Short Naps - When to normally expect them

Ahhh, another post on short naps. What can I say, there's just so much to say about this subject. Too bad most of it is frustrating if you are dealing with this. No worries. This post talks about times that short naps are common or
expected. For once a short nap is an OK thing!

Here are some expected short nap times...
  • The evening nap. By evening nap, I mean the last nap of the day if your child is on 3 or more naps. If he is on 1 or 2 naps, we'll get to that later.
  • When you are dropping a nap. It is pretty common to shorten a nap before you completely drop it. This may happen as your child needs less sleep and becomes capable of staying awake for longer periods of time. This may happen when night time is being pushed too late and a long nap or the presence of a nap at all (in older children) is the problem.
  • When you are trying to control the length of another (this really is considered a real word, to my husband's dismay) nap. Most often this has to do with the afternoon (or second) nap. Often the morning nap is cut down a bit so that the afternoon nap remains long since the morning nap is the 1) nap you'll be dropping next and the 2) afternoon nap aligns up with the drop in alertness your child naturally experiences each day.
  • While it is common and even expected for some young children to have short naps for some time due to them not being developmentally capable of having long naps, I'm not going to talk about that here. That is a frustrating subject and this post is suppose to be a light one! Look for that information as well as much more here on the short nap post.


  1. I am hoping you might have advice on how to get back on track with our 10 months old sleep patterns. You helped in the past at 7 months we used progressive waiting and except for a bit of teething and a small cold our little guys has slept quite regularly from 7 until 5:30 or 6:30 with two good naps (at least an hour each a day).

    In mid May four things happened at once We went to San Fran for 5 days, B got his seventh tooth and a cold, and he learned to Pull himself up on things. Since San Fran we have only had a handle of full nigh sleeps. B wakes up and pulls himself to standing in his crib and cries until we come in.

    We tried settling him back in the crib and doing progressive waiting. (going in every 10 minutes and lying him down and leaving. He pulls himself back up and cries. On night for close to 2 hours.

    My husband has taken to picking him up and letting him fall asleep on his shoulder (almost instantaneously). But the last two nights he has woken up at 3 fallen back asleep the woken up again at 4:15. Yesterday I nursed him and he fell asleep until 6:30 but today he threw up and did not go back to sleep.

    His day time naps are eraitic as well. We are back to rocking him asleep because when we put him in his crib awake he just stands up. His naps seem shorter as well.

    Finally the last piece of information is that I am cutting him back on nursing to morning and night because I am going back to work next week. I cut out the mid morning feed before San Fran and the mid afternoon feed this week. He eats tones of solids.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Jane,
    It sounds like you need to get the standing up issue figured out first. I would practice throughout the day and when you initially put baby in his crib. When he stands and you put him down, help him learn how to get down don't just pick him up and lay him down. Since you have started up the sleep props again, you'll have to likely go to previous sleep training tactics to get sleep back to where it was. The firmer good sleep habits they have, the more it takes to mess things up. But your little guy is still new to all of this so he'll need retraining every now and again when things get off. The best thing to do is try to keep things as normal as possible when it comes to sleep--only give as much comfort as necessary during illness etc so things will go back to normal easier and quicker.

    Good luck!