Most new mums burning question:
“How do I get my baby into a nap routine?”
As soon as Mole hit three months I began working on her nap routine. I felt like it was important for the both of us. I could get my me time back and Mole would be less grouchy in the evenings.
Most three-to six-month-olds will sleep for around 15 hours a day, including regular naps throughout.
According to parenting experts your baby ideally needs three sleeps totalling no more than five hours.
Working on a nap routine
To get Mole to have three naps a day was well out of our reach. It was hard enough getting her to go down for one let alone three.
I focussed on her first nap and what ever else happened was an added bonus.
The key to her napping was to notice the signs of when she is tired. At around 9:45am I place her on her play mat if she is not already there and study her.
Signs my baby is tired
- Rubbing their eyes
- Cycling their legs
- Clasp their hands
- Rubbing their face
- Begin to be vocal
- Moan and groan
- Loss of interest in toys
When Mole displays these signs I take her straight up to her cot. It’s a good idea to have a warm bottle prepared too (I usually make this at 9:40am).
The key is to take her up as she is displaying the start of these signs e.g. moaning not shouting. As you get use to what you need to look out for the whole process is easier. I can tell within three seconds of looking at her if she needs a nap now.
If you wait till they are shouting then you run the risk of them being over tired and getting them to nap in a cot becomes a nightmare.
Ensuring their room is dark is a signal to your baby that sleep is needed. I will give Mole her bottle and blanket. The majority of the time she falls straight to sleep after her bottle.
Mole’s afternoon nap is a different story. It is much harder to get her down for this nap compared to the morning nap.
She does not display the window of tiredness signs as she does in the morning so what I did was work out a time that is best for both of us.
2:00pm. I know that she has had her dinner, nappy change and playtime after dinner. I also know that she is probably ready for her next bottle. I take her to her room and place her in the cot and feed her the bottle. This time she rarely falls asleep on the bottle so I have to give her a kiss and leave the room.
50% of the time she will talk herself to sleep and I love listening through the door at her cute conversation.
Feeling like you are failing
The other 50% of the time she will cry and scream. I have learnt that if she has had all of her bottle I can leave her for 5-10 minutes and then I go back and check on her. Usually I have to go and distract myself and put the washing in or let the dog outside as hearing her cry upsets me and I give into myself and bring her down stairs. Luckily she ends up falling asleep. I have the lollipop baby camera so I can check up on her on my phone without going in and disturbing her.
If Mole is still awake and not settled then I will check her nappy, offer her more bottle and try again.
I never put pressure of myself to make the routine perfect. If the second nap fails I simply take her back down for more playtime and make sure she is in bed for the night at an earlier time.
What are good nap times?
Good nap times are around the “window of tiredness”. This tends to be 90 minutes after first waking in the morning, 30 minutes to 60 after the lunchtime feed and at 4-5pm in the afternoon.
You will work out what times work for you both.
Nap time tips
- Look out for your baby rubbing their eyes
- Have a warm bottle prepared
- Make sure the room is dark
- Lavender sleep spray can help them associate it is time to sleep
- Consistency! I stayed in for 2 weeks putting her in her cot at the same time every day.
- Do not give in straight away. Try to distract yourself whilst they cry and learn to self settle for the first 5 minutes.
- Fresh nappy
- You don’t have to change them back into their pjs.
- Make the house as quiet as possible whilst they are trying to sleep.
- Invest in a baby monitor
I hope you enjoyed reading! Comment below your nap time tips 😊.
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