The books on how to get your baby napping in the middle of the day can be great. They give you a basic idea of what happens with your baby and why. The problem is, child raising books make it look like these are some kind of scientific rules that they recommend. They deal with a pink bundle of giggles and cuddles; no rules can possibly apply to the baby that he doesn’t approve of. Sometimes, it’s the baby who is to decide what the rule book is supposed to be. Keep in mind, your baby makes the rules.
For instance, rule books don’t like it when you try to get your baby to sleep anywhere other than in its crib. Put the baby to sleep in the bouncy seat, and they say that your baby isn’t going to get quality time. This kind of thing shouldn’t really matter. If your baby will only sleep a certain way, that’s what your baby finds the least stressful and that’s what you need to do. Here’s the thing: getting your baby napping isn’t about sticking to some kind of framework or schedule. It’s just a loose idea of when your baby wants its rest. And it can completely depend on how your baby happens to feel at any given time. Babies from ages 5 to 18 months usually like to nap about two and a half hours in the morning, in the afternoon and then in the late afternoon. It might seem like great idea until you remember that you need to go somewhere and he can’t sleep home alone. Plan ahead though, and you can keep to the schedule. You just need to plan so that you take your baby out with you in the times that he is awake.
What do you do if your baby seems to just protest when you try to put her to sleep? Again, there is no real need to think that your baby absolutely must sleep. She’s going to sleep if she feels like it – just like anyone else. Some babies do feel sleepy; but somehow don’t know how to sleep (talk about learning skills). In such a case, you need to do is to set aside some time, feed the baby, perhaps give her a little warm bath, stroke her to sleep. You don’t want to force you baby at all. Sometimes, you baby just doesn’t need that much sleep. You should be happy – your baby is energetic.
A baby napping should stay asleep for about a couple of hours, right? Again, it depends on the baby. If your baby just likes to sleep for a half-hour at a time, you really should leave her be. But if waking up, your baby is all cranky, you could try to help her sleep for longer periods with a pacifier and with calming her down.
Sometimes, getting your baby to nap through the day is all about finding out when exactly he’s ready. Some parents miss it because the signs are very subtle. Look for a time when he seems a little fussy. Take the opportunity then.