There is nothing more frustrating when your baby won’t nap in their crib independently. You’ve been stuck with contact naps after you’ve tried naps in the crib and bassinet. As a pediatric sleep consultant, I am going to teach you exactly how to solve infant naps in the crib.
I want to tell you that there is nothing more frustrating in the world than trying to implement nap strategies. And it’s not short naps. It’s not the lack of naps period. It’s just that they won’t nap anywhere except on you.
In the beginning, we love the newborn snuggles. As a sleep consultant, I will never rob a new mom of enjoying those newborn cuddles. You want that, but as that newborn begins to grow into an older baby, you would love for them to nap somewhere else.
I wish I could reach through the computer screen and help, but if I were in your house, this is what I would teach you. These methods will work beautifully for a newborn and a young baby, but after 10 months or older, it will be harder because your baby is very aware of their surroundings.
So the first thing that I want you to do is to pick a day on the calendar. If you’ve been struggling with a baby that only naps on you, I want you to count down and get excited for the day that you’re going to wake up and try something new. You need a plan in place. I don’t want you to watch this video and then instantly go to your child’s room and attempt to do this.
I want you to decide on the day on the calendar that you will begin these nap changes and work on the first nap of the day.
Why? The first nap of the day is actually an extension of your baby’s mind and body’s sleep pressure. It’s almost like an extension from nighttime.
This is why that first nap of the day is usually easier for the child to fall asleep. What I want you to do is dedicate yourself to help your little one fall asleep in the crib. This may look like sitting beside them and holding them with your hands down to the crib, shushing them, patting them, and essentially doing what a stay in the room method would look like to help them fall asleep with your help.
We are trying to help your baby connect that sleep happens in their crib. We are making new connections with their body and mind!
Training a newborn is a bit easier than a baby. Older babies are more aware, but let’s cover some tips about newborns. If they are between zero to 12 weeks old, they will be in a swaddle. Swaddling helps your infant feel more secure and confident to fall asleep.
The next thing I want you to do is to make sure the room is completely dark. This recommendation is for all ages, but make sure the room is completely dark. Even though they won’t be able to see you well in the darkness, your presence will help them sleep.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely you can do this once and get the perfect crib naps! It will take time and consistency. The first time it may take 30 minutes. If after 30 minutes, they have not slept, you’re welcome to offer a feed. Afterward, go back and offer another nap in the crib.
After that second attempt, that’s really all I would do because we need to move on with our day. We need to nap and your infant may become overtired. So if the first day fails, offer them a nap somehow and move on with your day.
I want you to know that creating healthy sleep habits from the beginning of your child’s life is always worthwhile. If you are feeling lost and confused without a clear plan of action, and you would like to begin the process of sleep training, especially if you have a little one that is 16 weeks and above, please come on over and check out our programs at littlezsleep.com/programs. We want to make sure that you have a clear plan to really teach your little one how to have better naps, how to sleep all night long, and more.
I hope you enjoyed this training! I’m looking forward to seeing you next time here on our channel.
Sweet dreams. See you next time.
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