4 Common Ways Parents Sabotage A Baby’s Nap

If you ask any new twin mom about her favorite time of day, she’ll probably tell you nap time and bed time. Obviously every mom adores the precious time she gets to spend with her children, but let’s be real, EVERY MOM NEEDS A BREAK!

How many of you can say nap time with your infant twins is just peachy…they sleep and you do you?

We’ll be honest with you, we have a love, hate relationship with nap time, because naps can be so darn finicky no matter how consistent you are. Babies are babies, kids are kids and they all have different sleeping needs.

In beginning we made some pretty simple mistakes that were sabotaging nap time without even knowing it!

We found that nap time was riddled with constant trips to the nursery to resettle our babies, changing wet diapers or picking up lovies that were rocketed out of the crib.

So mamas, take it from us, familiarize yourself with a few of the most common mistakes that parents make so that you can get a decent amount of time to yourself during nap time.

common ways parents sabotage a baby's nap

Missing Sleep Cues and Awake Time Windows

The early signs of sleepiness in children aren’t as obvious as one would think.  When your baby’s eyebrows are red and they have begun staring blankly, averting their eyes away from you, sleepiness has set in and a nap should be near.  Once you see yawns and eye rubbing, your baby has moved beyond the sleepy stage and is in desperate need of a nap. If you are not careful you will be on the verge of missing the opportune window. The thing is, overtired babies don’t sleep as well, which will have you fighting short naps and cranky babies.

Time your errands and outings to fit within your babies age appropriate awake windows so that you are home and already STARTING the nap routine before you reach the end of that window.  When babies are awake for an age appropriate amount of time, they will fall asleep easier,  sleep longer and wake up happier!

Inconsistent Routines or Lack Thereof

We get it, sometimes as parents we find ourselves flying by the seat of our pants.  Life happens! We hear you loud and clear.

As much as we have learned to roll with the punches, we have learned that a consistent sleep schedule where we follow the same “sleep time routine” made all the difference in the world. We schedule play dates, run errands and go to doctor’s appointments, but without fail we are home in plenty of time to follow our sleep routines and lay our tired babes down for a restorative nap. When your twins begin to develop a consistent and predictable nap schedule, around 6 months, you will be able to successfully have them sleeping at the same time if you are consistent and determined to keep their schedule.

Don’t just lay your babies down and walk away.  Help them settle down and give them a few cues to warn them that sleep is coming, just like you do at bedtime.  You don’t need to invest as much time into your sleep routine during the day, but again, keep it consistent. It can be as simple as turning on the white noise, singing a short lullaby, changing their diapers and then laying them down. Whatever you decide to include in the routine doesn’t matter as long as they can predict sleep is coming.

Transition to Fewer Naps Too Early

It is nice when your babies begin to consolidate their sleep and you can whittle down the number of naps your babies take per day.  We do enjoy having larger chunks of our day not dedicated to naps, but be warned that cutting out naps too quickly when your babies really need more daytime sleep will only come back to bite you.  

So how do you know when your baby really is ready to transition to fewer naps?  We have an entire post dedicated to that subject that should clarify all the questions you may have!

Sleep Environment

Would you like to sleep on the floor of a college frat house while a party bumps around you?  It’s safe to say that you wouldn’t sleep so well in that environment. Keep this in mind when you think about jumping in the car or rocking for hours because your babies won’t nap any other way.

Sure babies can sleep in a loud restaurant or at a pee-wee soccer game. They can sleep great in the car on the way to a friends house, but if you rely on on-the-go naps daily, nap time won’t be as restorative as it should be for your little ones and you will eventually have to battle the sleep associations that on-the-go napping inevitably creates.

The best place for your babies to nap is in the same place you have them snoozing at night.  Recreating the nighttime sleep environment for daytime sleep as much as you can will help teach your baby healthy daytime sleep habits.

If At First You Don’t Succeed

There will be times when your babies are napping like champs, and then there will be times when they are going through regressions and fighting naps like crazy. Whatever the case may be, hang in there, because this too is a season of life, a short blip on the radar. If your babies sleep great one day and not the next, don’t panic. Just try and try again.  Naps are a wild beast that can be tough to tame. When you have one of those no nap kind of days, just look at the bright side, early to bed is your saving grace!

Tell us about your nap time battles.  What bad habits have you broken to improve naps in your house?

Share with us your napping tips in the comments below!