Helping your baby learn to sleep is an issue that can keep parents up at night. Similarly, teaching your infant how to nap during the day can be equally as challenging. Many parents devote weeks of time and energy into promoting daytime napping, but when it doesn’t go as planned, it can feel quite defeating. So what can you do to help set your child up for naptime success? Continue reading to learn more about our infant naptime tips.
Developing and maintaining a regular naptime schedule is one of the best ways to help train your little one to nap during the day which is why it is included as one of our infant naptime tips. By establishing a routine, your baby will, over time, begin to naturally anticipate when it is time to go down for a nap making it considerably easier to help them find their way to sleep. Simply being able to get your child down for naps consistently without them having a meltdown (even if they aren’t sleeping for long) can feel like a major win and provide you the encouragement to keep at it.
Avoid Sleep Schedule Disruptions
In the way of preventative measures, one of our best infant naptime tips is to try to eliminate or minimize factors that can interrupt or derail your little one’s sleep schedule. One of the largest disruptors is skipping naps during the day. As mentioned, maintaining a routine is tremendously helpful in getting your baby to nap and when they miss one, it can through the rest of the day’s schedule into turmoil. Another, more subtle but related disruptor is napping in the car because it is unlikely that you will be driving around long enough for them to get a full rest after they fall asleep. As a result, they often wake up when you arrive at your destination having slept just long enough to be fussy and difficult to put back to sleep. If you have older kids, they can unintentionally wake up your baby or keep them awake longer than you would like. It is important to talk with your children about the importance of being quiet during your infant’s naptime.
Look for Sleepy Signs
It is necessary to keep an eye out for your baby’s sleep cues (some signs include yawning and beginning to fuss; check out this blog for more) because they can clue you into when it is time to go to sleep. Catching these signs early is one of our infant naptime tips because they help you avoid your kid becoming overtired. When overtired, most newborns become tough to console, and it can feel like it is impossible to put them down for a nap which is why you want to avoid it if possible. Additionally, correctly identifying sleep signs can help you put you put your baby down while they are drowsy but still awake. While it may be difficult at first, timing this correctly will aid your child in learning how to self-soothe and eventually go to sleep on their own.
Set the Mood
In some instances, the reason your child has a difficult going to down or staying asleep for naps is that the environment around them is not conducive to sleep. Make sure the room is dark by investing in some good blackout shades or curtains. Utilize a sound machine to help mask noise in your home and reduce stimuli. Finally, make sure the temperature is appropriate for sleeping (not too hot and not too cold). Creating an environment that promotes sleep is one of our favorite infant naptime tips because it can also benefit nighttime sleep as well.