Help Your Baby Nap Longer
Have you ever heard the saying that you should get sleep while your baby sleeps? What happens if your baby doesn't sleep for longer than 20 minutes at a time? You probably won't get much sleep! Unfortunately, this happens to a lot of weary moms out there! Below are a few suggestions geared towards increasing the length of your baby's napping time you will have the chance to be more rested and energetic throughout your day. Not all methods will work for you and your baby. Experiment a little with each one and see what kind of results you can get. Hopefully you will find a few of these hints helpful to you and your baby. Plus a few things to remember not to do when trying to get your baby to sleep!
Did you know that the way a baby falls asleep is the way they prefer to wake up? So if she wakes up in the night crying, try to put her back to sleep the way she fell asleep earlier that night and you will most likely find her falling back asleep much quicker. Advantages of doing so are:
- Healthy sleeping attitude- This means that your baby feels secure when going to sleep and while sleeping because they are not constantly moved around. If she falls asleep in your arms and you try to move her to her crib she will wake up sooner because she is in unfamiliar territory. So try to keep it consistent for your little sleeper.
- Parent-Infant Trust- The most important period of time for parents to bond to their children is during the first few months of infancy. The more time you spend with them (including putting them to sleep) will pay of greatly in the future.
Pick a time during the afternoon to lay down with your baby for a nap and continue that trend for a week or more at the same time each day so she can become accustomed to a daily nap. She will also sleep longer during the night if she has a routine nap in the middle of the day!
Feed your baby during the day:
Sometimes the day can get pretty hectic, but if at all possible do most of your feeding during the afternoon and early evening. Some babies can get in the habit of feeding during the night hours which disrupts their normal sleeping pattern and well as yours!
Drift her to sleep:
Have a baby sling? Try putting your baby in a sling while you do laundry or the dishes a half hour or so before her nap time. This will ease her nerves and calm her down into a restful state of sleep. This also allows you to get a few things done!
Music to sleep by:
Some children prefer to have a bit of soft, repetitive noise in the background to soothe them while they sleep. This could include a fan, a recording of lullabies, a humidifier, etc.
Trying to put your baby to sleep on a set of cold sheets could cause them some discomfort and you some frustration! Try to keep the sheets a bit warmer right before they fall asleep. This will help trick her into feeling like she is nestled against her warm mommy or daddy.
Common Nap disturbers
Sometimes your baby will fall asleep during a short trip to the store and when they are awakened 10 minutes later they are all but excited about it! You can avoid having her fall asleep in the car by singing to her or rolling down the window to keep her distracted and alert. Save nap time for home when it will have a better chance at lasting longer and occurring at more consistent times.
The last thing you want while on vacation is a cranky baby! Try to keep her napping routine as close to normal as possible. Does your baby have a favorite stuffed animal or blanky? Make sure you take it! A little piece of home will go a long way when trying to get your baby to sleep in an unfamiliar place.
Crawling, walking, and other momentous occasions can be much more exciting for your baby than a much needed nap. During these stages try to put her down for a nap at her regular scheduled time even if she doesn't sleep. Then when the phase passes she will still have a steady routine.