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How to Get Your Baby to Nap

Tips for a Smooth Slumber

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You can make naptime a breeze for babies and toddlers. Try these tips:
How to Get Your Baby to Nap

  • Make sure your baby’s nap space is drowsy-ready. Pare down the room to bare essentials: a crib or toddler bed, a changing table, simple wall décor, diapers, supplies, and clothing. Ditch toys, games, and electronics. (Blackout shades are optional; white noise is fine.)

  • Pre-game your strategy. If you want your little napper to snooze at, say, 10 a.m., start your wind-down activities 15-to-20 minutes beforehand. Snuggle into a cozy chair, share a calming book or a sleepy song. Make a habit of putting your tuckered out tot to bed when he’s drowsy—not fully asleep.

  • Watch out for unexpected schedule busters. Teethingcolds, flu, or a trip to the doctor or market can knock a smart naptime routine off kilter. Don’t let short-term interruptions detonate an otherwise viable plan.

  • Evict obstructions—especially for the tiniest nappers. Place your infant on her back, on a firm mattress, in a crib cleared of all toys, blankets, and pillows. For tots who are toddler-bed ready, a few button-free loveys or treasured blankies are fine.

  • Style a shut-eye wardrobe. Jammies aren't required, but do make sure your sweetie’s clothes are safe for mid-day napping—nothing too loose, too heavy, too light or too constricting. No clothing with strings.

  • Be boring. Except for when you’re out-and-about (and your cutie conks out in the car seat), try to have your sleepyface nap in the same location. The “instant connection” to a familiar place can make it easier for your sleep-meister to catch some zzzz’s.

  • Make a promise … and keep it. Never bribe your cutie to hit the sheets. Instead, explain that a good rest will give her more energy to have fun later. Schedule an activity to forward to—a trip to the park or library, or a play date, and let her in on the plan.

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