As we approach the holiday season (yes, it is really just around the corner!), I thought it would help everyone to get a little advice on juggling naps, bedtimes and routines while being on the go.
First of all, please keep sleep on track the best you can. trust me when I say you will thank me! I always advise making sure your AM nap is always at home in the crib. It is the strongest nap and it really does set the tone for the rest of the day. A solid morning nap is the best thing you can do for your babe and you!
If you are going out for she visiting, try and time your naps to be when you are in the car so you arrive at your destination with a child who has had some sleep (or who is still sleeping) and is in good spirits!
If nap time falls when you are at another person home, I suggest sneaking off a little before nap time and setting up the playpen in a dark, quiet space. Make sure have your little ones favourite snuggly buddy or blanket, sleep sac and whatever else you use for sleep. We want to make the situation just like nap time at home so your baby isn’t freaked out. Because the place will be new for your child, take an extra 5-10 min for your routine so he/she can get comfy and out of any stimulating stuff- you know, the pick ups by strangers and family, the pass around, the cheek squeezes, the bounces, the toys flashing in their faces…. This will help your little one get into sleep mode.
If bedtime falls and you are at a friends or family for dinner….stay! Don’t rush home. Just honour your child’s sleep and do your bedtime routine where you are and put your child down in a dark, quiet space. When it is time to leave, get the car all set to go and grab your child and the playpen and go home. Your baby will likely wake….that ok, just go home and into the crib.
When you have a child that knows how to sleep and is a solid sleeper and not dependant on anything to fall asleep, napping and nighttimes are much easier when on the go.
The best take away here, is always stay on track and don’t deprive your child of any daytime sleep if you can avoid it. Strong day sleep leads to string nights.