Simple strategies for getting your baby to nap

There’s a chemical in breast milk that helps a baby fall asleep so nursing to sleep is naturally a good choice.
 
But don’t let her nurse to sleep because then she’ll always need to nurse to sleep. Think of all those adults you know that nurse to sleep.
 
But nursing before naps can help the baby feel fuller and sleep longer. And I can’t go to sleep on an empty stomach. 
Rocking and swings provide movement that can help calm a baby so she can sleep. Oh so cozy.
 
Sleeping in a Rock n’ Play or swing can help the baby adjust to life outside the womb. Outside, where everything involves much less swinging.
 
But don’t let them sleep in a Rock n’ Play or swing because they’ll never get used to sleeping in a bassinet or crib. That’s what all those adult swings are for.
 
Use blackout blinds to make the nursery dark enough to sleep in for naps during the day. Or a black trash bag. Or 10 tea towels. Whatever works, really.
 
But don’t use blackout blinds because then your baby will need a pitch black room to sleep and that will be hell when you travel. Especially now that you have a baby and you’re traveling all the time.
 
Keep the nursery quiet except for a white noise machine to help your baby sleep. Or static on a radio. Or rain forest sounds maybe? Or like a heartbeat? You should invest in one of those fancy turtle things that make all these noises.
 
But she needs to get used to regular everyday noise so don’t use white noise or she’ll always need it. Did I mention sleep associations are basically the worst?
 
But if you use white noise make sure it’s not quiet.
 
But also make sure the white noise isn’t too loud.
 
Set the white noise to approximately the volume white noise would be in the womb. Never mind that you don’t personally recall what decibel the calming sounds were when you were in the womb.
 
If she’s not sleeping long enough, slowly work up to letting her cry it out so she can learn to put herself back to sleep.
 
But don’t let her cry it out because that will damage her and convince her you don’t love her.
 
If she does cry, go in and comfort her so she knows you’re nearby at all times and don’t hate her.
 
But don’t go in if she cries because it could rile her back up and that would defeat the purpose.
But if you’re attentive to your baby’s hunger and sleep cues she’ll never cry anyway so don’t worry about it.
 
Never wake a sleeping baby. If she’s sleeping longer she needs it. She knows what she needs.
 
But never let her nap longer than two hours or her nighttime sleep will suffer. She won’t be able to settle the way she needs to.
 

 
If anyone needs me, I’ll be over here working on the impossible task of teaching a baby how awesome naps are without totally ruining her sleep patterns and her life FOREVER but like no pressure.
 
Oh and day drinking. Lots of day drinking.

 

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