Bedtime gets later
If you’re noticing bedtime pushing ahead, it’s likely that your child’s naps have been getting later as well. These two factors, combined (nap resistance + later bedtimes) are indications that your child can tolerate more awake time.
What happens, naturally, is that naps become later — this eventually leads to the afternoon nap getting squeezed out. If your child only has one nap, and is between 2.5 - 3.5 years, you will see the whole schedule shifting — suddenly nap gets so late that it’s practically bedtime!
Whether your child is dropping from three naps to two, or one nap to zero, the process is the same: Later naps (or no nap), and a really early bedtime.
When children are in the process of transitioning to less daytime sleep, it is not unusual to see bedtimes as early as 6 p.m. — Don’t panic mama.
Within a few weeks, bedtime will resume to its later time as your child’s body learns to tolerate more awake time. Often families who are set on a specific bedtime, have a really hard time navigating this transition. If bedtime is always 8 p.m., that just won’t fly if your 3-year-old woke up at 6:30 a.m. and has not had a nap! In this example, bedtime will be around 6:30 p.m., approximately 12 hours after morning wakeup.
Likewise, if your one-year old woke from their one-and-only nap at 2 p.m., again, they’re going to have a very difficult time making it to 8 p.m.
Dropping naps is a parental exercise in flexibility and math. You can do it!