10 Baby and Toddler Sleep Tips That Will End the Naptime Battle
If you’re a new parent, you know that naptime can be a battle. If you are sitting at the computer typing “Why won’t my baby sleep?!” into the Google search bar, we have good news for you. We’ve compiled a list of 10 baby and toddler sleep tips that will help end the war over sleep once and for all.
At WavHello, we love helping families connect with one another. One thing we consistently hear from our customers is how white noise is essential for their baby's nap schedule. Our SoundBub speaker comes preloaded with two white noise tracks that can be easily activated with one-hand (say if you are wresting a screaming toddler into their bed) and can play your music via Bluetooth. Shop SoundBub here for you or to gift to a parent in need of a little sanity. Now, on to sleep tips!
When you’re a new mom, nothing sounds better than putting your baby on a sleep schedule. Just think of all things you can get done while they are off in dreamland. You’ll soon realize that baby sleep schedules are often imperfect. Our advice: don’t force it. Most babies aren’t ready for sleep training until they are five or six months old. Beyond that, there are always little quirks in your schedule that can put things off. Try looking for sleep cues instead - like staring off into space, yawning or heavy eyes.
Give them a snack.
If you have a toddler, you know that they are growing at an unprecedented rate. Giving them a healthy snack right before bedtime will help they stay asleep longer without being woken up by hunger pangs. For babies, schedule a feeding close to, but not right before, naptime. This will allow them to be burped and upright for a while after eating, which will cut down on spit-up disasters in the crib.
Create a routine.
Help signal to your little one that it’s time for sleep with a routine that you do every time you put them down. This can include reading a favorite story (or two!), dimming the lights or even playing a favorite song. Remember, consistency is key. Check out our baby sleep routine activities for more inspiration!
Photo | @wellettas on Instagram
Avoid screen time before naps.
Fact: Toddlers love screen time. And while it may be an effective form of distraction to keep them busy during the day, it can also cause over stimulation right before sleep. Try cutting off screen time at least 30 minutes before putting them down to help them fall and stay asleep.
Add white noise.
What a life saver! During the day; so many noises can creep into your little one’s room and disrupt their sleep, especially if they have older siblings. White noise effectively blocks out all the commotion so they can stay in dreamland. We designed our SoundBub white noise machine to not only play built-in tracks to soothe baby with one touch of a button, but also to connect to your phone via Bluetooth to play their favorite sleepy-time tunes.
Make the room sleepy.
This may seem obvious, but the overall environment of your child’s room is a key factor in getting them to doze off. Try finding the perfect balance between a light and dark room. While you may not be able to have the room be completely dark; things like heavy curtains certainly help. Turn on your white noise machine (see tip 5) and you have the perfect nap climate.
Photo | @reagandoodle on Instagram
Put ‘em down drowsy.
If you are working on having your baby become a more independent sleeper; this is a great trick to get them to soothe themselves. Instead of nursing them to sleep, try setting them down just before they fall asleep; they’ll get used to drifting off on their own.
Get used to “schedule busters”.
They happen to everyone. Sickness, teething and sleep regressions are all mortal enemies of staying on your nap schedule. You may feel at times that all the progress you've made with naps has been for nothing. Take it in stride – you can’t be perfect 100% of the time. Be as consistent as you can and keep moving forward.
On-the-go should not be the norm.
Napping in the stroller, car seat or carrier may be a convenient way for baby or toddler to catch some Zzzs while on-the-go, but this should not be their main nap setting. Rest on the road is not as restorative as sleeping at home; not to mention it can throw off your hard earned nap routine. Try not to schedule outings around the time they are supposed to nap to keep consistency.
Photo | @scarletandgraybulldogs on Instagram
Call it quiet time instead.
This one goes out to all the toddler moms. One way your child can assert her independence is by refusing naptime altogether. Our solution: call it quiet time instead. Place her favorite books or quite toy in the crib and dim the lights; she will most likely fall asleep on her own. At the very least, she will enjoy her new found independence.
A quick Note from the UrbanBaby Team - A massive thank you to Wavhello for this great contribution to the UrbanBay Blog!!