We have a special treat Erica Eugenio, sleep expert from Slumbertime Sleep wrote a blog all about naps and I know we can all use a little assistance in the sleep department.
As moms we talk about sleep a lot. How is your baby sleeping? Is your baby sleeping through the night yet? How are naps going? It is a topic we love and hate. We love to hear that others are experiencing sleepless days and nights and hate to hear that other babies are sleeping through the night and napping well when ours is not. The important thing to remember is each baby is different and you need to do what feels right for you and your family.
As I write this, I write it from one perspective, a perspective based on my own training and my own experience. Are naps important? Absolutely! Sleep begets sleep. Good day time sleep, leads to good night time sleep. Should there be scheduled nap times? For sure! This is where you need to think about what you and your baby need. Sticking to a set and inflexible nap schedule can leave you locked in your house all the time. Be realistic and do what you need to do to.
So…..how do you I get my little one to nap? Great question, nap training is harder that night training.
Look for the sleepy signs. When you see them, put baby down to sleep. As you start recognizing the sleepy signs, you will be able to get a good feel for the timing of naps. If you miss the window, you might be doomed (I know I was, the whole day and night would be thrown off).
Put baby down drowsy but awake. This will help baby learn how to fall asleep on their own. Have them nap in their crib.
Timing of naps. This changes with the time baby gets up and how old they are.
Typically 9am and 12:30/1:00pm, are ideal nap times. For the younger babies 6 to 8 months 1.5 to 2 hour naps both morning and afternoon are great. (though they haven’t read the books, so they may not agree). As they get older, the morning nap will shorten and between 15 to 18 months disappear.
Create a nap environment. This can be a shortened version of your bedtime routine. A story, a song and a snuggle and off to bed.
These are just some tips about naps. Remember, you need to do what feels right for your family, not every baby is the same and remember babies haven’t read the books yet.
If you need more help with getting your little one to nap and anytime night time sleep contact Erica at http://slumbertimesleep.ca/ she even offers a 15 minute free consultation