Getting kids to sleep is a task that you should accept. However ‘good’ your child is, all their ‘goodness’ disappears before nap time. Nap time and meal time are, perhaps, the most troublesome times of the day for parents. That’s when the tantrums are at their peak. You did voluntarily sign up for this! So there’s no point complaining about it now.
Instead, improvise and think-out-of-the box. Try to devise a nap time ritual that works. Once you have come up with one and implemented a nap time ritual successfully - trust us - life gets much easier! The quicker you put your child to sleep, the longer you get to sleep. There’s no motivational source more powerful than that!
Theoretically, coming up with a nap time ritual sounds a simple enough task. Realistically, it’s not. Hence, before you come up with your own unique ritual - here’s a classic ritual that you can follow. Don’t worry, this one’s tried and tested because many parents swear by it!
Step 1: Dress Them Up Appropriately
Think of it from your perspective. When you have to go to sleep, you put on a night-suit which is, perhaps, the most comfortable outfit in your closet. The same logic applies for babies. Wrap them up in a cosy and comfortable blanket. Once that’s done, put some comfortable clothing onto them. Lastly, use the correct nighttime diaper. The nighttime diaper is very important as, in its absence, wetness can disturb the baby’s peaceful slumber. This will ultimately disturb you too.
Step 2: Give Them A Pacifier
‘Plugging’ the baby up is extremely important. The function of a pacifier is to reduce the risk that’s associated with SIDS. Thus, whenever your baby is about to sleep, make sure that they have a pacifier in their mouth. If they don’t like it, offer it repetitively. Ultimately, it’s supposed to have a soothing effect on them. Worst case scenario: your baby doesn’t like a pacifier, it’s okay! Just be sure to keep a watchful eye on him/her when he/she is sleeping.
Step 3: Create A ‘Bedtime’ Atmosphere
Babies take naps all throughout the day. Adults know that bedtime is at night but babies don’t. They need other indicators to show them that it’s bedtime. The responsibility to create these indicators falls on the parents. To get to sleep soundlessly, you need to create a bedtime atmosphere.
How? Recreate a typical nap time scenario. Give them some food (lunch or dinner), make them change into their sleep clothes (night suit, pajama etc.) or read to them a bedtime story. Finally, then, switch off the lights.
This nap time ritual is a simple, yet extensive 3-step ritual. Follow it to the word for the first week or two. Once your child gets the hang of it, you too can ease up on some of the rituals. Hopefully, the result will still be the same.
If you have a better nap time ritual that works for you, please feel free to share it in the comments section!