Family Magazine

How to Get a Baby to Nap

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum


Learn how to become effective at putting a baby down for a nap.


Whether it is healthy or not, most adults have reached for sleeping aids, or even Nyquil, to help them get the sleep that they need at least once. Of course, these products are obviously not an option when it comes to getting your baby to nap, so how do you become more effective at it? Why do other babies seem to fall right asleep, have a long nap and wake up refreshed, while yours refuses to? Is it that your baby is trying to torture you by not giving you time to get the laundry done, or is it because they just love you so much that they don’t want to miss anything? Well, probably a little of both!


English: A sleeping male baby with his arm ext...

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  • Be Realistic – Just because you think that it is a good time for a nap, doesn’t mean that it is. If your baby is not tired, sleep won’t be coming anytime soon. Be realistic with your expectations.
  • Routine – Establishing a consistent nap routine is the smartest thing you can do. Just as your internal clock is used to going to sleep and getting up at the same time, your baby’s internal clock works the same way. While they may not fall asleep on cue right away, if you are consistent, you will find that naptime will get significantly easier.
  • Bedtime Rituals – Similar to the routine, your baby will start to associate certain rituals with sleep. This could be singing a song, rocking, nursing, a warm bath, or anything else that is soothing.
  • Darkness – If you are trying to get your baby to take a nap out in the well-lit living room so they can be close to you, you are likely spinning your wheels. Darkness helps, so choose a room with the least amount of light, close the blinds and add opaque drapes, if you have to.
  • Repetitive Sounds – Certain sounds are not only soothing to a baby, they are somewhat hypnotic. Water running, rain, a fan, vacuum cleaner, ticking clock, waves and womb sounds, are all repetitive sounds that help invoke sleep. You can easily download or buy a DVD with these sounds, which will make your life a lot easier.
  • Swaddling – Some babies respond favorably to the security offered by swaddling while others feel confined and get fussy. Some medical studies suggest that swaddling can help a baby stay asleep and it reduces SIDS, while others suggest that it can increase hip dysplasia risks.
  • Eliminate Discomforts – Even little minor things can make your baby uncomfortable enough to not want to sleep. Clean their nose so they can breathe easy and remove potential allergens, such as down comforters and fuzzy toys and blankets, etc. Take care of teething pain, remove irritating sleepwear, make sure there are no wrinkles in their sheets, change soiled diapers and make sure the room is a comfortable temperature.
  • Slings and Swings – The sling is one of the greatest inventions ever. Believe it or not, when you wear your baby in a sling while doing housework, talking on the phone, etc., the constant movement and excitement from changing surroundings is every exhausting. If you don’t have a sling, a swing will do. If you don’t have a swing, go for a car ride.
  • Variety – The earlier you make a point to get your baby used to sleeping in different surrounding, the better off you will be. You can’t expect an 8-month-old baby who has only ever napped in their crib to suddenly nap at grandma’s house because you are going back to work. If you can create a flexible baby who will sleep anywhere, your life will be much easier.

There are some babies who simply get used to naptime  and require virtually no effort at all. Of course, none of those parents are reading this; most have to work at this whole nap thing. Just be patient! Start by developing a routine, add in the other mentioned elements and be consistent.

The perfect nanny will have the art of getting your baby to nap down to a science!  Find your child’s dream caretaker at


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