I hope that title didn’t scare you off, because I don’t mean to say that naps inherently suck. Naps can be fantastic! Even as adults, a nap can be absolutely therapeutic, both mentally and physically. And babies and toddlers need naps in order to keep themselves happy and thriving. But when you first start teaching your little one the glorious skill of falling asleep independently, you’re likely to notice that they manage to get the hang of nighttime sleep pretty quickly. When it comes time for daytime sleep though, things can get a whole lot more difficult. Out of all the babies I’ve worked with, I’d say around 90%(!!!!) of them have had trouble with naptime. They have a harder time actually getting to sleep or they tend to wake up after their first sleep cycle, (usually around 45 minutes) and struggle to get back to sleep again afterwards. And as any parent knows, when your baby doesn’t get a good daytime nap, that sucks. They wake up grouchy, they’re fussy until they go down for another nap, and you end up having to soothe and settle them instead of attending to all of the other vital parenting tasks that you could have focused on if they had managed to get a full 2-3 hour daytime snooze.
So yeah, it’s not like the actual naps suck, but I’m sure you’ll agree that putting your baby down for a nap, tiptoeing out of the room, closing the door oh-so gently, and then getting two steps into the other room, then hearing them start to stir and cry, that right there, that really sucks.So let’s look at some of the reasons why naptime tends to suck. First of all…
Just remember to keep an eye on the volume level. White noise machines can get ridiculously loud and it’s not recommended that babies be exposed to noise over 60 dB for extended periods of time. Hearing loss sucks too.
Make no mistake, all of these recommendations can help, but they’re nothing compared to the improvement you’ll see in your baby’s naps if they learn to fall asleep independently. More than anything else, that’s the key to getting your baby sleeping through the night and taking long, restful naps during the day, so if your little one’s still relying on things like feeding to sleep, rocking to sleep, or sleeping on top of you in order to take a daytime nap, that sucks more than anything, and it’s the single most important issue to tackle before you worry about anything else.