Going stir crazy? Sometimes you need to get out and explore. Our expert Sleep Consultants Slumber & Sprout have put together a bunch of good tips to help parent’s with baby’s achieve successful naps in the pram.
Are you wondering how to get your baby to finally take a nap while you are out, and a good nap at that? We don’t want you to be stuck at home each and every day, we’ve been there and after a while we all go crazy. A change of scenery (even better with a coffee in hand) does wonders for us Mamas, doesn’t it?
So first things first, it is absolutely possible and healthy to teach your baby to sleep in places other than their cot. The sleep might not be as long as restorative the same as when you bub is at home but that’s okay, you can just aim to have them sleep a little longer on their next nap or head to bed earlier if the pram nap was on the shorter side.
Tip 1: You need to practice with pram naps. We don't encourage you to be out all day every day, but we do encourage you to do a pram nap out of the house regularly.
Tip 2 – If possible, teach your baby from a young age to sleep in places other than at home. Do this from the beginning and your baby will get used to this from a young age.
Tip 3 - Timing is the most critical thing for success with napping out of the house. Excluding newborns, we recommend not having your baby or toddler in the pram until 10 minutes before their nap is due. A well-timed pram nap is often more successful. Common reasons pram nap fails are:
- They are poorly timed - baby is put down in the pram too early when their nap isn't due. They spend too much time lying about in the pram before they are due to sleep that when the time comes around to sleep they don't have enough drive to sleep.
- They are too late - baby is kept awake longer than their ideal awake window, has become overstimulated, overtired and is having trouble settling off to sleep
Tip 4 - Don't forget the comforters. Whatever your baby would usually sleep with (dummy, comforter, blanket etc.) these must be taken with you. Remember if your baby sleeps with a comforter at home this is a sleep trigger for them. Having that sleep trigger available in the pram will help to send them off to sleep while you are out.
Tip 5 - Cover the pram SAFELY. Remember the darker and more boring the sleep environment the better. This includes the pram as well. If your little one is able to see all of the exciting stuff going on then it's likely that they won't want to miss out on the fun.
Tip 6 - Motion. Some babies will fall asleep in the pram with the pram stationary, many won't. If your little one isn't drifting off to sleep without motion then go for a walk or give the pram a rock back and forth.
Tip 7 - If you have a pram nap fail the first few times don't get disheartened, they don't always go to plan. We recommend to keep giving it a try even if it's just for one nap every few days or once a week.
A baby on a routine does not need to have every single nap at home in their cot. As mentioned above, we don't recommend that a baby sleeps out of the house for every nap either, cot sleeps are important and for most naps this is what we recommend. But remember, BALANCE!!!! Everyone needs balance. Napping out and about isn't so much about your baby, it's about YOU and YOU are important as well.