Creating A Realistic Nap Routine
By QCNC Intern, Diane Parker
We all like a routine, I know I do! Some people love a good skin care routine, a healthy workout routine
or a relaxing TV routine at the end of the day. Well, when it comes to babies, they love a good nap time
routine! Sleeping is critical for all ages but when it comes to our little ones, we need to make it a priority
from the beginning, so why not start off on the right foot so that this routine is enjoyable for you both!
Keep this routine as simple as possible and keep it less than 15 minutes. I also suggest using a tracking
app on your phone or a iPad. This will help you learn your baby's patterns and it will help you keep track of time so you don’t have to play a guessing game with yourself!
#1 Know your baby's cues
Study and learn your baby. Pay close attention to small clues such as eye rubbing, sighing, long stares,
jerky movements, uninterest in toys and or resting their head or your shoulder.
#2 Take your time
Do not rush through the movements, be gentle and be present with the baby. If you are feeling stressed or anxious the baby will pick up on your energy.
#3 Set the stage
Talk to the baby in a soft and calm voice and tell them that you're getting ready for nap time.
In your own order:
Turn down the lights, put on a sleep sack, read a book or two and or sing a lullaby.
Turn on a sound machine, close your room darkening shades, play a timed mobile and give your child
their favorite comfort item. Keep this comfort item to sleep time only so they can also use that to
associate sleep and rest with this item.
Then lay them down in their crib or bassinet but not fully asleep. This will encourage the baby to learn
how to help soothe themselves.
#4 Stay close
Be a calming presence near the baby so they know you are close by. You can touch the baby's body
gently or shush them to sleep. In case they are not fully asleep you can be there if needed. It is always nice to know what to expect in your day, if you can. And for a baby this routine will become one of your favorite part of the days when you can bond with your child and help create a safe place to rest and grow. Now that baby is resting peacefully, you can start your laundry routine or your cooking routine or maybe even your nap routine!