Managing naps with one child can be a challenge as you navigate the right time, creating the right space, and ensuring repetitive nap schedules are on target. Adding one or more nap times, and often at different times or durations can create a new challenge that may need creative solutions.
Never fear, the certified sleep experts at Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby are here to help! We know all too well from both personal and professional perspectives the challenges nap and bedtimes can pose with different ages of kiddos. While it may seem daunting, soon enough all of your nappers will be happy nappers and you’ll get that much-deserved mid-day break, or even a nap yourself.
If you are working with a baby who may need two naps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, in addition to a toddler who may only need one nap now, and most likely that nap is mid-day or roughly around the same time as the second nap for baby, we have some great tips for you to work with.
Toddlers take their role as the older sibling to heart. This age initiates the response of wanting to help, and this is the perfect age to start teaching responsibility by helping with small tasks. Assign them a role in the nap time for that baby; it can be helping feed with a bottle, reading a book, singing a song… You know your child, designating a task that helps you, teaches them responsibility, creates a bond with their sibling and creates a response of feeling proud that they are helping you!
When it is time to put the youngest child to sleep, prepare an activity for your toddler that will keep them occupied so they are not distracting you, or the baby at this time. It can be screen time with a T.V. show, or a game on the iPad, or playing with a certain toy. Choose something that will keep them busy so you can focus on the baby.
While the baby is napping, this is a wonderful opportunity for you and your toddler to bond one-on-one. If you have a baby monitor that reaches outside, getting some much-needed Vitamin D while playing outdoors is the perfect activity for both of you to stretch, get some exercise, and help your toddler burn off some energy that will help them fall asleep when it is their time to nap in the afternoon. If it is too cold to be outside, find an activity that will not waken the baby, though will keep you both entertained and bonded without using screen time if possible. There are those days you need a break and screen time is a great tool for that.
If there are occasions you are not home during the nap time for the baby, remember, babies, are flexible and can typically fall asleep no matter their location. If they are in their stroller or car seat, and fall asleep, let them have that time. A nap in motion is better than no nap at all. While it is always ideal for them to sleep in their own room at home, there are times that is just not possible.
If you have any questions, or need any help with double nap times, or helping baby to sleep independently so you have more time with your toddler, let one of our certified sleep consultants at Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby help! We are available to help you regardless of your location, please give us a call or send us a message. We look forward to working with you and your little one!