Top Tips for a More Napful Baby

Do you have a baby who won’t nap like mine used to not want to nap? I have some suggestions that might help you and it’s not duct tape. I’m just kidding. Duct tape might work, but don’t do it.

I know most mommies who have littles probably know quite a bit about naps, but for those of you who might be struggling (like I was just up until recently when my post-partum brain finally kicked back in) I have some suggestions for the things that have been working really well for us.

Number one is swaddling. For those of you that might have followed along with our journey up into this point, you may remember that my littlest refused to be swaddled for the first few months and also refused the paci. That was rough, but now that we’re about five months into this she is taking both which is the weirdest thing. It has revolutionized nap time. These days my go-to is “swaddle.” I know, I know. Duh. But I promise she wouldn’t do it before. What I’m doing these days is the double swaddle. Because here’s the deal, if she can move any part of her arms, if she can wiggle, she ain’t going to sleep. So, we’re talking mummy style here – mummy.  More below.

Number two is noisemakers.   I’m not talking about the baby 🙂 I’m talking about noisemakers you can buy on Amazon or Bed Bath & Beyond or wherever. We actually have two. We have a nice little noisemaker that does rain sounds, and then we have another one that’s kind of got a low tone. More on this below.

Number three is blackout curtains. Now I’m not talking about just like a dark-colored curtain, I’m talking about the thick can’t see through it kind of thing.  More below.

Here’s my little burrito baby in a double swaddle. Click on this image to see a quick clip on how I do it.

And then the last thing is we use is, number four, a pacifier. Now that she’ll actually take it, we definitely take advantage of the pacifier. I know that not everybody wants to do that, but it really helps with our naps.  Let’s take these each in more detail.

At right is a pic of precious baby in her bed getting ready to be swaddled. It’s close to her nap time, so if she starts to freak out, you’ll know why. Notice she’s got her paci. So we’re going to take the first side and fold it over her arm and tuck it under her bum and then we’re going to take this other side and tuck it under her bum. I’m less worried about her legs honestly. So, I will get it tucked under loosely, kind of throw that up over her feet. Boom. Burrito baby. She can’t really move very much, and that really helps her sleep. This is our swaddle for nap.

Dohm and Homedics noise makers. We like them both and use them in tandem.

We use two sound makers. First is the Dohm. You can pick these up on Amazon (like just about everything else that’s ever been produced :). It has two noise levels – high and low. This one is the high. And you can adjust what it sounds like by moving the top.  The other one  is the HoMedics Sound Spa Relaxation Machine and it has a couple different options that make it really cool. There’s thunder, ocean, brook, summer night rain and white noise.  It also has a timer for 15, 30 or 60 minute and several volume levels. I keep both of these going in her room for nap time. I put them on full speed, one on one side of the room and the other on the other side.  We try to be quiet outside her room and with these sound makers going, there is a constant, soothing noise for our smallest daughter.

I use two layers of curtain, the one closest to the window really blocks that outside light!

The next thing is the blackout curtains. I’ve nice chocolate colored curtains in her room. They look pretty, but underneath is the actual real deal thing. At some point in time, I’m going to sew these in, but for now, this works really well. I picked up this really thick material at Jo-Ann’s Fabrics. Even when it’s pretty bright outside my little can’t tell because the windows are covered. I just keep it nice and closed and when I’ve got everything sealed off, it’s dark as a womb in here — which is fantastic for helping my little sleep.

I know some mamas don’t use paci’s and that’s totally okay, but we do. We’re a paci-using family — well, at least the youngest one is anyway. Actually, we just got the oldest one to give up hers. She’s four and a half so we took it away a few months ago. If you’re interested in how we pulled that off without a meltdown, click here to watch my video. Anyway, last but not least, the paci, and she likes it!

I hope these ideas help.  Happy naps for your littles!

How do you help your little be more napful?  Please add your wisdom and experience to the comments below!  Also, we have a FaceBook page with dozens of posts for mommies…..helpful, funny, encouraging and more.  You can also find us on YouTube where we have now almost three dozen videos about childbirth and parenting.

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