Get Your Little One to Nap With 5 Simple Tricks
Routines and Schedules
I can not stress how having my little guy on a schedule and having a routine for him has made our napping and sleeping situation so much easier. Children really do thrive on schedules.
Make your routine work for your lifestyle! Maybe your little one will take 2 shorter naps during the day like my guy. Or maybe they will take one long mid day nap. Figure out what works best for you and your schedule. For me, my guy will take about an hour nap in the am between 9am-10am and another two hour afternoon nap between 1pm-3pm. Now this could mean he falls asleep by 2pm and wakes up around 4pm or he could fall asleep at 1pm and be up by 3pm. As long as I stay within these times I usually have no issue putting him down for a nap.
Now this is the hard part- setting the schedule. It wont be easy at first but if you are consistent for a few days and can stick it out, it will pay off in the long run. Once you have found your routine you'll be able to get more done during the day as well! I mean, how do you think I find the time to blog?
Tire Them Out
The first thing I do when my guy wakes up is feed him and let him play. I try to get him moving as much as possible to get all that well rested energy burning off. This could mean tummy time for some moms with younger babies or maybe it's going for a morning walk with your newly walking baby. Newly crawling or newly walking babies are focusing so hard on mastering this new way that it'll tire them out for sure if they are pushed to do it.
Or maybe you have a very hyper toddler who has so much energy you don't know what to do with it. Get them outside if possible! The fresh air and running around will be sure to tire them out. Give them a soccer ball and kick around for 10 minutes or so. Then take a walk to wind them down before eating lunch and putting down for a nap.
Try setting your nap time to right after your little one eats. Whether your little one is still getting a bottle or just a regular lunch, try to get them to sleep within a half hour of eating. There belly will be full and hopefully it will help keep them asleep for a good nap.
My guy still gets a bottle, so right before he takes his morning and afternoon nap I heat up a bottle let him drink a few ounces and place him in his crib. He is almost always awake when I put him down for a nap and he might make some noises and whine a little but within about 10 minutes or so he's out.
Calming sounds or music can work like a charm to put your little one to sleep. I found that my little guy gets sleepy to the sound of running water. Puts him right to sleep almost every time. We have a few stuffed animals they play heart beat sounds and we also have a swing that has a variety of nature and music sounds incase I want to switch it up.
You might find that investing in something called a White Noise Machine is totally worth it. I even know new parents who used this for their babies when they were co sleeping, who ended up still using it for themselves once their child was in there own bed! Link listed below!
White Noise Machine
Darken the Room
Black out curtains can help to trick your little one into thinking its time for sleep. Luckily for me my guy is a pretty good napper and sleeper but he actually sleeps even better (if that is even possible?!) when blackout curtains are drawn. You can find these for relatively cheap at places like Walmart or Target and sometimes even the dollar store! Grab a pair and give them a try. You might not even need to grab blackout curtains if you have blinds already. The blinds can keep out enough sunlight so that your little one will fall asleep easier. Use the blinds and curtains to your advantage.