Nap times are essential for babies. You may use the same techniques for helping baby nap as you learned for night-sleeping. Here are some additional tips:
-Without disrupting your life too much, try and plan nap times for roughly the same time each day. Obviously, this won’t be practical for some parents but if you can manage it then the rewards will be well worth it. Not only will it make nap times easier but babies will sleep better at night time as well.
-For newborn babies, sleeping habits are closely linked with eating patterns. You might want to consider keeping baby awake for a short time after each daytime feed. This will stop baby getting into the habit of needing a feed to get to sleep. Don’t leave it too long however or baby may get over-stimulated and possibly even hungry again and won’t be able to nap which will make him irritable and fussy. You should plan nap times for about half an hour after lunch or a snack to aid sleeping habits.
-If baby is getting tired, make nap-time a bit earlier or you run the risk of him getting overtired.
-Time the afternoon nap so that he has enough time to get tired enough to sleep again at night.
-Put on your goodnight lullaby quietly in the background and try to keep household noise to a minimum.
-Think about investing in blackout blinds as babies sleep better in a dark room and it helps with the association that dark equates to sleep (Lavin, Glaser 2007).
I will follow up shortly with a post about the age of the baby when parents should start thinking about reducing the nap-times and give you some tips on how to accomplish this.