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How to Ease Your Baby Into a Good Naptime Routine

Apr 20, 2008
Here is a well known parenting fact: Parents need naptime more than babies do. When my children were little naptimes were sacred. The world would stop during those precious few hours (sometimes only minutes) and I would either do nothing or try to do way too much.

But babies often have different designs on those best laid plans. And convincing a little one that they need to take a break is not always easy. If your baby is reluctant to take a snooze try these proven naptime tips:

If you keep track of the times during the day when baby generally is drowsy or takes a nap, a pattern will begin to emerge. About thirty minutes before this sleepy time slow down the pace of baby's day to avoid overstimulation. Engage in quiet time rituals, like reading, or listening to calm, soft, instrumental music. Have a little snuggle and cuddle time. If your baby is not troubled by gassiness, then feed baby at this time also. Otherwise, let baby eat before this "wind down" time. Every baby is different but it is generally recommended to not let baby fall asleep while nursing or taking a bottle as this is bad for developing teeth, and creates a habit where baby will become dependent on the comfort of feeding to fall asleep.

Despite your best efforts, baby may not seem sleepy when naptime rolls around. It is ok to put the baby in the crib while he is still awake. Let him play on his own for a bit and he just may drift off to sleep as he plays. It is quite an accomplishment if a child can learn to fall asleep without parental involvement. This is an excellent habit to foster.

Of course, other children (or even the same child) are not as amenable to taking a nap. These are the ones that cry at the top of their lungs the instant that you place them in the crib. If you are certain that there is nothing else bothering the baby (ie: they are hungry, gassy, need a diaper change, or don't feel well), then go ahead and let them cry it our for a few minutes. Chances are, they will fall asleep on their own. But if the crying continues beyond a reasonable time, then go into their room and rub their back for reassurance and leave the room right away. Wait a few more minutes. If baby is still crying then maybe baby just isn't sleepy or needs a little comfort from you.

Remember, if a child is getting many hours of a good night's sleep then he won't need as much naptime during the day.

Regardless of whether your baby is an easy napper or a difficult one, make sure to provide lots of love and understanding. A calm and patient attitude will go a long way.
About the Author
Read more about naptime tips at my site Parenting Tips at NeenMachine.com.
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