Some parents are just plain lucky. Their babies sleep through the night and nap at appropriate times without waking up needlessly. Many parents however aren’t so lucky. My wife and I are prime examples of that too.
Our son refuses to sleep through the night. He wakes up every couple hours and despite the fact that he goes back to sleep after some crying most nights he used to be worse. At as old as eight months he would still wake up at three in the morning and scream for two hours straight before going back to sleep.
Nighttime sleeping habits aside babies need quality naps during the day too. Again, some parents are lucky enough to have babies that sleep really well while parents like ourselves can’t get our son to take a quality nap on any kind of consistent basis. That is until recently.
How We Got Our Baby To Take Daytime Naps
After so many long hard nights it’s hard to motivate yourself to try anything new especially when you are so exhausted but we ended up taking turns a couple times a day taking our son out for a walk around nap time. Over the last few months we realized there were two very defined times of the day that our son needed a nap. It was questionable whether he would nap but we knew he needed one.
In days past we would try our best to get him to sleep but he rarely would drift off on his own, he wouldn’t hold still if we held him and tried to rock him to sleep, and if we did get him to drift off we couldn’t put him down without him waking up. Lately however we have been having successful nap times by strapping him into his stroller and heading out for a walk.
Usually this works and we couldn’t be happier. Basically we strap him into his City Mini GT and drop the seat back to a slightly reclined position to encourage him to sit back. Then we walk out to a quiet park not far from our home and take a couple laps. Usually he is attentive and then he eventually and slowly drifts off to sleep. Once this happens we can manually drop his seat back a little lower, sometimes to the near-flat position, and then walk back home.
The whole walk is about 30 minutes, which is enough time for him to fall into a good sleep rhythm but not long enough for him to wake up. This gives us an option when we get home to lay down and get a small nap in ourselves or get some work done around the house. We just leave our son in the stroller when we get home to take advantage of his sleeping since moving him would wake him up.
The benefits of doing this are enormous for our family. Because our baby doesn’t sleep well at night we are more tired and he is a little crankier during the day. The naps help him with his crankiness and they give us time to get some rest. Then when he is awake he is easier to take care of because we are better rested and he is less cranky.
This won’t work for everyone and I wish it wasn’t the way we had to do it at home but it is something that some parents should try if they are having trouble getting their children or babies to nap. You may be feeling too tired to take your baby out for a walk but it may help him sleep and may give you a moment to rest yourself when you get back.