Dock-A-Tots: Grand and Deluxe+Ever wish you were little again so you could hit pause in the middle of your day and take a little nap? As amazing as that sounds, we almost never have time for such a rejuvenating time-out, but in a toddler’s busy little world- a snoozefest is an absolute must. Not only do naps provide time for growth but they have also proven to aid in emotional development, enhance learning and memory and also help children sleep better at night. Continue reading for my top five tips on ways to nap train your toddler below.
- Create a Nap Time Routine
London has learned that we always have a snack and read a story before laying down for a nap. Sometimes I play some white noise on our sound machine while she lays in her Dock-A-Tot and falls asleep. We recently got London her own dock since she seemed to always want to borrow the twins’. Now she has her own Grand size and not only is it huge, but super comfortable. I love to snuggle up to her while we read a story since it is big enough for the both of us.
- Nap in the Same Place Every Time
Kids recognize things by association so it is important that you put them to nap in the same spot every time. London seriously crawls into her Dock-A-Tot and says “nap,” at the same time almost every day. The nice thing about it is that it is light and easy to travel with so we take them everywhere with us- to grandma’s house, out to visit neighbors, and we are even taking it with us on our family trip to Florida this weekend.
- Feed Your Baby Before Their Nap
This point is so simple, yet so easy to forget. You don’t want your baby waking up after a short little snooze with a hungry tummy. Ever since London started nap time with a snack, she started sleeping for up to three hours at a time. Just, enough time for me to enjoy a glass of wine. After all, it’s always wine o’ clock somewhere.
- Put Your Child Down When They are Sleepy but not Asleep
It’s so important to put baby down when they are sleepy so they can learn to fall asleep on their own. Once your kid gets used to you rocking them to sleep, they will always expect to see you when they wake up and won’t be able to self-soothe themselves back to sleep.
- Be Flexible
Your baby probably isn’t going to follow your nap time routine every single day. You will probably notice this when you are out and about during their usual nap times, at a friend’s house or on vacation. I like to mix it up by taking the kids for a walk in the stroller or taking a drive around the block and the next thing I know, they are all fast asleep. Other days, a nap is just not happening and we try again tomorrow.
What tips do you have for nap training your babies? We would love to hear about them in the comments below!