Dropping a Nap: A Weaning Process


Whether your baby is 7 months old and dropping the third nap, or 4 years old and dropping her only nap, the transition does not need to be what is called “cold turkey.” For anyone who doesn’t know, cold turkey means all of a sudden, or immediately. While the naps I have dropped with Brayden have been cold turkey, that has not been the pattern with Kaitlyn. Her nap-dropping has been more of a process.

On Becoming Preschoolwise puts it this way, “Children don’t suddenly one day stop napping forever. Everyone benefits when Mom sees it as a weaning process” (p.100). This is referring to dropping the only nap of the day, but when I read it, I thought how true that is to Kaitlyn and her naps. To wean someone is to “accustom [them] to manage without something on which they hae become dependent or of which they have become excessively fond” (American Oxford English Dictionary).

Some days Kaitlyn needs that third nap. Other days, she doesn’t. As time goes on, she can go later into the evening without it. Brayden did just fine with the “cold turkey” approach, though it did take him a week or two to be happy without it as he adjusted. I will be taking the weaning approach with him when I drop his only nap. Take note that this idea is referring to naps that are dropped, not naps that disappear as schedules are shifted. For more nap-dropping information on this blog, see:

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