Daylight Savings and Baby/Toddler Sleep – 2 Tips To Help Your Child Adjust To The Time Change

How Daylight Savings Time Affects Baby and Toddler Sleep
 

Daylight Savings tends to be a big topic here at The Baby Sleep Site®; we start getting e-mails in the Helpdesk up to a month before it ends, asking for suggestions on how to help babies and toddlers ‘fall back’ and adjust to the time change.

After working with many, many, many families to adjust to new time change schedules, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to make the transition a smooth one.

And that’s what we are talking about today! We’re presenting two strategies for surviving the daylight savings time change.

2 Options For Surviving Daylight Savings

  1. Do nothing. If your baby’s is fairly adaptable to change, and is not sensitive to overtiredness, then you can simply do nothing, take the time change in stride. This means sticking to your baby or toddler’s normal schedule as best you can. The exception to that would be the morning wake-up time; that will likely be earlier for a few days, or maybe a week. For example, if your baby normally wakes at 7 a.m., then after the time change, she will probably wake closer to 6 a.m. However, keep naps and bedtime close to their usual times. You can bump them up a bit if your baby or toddler seems really exhausted, but remember, this is a short-term solution. You don’t want to do this long-term, or you will create a long-term schedule change.

    This is also a good option for babies and toddlers who are waking up and going to bed too late. If this is the case, and if you would like your child’s wake time, naps, and bedtimes to be a bit earlier than they currently are, consider yourself lucky — the end of daylight savings will shift your child’s schedule backwards by an hour!

  2. Tweak your child’s schedule ahead of time. If your baby is already waking up too early in the morning, in relation to your ideal family schedule, we recommend doing some preemptive work ahead of time to ease the transition. Moving your baby’s schedule isn’t always easy, but in the next week or two, you can successfully move your baby’s schedule forward by an hour and then move it again, if necessary, to achieve your family’s ideal schedule.

    For example, if your baby is waking at 5 a.m., and you’d like her to wake at 6 a.m. or later, you can move her schedule forward one hour to 6 a.m., wait for the time to change (where she will be waking at 5 a.m. once again) and then move her schedule forward again. This works best when your baby is at least 8 months old, but some 6 month old schedules can be moved as well. Younger babies generally will adjust naturally within a few days to two weeks as long as you don’t strictly stick to the earlier schedule (a young baby’s sleep is already highly disorganized).

If you are interested, our Shifting Schedules e-Book outlines detailed steps (with examples) to moving your baby’s schedule. Available exclusively to Baby Sleep Site® members, it deals with managing early-morning wake up times, as well as late bedtimes. It also provides tips and insights that are useful for tackling the time change. It even includes a case study that follows one family’s schedule shift as they worked one-on-one with Nicole. Members have the option to download and print a copy of the e-book at no cost.

Reminders About How Daylight Savings Affects Bedtime

Keep in mind that late bedtimes equal overtiredness. And overtiredness equals restless nights for babies and toddlers, and even earlier morning wake-up times. So watch your baby’s bedtime carefully, and make it earlier, if needed (for a few days, at least – while your baby adjusts). Here’s an example, to help you visualize this point: if your baby normally goes to bed at 7 p.m., after the time change, 6 p.m. will ‘feel’ like 7 p.m., since it WAS 7 p.m. just a few days ago. So if your baby seems sleepy around 6 p.m., respect that, and put him to bed a little early (maybe at 6:15 or 6:30). This shouldn’t be a long-term strategy, of course (few families want a bedtime that early!) But it’s a good short-term strategy.

Prepare For The Time Change Like A Pro, With Our Resources!

The end of Daylight Savings Time is right around the corner – we’ll be “falling back” before we know it! If you’re too tired or overwhelmed to do a bunch of reading and to create your own DST prep plan, let us do the work for you. You can connect with one of our caring, expert sleep consultants today, and she’ll send you your very own Personalized Sleep Plan™ that will walk you through every step of DST prep. It will also outline the steps you need to follow to improve your baby or toddler’s overall sleeping habits.

Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.
 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! Even better – as a member, you have access to our #1 Daylight Savings preparation resource, our Shift Your Child’s Schedule e-book. This e-book is the perfect tool for helping you gently shift your child’s schedule in order to accommodate the time change – and member can download and print a copy of the book! And don’t forget that as a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant, which is perfect if you have truly tough, pressing DST questions that require expert help. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 

How are you planning for the end of Daylight Saving’s Time? How do you anticipate it will affect your baby or toddler’s schedule? Let’s put our heads together and share some tips and advice!

2 Quick Tips For Making Tough Daycare Nap Schedules Work

 
2 Tips To Make Tough Daycare Nap Schedules Work

You don’t have to have school-aged kids at home to enjoy back-to-school season! But we here at The Baby Sleep Site® know that back-to-school season can be tough – if you have older kids, you have to work on reeling in your summertime schedule and get more serious with bedtime and morning wake-time, for example. (Hint – for help on getting your older kiddos ready for school, you can read our 3 tips for implementing a back-to-school sleep schedule.)

And many of our moms of babies and toddlers tell us that fall is the season when daycare schedules shift – babies “graduate” to different rooms as they get older, and that can translate into different nap schedules. Sometimes, that’s just fine – but often, it’s very challenging! Generally, we find that daycares tend to decrease naps a bit faster than we usually recommend (for instance, most 12 months olds are placed in the toddler room, and are only given one afternoon nap, but we usually recommend that parents try to hold on to two naps until 15-18 months of age). And the timing of daycare naps is very fixed – not starting nap time early if your little one woke up earlier than usual!

So, what to do? You can’t change the daycare schedule, usually – so how can you make the new daycare schedule work for your baby or toddler without sacrificing sleep?

We’ve got two tips designed to help you do just that. Keep reading, and get the details you need to keep the new daycare schedule from creating sleepless nights and missed naps in your house!

2 Tips For Making Tough Daycare Nap Schedules Work

  1. Calculate how much wake time the daycare’s nap schedule demands, and then compare that with how much you know your baby or toddler can tolerate. In our experience, daycares often expect a bit more wake-time from babies and toddlers than is age-appropriate (not always true, of course – but we see this happen quite a bit with clients). For instance, if the daycare schedule leaves 5 hours of wake-time between morning drop-off and the afternoon nap, but your baby can only manage 4 in the morning, then you’ll need to accommodate for that by changing bedtime, or re-arranging other parts of your daytime schedule.
  2. Try to prepare your baby for the new daycare schedule early. If you know that daycare will soon change your baby or toddler’s daytime nap schedule, try to get a head-start. Begin slowly moving towards the daycare schedule at home, by gradually shifting nap times until they match the daycare’s. This can help to gradually acclimate your baby to what’s coming, and might help ward-off over tiredness.

Finally, remember to take heart – this will be a short-lived trial! Your baby or toddler will eventually adjust to the daycare schedule just fine. :) Until then, though, if you’re going crazy trying to make the daycare schedule work for your little one, you could always consider connecting with one of our caring and compassionate sleep consultants! They will create a custom schedule that will work for your whole family – and for your daycare provider!
 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

You can also check out our special members-only article, 5 MORE Tips For Making Tough Daycare Nap Schedules Work, for extra do-it-yourself scheduling and sleep coaching tips.

Are you facing daycare schedule challenges? Ask your questions, and we’ll answer! Have tips? Share them with your fellow parents!

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.

 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 
Baby_On_Computer_RESIZEDIf you are looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation, and want plenty support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations. Your consultation package will provide you with the chance to interact one-on-one with a trained sleep consultant, who will create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your family and then work to help you implement it at home.
 

Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

QUICK SLEEP TIP: When To Try A Rigid Bedtime Routine

 
When To Try A Rigid Bedtime Routine

The word ‘rigid’ tends to have pretty negative connotations, doesn’t it? A rigid routine, for example, seems so inflexible, so set in stone, so…well, so rigid! We get that, and we never direct our consultation clients to adopt rigid schedules and routines if they just aren’t comfortable with that.

That said, though, there are times when we encourage parents to try adopting more rigid sleep schedules and routines – specifically, more rigid bedtime routines. Read on to learn why!

Quick Sleep Tip: Try A Rigid Bedtime Routine For Your Baby or Toddler

While it’s true that some kiddos are just fine with bedtime routines that change a bit from night to night, and that happen at different times each evening, that is not true for every child. It’s all about temperament, remember? :) Nicole’s oldest son is proof of that:

“My boys need routine and predictability, especially my older one, who inspired The Baby Sleep Site ®. My oldest has always been slow to adapt to changes. It was hard to even go on errands when he was a baby, because he’d start crying a lot due to the stops/starts. He hated all the inconsistency! The same is true for inconsistency in our sleep routines. When we are running late on bedtime, I used to try skipping the bedtime story (which would save a whopping 5-10 minutes or so), and then it takes my boys 30+ minutes longer to fall asleep! It’s not worth it to me to vary the routine that much, even if we are running late. Of course, now that they’re older, it’s okay to mix up the steps a bit (brushing teeth before PJ, or vice versa), but it needed to be the same every night when they were younger.”

So, here’s our quick tip: if bedtime is a problem for your family right now, try implementing a rigid bedtime routine. What do I mean by rigid? Simple – with a rigid bedtime routine, everything step in the routine happens in exactly the same order each night, and each step takes almost exactly the same amount of time (you don’t want to try and get the timing down to the second, obviously, but you get the idea – don’t spend 3 minutes on the bedtime story one night and 15 minutes on it the next ;) ). Sometimes, clients find that this kind of structure is EXACTLY what their baby or toddler needed in order to start sleeping better, and to fall asleep faster at bedtime. Specifically, this is true for clients who themselves have more laid-back personalities and aren’t very clock-oriented, but whose babies or toddlers are more inflexible and crave consistency.

How long will it take to see results?? Well, it will take your child a few days to get used to the routine, and to learn that the routine signals bedtime. And then it will take additional time for the routine to feel habitual. So don’t rush this process – give it time to take effect.

Will this work? Well, for babies who need consistency in their bedtime routines but aren’t getting it – probably yes. What about kids who don’t need so much consistency, and don’t mind changes? Honestly, having a more consistent routine won’t hurt them – it just may not produce noticeable changes in sleep. And remember, if you have bigger sleep issues, like strong sleep associations that are interfering with sleeping through the night, this tip won’t solve those. But, in some cases, this quick tip can help eliminate bedtime drama and reduce the time it takes your baby or toddler to fall asleep.

Try it and let us know what you think!

One-on-One, Personalized Help For Sleep Setbacks

Need sleep help for your baby or toddler? We’ve got a whole team dedicated to offering you the one-on-one support you need to make a meaningful difference in your child’s sleep. Sleep training may be one of the best decisions you ever make for yourself and for your family – so why not start today? Our trained sleep consultants are standing by, ready to help you get started. Your consultant will create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ just for you and your family, and walk you through every step of implementation.

Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.
 

What do you think – would this tip work for your baby or toddler? What tips do you have for overcoming sleep setbacks? Let’s get the conversation going!

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.

 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 
Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

 
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bss_ebook_freeguide_leftWant FREE sleep help that you can put to use right away? Download a copy of our free guide, 5 Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Through The Night! The guide is available to download instantly, which means you can start using the techniques in it as early as tonight. So download now, and learn why your baby is waking at night – and what you can do about it.
 
 
Click here to learn more about how to get your free guide.

A better night’s sleep could be just a few clicks away. So don’t wait – download now, and start your journey to better sleep tonight!
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10 Must-Know Baby and Toddler Nap Facts. (#7 May Surprise You!)

Baby Toddler Naps

We’ve written quite a bit about baby and toddler naps here on the blog, so if you’ve been following our site for awhile, you’ve had the chance to read a lot of baby and toddler nap tips and tidbits. But, some of you are new moms or new to The Baby Sleep Site® and we strive to educate all of our parents on the importance of good sleep and how to achieve it!

Today, we’re presenting you with 10 must-know facts about your baby’s or toddler’s naps. Think of it as your nap “cheat sheet”. ;)

10 Things You Need To Know About Baby and Toddler Naps

  1. The first nap of the day is the most important. This isn’t to say that other naps aren’t also important. But the first nap of the day tends to be the most restorative, setting the tone for the day, and it’s generally the one that produces the best sleep for babies and young toddlers.
  2. Most babies don’t transition to one nap at 12 months; most transition to one nap between 15-18 months. There seems to be a prevailing opinion out there that at the one year mark, babies should suddenly transition from two naps to one. And some will, with no problem. But we’re here to tell you that making the 2-to-1 nap transition at 12 months isn’t the norm for most babies. In fact, most babies aren’t ready to move to one nap a day until 15-18 months.
  3. Most 6 month old babies aren’t ready for just 2 naps per day; most still need 3 (or even 4). Just as there’s a misconception that all 12 month old babies are ready to transition to one nap per day, there’s also a misconception that 6 month old babies are ready to transition to just 2 naps each day. We think this misconception is at least party due to a recommendation that Weissbluth makes in his book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. In the book, Weissbluth states that only 16% of babies need a third nap after 5 months. Keep in mind this statistic came from a study of a limited number of children.

    We are not discounting Weissbluth’s studies, but we do take it with a grain of salt, since all babies vary in their ability (particularly mood-wise) to stay awake for long periods of time. In our extensive work with families, we’ve found that far more than 16% of babies appear to need 3 naps at 6, 7, even 8 months of age. Therefore, we usually tell parents not to rush into a 2 nap schedule with their 6 month old babies. Doing that increases the chances that their 6 month olds will become overtired, which will in turn affect their night sleep. We’ve found it’s better to stick to a 3 nap schedule (or even a 4 nap schedule) and then gradually transition to a 2 nap schedule around 8 months.

  4. Your child’s nap needs will change greatly between birth and 18 months. Greatly. This just makes sense if you think about it — newborns nap pretty much constantly during the day, while an 18 month old needs just 1 nap. That’s a lot of change during a relatively short period of time!

    So, how many naps does your baby or toddler need in the first 18 months of life? You can read this article for detailed information, but here’s the short version:

    *1-3 MONTHS – 4-5 naps per day, depending on how long his naps are and how long he can stay up between naps.

    *3-4 MONTHS – 4 naps.

    *5-8 MONTHS – probably 3 naps (though some will need 4 until after 7 months). A few babies will only have 2 naps at a very young age, but those naps are usually long.

    *9-15 MONTHS – 2 naps. Some babies will transition to 1 nap at 12 months, but that’s not common.

    *15-18 MONTHS – 1-2 naps. The transition from 2 naps to 1 usually happens in this window of time.

    *18 MONTHS-4 YEARS – 1 nap. The age to transition away from all napping varies a lot, from 2 to 5+ years old, but the average age is between 3 and 4 years old.

  5. Nicole’s Note:
    “But, of course, my son was very NON-textbook. He had 4 naps until 7 months old, because he simply could not stay awake longer than 1 hour 15 to 30 minutes without turning into Senor Cranky Pants! It was simply NOT fun to even try. So, I rolled with it and he stayed home all day pretty much until he seemed to change overnight, taking 3 naps at 7 1/2 months old. He then dropped to two naps a short month later at 8 1/2 months. It happened so fast! He also transitioned to one nap early and away from napping early. I would never have guessed that based on our first 7 months. So, if your baby is struggling with staying awake for long periods, he’s not alone and it could change fast for you, too! :)”

  6. If your baby or toddler sleeps well at night, that doesn’t necessarily mean she’ll nap well during the day. Remember, nap sleep is different than night sleep. Naps happen during daylight hours, when the sun’s up and when it tends to be noisy and busy. External factors like that can make it hard for a baby or toddler to nap well. And many families struggle with keeping a consistent daily nap routine in place — because life tends to get in the way! That, too, can make it hard for a baby or toddler to nap consistently. Contrast that with nights — it’s dark, it’s (usually) quiet, and everyone is (usually) at home. That at least partly explains why many babies and toddlers who sleep just fine at night struggle with their naps.
  7. On-the-go, “moving” naps aren’t as restorative as naps that happen at home, in bed. This might come as a bit of a surprise, but it’s true — naps that happen “on the go” (in a moving car, for example, or in a moving stroller or shopping cart) aren’t as restorative as naps that happen on a non-moving surface (like a bed). They aren’t as long, for one thing, and during a “moving” nap, your baby’s or toddler’s sleep won’t be as deep. The occasional on-the-go nap isn’t a big deal, of course; sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do. But if the majority of your baby’s or toddler’s naps are happening in the car, or in a stroller, you may need to rethink your daytime routines and schedule.
  8. It’s possible for your baby or toddler to nap too much. Yes, we realize that this particular “problem” doesn’t plague most of you. ;) But it’s true; some babies and toddlers nap too much, and it negatively affects their nighttime sleep. How much nap time sleep is too much? You can check out this article for details, but here’s a fast breakdown:

    *INFANT STAGE (birth – 4 months) — newborns will sleep 14-18 total hours during the day. To maximize nighttime sleep, limit naps to two hours, and try to keep your baby awake for 30 minutes between naps. (Need help with newborn sleep? Take a look at our newborn e-Book.)

    *BABY STAGE (4-12 months) – babies need 13-15 total hours of sleep during the day. 2-4 of these hours should be naps (depending on how much sleep your baby is getting at night.)

    *TODDLER STAGE (12 months – 3 or 4 years) – 1-3 hours of total naptime is considered normal and healthy.

  9. Educate yourself on when common nap transitions occur, and how to manage them. Nap transitions are likely to occur at the following times:

    *3-4 MONTHS – baby transitions from 5 naps to 4.
    *5-6 MONTHS – baby transitions from 4 naps to 3.
    *8-9 MONTHS – baby transitions from 3 naps to 2.
    *15-18 MONTHS – toddler transitions from 2 naps to 1.

    As for how to handle these nap transitions? We have loads of resources on that very topic in our Members Area – keep reading for details!

  10. If a nap just isn’t happening, know when to give up and try again later. We end up dispensing this advice quite often to our consultation clients who we are working on nap training: don’t waste too much time trying to make a nap happen. No sense in spending 3 hours trying to force an afternoon nap to happen — at that point, you’re probably closer to bedtime than you are to naptime!
  11. When your toddler is finally done taking naps, consider replacing nap time with “rest time”. It’s always a little sad when your toddler finally ages out of his naps. Gone are those one or two hours of peace, when mom or dad could get some work done, catch up on chores, or take a nap themselves! However, the end of nap time doesn’t have to mean the end of your afternoon peace and quiet. Simply replace nap time with rest time.

BONUS NAP TIP: We like you so much, we’re squeezing in a bonus tip for you! This one deals with short naps, an all-too-common problems for the parents in our Baby Sleep Site® community. The fact is, short naps are normal for newborns and young babies, but by about 6 months of age, most babies are able to take longer naps. Want all the details on why short naps happen, and how to fix the problem? Check out this article on short baby naps.

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Special Members-Only Nap Resources

bss_ebook_masteringnaps_left Mastering Naps & Schedules — For starters, all Baby Sleep Site® members receive unlimited access to all our e-Books. That’s right – for the price of your membership, you can read all our e-Books at no additional cost! That includes Mastering Naps & Schedules. With over 45 sample schedules (all available for you to view in the Members Area), Mastering Naps & Schedules is THE e-Book for tired parents of non-napping kiddos! We tackle all your top napping issues, including how to get your baby or toddler to take longer naps, how to get your child’s naps to be more consistent and predictable, how to manage nap transitions, how to encourage good napping while traveling – and more! Become a member today, and access the e-Book instantly – no download necessary!
 
Tele-seminarNap Tele-Seminars — Another great members-only resource? Our tele-seminars. Hosted by Nicole herself, these 30 – 45-minute tele-seminars offer you insider-information and our trademark sleep coaching methods and techniques. We have several awesome nap-focused tele-seminars, including one on managing nap transitions, and one on lengthening short naps! Listening to these seminars is like getting a coaching session from Nicole! She’ll walk you through the basics of dealing with common nap problems and give you tried-and-true strategies you can implement at home.

Members-Only Nap Articles — And now, we’ve recently added a special members-only article on the hot topic of nap transitions: 5 Practical, Hands-On Tips For Managing Common Nap Transitions. Learn our 5 top secrets for how to gently and painlessly navigate nap transitions, and help them happen in a way that preserves your child’s sleep while also preserving your own sanity! ;-)

For more details about all our member benefits (including weekly chats with a trained sleep consultant and 20% off ALL sleep consulting packages), visit our membership page, and consider becoming a member today!
 
 
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Don’t feel up to working on your baby or toddler’s nap challenges on your own? While our Members Area is great for DIY moms who prefer to tackle sleep challenges on their own, we know that other moms much prefer to go straight to one-on-one help. Well, good news – we offer that, and you can start getting the personal help you need TODAY!

 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Are you struggling with any of these 10 points? Have nap questions to ask, or nap tips to share? We want to hear from you!

Sleep Training Boot Camp, Part Five: What You Need To Know About Nap Training

 
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New to Sleep Training Bootcamp? Check out our overview page to find out what Sleep Training Boot Camp is all about, and to catch up on past Boot Camp articles.

 

BOOT CAMP, PART FIVE: What You Need To Know About Nap Training

 
What You Need To Know About Nap Training

Boot campers, if you are hanging in there and sticking with Sleep Training Boot Camp, then I have just one thing to say to you – YOU ROCK! I know it probably hasn’t always been easy, and that the last few weeks have likely been at least a little tiring and tough. Remember, you can always ask your consultant (aka your boot camp coach!) for follow-up help. You can also just vent via e-mail, if that helps – clients do it all the time, and our consultants don’t mind it a bit! They’re happy to provide a listening and sympathetic ear. ;-)

Today, we’re changing tacks a little, and focusing on a specific component of your child’s sleep: naps. Why, you ask? Because naps are a different animal, in many ways – and for many parents, sleep coaching for naps proves to be different (and sometimes tougher) than sleep coaching for nights.

So, today, we’re looking at what you need to know about nap training. As usual, we’ll hear from Vikki about what nap training was like for her, and hear her tips for how to stay the course with naps. Read on, boot campers!

A Personal Account of Nap Training – Vikki’s Nap Coaching Story

The Meldrums 2013_4-4My daughter Lyla never went down easy at bedtime, but naps were another story. Lyla loved her crib. She was a superstar napper! Best in town! We’d read a book and she’d fall asleep on me in minutes. I’d put her chubby baby body in her crib and have an hour or so to do what I wanted. It was heaven. Bliss. Nirvana. Especially because, as you may remember from my last post about sticking with sleep training, Lyla brawled with sleep like a prizefighter, so we were getting no sleep overnight.

As Lyla got older and her objections to bedtime got worse and worse, her naps went to the dark side. By ten months, we were aiming for two 60-minute naps a day. I was spending hours trying to get her to sleep FOR EACH HOUR-LONG NAP. The effort did not match the outcome. Lyla wanted nothing to do with sleep, day or night.

By the time I contacted The Baby Sleep Site®, Lyla was beyond exhausted all the time. I was frustrated that I couldn’t help my baby sleep. And I was tired. So very, very tired. No one in my house was happy.

My consultant Jen suggested we work on bedtime and overnights first, and then work on naps, as overnight sleep and nap sleep are controlled by different parts of the brain. Made sense to me! I just wanted to get Lyla some peaceful rest at SOME point in a 24-hour period! As I mentioned last time, it took about a week to see progress at bedtime, and a little longer on overnights, but things did start to get better. What was crazy, though, was that naps were getting worse. Lyla’s objection to naptime was so severe that we’d skip naps because she fought so hard for so long at each one. As you’ve probably experienced, skipping naps can lead to an overtired baby and really tough bedtimes. At least it did for us. We were getting to a really good place at bedtime and Lyla even started sleeping through the night a few nights a week. I didn’t want to risk losing the progress we made at night so I knew I had to make a change at naptime.

Even though we were only about halfway through the nighttime part of the Personalized Sleep Plan™, I started working on naps. I incorporated what my consultant outlined for an approach and actually utilized some of the overnight tactics for naps. And, eureka! We had daytime sleep. Because we were getting into a rhythm at night, Lyla understood better what we were asking her to do during the day. She would still object a bit, but understand that she had to go to sleep.

Nap Training: Get Support, and Find What Works For You

The Meldrums 2013_4-18I think the key for naps is finding what works for you AND your baby. Your sleep training solution needs to be fluid enough that you can augment it when necessary, and supported enough that when you do, you have help and feedback. I knew I needed to make a change, and my consultant Jen worked with me to figure out how to implement it. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help – you don’t have to be alone on this sleep mission.

I know at times it seems like nothing is going to help baby sleep at naptime. But it will. Today, Lyla is fifteen months old, and I have a (still) chubby baby girl who has retuned to her previous title as the best napper in town. It didn’t happen overnight, and we still have hiccups, but I try to find what works.

We still have sleep struggles, and I think we always will, as sleep is not high on Lyla’s list of priorities. But when I think of how we went from a baby who couldn’t calm down enough to sleep day or night to a little lady who lies down and goes right to sleep most of the time, I get teary (read: I sob with joy).

To all you sleepless mamas out there: this sleep thing is hard. Hard on them. Hard on you. But believe, my fellow sleepy mommies, that there is a solution to helping your baby sleep during naps. Develop a game plan, but don’t be afraid to make changes while you’re on the field. Oh – and get help from a consultant! And don’t forget – you can do this! Naps will happen! You just have to find what works for you and baby. And you will.

Nap Training Resources That You Need To Succeed

Now, in the interest of helping you along in your nap coaching, we wanted to give you all the information we could about baby and toddler naps. Knowledge is power, after all! So if nap training is proving difficult, and you feel like you need additional help, we invite you to check out these resources:

bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftOf course, you may not relish the idea of reading a whole lot of nap articles right now – especially considering that sleep training may be leaving you pretty wiped out! If you’d rather have all the nap info you need condensed into one easy-to-read, instantly-downloadable resource, you may want to check out Mastering Naps and Schedules. With over 45 sample schedules, along with a wealth of napping tips and techniques, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a fantastic resource for parents who want to continue working on naps themselves, but want an abundance of information to help them along the way. And don’t forget that right now, for a limited time, Mastering Naps and Schedules is 15% off!

Finally, don’t forget – you don’t have to do this alone. You don’t! We are here to help! Our team of kind, compassionate, expert sleep consultants is ready and waiting to help you and your child get the sleep you need. With the help of one of our sweet and supportive “drill sergeants”, You CAN conquer sleep training boot camp! ;)

First, check out our sleep consulting packages and see which one looks like a good fit for you.

Browse the list of sleep consulting packages here.

Then, create your Helpdesk account, fill out and upload your Family Sleep History Form, connect with your consultant, and that’s it! You’ll have the expert help and caring support you need to conquer sleep training boot camp once and for all!

Naps are tough – but we’re here to help! Have questions about nap training? Ask then, and we’ll answer! Any nap coaching tips to offer? We LOVE hearing from you – share your wisdom with us!

 
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Boot Camp Part Six: Handling Sleep Setbacks –>