One of the questions I often hear from the parents of young children, particularly as the days become longer and warmer, is how they can successfully stick to their child’s day routine without feeling like they are trapped in the house all the time.
Children love predictability, so while it’s important to maintain their routine and facilitate day sleeps in the cot, there are times where being out of the house at nap time is needed and this is just a fact of life.
While many parents feel anxious about being away from the home at nap times with some careful consideration and planning, there are steps you can implement to ensure restful sleeps on the move or in a different environment, such as childcare or on holidays.
One of key things to help navigate sleeps on the move is to be aware of just how much sleep your little one needs.
The right amount is dependent on the age of your child, where they are at with their developmental milestones and their general health. A toddler should be having two to three hours sleep during the day and 11 hours overnight.
The two-hour day sleep can be achieved away from the home, it’s just all about forward planning.
If you can spend the time on foot, put bub in the pram and hit the pavement. It’s amazing how the sounds of the streets – from trams rattling past to birds singing from the trees can play a part in sleep. While it might seem noisy, the fresh air will do you both the world of good and the familiar comfort of the pram will assist bub with dozing off.
As you would at home, ensure the pram set-up is conducive to sleep. Dress your child in the right number of layers and ensure they are wearing comfortable, non-restrictive clothing. Use an appropriate pram hood/shade to create an element of darkness.
A lot of parents are also familiar with the term ‘sleep promotes sleep’ – and I can’t stress enough how important this is, however it is also important to have balance – which can only be achieved from being out and about.
There is a direct correlation between day time sleep and night time sleep, so if your bub hasn’t had enough sleep during the day, it is likely to impact their nights.
An overtired child will wake frequently during the night and is more likely to be an early riser and a cat napper.
If you do find that your child is not getting the desired amount of sleep when you are out and about, you can counteract it by putting them to bed a little earlier to make up the lost time.
One poor day sleep is not going to derail all of your child’s routine and all of your hard work and as with most things, it is all about moderation. Try following the days you are out with home days so your child is still getting a sense of consistency.
Image credit: @erikaheynatz