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Baby naps – daytime sleep tips

 
Baby naps are essential for your little one and filled with lots of benefits. However settling your baby down to nap can sometimes be a bit of a challenge! Here are some dos and don’ts to help you teach your baby to nap well during the day.
Baby naps are essential for your little one and filled with lots of benefits.

However settling your baby down to nap can sometimes be a bit of a challenge!

Here are some dos and don’ts to help you teach your baby to nap well during the day.
 

Baby naps - daytime sleep tips

 
  • Do – make daytime naps a priority.
 
  • Don’t – expect your baby to automatically fall asleep when they’re tired, often the opposite occurs and they get ‘wired’ instead.
 
  • Do – create a napping schedule so you’re aware of your child’s general nap times.
 
  • Don’t – expect every day to go exactly like clockwork (babies have bad days too).
 
  • Do – watch for tired signs like yawning, rubbing the nose or eyes, pulling at the ears, etc.
 
  • Don’t – ignore your child’s tired signs, it often means they’re ready for a nap.
 
  • Do – have a nap time routine to cue your baby that it’s time for sleep.
 
  • Don’t – make the routine too long (2 or 3 steps is fine).
 
  • Do – keep an eye on the recommended time awake for your child.
 
  • Don’t – wait until your baby is getting fussy as often that’s too late and they’re probably already overtired.
   
  • Don’t – expect your baby to skip a nap and still enjoy the class or outing.
 
  • Do – make sure you’re home for daytime naps around 80% of the time.
 
  • Don’t – expect your child to get a good sleep in the car between outings/activities.
 
  • Do – make sure the room is very dark for naps.
 
  • Don’t – expect your baby to sleep well in a bright sunlit room.
 
  • Do – put your baby down in their cot or bassinet awake.
 
  • Don’t – put your baby down already asleep or you’ll find they’ll likely to wake earlier.
 
  • Do – feed your baby when they wake up.
 
  • Don’t – include feeds in their naptime routine.
 
  • Do – work on nap length if your child only ever naps for less than an hour.
 
  • Don’t – expect nap changes to happen overnight. Nap length is one of the hardest things to change, and often takes longer than night sleep to fall into place.
 
  • Do – lie your child down for daytime naps.
 
  • Don’t – rely on upright motion sleep, like in the car or their stroller, as this will not let them fall into the deeper restorative stages of sleep.
 

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Source: This article was written by Kim Corley, a certified sleep sense consultant at Cherished Sleep www.cherishedsleep.co.nz.
Image source: themilitarywifeandmom
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