Although babies are meant to sleep on average around 16 hours a day, some just don’t want to play by the rules.
And I’m talking from experience. As a second time mum with 5-month-old Evie, I thought getting her to nap during the day would be the least of my problems (the now 5-year-old was a pro) but it seems that Miss Diva Pants had her own ideas. After weeks of walking her around in the pram & driving around (never leave a little snoozer in a car seat for more than 2 hours), I finally confessed to the mums at baby groups, only to be told that I wasn’t alone.
So, for those of you out there nodding while you read this, here’s some tried and tested tips that helped me, & others, nail nap time - which we’re classing as a sleep of 2 hours or less. We know, we spoil you.
1. Change it up
While we’re happy to trot up to bed at any given time of the day (chance would be a fine thing) some babies aren’t so sure. In fact, putting madam up in her cot with the light streaming in was met with cries of confusion. So we tried a different nap time environment at home. We swapped the cot for the bouncer chair, closed the blinds & she drifted off. Get ready for the safety bit - bouncers shouldn’t ever be used for long sleeps. However, if you do want to let them snooze in one, read the manual first to make sure your piece of kit is suitable & never add a mattress, pillow, or extra padding... bossy bit over.
2. Go dark
If a different day/night snoozing place isn’t your thing, but your little sleep thief’s still not settling in their cot, then some mums recommend ‘tricking them.’ Invest in a good blackout blind for their nursery & keep the noise to a minimum. This Koo-di one is a no-nails approach, you can just pop it up on the window when you need it. Out & about? Get a shade for their chair or the car. Yes, we know it sounds a bit obvs - but when you’re tearing your hair out trying to nail naps, the obvious isn’t always clear - take it from a tired mum.
3. Make a difference
We all know babies aren’t silly - ever seen how they switch from little devil to little angel as soon as your other half works through the door? ‘Nuff said. So show them signs when it comes to naptimes. If you feed your little one before their nap, take the advice of one mum and give them a totally different brand of bottle. In time they’ll associate this with naps. Hint: b. box Transitions bottles are perfect for this.
4. Ride the routine
Ok, we know for some this is a dirty word, but it doesn’t have to be rigid, more about giving your munchkin signs that they are due a nap. It could be as simple as reading them the same book at a certain time in the morning & then putting them to sleep, or, letting them watch their fave programme. We won’t judge if you make them watch the CBeebies Tom Hardy bedtime story on record… if you have to sit through kid’s TV you might as well make it worth it. #Cheekywink.
5. Overtiredness = nightmares
...Yours rather than theirs. Catch them too late & it’ll turn into a battle of the wills - Evie almost always wins. So we’ve learnt to read the signs… as soon as that whining starts, we start prepping for naptime. Parents 1, Evie 0.
Of course, we’re not all words, below are some awesome products that have helped us - & now hopefully you - when nailing that naptime.
And remember, if you need any more guidance, our Live Chat Team are always here to help, 7am-11pm, every day. Just hit that purple button, bottom right.