My top is from Madewell!
Did you know that March is National Sleep Awareness Month? I’m going to be sharing a few sleep posts over the next few weeks – both for babies and mamas, too! We finally started training Flora for naps around 8 weeks – up until that point she was napping on us, in her Rock & Play or swing for the most part. I put it off for way too long but knew I wanted to get her napping in the bassinet and then crib sooner rather than later, especially because we had a babysitter starting. I think the timing actually worked out perfectly because I really love my snuggly baby naps and wanted to enjoy them for as long as possible :) I thought I’d share a few tips on how we do our naps and what’s worked for us, keep in mind that every baby is so different! Piper never was a great napper and had a really hard time going down for them – I consider Flora to be much easier and that just goes to show how different every baby is.
Right now we are putting Flora down for her nap after she’s been awake for 1-1.5 hours. It’s the cycle that we follow all day long – Nap, Feed, Wake time, Nap again 1-1.5hours after she wakes up. This works so well for us and she’s rarely cranky unless she gets off her routine, we know when she’s hungry and when she’s tired. Of course this cycle gets disturbed when we are out doing something or have visitors etc. but when we are just at home I really try to stick with it! I’m not sure if this schedule works for everyone, but I highly suggest it. It took a while for us to get in sync, but it was worth it since I don’t want to get in the habit of nursing Flora before she goes to sleep (though I still do this before bed every night- but never at nap time).
-For us its all about timing — and catching Flora before she’s over tired. Then it becomes much harder to get her down for a nap! I pay attention to her cues and…
-Always write down or track (we use the Sprout app) what time Flora wakes up so I know when it will be time for her next nap. You don’t realize how easy it is to forget or just not look at the clock!
-Consistency is key for us – we use the same sleep tools and routine for every nap so she associates them with sleep.
-We use swaddle, pacifier, sound machine (we use the Dohm) and put Flora down in a dark room (her crib in her bedroom)
-If Flora wakes and cries I wait a few minutes before going in, 80% of the time she’ll put herself back to sleep. This has been SUCH a game changer for us and I can’t suggest trying it enough!
-Only recently ( at 12 weeks) have I started putting her down drowsy but awake vs. asleep in an attempt to get her to start to put herself to sleep on her own.
-Don’t give up. If Flora wakes up or won’t fall asleep I just keep trying our routine over and over until she sleeps!
-Sometimes she won’t sleep for more than 20-30 minutes but I still consider that a successful nap. Only recently (12 weeks) has she moved to longer naps over an hour.
-Try to get night sleeping established before worrying about naps.
-Remember to be flexible! Because we follow the awake time sleep cycle, we don’t have strict nap times – it all depends on what time Flora wakes up in the morning. I’ve learned I need to be flexible and more go with the flow when it comes to naps, eventually we will get into a more structured routine!
Image by Lauren Swann