around 7, but when he has days like yesterday, where he only slept for 20 mins at a time all day long and was exhausted all day, I want to let him get his rest. Is this okay? Or, should I be waking him? Today he has taken 3 - 30 min naps prior to this one. I want him to catch up on his rest, but i'm afraid cutting into or pushing back his bedtime tonight will throw him off. What do I do?!? HELP!!!

  4. My daughter is 7 months old and is still having a nap at 4 but recently it has become a long nap around an hour and a half? Is that too long for the 3rd one as I hear it's supposed to be a cat nap? She has been waking more to nurse at night and I'm wondering if this has anything to do with it?