10 Common Child's Naptime Problems and Solutions
Most of us have been there - you're exhausted and your little one won't let you sleep. With a to-do list as long as your arm, it's hard to find time for yourself, let alone for your kids.
Don't worry, we've got some tips on how to get them down at naptime so that everyone can rest up and recharge in order to tackle whatever life throws their way.
It’s not easy managing everything, whether you're on your own or as part of a team - below are some tips and tricks to make yours and your child's life much easier.
1. What are common child's naptime problems and solutions?
Parents will often complain that their child only gets a couple of hours of sleep each day, so when someone casually mentions that their little one sleeps soundly for four-five hours, it has been known to spark a bit of parenting jealousy!
Sleep deprivation is part of the job description of a parent, and proper napping can be a touchy subject in most parenting communities, because it is one of the many things that will dictate whether you have a good or bad day/week/sometimes even longer...
2. What are common child's sleep problems?
Our short answer - ANYTHING!
If you've got a little one who doesn't quite understand the importance (and joy) of sleep, or they just can't seem to do it on a schedule, it is something that is going to take a little planning and extra effort on your part as a parent.
2. How do I get my child to take a nap?
There are a variety of different techniques that can be used in order to get your child down for a nap, but what works for one family might not work for another.
Some parents prefer to stick to a strict routine, while others allow their child to dictate when they want to sleep by taking naps on-the-go.
First, be patient; it takes time to learn the art of putting your baby/toddler down for a nap and, just as crucially, knowing when they need one!
If you have a newborn, experts recommend that you put them down after at least an hour of awake time so they can gradually learn how to fall asleep on their own during this sensitive developmental period.
After around six months, babies generally don't need a daytime nap, but toddlers up to age three should still get one.
There are a few tried and true methods for getting kids down for a nap:
- A bedtime routine is key. This might include reading a story, singing lullabies, or giving them a bath. Experts agree that doing the same things every day before naptime will help your child associate those activities with rest and relaxation.
- Try darkening the room and turning on some calming music. White noise can also be helpful in blocking out distractions and helping kids fall asleep.
- If your child is resistant to taking a nap, put them in their crib while they're awake and let them play quietly until they get tired. Some experts recommend giving in to children's requests for snacks, drinks, or toys during this period if it keeps them quiet and happy. Then when they're worn out, you can lay them back down without any fuss.
- Putting your child down drowsy but awake might also help. If they're still super excited about the day and chatty with you instead of getting drowsy, try laying them down while they’re asleep (aka sleeping on their own) for 15 minutes longer before going to check on them—if possible! This method works best for kids around three months old to two years old who are still napping several times per week.
3. Tips on how to cope with your child's naptime problems:
Regardless of how your child behaves at nap time, the most important thing is that they get enough sleep to be healthy and happy.
Sometimes parents worry about their child getting sick or cranky if they miss a nap, but studies show that overdoing it with too many naps can lead to just as many problems, so don't shy away from taking some all-day snoozes - they'll likely benefit both you and your little one!
If your baby doesn't doze off easily during their bedtime routine, try putting them down before they're fully asleep.
The earlier you go in to check on them, the more drowsy they'll be when you lay them back down.
This usually works best when they're still taking a few naps per week.
When your child wakes up during their nap, don't get too down about it - just like adults, children need different amounts of sleep at different times.
Some days they'll wake up after 30 minutes and others, they'll sleep for a couple of hours.
As long as they're getting the recommended total amount of sleep each day, there's absolutely no need to stress.
If you've tried all of these tricks and your child is still not taking naps, it might be time to consult with your pediatrician. There could be an underlying health issue causing them to resist rest time.
The best way to help your children get the sleep they need is by being attentive to their individual needs.
Make sure you are setting a bedtime routine that works for your child and helps them wind down before sleeping at night, as well as following through on it consistently each day.
If all else fails, make sure you have some earplugs handy!
Regardless of the method you choose or how many problems you encounter while trying to get your child down for a nap, the most important thing is that they're getting the sleep they need!
Napping is an essential part of every baby and toddler's day, so don't give up if it's a little bit challenging in the beginning, however, it will get easier with time.