Thoughts on Napping: Places & Accessories for Helping Babies Sleep

Naps and sleep in general are frequently the topic of conversation in my “mom’s group”, and often come up in conversation when friends, family, and people we meet ask about how B is doing.  Some of the moms in my group are struggling to “get their baby to nap”.  For some, it’s never been a worry.  In fact as we were all chatting around the circle the other day with the little ones on the floor in front of us, I looked over in surprise to see one of the babies sound asleep amidst all this activity! Amazing.  Even though B’s naps range in length from 30 minutes to a 2 1/2 hours, naps have always been an important part of his day.  Without them, he’s a mess.  Not able to function.  So in response to this, we take the nap very seriously.

Places to B likes to nap (aside from his crib):

  • Carriers: The Ergo and the Moby have been the two that work for him.  As of late, the hood attachment for the ergo has been very important in helping to shield him from distracting lights and activity going on around him.  The key to these carriers for B is to keep moving, especially when he is initially getting to sleep.

napping at the roller derby

  • Stroller Rides: It may take 15 or 20 minutes, but getting in the stroller, and going for a walk whether that is around the neighborhood, “hiking” a flat trail in a park, or cruising the mall, is almost a guaranteed ticket to a good nap.

napping on a walk around Lake Sammamish Park

  • Car/Bus/Light Rail Rides: Like most kids (and some adults!), the car sends off sleeping vibrations to B. The movement, the music, the white noise that is created all help to lull him to sleep.

napping on the light rail in Charlotte, NC

Accessories and other things that help B nap:

  • White noise: This could be created from the car, the sleep sheep,  or a loud, busy restaurant.
  • Temperature: No too warm, not too cold…when traveling in the ergo, B can get overheated, so we are careful with what he wears.  This can be tricky when you are going in and out of places! When in the stroller, we pack him up with blankets (hats & mittens in the winter) like a little baby burrito.
  • Pats and bounces: For some reason, pats on the back and bouncing up and down allow B to settle down and get into his sleep zone.
  • A full belly: Of course, right? How could you focus on sleeping if you are hungry?! We always make sure B is well fed before helping him get to sleep.
  • ACTIVE  TIME: This is actually the original reason for my post.  B started going to a wonderful music and movement class on Fridays.  It’s called Nurturing Pathways, and he has absolutely the best time.  In class we dance, play, and move to music in many different ways.  Just to give a snap shot of class last week…I pulled him around on a sheet, we had tummy time while reciting nursery rhymes, we waltzed around the room with scarves, the babies took a ride on a parachute, and then enjoyed more tummy time surrounded by fun musical instruments.  I’ve realized that all of this excitement and activity wears him out!  After class, he will snooze for an average of 2 hours. This got me thinking.  I can and need to mimic some of the parts of class throughout our days and adventures.  We can’t just cart him around from stroller to car to carrier, and back again, and expect sleep (and a happy baby). Taking the time to talk, sing, dance, play, and move are important. He also needs time to explore his own space rolling, creeping, grabbing for toys, etc.

Some fun shots of his class:

I wonder when and if his ability to nap in various places such as restaurants, outside, and just generally on the go will stop?  Will we be more bound to home as he gets older, and needs a defined sleep space?

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Napping: Places & Accessories for Helping Babies Sleep

  1. After about 2 months, my son stopped napping in restaurants (he’s almost 4 months now). And since going out to dinner now coincides with his bedtime, our only meal out is lunch. We try to take him out as soon as he wakes up so that he doesn’t fuss while we’re eating, but 80% of the time one of us has to hold him while we try to eat.

    • Berg made it to about 3 months, and then started to “wake-up” to the world. Every now and again if he falls asleep in the car (or walk over), we are able to cover his car seat with a muslin blanket, and he’ll stay asleep. We feel very lucky when that happens! It’s a funny in-between stage because they don’t really want to stay in their car seats, but can’t yet sit in the high chair.

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