Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Naptime Woes---Is Your Child a Happy Napper?

Napping is an important part of your baby’s day. If you are anything like me, your child’s naptime is also a time for you to re-coop, refresh and re-focus on the second part of your day. But what happens when your baby or toddler doesn’t nap? In our household, that means meltdowns are certain to occur (from my two-year old and occasionally, from myself!) What are some ways to help get your child’s naptime back on track?

1. Read your child’s signs.
The number one resistance to naps is because children are overtired. Look for the following signs of sleepiness and make sure you heed them: rubbing eyes, yawning, slowing down, and fussiness. If you ignore your child’s “sleep signs,” you run the risk of ending up with a cranky, overtired baby.

2. Make sure your child’s room is conducive to sleeping.
Is the room dark enough during the day? Consider getting shades or blinds for your child’s windows. Are the sounds from outside your child’s room cutting naptime too short, or marking it difficult for your child to settle down for sleep? Think about getting a noise machine or fan to cut down on some of the distractions that come from the great outdoors.

3. Establish a routine.
Let your child know it is time to settle down by creating a naptime routine that will become part of your child’s every day schedule. All activities leading up to naptime should be consistent each day. Songs, stories, soft music, rocking, or cuddling are some things that have helped many parents get their children ready for naptime. One example of our routine we do with our toddler is to read two to three books at naptime. We always end the reading time by reading her favorite “Naptime” book. It is a great reminder to her that it’s time to be a “happy napper,” just like the child in the book! Whatever your routine is, as long as it is consistent, it will cue your child that it is time to settle down and have naptime.

Remember, sleep is an important part of overall health for your child. Your child is growing rapidly both mentally, emotionally and physically, so ensuring your child is getting enough sleep is vital. Pure and Honest Kids wishes all of you happy naptimes for you and your children!

How many naps a day does your child take? Vote in the poll to the right!

How do you keep your little one being a happy napper? Post it in the comments section below.

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