We always hear about the importance of bedtime routines, but setting up a short nap time routine is just as important.
Dr. Marc Weissbluth, author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, did an informal study of 60 infants, where he compared their temperament in relation to the hours of sleep they had during a day. He found that those children who slept during the day had a longer attention span and were easier to get along with than those children who did not take adequate naps. “Children are better able to learn from their environment because they have a better developed ability to maintain focus and sustain attention.”
The nap routine can be an abbreviated version of the bedtime routine.
It should take 5-10 minutes. If you have had more stimulation than a normal day before the nap, you may need to extend the routine a few extra minutes to wind down.
Feeding should take place outside of the routine to avoid a feed to sleep association. Feeding upon wake up is encouraged.
Put baby in comfy clothes to sleep.
Example of a nap time routine:
- Change diaper
- Read a book or two
- Sing a song
- Lay baby in crib awake