Signs Your Child is Ready to Drop a Nap


00:00:00    Alyssa

You're listening to Voices of Your Village. This is episode 167. Today I got to hang out with our sleep consultant Christen Young, we dove into the signs that your child is ready to drop a nap. Naps are a topic that we get so many questions about, especially under 18 months because everything changes so fast, you know, just when you feel like you've gotten it nailed down you're  like, "Yes, we figured it out." They're shifting and they're showing you they're ready to drop a nap, and there's a change, and it can just all feel really overwhelming. So Christen and I hung out to outline this for you. How do you know when your kiddo is ready to drop a nap. If you want our ultimate guide to naps, head on over to and snag the sleep course that works best for your kiddos age and we will send you our ultimate nap guide. If you purchase the course between now and April 18th, we'll send you over that guide totally for free as a bonus. Head on over to All right folks. Let's dive in. 


00:01:21    Alyssa

Welcome to Voices of Your Village, a place where parents, caregivers, teachers and experts come to support one another on this wild ride of raising tiny humans. We combined decades of experience with the latest research to create the modern parenting village. Let's dive into honest conversation about real parenting challenges, so it doesn't have to be this hard. I'm your host, Alyssa Blask Campbell. 


00:01:55    Alyssa

Hey everyone, welcome back to Voices of Your Village today I get to hang out with our sleep consultant Christen. Christen joined our team at the end of 2020? Chris has been a part of the village for a while. And as our sleep program grew it was nice to bring somebody in from the village who knows the ropes here and understands, one thing that's really I think separate from our sleep programs is the focus on sensory systems. It's something that I found missing in a lot of other programs that plays such a huge role in sleep. So Christen came on board with us already having a bunch of knowledge around sensory systems and we trained her and she's 'off to the races' and I'm excited for you guys to get to hear from her today. We're going to chat about nap transitions and how you know that a kid is ready to drop a nap. We'll be focusing largely here in that first 18 months. It's generally when we are seeing all this happen and I feel like it's one of those things Christin where like it just it changes so fast. 


00:03:08    Christen

Yeah, it feels like as soon as you get used to one routine and set schedule then they're ready to move on to the next one. 


00:03:15    Alyssa

Totally, totally Kristen. Can you share a bit about kind of who you are, and your family unit. 


00:03:23    Christen

Sure. Yes. I'm a mom to two boys. My oldest is four and a half and my youngest is two and a half and we're actually expecting our third and final child in September. And yeah, I really became super interested in sleep when we had some struggles with our oldest and I was pregnant with my youngest and I just totally feel for parents because there's nothing like being sleep deprived and feeling like there's so many different options and answers out there on Google and really it can just be so helpful to have a person to talk to to help guide you through the decisions of how to help your baby get good sleep. 


00:03:59    Alyssa

Yeah, totally and I think that it's one of those things where often there are these one-size-fits-all programs, right? Where it's like we're doing it this way or doing it this way and we aren't one size fits all humans. 


00:04:14    Christen

No, and you know, what I loved about The Seed program too is like we did use a sleep consultant and they were awesome and like we were able to get great sleep for Avery, but I never remember even learning about wake windows or sleep pressure which is like the game changer until I discovered seed on Instagram and you and I got to chatting and that literally set Smith up for success and he's been an amazing sleeper since he was like four or five months old knowing that information is just huge and I can't believe more people don't know about it. 


00:04:46    Alyssa

Totally. Well, I think so often we treat the behavior of sleep. 


00:04:50    Christen

Definitely, like what's the reason for this? 


00:04:52    Alyssa

Yeah. Yeah, and then we're like, how do we respond to the cries? And we're so focused on the behavior and I'm just as a human. I'm like a not a Band-Aid on a bullet hole kind of gal. Like I'm a root of the problem kind of person and yeah, so that just like never has felt good to me in general in behavior with kids whether it's in sleep or in everyday life. I want to know like "Oh, what's going on here? So when we're looking at naps, I want to look at like how do we know what's going on here? Because like we said it changes so much so fast, right they come out of the womb and their sleep is vastly different in six months in nine months in a year from then and right when you feel like you've got a grip on something it can be like oh and it's changing. 


00:05:36    Christen

Yeah definitely and it can be really discouraging to parents who, especially I remember in that like three month time when like they I like to say they trick you and they start sleeping like long chunks at night and you feel like you're getting this routine of maybe some sort of like four or five regular ish naps and then all of a sudden they turn four months and the circadian rhythm kicks in you're like wait what was happening here and then that chaos only lasts for a couple of months until they get into like the solid two nap schedule and it's just like I said earlier every time you think you have it under control in those first 18 months. Something is just always changing and when you set out with that expectation, I think it's a lot easier to manage. It's still hard to you know, go with less sleep than you're used to but knowing that okay this period of time is going to be temporary and it's going to change and we're going to adapt and everything's going to be okay. I think that helps make it a lot easier and I don't think parents are set up with that in the beginning to know that, you know, 


00:06:36    Alyssa

Absolutely I think that's so true. We're so focused on like, how's the baby sleeping? Do they have a schedule do they have a routine? And the reality is that schedule and routine might be changing so much that yeah, I agree. I don't think folks are set up with that idea of like this is temporary. And one thing that I love about our programs and that for me feels so important about them is that you have access to our courses for a chunk of time and access to our private group to continue to ask questions. You were just saying you had a consultation this week where this family had come in and they had like created a plan and it worked really well for their kiddo. And now it's a few weeks later and all of a sudden he's showing signs of wanting to drop a nap and what was working before isn't working and it's important to me that we provide a program where folks can pop right back in for free and just say like hey, what we did before is no longer working and I need help troubleshooting this and be able to ask those questions because there are so many changes. I think especially in that like five to twenty three month window, which is our most popular course, not shocking because there's so many changes there. I think it makes sense to have help. So when you looked at say like this kiddo this week what were some things that you saw that you were like oh, I think he might be ready to go from those three naps down to two. 


00:07:57    Christen

Yeah. So this kiddo was doing really well. This family started some sleep interventions a couple weeks ago. We had a call with them and like walked them through what steps they wanted to take as a family to help there kiddo get some independent falling asleep happening and so they were doing that for a couple of weeks and having some really nice solid chunks of like five six hours. This is a nursing babe. So they were sleeping for like five six hours in the beginning of night. Waking up to nurse, but then all the sudden that just stopped and simultaneously they were having a really hard time getting that third cat nap in either it was happening like way too late and they need to cut it at like 10-15 minutes or you know, they also noticed that naps throughout the day were getting kind of short because timing was all off like in the morning he wasn't quite ready to nap at his normal time because he's ready to extend his wake windows and have longer chunks. So we started seeing shorter naps, having a really hard time getting that last nap in and then falling asleep at bedtime was hard and we noticed or they noticed that their baby was waking up, you know every couple of hours because they were maybe tired enough to fall asleep, but they didn't have enough sleep pressure build-up to stay asleep. 


00:09:08    Alyssa

Yeah, that's so helpful. I think identifying those things as like, these are things you might see as kind of like warning signs and and it's tough because that cat nap at the end of the day when they're on three naps, so early around like five ish months and some kiddos will hold onto three naps up to eight months. Some kiddos are ready for two naps closer to six months and it's hard to know that, but that last catnap is one of those where rarely will they take it like in a crib or in a sleep space off of a human body. It's usually one of those where like get it where you can get it. 


00:09:43    Christen

Yes, this is a nap that's difficult to get anyway so it can be confusing to parents. So we like to say try to notice a pattern. Is this something that you're seeing more resistance than usual or the way that that second nap happens and it extends that by the time you'd be able to fit a cat nap in it would mess up bedtime. Like those are some signs that you're probably ready to drop it. 


00:10:05    Alyssa

Yeah. I love it. I think oh so helpful. 


00:10:07    Christen

We also suggest to parents that like if you feel like maybe they're ready to try dropping a nap. You can try it for a couple of days and see how they respond at night. Usually three or four days. You should notice some sort of improvement and if you haven't then you definitely can hop back to the schedule you were on before and maybe there's some sleep pressure adjusting that needs to happen or something else that you need to look at to see what's causing the disruptions at night time. 


00:10:30    Alyssa

Yeah. I think it's so important to note that flexibility that like once you make a change, it doesn't mean you have to stick with that. 


00:10:36    Christen

We were talking about actually on the call this week. They were like, well what happens if you know, we try to extend the morning wake time, and then that nap is kind of short and then the second nap falls short. What do we do? Do we move bedtime up by like a couple hours? Don't worry, for the next couple of weeks as your babe is adjusting. It's okay if some days there are three naps and some days there's two, you just want to be consistent in trying to make two work and if there's a day that you need to pop one in so you can make it to bed time. Then you do what you have to do, it can take like 7 to 20 days for them to adjust fully to a new schedule. 


00:11:10    Alyssa

Totally and you brought up something I think is really important to note there that the amount of time that they're asleep like that length of the nap is not as important as the amount of time that they're awake. Can you speak to that a bit there as people might be making these transitions or trying out like is my kiddo ready to drop that nap? 


00:11:32    Christen

Yeah. So sometimes people are hung up on like, oh, I need my kids to have this like two hour nap in the morning two hour nap in the afternoon. And then we have so much time before bedtime and some kids just have less sleep needs as long as you're following the wake windows and your kids not getting over tired then you can have success. So if you're able to match your schedule to kind of align with that two hours-ish awake in the morning before the first nap, three hours awake-ish after that first nap before the second and then we can usually see about four hours when we're on that two nap schedule that can be really helpful. It doesn't matter how long the naps are as long as you're able to fit your baby's schedule to accommodate those wake windows. 


00:12:14    Alyssa

Yeah, totally and I think that that for me like is such a relief with the flexibility of like that means that if we have something going on or if a kiddo has like two really rough naps for the day. I can squeeze a cat nap in to protect so that they're not awake for too long, protect that bedtime and that that's okay. You know that like it doesn't have to be like every day they're on two naps. They can sometimes be on three as long as we're paying attention to how long they are awake rather than how long they sleep. 


00:12:45    Christen  

And that also means that you aren't like chained to this nap at 10, nap at 1.

00:13:02 Alyssa

Tiny human sleep can feel like such a doozy to figure out. Maybe your first kid was totally different than your second kid, or you've hit Google and found such conflicting advice. We've got your back, over at seed we have sleep courses for newborns, five to twenty three month olds, and two to five year olds. We broke them up into different ages and stages so that we can support you with developmentally appropriate ways to help your tiny human get optimal sleep. This is a shame free, judgment free space, where we have folks who are navigating sleep in all different ways. It is not one-size-fits-all, your child is unique, and your family unit is unique. Everybody's going to have unique sensory profiles and different sleep needs. Our sleep courses guide you through creating a plan unique to your child. We look at the foundational skills, take a look at biology and what's going on beneath the surface so that your tiny human can get restorative sleep which is huge for immune function and emotional development. For regulation and the ability to thrive throughout the day. You don't have to do this alone. We're here to support you. And if you snag one of our sleep courses right now between now and Sunday April 18th you get access to our ultimate guide to addressing nap challenges, a bonus that's only available right now. You also get entered into win the chance to get your biggest sleep question answered by our sleep team. You'll get a five-minute voice memo with your answer head on over to to find the course that's right for your child's age group and get in on these bonuses now. you do not have to do this alone.  


00:15:07    Christen

I actually remember when I was just a villager reaching out to, we were in like a travel situation or something. I think we went to visit in-laws. This was pre-pandemic and my son was still on a two nap schedule I think but the way that things had gone as it always does is we had planned for travel during nap time and the nap in the car was too short and I didn't want to have to put him to bed way too early and miss out on time with his cousins and I figured there's no way he's going to go to sleep anyway with all that excitement and you told me to put him to bed like when it would be his bedtime based on wake windows, but just let him sleep for like 15 minutes. So I did that woke come up and then put him down to bed at his normal bedtime and he slept fine. He just needed a little bit of help to make it to bed time just to kind of shorten that, that like break in his bank, where he needed, he wasn't going to make it otherwise, he needed something to just add some sleep to his tank to make it to bed. And that was so successful. So it's nice to for parents to know that they have those options to be flexible. 


00:16:07    Alyssa

Yeah, it is so helpful. It's so comforting and because like what works maybe for a first kid when you might have way more flexibility in your schedule like that might not be the same schedule you have for a second kid and you might not be able to, you might feel nap trapped, you know, and so like having that flexibility of less importantly as the length of the nap and more importantly as the length of awake time and being mindful of that I think is so comforting. So we're looking at dropping of a nap, we've talked about there the like three to two naps which generally falls between six and eight months for kiddos, that most kiddos by the time they're eight months have moved to two naps. 


00:16:52    Christen

And it's like such a great transition too because I remember personally like the newborn stage to me is not that hard. They're falling asleep like whenever they want, you can kind of be on the go but then when they're on that three nap schedule, it's a little bit trickier to try to manage you feel like you're kind of relegated to watching their wake windows and it can be so unpredictable. But then when they do settle into that two nap schedule it is a little bit more predictable. It is typically around the same times each day, especially if you wake your kid at the same time, that's one thing that we do recommend that can help maintain those wake windows at similar times just for predictability, but again, you have flexibility there. So yeah, I definitely felt like dropping to two naps with such a relief and then when you drop down to one that's even easier you just have one great nap that you forward to. 


00:17:38    Alyssa

Totally and that's the like oh it's such a mindset shift. When I was teaching infants had a classroom of seven babies and my, yeah right? My oldest, I can so vividly remember we, most all my kids were on a two nap schedule and they were all older infants at this point and my oldest had like, was entering into like young toddlerhood and putting them all down for their nine o'clock nap, which for me was like I got to like breathe and have coffee and recharge for a minute. And then I knew like we'd be up for about three hours and I'd get another little break and I like loved that two nap schedule so much and I remember putting my oldest in the crib and her just standing there and saying "no nap" and she would literally just say "no nap" standing and looking at me and me being like "no..."


00:18:33    Christen

That's the thing about kids is some of them tell you they're ready right away. Just like this baby that we had in the call. They're showing science others, you might be getting to that end of the range and you need to do some active work to get them to move on from those naps, maybe because it is affecting nighttime sleep. Yeah, and they're not knowing really that they're ready during the day. Sometimes you have to kind of force that on them, so it can be hard. You really just have to get to know your kid and what they need. 


00:18:57    Alyssa

That's a good note that sometimes you won't see it during the day, but you will see it at night that sometimes maybe during the day they're holding steadfast to those naps, but it's really messing with. Tonight. I'm actually my best friend recently reached out and she is a kiddo who is on that younger end of the spectrum like drop down to two naps younger than most liked it and now is just turning one or just turned one and her naps during the day we're fine. What we were seeing was overnight. She was like she is just like up. She had been sleeping through the night like what is going on? And so we looked at development a little bit and like troubleshot some other things and then was like, You know what? I actually was on that earlier end of the spectrum for dropping to two naps. I wonder if she's ready and they just dropped down to one. They just dropped it down and consolidated it for her nap wise, and I just got a message from her husband yesterday. That was like, oh my gosh we're sleeping through the night again like but like the overnights is where we might see it and we might not see it during the day. And so when we're dropping down to one nap from and they're not showing those signs like the little girl standing in the crib with nap resistance at 9 a.m. It's easy for me to push her nap because she's not asking for one, you know, right but when they're not doing that independently, yeah, how are some ways that we can kind of pull that together so that we don't have an over tired babe either. 


00:20:24    Christen

Totally. Yeah. What I can say too is this just happened with Smith my son who's two and a half and he's been solidly on one that for a while and I don't plan to get rid of it until he's totally showing me that he's done with the nap, but we are on like such a late schedule now because of the pandemic like my kids don't go to bed till like 9:30, but they sleep till like 8:30-9:00. It's wonderful. I'm not complaining at all, but everything has shifted and so he was going down for a nap around 2:00 and sleeping in till 4:00, which was working awesome for him for the longest time and then all of a sudden we started seeing like he was fighting going to bed at 9:30 a little bit more like we cannot push this kids bedtime to ten o'clock like we have to work. He's home and can wake up whenever he wants with the sitter, but we have got to get things on track. So he was resisting bedtime a little bit and then we'd notice after like two hours. He'd be awake and then like two hours later. He'd be awake again. And so instead of dropping the nap we just cap it now. So sometimes it's just as much as all you need to do is just look at the length of a nap too because sometimes they still need the nap, but it could be too long and too much sleep can interfere with nighttime sleep as well. So that's something that you can look out for too, even when they are on a two nap or three nap schedule. Sometimes you might need to be capping naps so if they still do need those naps at those times to maintain sleep pressure and not get overtired. You can look at capping naps as well. 


00:21:45    Alyssa

Yeah, that's really helpful to note. For sure. I think especially for those one nappers we see that where it's like, oh, they're ready to drop the nap and often will see folks drop a nap too soon. When really we just needed to shorten.


00:21:56    Christen

Right and he could have gone like sometimes if we weren't paying attention and be like 4:15, 4:30 we go and he'd be sound asleep. Like he could have slept for three hours if we let him but he just he didn't need it for overnight sleep and it was affecting overnight sleep which is definitely way more restorative and important. So we just experimented with seeing what worked and shortening that daytime nap is what helped and he's been doing awesome sense. So I like to recommend that to parents too if they feel like especially in the later toddler years when they still do kind of need that nap, but it seems like things are going off the rails. I guess it's time to drop my kids' so young. Try shortening first before you see if they need to get rid of it entirely. 


00:22:38    Alyssa

Yeah, we see this a lot with kids in childcare too as they enter into the preschool years. A lot of child care programs have naps way too late for most families.


00:22:46    Christen

Gosh that happened with my oldest also then I don't think they started the nap until like 1:00 in the afternoon. Yeah, we were all, this is pre-pandemic, so we're all on like a 7:00pm-7:30pm bedtime kind of thing and he just was not tired. Yeah, but then you push things back and then it doesn't align with when you have to have wake time so that can be a really tricky situation. I know a lot of people have success like asking daycare to cap the nap if they have to allow the kids to sleep at all. 


00:23:16    Alyssa

Yeah, and like a lot of those kids still need a nap. But for me that was really my push to was like, all right, if childcare isn't going to move the nap earlier a lot of them are 1pm-3pm and I get it. Yeah, I taught preschool like so much of our schedule is it's really set in stone and who's covering breaks and when we as teachers get lunches and all that, factors into when naptime is, it's a whole system. 


00:23:44    Christen

Yep, and his had an A.M. and a P.M. program. So by the time A.M. left, that's when they were taking a nap was like at one o'clock. Yeah, totally get it. 


00:23:53    Alyssa

Yeah, and so there might not be a whole lot of flexibility with childcare but one of the things when you're seeing a kiddo who is maybe taking that one two, three nap at school and then they're resisting bedtime is to be able to just cap it even if they get an hour or even just a half hour at school, the teacher isn't going to love it because they're going to be waking up a kid, which is not a not a fan favorite thing to do, but it'll protect your overnights.  


00:24:17    Christen

And they can still, I know that my son's preschool, he was able to like wake up as long as it took him to wake up and he'd snuggle with his stuffy and look at some books quietly. And then there was also plenty of kids in the room who were way beyond needing a nap and they would just be on their mat quietly. So I think if you just have to have that conversation with your daycare, they can be understanding. They don't always have a lot of room but as far as like capping a nap and giving an option for quiet time a lot of times they do have wiggle room there. 


00:24:45    Alyssa

Totally. Alright, so when we're looking at dropping these naps, we've talked about maybe nap resistance that we would see like little girl my room who's standing up or that third nap where they're resisting It generally I see it in either that first nap or the last nap of the day. Yes. Well, you'll see that resistance and we talked about potentially seeing it in overnights where we're seeing a lot of wake-ups, even though it seems like nothing else has changed. 


00:25:13    Christen

Yes. So a lot of times you can see resistance at bedtime when a kid was typically going down without a problem sleeping independently. They had no problem you be like, I love you good night and thing would be going smoothly and then all the sudden they're fighting, it's taking them 40, 50, 60 minutes to fall asleep when normally it takes them like 15 to 20 that can be a huge sign that they just have too much sleep in their tank and they are probably ready to drop one of those naps or shorten naps. 


00:25:38    Alyssa

Yeah, and I like to think of this like if you were an adult and you weren't really that tired and somebody was like and fall asleep and you're like, okay, but I can't and like just like the pressure of that of like no fall asleep now and now I'm going to watch you on a monitor and see if you're asleep. And come in and check on you.


00:25:58    Christen

And just like thinking about those times you ever just like I'm sure right now being pregnant you lay down just to rest and then you fall asleep and then it's bedtime you're like come on, I can't fall asleep. Like that's what's happening to our kids when they're having naps at they don't need any more is they might feel tired and they'll fall asleep for that nap, but then when it goes to be bedtime, they're wide awake or they might fall asleep for a little bit and then wake up after that first sleep cycle and have a hard time syncing to the next one because they really just took bedtime as a little cat nap. 


00:26:32    Alyssa

Yeah for sure. It's funny although like right now, so we're recording this obviously before it's airing but we're batching out these episodes, but I'm currently 37 weeks pregnant. And now I feel like I could fall asleep at any time and still go to bed at night because I'm so tired. 


00:26:49    Christen

Third trimester is like you can sleep whenever you want and it still never enough. 


00:26:53    Alyssa

Totally, I was actually voice messaging with Rach the other day and I was laying on my living room floor like stretching while we were voice messaging back and forth and then all of a sudden I just like woke up in a puddle of my own drool. Zach came in he had just like cleaned up dinner, he came in was like are you asleep? And I was like I was, this is true I was stretching and talking to Rach but nope, then I was asleep. But that is not how it works for tiny humans. Okay, so we have bedtime resistance, naptime resistance, bedtime, overnights, one more thing that I don't think is often associated with this but can be, is that early morning wake starting to happen. 


00:27:36    Christen

Yes. Oh my gosh, this is actually what got us kicked started with needing a sleep consultant with our oldest. We had all those other troubles as well. But the early mornings was just so brutal. In my daytime life i'm an elementary school art teacher and so when Avery was having his biggest sleep troubles, I was in my first trimester of pregnancy with my second, working at a really difficult school. I had to be there super early and those like 4am-5am wake ups were absolute torture. There was nothing we could do to to get him to go back to sleep. I mean eventually we figured it out. Once we learned about sleep pressure and things like that, how to answer and respond to him consistently, but I was just like I can't survive this. I don't know what to do. There's something about when they wake up between like 1am-3am that feels a little bit more manageable to me, but when it's like those early mornings and then you yourself you don't have time to go back to sleep. You're like I might as well just get up and start my day. Oh, I feel for parents that are stuck in that early wake up cycle. 


00:28:36    Alyssa

It's so rough. 


00:28:37    Christen

It's so hard. 


00:28:39    Alyssa

Yeah, we, I was just chatting with Erica, who's on our team and her little one had this morning woke up at 4:30am, and she was just like all I said to her was this is not morning time and she's like, that's literally what my body felt was just like no I know it feels like morning time for you tiny human, this is not morning time. And I think that's how it feels for us we're like no, like there's always I think vary depending on your cultural context to your family units schedule, there's a time on the clock that for you feels like this is morning time. I can accept this as morning even though you might not be sleeping in but like I can accept this time and then any time before that you're like this is not gonna work for me. 


00:29:24    Christen

Like you said, there's sleep is not one-size-fits-all. My husband can totally manage on like six or seven hours. I need nine hours of sleep. Do I ever get that anymore having two young kids, hardly ever? But like anytime before 7am to me doesn't feel like it's okay to wake up for some people like they rise at 5am and they're just happy to do that, for most people 4am is not that time, so when your kid is waking up at 4am that can be so hard and you know what your baby doesn't want to be up that early either. 


00:29:54    Alyssa

Yeah. It makes for a long hard day. So when we're seeing those early morning wake ups, I think it's hard to connect like oh this could be naps, but can you talk about like why that could be naps kind of like what's happening throughout the day? Potentially if kiddos are ready to drop a nap but aren't resisting naps or their nap schedule hasn't really changed throughout the day but we are seeing that early morning wake-up. How could those be connected? 


00:30:20    Christen

Yeah, so those could be connected because like I mentioned before you have a little tank we like to call and when you have too much sleep then when you're full and you've slept through the night, maybe 10-11 hours, which is pretty typical for most kids, that could get you somewhere around 4 or 5 a.m. And then they're ready to go, they might not be super happy about it, but they have had enough sleep that they're able to be awake at that time and that can really affect things. Especially a lot of times we see when kids drop a nap their bedtime adjusts a little bit because now they have a little bit of a longer wake window. So if you're still having quite an early bedtime, it's pretty typical when their sleep needs reduce that if they're going to bed at like 6:30pm-7:00pm. They might wake up at 5:00am-5:30am-6:00am, if you're not quite ready for them to be up at that time. Because they've just had too much sleep. So that's something to be aware of too if you're noticing like out of the blue morning wake up's way earlier than you're used to and there's nothing else going on like you have a noise machine on, it's not light leaking through the windows, things like that. 


00:31:25    Alyssa

Yeah, that's true. Like sometimes it's like summertime, people are like why are they waking up, I'm like, well, we got to look at what's coming in in the morning because that sun is now coming in that's a shift here for us for sure in Vermont where we go from like, we don't see the sun for so many months in the winter time that it's almost like oh right that exists. \


00:31:44    Christen

I've even noticed that, Smith slept in our bed last night. Like I was telling you and my room is way less dark than his room is so he was up at 8 o'clock this morning. He usually doesn't wake up till 9:00am. He's not a happy camper today, but there's just a lot more light leaking in here. So when he roused a little bit he was like, oh it's time to get up and I was like, no it's not when you usually get up but it can really make a difference. Yeah, I also love that you've noted that his sleep schedule is like what I think for a lot of Americans here in the states. Generally, there's this message that actually drives me bonkers that you have to be on like a 7pm to 6am or 7:30pm-6am and there's a specific time and I think it's so culturally ignorant. 


00:32:31    Christen

It very much is, yeah, I remember thinking that I remember any time that our kids were getting to bed past like 8pm being like oh my goodness, this is too late, and it is too late if your kid needs to be up at 6am or 7am or you know, 5:30am or 6am or something because you have day care needs or you need to get out of the house for work, like that is too late then but right now like he, we're fortunate enough that we have a sitter in our house so he can wake up whenever he pleases. And we have him wake up at 9am every day to maintain consistency so his sleep pressure stays on point. But yeah, we just kind of shifted that way as both my husband and I were home during the pandemic and then I'm a teacher. So it shifted right into summertime and it works out for us. So parents should know like if you don't have constraints because of your schedule and what time your kid needs to wake up in the morning. If a later bedtime works for you guys and you're maintaining those wake windows, then you don't need to feel like you're doing something wrong. 


00:33:24    Alyssa

Totally and we've worked over the years with a number of like medical professionals, doctors or law enforcement folks, folks who aren't on like a 9-5 during the day and want to be able to see their kids at different times. And I think it's really important to know and I'm glad that you've just pointed out just that your kids schedule is later because that's what works for your family unit. And that you noted that you then had to shift naps. Like it's not that because when they go to bed later, they're going to have to shift their whole schedule so we can maintain those wake windows, but that you can have different times there. 


00:33:58    Christen

And you know what, we actually like I don't think that we all need to be chained to our kids schedules, but it is in everybody's best interest to try to maintain them as much as possible and I actually work like right around the corner from my mom. I work at my Alma Mater. And so she watches my kids on Fridays and she suggests like why don't you bring them up with you in the morning on Fridays and I was like, well if I did that I'd have to wake the kids up two hours earlier. And if I do that one day then I am going to have to adjust his schedule the rest of the week and I'm just not willing to do that. So we go up on Thursday nights and sleepover and the kids love that but it's a minor adjustment that I had to make that I was able to make but otherwise really like a two hour difference one day really would mean I'd have to adjust everything for the rest of the week. 


00:34:41    Alyssa

It would really throw things off for sure. Yeah, and it just means and as you said before with like traveling or whatever we can have flexibility with naps and you do have to then adjust, we have to pay attention to those wake windows and be like are they going to be awake too long here? Should we get a little cat nap in things like that? All right. I feel like we, is there anything I'm missing for when we might see that they're ready to drop a nap. 


00:35:07    Christen

No, I mean what you said is kids are usually on like a four nap from four to five months till about six to eight months again. It can vary from kiddo to kiddo. You might have your first kiddo that didn't drop until eight months and that could be because you were the only, they only had your attention and then maybe your second kiddo is ready to drop around six months because they're able to be a little bit more flexible, and then kids are usually dropping to two naps sometime around six to eight months and hold on to that sometime between like 12 and 15 months. It can be later, it can be earlier. You just have to watch your kid and then we typically see kids with one nap around like 12 to 15 months to like three years some kiddos hold on to a nap through five years just depends on what your kids need. Some kids at those, in those preschool years, do a nap like every couple of days. 


00:35:57    Alyssa

Yeah. I think that's so helpful to note. 


00:36:00    Christen

And I highly recommend when you do have those preschoolers rolling nap time right into quiet time. As soon as like you're making that transition just adjust straight to that so that it's a norm and a predictable routine because they do need that downtime, that sensory readjustment, that separation from you for a little bit, that time away from siblings. If you're at home, it's really really beneficial. 


00:36:24    Alyssa

Yeah a little sensory deprivation. Actually when I first started teaching, I was in New York City and New York state law was that we had to have kiddos under 5 had to have an hour of quiet time every day. Even if they weren't sleeping but like it was required for us at school to make sure they had an hour of that downtime to just refill that sensory bank. 


00:36:46    Alyssa

My oldest son, every day I've already been thinking about when this new baby comes eventually Smith and Ave are gonna share a room and I'm like Smith is still going to be napping but Avery like thrives on quiet time, he loves it. He's so, he's a kid that can play independently all day long. He does play great with his brother, but he like thrives on getting his time. I'm like, how am I going to manage this? I'm gonna have to like move Ave's quiet time somewhere because I know he loves it and he needs it and he does it for an hour sometimes he'll go even longer. He'll say can I still keep playing? I'm like go for it bud, whatever you want to do. 


00:37:19    Alyssa

Yeah, that's awesome. Yeah, I mean that was something for sure at school too for kiddos who have kiddos in childcare for these naps, for us what I would do if there maybe folks are finding like their kid's having a hard time with this, we created nap bags where like on their nap mat they had, and it was the only time they got their bag, this bag. So it's kind of like a special thing and it was all quiet things they could do, it was puzzles or maybe their favorite book and they could, they would help us fill their bags with what was going to be used. 


00:37:52    Christen

That's awesome. 


00:37:53    Alyssa

Yeah, and it was something that a lot of kids like really did look forward to. 


00:37:58    Christen

Avery has all his Legos in his room and it's like really a pain in the butt to take them out and so we have like one of those Ikea trove fasts with the drawers. So it really is something that he only gets to play in his room and while he does play with them some other times throughout the day, like that's really his time to do that uninterrupted without a little brother like wrecking creations or he'll like bring some of his arts and crafts stuff up. He has a chalkboard wall, like he just goes to town in there. 


00:38:22    Alyssa

That's awesome. Such nice downtime for him. If folks want more sleep support and feel like they need more guidance on this. We have a free sleep guide at And we have sleep courses available for, we break it up into different ages and stages so we can support you within your child's age or stage. Our goal is that if you were to get the 5 to 23 month course, you're set up with tools for success so that you aren't then having to buy the 2-5 year course, we actually used to do them all as one and it was a higher cost and so we broke them in half, those those two age groups in half so that we could drop the price and help you with more specifics for your age and stage and that's it and right now until April 18th, if you snag that bad boy, we have a bonus for you all about naps. It's a complete guide to naps and you're entered into win, you can like reach out with your question and you'll get a voice memo back from our team. So that's happening right now from now until April 18th. If you snag one of our sleep courses, I've already told all family and friends who do not have kids yet to expect to be given the newborn sleep course as a gift because the foundations that are in there just help lay you out for, set you up for success 


00:39:55    Christen

Totally and thank you, it's something we actually had, we're getting so many requests for like, can I put this on my registry or can I get this as a gift card? So we did add, if you go to our like homepage right in the navigation bar you can click gift cards and you could add a gift card to a registry. You could get it for somebody and yeah, that's something we recently added because we had so many requests for that. I mean what's better than the gift of sleep. 


00:40:21    Christen

There's just so much misinformation out there I think and you mentioned something earlier about like just the pressure of like is my baby sleeping? And there's so much tied to like are you being a "good parent" if your baby is sleeping or not and that has nothing to do with it. A lot of us just like didn't know that you shouldn't let your newborn be awake for more than 90 minutes and they're overtired and they're crying and you don't know how to help them. You think it's something you're doing, is it my milk supply, are they hungry? And just to have that invaluable information, to know what to expect to know what's normal to know it's okay to get that baby to sleep however you need to during those first couple months and you just worry about making sure they're not overtired. That's it. Keep them alive, keep them fed.


00:41:05    Alyssa

Totally there are no bad habits, you can hold that newborn. In fact, that's like my favorite thing in the world, snuggling that sleepy newborn, rad. Thank you so much for hanging out with me. I'm so glad people get to get an insight into who you are Christen here, I feel like you are a little behind the scenes here at Seed. So I'm glad people got to learn more about you and if y'all snag courses there's an option to add calls as well. But no matter what you’re entered into a private group where you get support from us and Christen is your gal in there. She's the gal who supports you in our private group and hops on a call with you if need be.


00:41:43    Christen

And there are so many other amazing parents who have been through all of this. I just see great advice from other moms and dads and caregivers in the rested parents group. It just, sometimes I go on to answer a question and another parent has already answered and I just say, oh I love this empathy, way to help each other out. It's so nice to have that village, especially when so many of us can't have people in person right now. 


00:42:04    Alyssa

Yeah for sure for sure. And to know that you're not alone in it. 


00:42:09    Christen

No, you are not alone. So many other people have gone through the exact same struggle that you're going through right now. 


00:42:14    Alyssa

Yeah for sure. Well, thanks for hanging out with me, babe. 


00:42:17    Christen

Yeah. Thanks for having me. 


00:42:20    Alyssa

Thanks for tuning in to Voices of Your Village. Check out the transcript at Did you know that we have a special community over on Instagram hanging out every day with more free content? Come join us at Take a screenshot of you tuning in, share it on the gram and tag to let me know your key takeaway. If you're digging this podcast, make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode. We love collaborating with you to raise emotionally intelligent humans.


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