5 napping habits you might want to limit….
1. Napping infrequently
If your baby is napping far less than what is expected “average” and the naps are quite sporadic this is definitely a habit you want to get on top of. Start by encouraging more frequent naps to increase your babies day time sleep, then try to establish a bit of a nap schedule to ensure those naps become more consistent. This prevents the infrequent naps leading to over tiredness which we all know is the monster who ruins our babies lovely temperament and disrupts night sleep!
2. Napping too often
Most newborns come home from hospital with their days and nights mixed up. They sleep for 2-3 hour stints frequently in the day, and hard to wake to feed. They then wake frequently at night and are perhaps quite wakeful from midnight until morning. This is normal in those early weeks, the solution is time and slowly extending your newborns awake time during the day. But if your baby is over 6-12 weeks and still has this sleep pattern, you might want to work on less day sleep immediately.
3. Napping in an electric swing or hammock
This can be the easiest way to get a newborn to sleep, I loved my electric swing for that late afternoon nap when my third was a baby. He would nap for a good 45 minutes while I prepared dinner. But I was weary of allowing this continual motion to become a habit my baby relied on to sleep, as I knew he would outgrow the swing!
I limited it to that late afternoon struggle time, and tried to ensure that by 4 months 1 or 2 naps a day happened in the cot.
4. Napping in the car seat and buggy all day
When you are a busy mother of 2 or more children, its totally understandably that you can find the first nap happens in the car on the way to school, the second nap in the car on the way to the super market and the third nap in the buggy after school. This can quickly lead to an over tired baby who is probably not getting the most restorative sleep each day.
Think about planning your days to try to be home for one big nap each day, and the other two can be on the go.
5. Holding to sleep for all naps
We all know how delicious it is to hold a newborn while they nap! They sleep brilliantly, they smell unbelievable, and their breathing as they sleep…..But if this is the only way you can your baby to sleep after the initial 12 weeks it can become more and more difficult to achieve naps. When you are ready try to get your baby down for at least one nap a day in their bassinet or cot, start by only holding until your baby is 80% asleep, and gradually back it off over a few weeks.
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