Wouldn’t you give anything to be a baby once more? I know I would. We love children to bits even though they can annoy sometimes. Napping is not something that many babies look forward to. They try their best to remain awake even when their yawns are betraying them.
According to studies, children fight that urge to nap because they do not want to miss out on the fun of being awake. The curiosity of your child makes them fight that sleep during the day for hours. Some end up throwing tantrums and crying for hours from the disturbance of sleep. We will let you know how you can help your baby nap easily.
How much sleep does your baby need?
Experts say that an infant needs at least 20 hours of sleep in a complete day. This includes naps during the day. When your baby is between 6-12 months, they need around 11 hours of sleep. This includes two daytime naps. Toddlers, on the other hand, need at least 10 hours with an afternoon nap. If your toddler is still young, let them have two naps during the daytime.
How to help your child nap easily
Reduce your expectations
The frequency of napping in a child changes with age. A baby will nap more times than a toddler. For instance, at 18 months, most babies don’t nap in the morning. You need to understand that your child is growing and the naps will also reduce.
If they stop napping in the morning, you can ensure that the afternoon nap comes a bit early like before lunch. Do not make your baby sleep late in the afternoon since they may have trouble falling asleep early at night.
Most children who cry due to refusing to sleep do so because the naps are not consistent. A toddler requires a nap routine for them to feel secure. It should include bedtime, naptime and wake up time. If you make that schedule early for them, they will not find it hard to adjust to it. They will know what to expect at specific hours of the day.
You can also maintain the same napping area for your toddlers. Avoid couches for your toddler’s naptime. If you use a crib for their naptime, they will start associating the crib with sleep. This increases compliance, and they end up falling asleep without problems. A schedule also triggers your baby’s natural clock to nap without feeling pressured.
Do not sleep with your baby
A toddler needs their space to learn how to fall asleep without you by their side. Let them sleep without necessarily being nursed or lured to sleep. They will soon start napping naturally without need constant attention.
Remain calm, but firm
Do not let your toddler’s tantrums affect you. Always show them composure so that you can remain in control. Don’t beat your child to help them fall asleep, this only annoys them and makes the situation worse. You can soothe your baby after tucking them in but don’t lie next to them. Once you have done the soothing, you can leave the room and allow them to rest.
Avoid using pills to help your child rest
It is unfortunate that some women use tablets such as sleeping pills and Xanax to help their children relax. This could cause Xanax addiction which is not easy to break. Such pills could have severe side effects on your child. You should not use anything to force your child to rest. If they don’t do it naturally, they would better be sleep deprived than addicted to such pills.
Minimize their sugar intake
When your child is young, lots of carbohydrates and sugar can interfere with their sleeping patterns. Replace carbohydrates with fruits and vegetables that have nutritional benefits to their overall health. Do not give your child lots of caffeine since such stimulants trigger wakefulness when they are supposed to be resting.
Use light blankets
Most mothers obsess about their children feeling cold while asleep. This is normal but overheating can also make it uncomfortable for your baby to remain in bed. Use a light blanket for naps when it is hot outside to avoid excess sweating and regulate the temperature for them to sleep for long.
Make a comfort zone for their naptime
Your baby does not have to feel like they are missing out on all the fun if fun stuff surrounds their bed. For instance, you can allow them to sleep next to their favorite doll. Use some musical devices that sing your baby lullabies before they can finally fall asleep. A stuffed animal can also keep them in a positive mood ready to sleep.
Ensure that the atmosphere is calm
It is hard for your child to sleep in an area that has penetrating lights through the curtains. Use heavy window shades and switch off the lights to allow them to rest. Limit the noise in the room since any sounds can make them wake up.
Use “quiet time” instead of “naptime” for older toddlers
An old toddler may feel that they are outgrowing the napping . Do not use the authoritarian style of forcing them to go to sleep. This is their alone time to relax in their room without being disturbed by people. You can fill their crib with their toys and allow them to play during this quiet time. Within no time, they will fall asleep if their body is too tired to play.
Respond to early wake-up quickly
Sometimes, your child may wake up before the recommended time. If you respond fast, you can manage to help them get back to sleep. You can cuddle them for a while to help them relax and soon fall asleep. Use a Boba carrier that has a bouncing effect to soothe your child gently.
From the above, we can learn that nap-time should not be a battleground between you and your baby. No matter how irritable your baby is, the tips above will calm them down and allow them to relax for hours. Take some time also to rest when your child is asleep in preparation for their wakefulness. Happy parenthood!