As much as we love and adore our kids to the moon and back, there’s no time quite like nap time (and even better…bed time!)! Not only is that little reprieve in the middle of the day good for parents but it’s crucial for growing bodies and minds. Read on for some of our tried-and-true tips for sleepy time success!
The number one tip we can offer up is to create CONSISTENCY. Children thrive on routine and knowing what comes next, especially when it comes to sleeping. That being said, having a set bedtime routine (i.e. taking a bath then reading a few stories then lights out) removes the guesswork for children and parents alike and generates feelings of stability and comfort.
Set the tone for sleep long before it’s time to lay down. This can be done by dimming the lights, playing soft music, drawing the shades, turning on a sound machine or fan for white noise, and turning off any electronic devices that may interrupt the production of the important sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
Having a comfortable and familiar space for resting is key for children of all ages. When your our child’s own bed is out of the question, our Daydreamer Nap Mats are the perfect accessory for a sleepover or daycare take-along. Featuring a self-inflated mattress with an attached polyester fleece blanket, these Nap Mats are easy to set up and take down. They are also compact and easy to transport in the carry bag that comes included. At 47.5” Long and 20.75” wide, the Daydreamer Nap Mats are just the right size for young children in need of a safe and cozy place to catch their zzz’s.
Another great way to wind a little one down before going to sleep is to read stories or sing a few songs together. This doesn’t have to take any longer than ten minutes but both of these activities inspire relaxation.
Follow your child’s lead when it comes to their natural sleep cues. From as early as the newborn days, babies communicate their exhaustion through crying or other physical gestures such as rubbing their eyes or pulling on their ears. These habits will manifest in other ways as they grow but it’s helpful for both parties when you learn to read their cues as early as possible.
Some children are naturally night owls while others are born early birds. Some babies drop their naps entirely as early as age 1 while others still take two to three naps well into preschool. It’s important to remember that each child is their own unique person and should be treated and respected as such.
If your child has a difficult time sleeping by themselves, offer a hand to hold or a few minutes of snuggling before leaving the room. Amidst of the chaos of everyday life, it’s easy to forget that they won’t always be this little; enjoy the cuddles while you can!
Remember that while adequate sleep is key to a happy, healthy childhood, it doesn’t have to be a chore or a battle. Think of it as a wonderful opportunity to bond and build trust between yourself and your child!
Sweet dreams, little ones!