Falling asleep for nap can be hard work for some little ones! They go from playing and being so stimulated to a dark room and expected to fall asleep and stay asleep for at least an hour.
Making this transition in the middle of the day can be easier when their brains and bodies are a little more prepared for what’s to come.
How can we help them with this?
Implement a naptime routine! The naptime routine is much shorter than the bedtime routine. Think 5, maybe 10 minutes total. Take the key steps from your bedtime routine and use those to create a naptime routine.
This may look like…
·Go into child’s room and make sure it is dark (VERY dark! This is especially important for naps)
·Lay them down on their floor or changing table and change them into comfy clothes, if needed. Some parents even put their little ones in their favorite PJs for naps.
·Change their diaper
·Put them in their swaddle or sleep sack (depending on their age)
·Turn on the sound machine
·Sing a sleepy time song…my favorite is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
·Lay them in their crib awake
This routine can remain the same for as long as your child is napping.
As they get older, you may want to consider implementing a timer to help them understand that playtime is over and naptime will be coming. To do this, give your child lots of warning. “I’m going to set a timer for 5 minutes and then it’s time to go upstairs to take a nap”. Keep reminding them. When the timer goes off, we clean up and do exactly what we said: Go upstairs for nap.
If your toddler is refusing naps, check out my blog here on toddler naps.