This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Arlo Baby. All opinions are 100% mine. Help your baby keep a nap schedule with these 7 easy to follow steps. Bringing a new baby into a family is such an incredible gift and so incredibly overwhelming when you consider meeting the needs of older siblings and the needs of your new baby. Welcoming our fourth child has come with it’s own set of challenges, there are more schedules to balance that is for sure, but the basics of how to strike a balance are the same. If you are like me, you may be most concerned about how to help your baby keep a nap schedule with older siblings. You are not alone in this question, and as your baby grows your expectations will change because depending on the age and temperament of your child these tips may adjust or change and that is okay! I think these tips will help you work around that and roll with the punches as they say… Newborns. Newborns are incredible aren’t they? They seem to sleep ALLLLL day long, and yet they keep you up for what seems the whole night. Most often babies are mixed up in what they consider their night/day and their sleep habits reflect that. While in your womb day time was filled with movement, white noise, and activity, which to them is a perfect atmosphere for being rocked and lulled to sleep. At night when you lay down to rest your weary feet you will notice as you get further along in your pregnancy that this is when you get the fun experience of feeling your baby kick and move! As you may already know, this “fun” will turn into not being able to sleep at night and I like to think this is nature’s way of preparing you for the early stages of sleep cycles your baby will have. At this point you are so uncomfortable in your pregnancy you don’t care and you’d rather be holding an adorable newborn not sleeping then rolling around unable to sleep. Am I right?
My first tip with sleep and nap schedules from your baby is to not expect too much of a routine in the first couple of weeks.
I always follow the eat, play, sleep cycle found in the “On Becoming Babywise” book, but other than that I don’t try to take the sleep routine thing too seriously. The good news is that newborns can sleep through most anything during the day in those first 6 weeks or so and this is a great time to lay down some ground rules with your older kids.
- Do not touch baby when baby is sleeping
- Keep voices soft around the baby
- Do not go into baby’s room
- Loud voices playing in other area of the home/outside
- Do not try to give the baby a binky when sleeping (they will try this I promise you!)
There are more ideas that could apply specifically to you and your family situation, but you get the idea. Our bedrooms are all in the upstairs of our home so we tell the kids that upstairs is off limits during nap time. One of my favorite baby items is a “hush hat” made with extra padding on the ears that can be used to muffle sounds on a baby beanie. It helps cut down the noise during nap time, a sporting event, or something you think may be too loud for your little baby’s ears.
Get other siblings on the same napping schedule if possible.
My children are all 2.5-3 years apart and I have always been able to keep the older one napping for at least a year after the baby is born. I realize that not all kids/babies will nap for this long and I am VERY lucky on that front. But, I will say that I have been committed to nap time. I try my very best to make it a possibility nearly every day and I think that has made a huge difference in the longevity of being able to do naps. Now that my baby is a year old and my next oldest is 3.5 I have them both taking their naps around 12:30 or 1:00. This year my second oldest was in afternoon kindergarten, so it was our routine to spend the morning together, get ready for school, have lunch, drop off our kindergartener, go down for a nap. EVERY DAY. He will often fight it saying that he is not tired, but I have established a routine with him of reading a book with him at that time and pretty quickly he realizes he is tired and will snuggle in for our special reading time. Some days it is a struggle, but it is always worth maintaining. I will be sad when it is over! This is actually why I do afternoon kindergarten for my older kids because then it can be a time for them to get out of the house while the rest of us have quiet time!
Establish a quiet time for all.
Now that we are in Summer and I have all four children home at the same time we keep a similar routine and always have nap time after lunch. My older kids know that this is their time for reading, playing quietly, or watching a show. I am totally fine with everyone having a little chill time and I think it is beneficial to everyone. Just today my son was saying he loves quiet time because they can do “whatever they want.” And what he really means by, “whatever we want” is, “whatever we want that is quiet and isn’t causing a ruckus.” We try our best to have our chores done by this part of the day as well so it is a great time for them to go out and have play dates as well. They are welcome to come to our house as long as they know they cannot go upstairs.
Create as much peace as you can.
I have had to get pretty creative in traveling situations when I am napping a baby. My most favorite places are walk in closets and master bathrooms. They have their own space, we can keep in dark and private, and it is in close proximity to the bedroom I am sleeping in. Another way to add peace is to use the bathroom fan to create some white noise to muffle the noise of the other family members. Have a game plan for when family members need to use the bathroom and have them go before you put the baby down for a nap.
Establish it any way you can. My sister always used a fan for her kids but it was used so often that her kids always needed it on to be able to sleep. I have found other ways that I like to use it if I feel like our house is noisier than normal. If you are traveling and in a tight space you try to There are so many ways that the Arlo Baby Monitoring Camera helps you fulfill all of these needs! The Arlo baby monitor offers lullabies, white noise, and a night light all in one. It is also easy to move from room to room and even travel with! You can monitor your baby’s sleep and be able to check to be sure the baby is in a comfortable sleeping situation with the temperature and noise level. You can even record your own voice and play it from the connections in your smart phone if you would like! Never miss a moment with this clear picture and video that is saved right onto your app. I didn’t even realize it was already taking video of me as I was taking pictures of the kids this morning. Gosh, I wish I had this monitor YEARS ago. It is so versatile and mobile you can literally take it any where and connect on your phone with a click of a button so see exactly what you need to know in an instant from your phone.
Don’t assume the baby is awake.
There have been so many times that I thought for sure a squawk from one of the older siblings must have woken up my baby only to go into the room and realize I have woken him by coming into his room. Oftentimes your baby will re-settle and fall back asleep. Your baby was used to hearing these same noises when they were in your womb, it is just a little less muffled now. Give those moments time to breathe before assuming nap time is over. This is where having a monitor can be so helpful. I love that the Arlo baby monitor connects right to my phone so I can now take a peek without having to bother my baby. The Arlo baby monitor has motion and sound alerts and will actually let you know if your baby is making happy sounds or crying. This is so helpful in taking the guesswork out of it. With a clear 1080 HD monitor and night vision you will never miss a moment or be left wondering whether your baby needs you or not. As I was setting this monitor up I was trying out the music feature and my baby wasn’t used to that! It interrupted his going to sleep, but with the short video grabs that are saved in the app I could see him looking at the monitor and then settling back down. I love this thing!
Don’t give up easily.
My kids have tricked me so many times when I thought they’ve been done with napping or we’ve lost our nap routine. Keep trying! You will have course redirects, interruptions and set backs. Teething, travel, time changes, and sicknesses always disrupt the flow. Adjust and keep sticking with a routine the best you know how. I have genuine sit downs with my older kids and explain to them why nap time is so important and why it benefits them. I explain that we are able to go out as a family and enjoy our time together so much more when the baby/toddler have had a proper nap. It means we can go out for more play dates, explore new places to play without meltdowns and stay out later. They get it. And if all else fails, distraction is always the best tool for young ones. An evil glare works well with the older ones. That is a good tool too. 😉 Some other features you will love about the Arlo baby monitor: Choose a night light color to activate all night long or just before you come in to see baby. No more tripping! 2 way voice communication. Talk with your baby on the way to his/her room. Connect to your phone and stay connected no matter where you are. Share your baby’s feed with your loved ones if you want to share the special moments with them too. Having a baby in their own space is super helpful, if you need ideas on how to move your baby into their own room you can read that here.