Napping and sleep schedules can be a sore spot for parents to talk about sometimes, because not every child is naturally an easy sleeper.
In fact, many parents struggle to know how to help their children sleep well, which is frustrating since sleep is so important to the routine of babies and small children.
So we thought we would share some of the tips and tricks we’ve picked up along the way as a professional daycare provider! Hopefully some of these can help you along the way as well!
Tips and Tricks for Helping a Child Nap Every Day
Make Sure the Lights are Dim
It’s never easy for anyone to fall asleep with bright lights shining in your eyes, and that counts for babies and young kids, too. Although it may be easier for them to fall asleep in many environments, intentional naptime should try to emulate nighttime.
Draw the curtains, turn off the lights, and give them their favorite blankie. If the room is dark, it is easier for a baby or toddler to relax and rest or wind down and understand that it is time for sleep.
Sounds Machines & Music Can Be Your Best Friend
Babies and toddlers love soothing sounds around them. In the womb, babies are used to listening to many noises—mom’s heartbeat, blood rushing through her veins, and any noises from the outside world filtering in as well. So total quiet can be unsettling to young babies when trying to sleep.
Avoid loud, disruptive, or startling noises; but the quiet sound of music or white noise can lull a baby to sleep very easily.
Rub the Child’s Back Gently
Sometimes little ones just need the reassurance that they are safe and not alone during naptime.
According to Infant Massage USA, massage at bedtime can increase both a child’s melatonin levels, improve their sleep cycle, and grow the bond between the child and their parent or caregiver.
A gentle massage or touch from you can put them at ease and help them relax, whether you gently rub their back, stroke their nose with your finger, or pat a baby’s bottom. All of these gentle, soothing motions can put a child at ease and relax them so they can enjoy a nice, restful nap.
Prepare Them for Naptime or Bedtime with Some Quiet Time First
Expecting a child to jump right from play to sleep can be unrealistic, and little ones can benefit just as much from wind-down time as adults can.
So pull out some of their favorite books and their blankie or lovey. Have some snuggle and reading time to help calm them down and prepare them for a peaceful naptime or bedtime.
This could be the thing that makes all of the difference in the world for a child.
These are some of our favorite ways to help kiddos during naptime. What are some of yours?