Is your little one fighting daytime sleep? Mine did for sure! Mr. Grey would only take naps if he was bounced, while being held in the football hold, and I or my hubby was walking…and walking… and walking! That’s a lot of hoops to jump through for a nap. What’s worse is that he would only sleep for 20 minutes max even after all that! It was a never-ending, tiring cycle, because after his 20 minute nap he would be tired 30 – 40 minutes later and the process would start all over again. Sound familiar? It wasn’t until I started sleep training that we both finally got some relief.
I am not a sleep specialist, but from my research and experience, day time sleep is not the same as night-time sleep. Have you ever tried to take a nap during the day when you weren’t completely tapped out? It’s difficult. Your body is naturally programmed to be awake during daylight hours. Well, your babe is no different, and being new to the world and all, they need help, just like night-time sleep. That being said, it is recommended to allow your little one to grasp night-time sleep before starting on naps however, you can tackle them at the same time.
Here is how it works:
- Watch for sleep cues just like you would for night sleep, general cues are staring off into space, yawning, things like that. Once your babe starts to get overly fussy and rub their eyes, you have waited too long! You have to know your babes cues. For me, Mr. Grey doesn’t seem to have any sleep cues, so I have to pay attention to how long he has been awake. It is important not to let them get overtired because overtired babes have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep.
- Have a routine for naps, it can be simple, our routine is, diaper change, rock for a few minutes, then turn on the sound machine and into the crib he goes. A sound machine can be a good tool to assist your babe in falling asleep by drowning out unwanted atmospheric noise or noisy kids! If you don’t have a routine yet, check out the “I Need Sleep” post.
- Now it is time to implement your sleep training method. Gentle method, check up method or cry it out, its your choice. If you haven’t chosen a sleep method yet, you can start reading about them here.
- Naps are meant to be restorative, so our goal is to get babe to sleep an hour or more, anything less just won’t cut it. If you have a “micro-napper”, you know your babe will more than likely wake after about 20 minutes once he actually falls asleep. This is where you will use your sleep training method again, giving your babe a chance to fall back asleep. I give Mr. Grey about 15 – 20 minutes and listen to his “cry” to determine whether or not he is falling back asleep. I try to keep him in “nap mode” for at least an hour, if he falls back asleep… great! and if he doesn’t I’ll get him up, but keep your babe in his bed for the full hour, counting from the time he falls asleep.
Good naps during the day make for good sleeping at night. So whether you tackle one at a time or both together, keep up the good work, stick with it, and as hard as it may seem, it WILL get better!
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