Consider yourself blessed, your child naps every day for two hours… Oh wait… they don’t? Countless times parents tell me, “My child won’t nap at home, but he /she always takes a nap at school.” This comment is sometimes followed by, “How do the teachers do it?” Below I have some simple pointers that I believe will make napping oh so easy… even for the faint of heart when it comes to this topic!
1) Children when first born may have a crazy sleeping pattern; but, this eventually irons itself out. Keep track of your baby’s sleeping pattern in a journal or notebook. Once your peapod is awake more during the day pick one of those times to be the “official naptime”. Key Point to success: consistency! I was terrified when my daughter (as an infant) chose to take her nap from 3pm-5pm, especially when she would go to bed at 7pm, but it worked! Key Point to Success: be consistent!
2) Don’t threaten. Okay, well even the best parents have been guilty of this, you can even hear it at the local gigantic grocery stores, “Little Timmy if you don’t straighten up you are going to go home and take a nap.” No harm done, right? Wrong! Naps are a positive experience for everyone involved. For the child it aids in development. For the adult, well let’s face it, provides us with time for errands, crafts, catching up on work emails, and if you’re feeling adventurous even some quiet time for yourself! Key Point to Success: Naps, when you are a kid, are a fact of life. They are what they are.
3) Oh you mean that thing called a bed isn’t a cage? The best advice I received, and a general rule in the childcare industry is this, “Don’t use your child’s crib / bed as a play area or holding cell. “ A bed is for sleeping. Don’t put your child in his or her bed until it is time for sleep. This leads to less confusion especially for infants and toddlers. Key Point to Success: A bed is for sleeping, not for playing or containing!
These three steps are very manageable and easy to implement. Be consistent and don’t give up!