This picture is the face of a baby who needed another nap but doesn’t take the third nap of the day anymore. *heavy sigh*
At around the 6-month mark (unless your baby is a bad napper or otherwise high needs like, oh, my first three children were) your baby will likely start sleeping less and less at that third nap time. You might notice Baby not wanting to take that nap at all. Then you might notice how completely cranky Baby is without said nap. Then you might wonder why you’re pulling your hair out.
The thing with the third nap is that they stop doing it before they stop needing it. When they’d normally nap, they now just need a “reset” so that they can stay up another couple hours until bedtime.
So how can you drop that nap with grace and pizazz? Here are some tips and tricks I learned.
1. Quiet nursing/bottle time — Nursing or giving Baby the bottle that they might normally have right before the third nap can help reset and give them an extra boost to make it till evening.
2. Babywearing time – So often babies will calm down and leave the crankies behind when they’re worn in a carrier of some kind. It helps them achieve a reset, and you might even get lucky and sway them into a quick catnap in the carrier. Win!
3. Fuss time – Not everyone is a fan of this, but it was something we sometimes had to do with our baby while we off-and-on still had naps and no naps happening, with no other choice. We would affectionately call it her “cry nap” and lay her down for nap time, but she’d fuss and not really stop. We’d let her fuss for a few minutes and get her back up, and she’d be not only thrilled to not be in bed, but also be reset for bedtime later.
4. Walk time – Pop Baby in the stroller and get some fresh air for both of you. Oftentimes the movement will lull them into a restful state and they’ll feel refreshed and reset when you get home.
5. Food time – As baby gets older, you’ll be able to feed her through the former third nap time and not see a single tear. Time this just right so she lasts until bedtime and you’ll be all set!