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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is full of help on getting babies to sleep well for naps and night. On page 123, Weissbluth offers some ideas for helping your child to nap better.
- During your waketime activities, go outside. “…briefly but intensely…” stimulate your little one. Do physical activity. Play in the sandbox, go to the park, take her for a walk, etc.
- During waketime and while outside, “…expose your child to light, wind, clouds, voices, music, traffic sounds…” etc.
- As nap time approaches, tone it down.
- “…spend an extra long time soothing” with baths, massage, etc. Do your routine in a dark and quiet room.
Those are some ideas for you to try with nap time. If baby isn’t sleeping well for nap, considering your waketime activities and your sleep routine is important. Children definitely need enough physical exercise to sleep well. Some experts say that any person, child or adult, who has trouble sleeping at night will do better if he/she goes outside around noon for some sunshine. And remember, the weather does not have to be perfect to spend time outside. You can dress your baby/child for the weather.
I have noticed physical activity to be a huge help in getting mobile children to nap well and sleep well at night. Our nap routine, however, is pretty short.
Have you found outside time and physical activity helpful for naps? What about the wind down? How long is your routine?