A baby will typically start to pull to stand on their own at or around 8 months and guess when they like to practice this awesome new skill? That’s right, at naptime! Once this skill is on the rise, many babies go through a bit of a nap regression and skip or postpone their afternoon nap while perfecting their stand.
If your little one has been an incredible napper and is now suddenly standing for an hour rather than sleeping, it can be very frustrating! You’ll start to ask questions - Can they lie down on their own? Does they know how to do this safely?
While the urge to go in and lay your child down (or at least attempt to reason with him to do so on his own) is huge, do not do it! Intervening will only lengthen the regression. If you leave them to work through this problem on their own, one of two things will happen:
They will learn to lay down by themselves and go to sleep
They will learn to not stand up in the first place.
Going in to assist them will not allow them to manage the conflict of getting back down on their own. It will also give them even more reason to stand longer the next day as they anticipate your return. For many kids it can even become a game, as they know you will come in to lay them down when they stand up. (That doesn’t sound like a fun game I’d want to play!)
So how can we pass this phase as quickly as possible?
Start Naptime Early
Put your child down 30 minutes earlier than normal to allow them plenty of time to practice while also (hopefully) falling asleep on time.
Practice an Early Bedtime
If your little one continues to stand up through their entire nap or take a very late catnap, an early bedtime will save the day! With no nap or with a cat nap, a 5pm bedtime is recommended to prevent your child from becoming overtired.
Stay consistent with the timing of your nap and within a few days, this new skill will be old news and nap time will return!
Practice During Play
During playtime, practice standing up and safely getting back down over and over. If they can master this skill during wake time, they won’t have to practice during nap time!
Follow these simple guidelines and this nap/sleep regression will pass quickly!