Baby's nap time is your sanity time!
The key thing to remember is that every baby is different and it may not start out this way.
I have put together a list of suggestions that may hopefully help you get started on creating a good nap schedule and get you closer to some quiet time for yourself.
- Begin to watch for your baby’s sleep signals, their change in alertness and mood. If you begin to see your baby getting tired around 10 am you can start to get them ready for their nap 10 to 15 mins beforehand to avoid your baby getting overtired; which can make it a bit more difficult to get them down for a nap. Things you can do would be to: feed, diaper change, keep voice low, rock baby.
- Attempt to keep your baby’s naps to the same time every day, helping them to develop a regular sleep pattern. You may also have to schedule some activities around your baby’s nap time which can for a while feel like you can’t get out to do much or have a very small window before you need to be home again for nap time. This is where a postpartum doula could be helpful. They can come to watch your baby while they have their nap and you can go out to have some time for yourself; without having to worry about rushing home. This also leads into number 3...
- Don’t stress over interruptions, it is not easy to schedule your whole household around your baby’s naps. Determining the best schedule for you and baby will take time and patience; remember you are doing your best and you will have a schedule worked out to compliment both of your schedules.
- When you can place your baby down for her nap in the same place that she would sleep at night time. Helping her to associate this as her place to sleep.
- If you will be away during nap time, pack items that your baby associates with sleep; such as a favorite blanket, book, etc. This can also help to maintain your nap routine even when you are on the go.
- If you like to have a more set schedule with naps The Baby Sleep Site has a baby and toddler schedule maker that will provide you with a customized sleep schedule based on your baby’s age and wake-up time.
Guest blogger Michelle Wagner, is a postpartum doula. She is available for hire through Chinook City Doulas and would love to support you and your family as you transition through the first year with your new baby. Contact us to reserve your postpartum doula!