Nap habits your baby may develop
If any of the below sound familiar, your baby may have developed a nap habit
As young as they are, babies can develop habits really quickly, and parents often find they have unknowingly got their baby used to being rocked to sleep for example, and your little one appears to never fall asleep unless they are being rocked.
This is even more likely with naps as during the day you are often out and about or wanting to get a few things done so finding quick ways to help your baby fall asleep can become the norm without you even realising, here's some pointers to consider while your baby is still very young, that may help you prevent your baby getting used to certain things to sleep.
Don’t be hard on yourself if your baby has developed a napping habit already, it’s easily done and can be gently changed. Your baby will ultimately lead the way with how they sleep but avoiding these habits that can have them relying on certain things to sleep form early on, could help them learn to settle to sleep more naturally from an earlier age.
Here are some habits to lookout for:
1. Needing to nap on you
Lovely as it is for your baby to snuggle into you for a nap as a newborn, if you soon notice that it is the only place your baby will settle to nap this could have become a ‘nap habit’. It may make it difficult for them to settle at night too and it doesn’t give you any break while they nap to catch up on me time, get a few things done or nap yourself.
2. Napping only in a bouncer/swing chair
The motion of a swing chair or the rocking of a bouncer can be perfect for calming a baby to the point of napping, but again, if this seems the only place your baby will get off to sleep, it could be that your little one has got into depending on the swinging motion in order to nap. It’s a good idea to change this habit and encourage falling to sleep independently by going for a walk instead. Or try moving baby to their crib when the start showing signs of being sleepy tired.
3. Napping in the car/buggy
Again cars and buggy’s are fine for your baby to nap sometimes but like the swing chair/bouncer, if this is the only place your baby will nap, your little one has probably become reliant on the motion of the car or buggy in order to go to sleep.
Here’s what the experts say:
Whilst short naps are OK in these environments, safer sleep charity, The Lullaby Trust has warned that evidence shows that sleeping a baby on anything but a firm, flat surface, can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). So always be mindful of how long your baby is sleeping in a car seat or bouncer/swing chair and remember that for the first six months your baby should be in the same room as you when they sleep, both day and night. The charity also warns that sleeping on a sofa or armchair with your baby can increase the risk of SIDS by up to 50 times and if you are tired there is NEVER a safe time to sleep on a sofa or armchair with a baby day or night.