Surviving Dropping Naps

The period of time when you are dropping a nap can be stressful, what with figuring out new waketime lengths, ideal nap time, and what to do to keep the baby/child happy when slightly tired. So how do people survive this time? Here are some ideas.


  • Ali said: Outings helped with both my kiddos. With my first born dropping down to 1 nap was the hardest. We adjusted his lunch to an earlier time and usually had an outing in the morning (we needed him to get a 10-15 min cat nap). My second is a mamma’s girl and is in the process of dropping the 3rd nap. I can get my shopping done in the late afternoons now!! And daddy helps distract her when he gets home until bed time.
  • Ashley said: Dropping naps has been easy for me since the “most-crutched-on” nap came during the morning and the babysitter was with Jake most of the time he was transitioning. But, being an active boy, he had extended free play, reading times, and tv time (if desperate). Warm weather is fantastic as outside time = better contented = easier to fill gaps where nap used to be. 

    On the weekends we would use those free mornings for church on Sundays (he had been going to church previously, but we went to an earlier/later service to work around his naptime), and family outings on Saturdays (ie: grocery shopping, visiting family). 

    We have a dog, and sometimes that dog provides much needed entertainment/distraction factor. Sometimes I would pull out normally off-limit items to keep J going for a little bit. This can bite back when he wants to see that item next waketime and it is back to off-limit status. I don’t recommend doing that…slippery slope. 

    I try to cram all of my normal “during the previous first nap time slot” activities into the gloriously long afternoon nap time period. That has been great. I will take one nice, long, solid nap over two short-medium mediocre naps. 

    Sadly, once Jake started eating fewer meals I stopped tracking things. Big mistake on my part, I know. So, I kept things easy for on-the-hour naps/feedings, and tracked everything in my brain. Looking back, I don’t know how I did it, but that is what I did.

    Daddy is a GREAT resource for when I’m tired of fighting with an overly tired baby/toddler, but we just need 10 more minutes. Daddy and J usually end up doing something involving the floor, t-rexes, piggy back rides, the dog, and tickles. Hey, it’s passing the time smile emoticon
  • Jess said: We aren’t down to completely dropping the first nap yet but it’s been the hardest to navigate. The vet things we strive for with scheduling (getting tired at the same time every day) also seems to be a hurdle for us. Fortunately with it being in the morning, we do grocery shopping or story time at the library etc. Something that is interesting enough to get over the initial hurdle
  • Laurie said: I found having a more structured routine helped with dropping naps!! For example maybe story time or music time!
  • Jana Lee said: My son loves eating so we really take a long time with feeding to fill time lol. I will give him his bottle then play, then purees then play a little and then maybe some frozen fruit in a mesh feeder to fill time.
    Walks also!
  • Joelle said: Go for a walk, to the park, pool… It helps baby stay awake, have fun and maybe forget that he’s tired. Also playtime with siblings/daddy works! It takes a couple of days but at the end, you’ll have a happy cooing baby!!
  • Steffi said: I’m very intentional now that we’ve dropped the morning nap about which part of my housework I can do with my kiddo. During her IP time I do some housework and when we are together, we fold laundry, cook (she can snack on some veggies that I cut) or run errands.
  • Kelli said: Leaving the house helped us. (But not far, so they didn’t fall asleep on the way home!)
  • Katie said: Room time or ip time slightly earlier than the dropped nap’s time.
  • Rachel said: Putting my baby in a carrier has helped me if they’re under a year. They so close to me and can see what is going on so they are comforted if they are tired, but they don’t fall asleep.
  • Lindsey said: Getting outside or out of the house to do something!!


  • Cindy said: I started cutting off the morning nap to only 1hr for several months then went cold turkey to noon nap when she didn’t sleep during afternoon nap.
  • Mandy said:  My 3 year old is dropping his last nap. He’s still tired, but refuses to sleep. So we have quiet time where he has to stay in his room – he can sleep (ha), read, play – but he has to stay in his room for 1-1.5 hours. It’s working really well.
  • Brooke said: Quiet times! [Val’s Note: This means you are having your child take a rest time or quiet time rather than the nap time–this is done typically when dropping the one nap altogether]

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