Your challenge: Your to-do list is a mile long, but your precious, adorable, amazing baby is too irresistible for you to get anything done during their waking hours—like, say, showering, or the dishes or, if your dream big, sitting down with a hot cup of coffee for a few minutes.
The solution: In the early days, you don't have to give a second thought to nap times. But, soon enough, baby's waking stretches get longer and getting them to sleep becomes a more challenging task. You both can master the art of nap time by finding routines + a schedule that works for you.
Ease into nap time: Don't rush straight from bouncing baby on your knee or a heart-pounding session in the entertainer straight into nap time. Like the rest of us, babies need some time to wind down with some stories, lullabies or transition time in a dimly lit room.
Healthy habits for self-soothing: For the first year of life, babies typically nap two to four times per day. That means two to four times per day when you have the opportunity to begin teaching them healthy habits that will empower them to doze off on their own. Think a pacifier (with the added benefit of reducing the risk of SIDS) or a sound machine or calming crib soother.
Aim for a consistent schedule: With multiple daily naps, it may not be possible to always put baby down to snooze in the comfort of their own room. But, as much as you can, it will serve you both to send them some sleepy time cues by pulling the black-out curtains shut, shooting for consistent nap times and going through the same pre-nap rituals.
Prepare for a safe, soothing travel snooze: Whether traveling or just visiting friends smack-dab in the middle of nap time, make sure baby still has a safe, soothing place to get some rest. Unfortunately, 20% of SIDS deaths occur outside the home-often because baby is put to sleep on an unsafe surface, such as an adult bed with soft pillows or blankets. Fortunately, this can be easily avoided by bringing along a portable bassinet. (They were designed for that purpose, after all!)
Pro tip: Help transition your baby from sleeping in a vibrating or rocking sleeper to the crib by gradually reducing the sleep until they are comfortable without the movement.
You've got this.
Motherly + Kids2 provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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