It is not rare that babies who used to nap on regular basis in first months of life, just stop doing that. The newborn who was napping without a problem, and waking up refreshed with a smile on the face, is now becoming active. Not just active, they will start rolling over, getting nervous, and if older, jumping all around the crib. Don’t worry about this behavior, it is perfectly normal. Below are some helpful tricks you can try if your newborn is refusing to take a daily nap like they used to.
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Don’t break the routine
Children have the same body clock as adults, but they are too young to know when and how to satisfy their need for sleep. That is the main reason why you need to take over, make a sleeping schedule and stick to it. In fact, naps are crucial for newborn’s development, so you should plan the rest of the day around them. Pediatricians are united in the opinion that skipping the daily nap can’t be compensated during the night sleep. As a matter of fact, the opposite will occur: night sleep will be negatively affected, and you’ll have a baby who is getting sleep deprived.
Seize the opportunity
Always keep your eyes on the baby, especially when a time for napping comes. In the moment when they yawn, you should take them and put them in the crib. This is a brief period of time, but you’ll learn to recognize it if you are focused. Some other clues are eye-rubbing, rooting, thumb-sucking. Make sure to keep your baby awake during eating. After that, try to put them to sleep by killing the lights or giving them a massage. Telling your baby a story can also be helpful. They’ll love to hear your voice and it will relax them.
Work on sleeping atmosphere
The best environment for baby’s nap is their own crib or bed. Try to avoid strollers, carriers and car seats. Of course, you may have a portable crib which can be replaced when needed. The point is to provide quiet and relaxing area to your child. Once you’ve decided where the napping sanctuary will be, make sure to kill the lights, turn down the music volume, or search for calming, sleeping music. A great solution for instant dimming might be getting yourself affordable curtains and blinds. If you have a dog that likes to bark at the postman, make sure to put the crib in another room, away from the street and front door.
Keep your baby active while awake
In order to have a good and successful nap, your baby has to tired a bit. Because of that, try to keep them engaged while awake. Keep communicating, singing and making eye contact. All these activities will keep their focus high. Make sure to give your baby enough air, so short visits to a park are highly recommended. You may as well take them to shopping with you. Shopping environment is packed with stimuli and they’ll keep your baby wide awake. If your kid is a little bit older, you may engage them in physical activity. Jumping jacks competition for example.
Teach the baby to be in charge
It is very important to teach your kid to fall asleep on their own. That way they’ll learn to be independent and will save you a lot of time in the future. Another important step in baby’s life is to teach them to continue sleeping even if their pacifier isn’t near them. Learn to be patient with your baby. If they get awake after just a few minutes and start fussing, try not to run into their room in order to rescue them. Instead, wait for a while, and they’ll probably fall asleep again and sleep for another few hours.
Training your child to nap regularly shouldn’t be a nightmare. They’ll go to sleep when they’re tired enough and it is your job to fill their awake time with various activities. Encourage them to spend some time on their own. About half an hour of flipping books, playing quietly and coloring will do the trick, and they’ll decide to go napping on their own.