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Ideas for Establishing Good Sleep Habits and Dropping to One Nap. Get great sleep from the beginning and continue those habits into the toddler years.
Something I never regret as a parent is that I spent time and effort on setting up healthy sleep habits. I never said, “Wow, I wish my toddler didn’t take naps still” or “Hmm…I sure would like it if my 4 year old didn’t have a rest time each day.” I never shake my head that my 13 year old goes to bed and a reasonable hour each night. I never sit in jealousy when I hear the other moms talking about how their jr. high student is up until midnight each night and they can’t get him/her to go to bed.
I always think to myself, “I am so glad I worked on those sleep habits from the beginning.” Sleep difficulties don’t end at some magical age one day. The child who fought sleep as a 7 week old, naps as a 2 year old, and beditme as a five year old is not a teenager who says, “Oh, you want me in bed by 9 PM each night? Okay.” Yes, some of those magical unicorn children will exist, but most maintain the habits put before them as babies unless those habits are changed at some point.
Good sleep habits is not something you only concern yourself with in the baby months; you want good sleep habits for life.
There are many ways to establish good sleep habits. Today, two of the BFBN members are talking about aspects of healthy sleep you focus on in the earlier part of your child’s life.
Starting Healthy Sleep Habits from Birth
Caitlin from Twin Mom and More is talking about seven ways to establish good sleep habits that you can implement from birth. You want to get these good sleep habits started as close to birth as possible. Don’t despair if you are starting later than that; my oldest was not from birth and he still became and still is a great sleeper. The ideal is from birth, however. Caitlin says,
“You don’t have to be one of those parents who is exhausted because their child doesn’t sleep. There are things you can do to set your baby up with good sleep habits from birth, and I’m going to walk you through it below. “
Yes! You can do many things to get great sleep. Those efforts can be applied from the beginning. Head over to Twin Mom and More to read 7 Ways to Establish Good Sleep Habits From Birth.
Here are my favorite posts on this blog for starting healthy sleep habits young:
- My Sleep Hierarchy for Newborns
- Sample Nap Routines
- Top Sleep Tips
- The Cornerstone for Good Naps
- How to Get Your Baby to Nap
Dropping to One Nap a Day
Natasha from Let’s Be Brave is talking about dropping to one nap. She discusses the signs and methods for moving to one nap a day. You slowly decrease the number of naps each day. You don’t want to stop napping too young, and dropping gradually helps keep the amount of sleep you needs each day happening.
Dropping to a one-nap schedule can be so freeing! When your child only takes one nap, it allows you to have the entire morning free to do whatever you want. You no longer feel like your entire life revolves around naps. It’s wonderful! Unfortunately you have to wait about a year and a half before you can drop the second nap.
I totally agree! Moving to one nap a day feels scary at first, but once you do it, you soon come to love it and wonder how you ever lived with more than one nap each day. Head on over to Let’s Be Brave to read How To Transition To One Nap . Here are some posts on this blog for dropping down to one nap a day:
- Dropping Naps: A Quick Guide
- Dropping Naps: A Quick Reference
- Dropping a Nap: A Weaning Process
- Dropping Naps
- Dropping the Morning Nap (from 2 to 1 naps): Transition Time
- Dropping the Morning Nap Guide
The Babywise Friendly Blog Network ladies are all writing this week about sleep. Here is the schedule:
- How to Solve Sleep Problems for Toddlers and Preschoolers – Chronicles of a Babywise Mom – Monday
- 7 Ways to Establish Good Sleep Habits From Birth – Twin Mom and More – Tuesday
- How To Transition To One Nap – Let’s Be Brave – Tuesday
- Mama’s Organized Chaos: How to Know if Your Child is Ready to Drop to No Naps – Wednesday
- Team Cartwright: 7 Reasons I Want My Kids Awake After Bedtime – Wednesday
- Christine Keys: 5 Powerful Reasons Babywise is Powerful for All Kinds of Babies – Thursday
- Wiley Adventures: Thursday
- The Journey of Parenthood: How to Tell if You Have a High Sleep Needs or Low Sleep Needs Baby – Friday