Do you have a baby who LOVES to nap in the car or on stroller rides? Cara Myre of Wee-sleep.com has some expert advice for you.
Naps on-to-go can be lovely as they provide you with more flexibility to take trips to the market, visit family and friends and other activities away from your home. However, keep in mind that very frequent motion naps can make your wee one’s sleep more difficult at bedtime and through the night. This can happen for a few reasons:
Sleep Surface – if your baby or toddler is used to the upright, more ‘cozy’ positioning of the car or stroller seat, they may rebel when it is time to sleep on the firm, flat surface of their crib or bed. This can lead to trouble setting at bedtime or throughout the night!
Sleep Drive - the relaxing vibration of cars and strollers can accidentally lull your child to sleep even before they are due for a nap, or GASP, you end up with only a 5-10 minute nap! This can wreak havoc with their internal sleep pressure, which builds throughout the course of the day to allow for a full night of rest. Your little one may be quite overtired by the time bedtime comes, and we know overtired children are more prone to night wakes then well-rested ones on a proper schedule.
So how do you balance naps on the go AND proper rest? Here are some tips:
- Prioritize the first nap of the day at home or in their pack n’ play in the hotel room, as this is generally the longest and most important nap of the day
- If you are out and about, keep your child busy and awake until it is time for their regularly scheduled nap and then let them doze off when sleep is due
- If your child has had a busy day with lots of stimulation, activity and napping on the go, then prioritize an early bedtime so they can catch up on some of that missed rest
Still have questions or concerns about sleep? Cara Myre is a Senior Sleep Consultant with WeeSleep who helps tired families across the globe. Visit www.wee-sleep.com to book your free 15 minute phone consultation and follow her on Instagram for regular tips on sleep.