Before you had your first child, you might have had a fantasy scenario in your head. You’ll put your baby in their crib every day at the same time and they’ll sleep peacefully for a few hours. During this time, you can spend some “me” time and recharge yourself. But the reality isn’t so simple, is it? Despite needing plenty of sleep, some babies just won’t nap during naptime. Lissette from Sleeping Angels has 6 Effective Tips When Baby Not Sleeping During The Day.
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#1. Have a Consistent Pre-Nap Routine
You already know that it’s important to have a consistent bedtime routine for your baby. It’s the same thing with naps and a proper naptime routine is especially important if your baby isn’t napping well. The pre-nap routine doesn’t have to be complicated; you just need to have them indulge in soothing and calming activities. Maybe you could read a book, play some music or cuddle with them and tell them a story for a few minutes.
This type of routine relaxes and soothes the child. It also gives them the sign that it’s time to nap. With babies and toddlers requiring consistency in their daily schedule, maintaining a consistent pre-nap routine can help them tackle naptime issues.
It’s important that you follow through with this routine even when there are major distractions like a birthday celebration going on in the house.
#2. Create a Consistent Daytime Schedule for Baby
In addition to the pre-nap routine, you’ll also need to have a consistent and predictable daytime schedule for your baby. There will be the occasional changes in schedule during trips or special occasions. But for the most part, try keep your daytime schedule roughly the same.
Make sure you create the daily schedule with naps in mind instead of squeezing in a naptime here and there in between activities. Manage your schedule around your baby’s needs (feeding, naps, bedtime). You can then fill the rest of the daily schedule with activities for yourself and your baby.
If you’re hiring a babysitter or a nanny, clearly communicate with them about the importance of maintaining the schedule.
#3. Watch for Signs that your Baby’s Overtired
Overtiredness is especially common in infants, meaning it’ll be much harder for you to put them to sleep. The key to preventing this is by watching for signs of tiredness and putting them to sleep quickly instead of letting them continue with other activities. Keep your eyes open for yawning, rubbing eyes, etc. which suggest that your baby is tired and needs to rest now.
#4. Create a “Sleepy” Environment
While this seems like the most obvious move, many parents fail to consider light and noise factors when trying to solve their babies’ sleep issues. You need to create a sleep-friendly atmosphere in the room for the child to sleep and nap well.
Make sure the room is dark enough for the baby to sleep easily. Additionally, there might be the problem of keeping the house quiet during naptime. Try playing some white noise to block out loud noises that could disturb your little one’s sleep.
#5. Be Watchful for Car-napping
Car-napping can be highly destructive for a baby’s nap. They’ll fall asleep for a few minutes but they become irritable when they wake up. Moving sleep isn’t so restorative for babies and toddlers, leaving them cranky but being unable to sleep even in a proper sleeping environment. Maybe you’ve taken your toddler out to run an errand or you’re going on a road trip. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for this.
If it’s just a short car ride, try to keep them awake by keeping the window open or singing them a song. In case of longer car rides, you can invest in sleep shades that will create a better sleep environment. While their sleep won’t be as restorative as a proper nap at home, it’s much better than having them sleep with the light disturbing their sleep.
#6. Prepare for Changes to Routine During & After Illness
Your baby might also face naptime issues after recovering from an illness. Sickness can often interrupt babies’ nighttime sleep, subsequently disrupting the rest of their schedule.
It might be difficult to start all over again and return to the same nap routine after the illness passes. So, if possible, make sure all their sleeping and naps happen within the crib even while they’re sick. This will help them make a mental connection between napping and their crib.
Even if your baby isn’t napping well after all this, it might be because they’re transitioning to a different nap need. Find out about common nap transitions by age, and learn how to manage them – you might need to cut down on the naptime and adjust the schedule accordingly based on their nap requirements.
Lissette Palencia has worked with children and their parents for over fifteen years caring for all ages, from new born to teen. She has studied child psychology and development to get a more in-depth understanding of the stages of life cycles a child experiences with growth. In her journey she created a nanny agency, Sleeping Angels Co. Baby Nurses. Follow them on Twitter and Google+, or connect on LinkedIn.
Over to you! Have you any naptime tips that work well for you? Share them with us in the comments below.