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The Perfect Happy Hour Nap!

Naps - the thing I thought in the early days was the easiest part! And it often is at that stage, they love the cuddles and contact, full tummies - the newborn naps were easier than the rest. And then it changes - and their stamina changes quick! Then we have the fighters who will mask their need to sleep so much and refuse it. Often, naps are far from easy!

They can be a bit like marmite - we love or hate them! But there are ways to help naps become less stressful, more carefree and content! Whether you are all for a schedule or you are going with the flow - naps are important and they are part of our lives for a number of years so it's worth making these as easy as possible! Good day sleep really does breed good night sleep!

So here are my top steps to creating easy naps.

  1. Have a balance of - Sleep Cues, Wake Windows and Routine Timings. Not every day may go to plan, and we often fall on one side of the scale - completely routine or go-with-the-flow approaches. And both can work great! But there needs to be some middle ground, yes timings are important but be sure not to miss the sleepy cues. As once they show the tired signs, we have a really small window of opportunity to get them to sleep before overtiredness kicks in.

  2. Wake windows can work well in establishing their ideal awake time, so they are not overtired and equally not undertired either! But work these into a fairly rhythmic schedule for your little one for their own body clocks too.

  3. Environments - can count for a lot in day sleep as some little ones are just too stimulated! They don't need to nap in the dark during the day - we don't create melatonin in the daytime. But for many, it does help the wind down and settle!

  4. Do you have a Nap Routine? Some babies are really adaptable and don't need this, for others a simplified routine that mimics bedtime can really help in their wind down for a good nap.

  5. Where they sleep - we all need flexibility in our busy days, so nap on the go if you have to! Do try to have a balance in this though, as they get more consolidated, undisturbed sleep in their own bedspace so that sleep is much more restorative!

  6. Settle Approach - is your settle approach consistent with how they are settled at night? Or are you finding yourself nap trapped? Maybe they are resisting the rocking but unsure how to sleep on their own? You may want to work on sleep association changes at night first before the naps so that they don't fight that transition in the day making naps worse - do drop an email or feel free to message to ask about what the best settle approach may be for your little one (often we all start in different places!)

  7. Track the Naps! Sleep is rarely linear, and their sleep pressure is forever changing. Start on smaller wake windows and work up to find their ideal settle time. And when things start to change in their day or night sleep, this will help you see the patterns and where the tweaks may be needed especially if a transition to drop a nap is near!

If you want to nail the naps - look at the Nap Success Mini course to help. This is a mini course/presentation guide with video tutorials, and also includes PDFs workbooks as well as my "How Much Sleep" chart from Birth to 6 Years! More importantly - how to know your baby's ideal nap times and get fully successful naps!

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