How can I leave my house on a nap schedule?
However many children you have, it is not always possible to be at home throughout your nap schedule.
My daughter was born in the height of lockdown, therefore, the only benefit was that I could always put her to sleep in her usual sleep space. However, the downside of that is that she will NOT nap on the go 2 years on unless I get the environment absolutely right.
I would encourage you to get a good balance, it's important that you get out of the house and naps on the go can be great (and necessary!). It's also great that your little one gets used to going down in their cot AND napping on the go.
If you have a little one who resists day sleep, naps on the go are also good for establishing the routine for them. It's great if you can try to get one nap a day (ideally the longest one) to be in their sleep space when possible.
Some things to consider for napping on the go:
Timing: You have a few options here, you can either time your outing straight after a nap so baby is feeling fresh and doesn't fall asleep in the car. Or, if you have a longer journey ahead, plan the car ride for nap time so that they take their nap when you're on the move. Also consider shifting your schedule for the day, stick with your baby's suggested awake times but move naps to suit your day.
Environment: If you are going somewhere you can create a dark, quiet room, great. However, this isn't always realistic. SnoozeShades are amazing, they do them for travel cots, pushchairs and car seats. All Breathable and safe and a great way to ensure a dark, unstimulating environment on the go.
Sleep Associations: If your child has a comforter, or settles best with a dummy, bring those things along when you want them to nap on the go. Babies create sleep associations quickly and anything you can do to recreate their normal sleep environment is a great way to give them a good nap out and about. Things like favourite blankets, portable white noise machines etc can be great (Avoid putting this too close to baby's ears). If they like a sleeping bag and it's cold out, you could even use this in the pushchair.
Don't listen to everyone's opinions, many will say that naps on the go aren't as good as naps in the cot - the truth is, a nap is a nap. Of course, they'll likely sleep longer in their own space, however, it's important that you're not chained to your house for the sake of naps.
Sleep cycle wise, you may find you don't get more than one sleep cycle on the go, but as I said, leaving the house for the short naps and staying home for the longer nap can be a great way to make it work for you.
Aforementioned, it's all about creating a balance that works for you and your lifestyle.
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