Does your baby or toddler nap well at home, but not elsewhere? If you’d like your baby or toddler to nap well at friends, family, or hotels then this post will help.
You decide to go to a mom’s group. Or a family member’s home. Or a friend’s house.
You decide you’ll put the baby down as normal and give yourself a chance to visit and relax.
You put the baby down. The baby doesn’t sleep. The baby cries. You pick up the baby.
Now the baby is tired and fussy and you are no longer having fun. And you are trying to roll a stroller around to get the baby to sleep and so you may as well be at home since, really, the whole reason you wanted to get out was because you never leave the house.
28 Things To Try If Your Baby Can’t Sleep
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Ahh…. I’ve been there. At times, you can just hang out and not put your baby to sleep, of course. But if the baby is used to sleeping and you are away from home for a long time, he will need to nap eventually.
And so when that time comes, here are some tips to help your baby (or toddler) nap well elsewhere.
(Note: I don’t think it’s a great idea to put a baby down on a bed, even surrounded by something to prevent them from falling. If you don’t have something like a play pen – that I mentioned in this post about using one baby item 8 ways – then I’d recommend putting them straight on the floor.)
- Nap in another room in your home. One tip to help create a flexible napper, is to let your baby take one nap a day, or a few times a week if they are older, in another room of the house. Whether you put the play pen in another room or let your baby sleep in the toddler’s crib, this will help your baby acclimate to putting themselves to sleep somewhere different than the norm.
- Get white noise. White noise is a positive sleep association that is not location specific. It will also help mask any unfamiliar noises the new location may have, so there will be less unfamiliar disruption.
- Don’t skip the routine. If you normally have a long drawn out naptime routine, you may want to shorten it. However, don’t throw out the entire naptime routine because that’ll also be a positive sleep association that’ll help your baby or toddler settle down.
- Bring familiar objects. One thing I always do when I want my kids to nap elsewhere is to bring a familiar blanket, pacifier, and play pen. Normally at home, I’ll put a blanket over the side of the play pen to block out light and distractions. I’ll bring the same blanket and do the same thing in the unfamiliar location because then, essentially, the only thing they’re seeing different is the ceiling.
- Set the scene. I close the curtains, turn on the white noise, and change the diaper. Earlier this summer we stayed at a beach house and the rooms were a lot brighter than the kids were used to. We just took a few towels and hung them haphazardly over the windows to make it more dim.
- Mind overtiredness and overstimulation. When napping at other peoples’ homes or locations, I usually try to put them down for nap right on time, if not a bit early. Overtiredness + a new location = not good napping.
- Give it time. If you are going to be somewhere all morning, let the baby or toddler have a chance to nap even if they fight it for a while. If they are happy enough then I’ll give it a bit extra time. They’ll usually fall asleep eventually, but I know they will also likely not take long naps either.
Here’s a video that shows how easy the Fisher-Price play pen is to actually put together, even for someone who is not a mom of tiny kids used to doing all that type of thing.
And, the best part, is that you can actually take it from room to room without breaking it down because it’s narrow enough to fit through a doorway.
It’s half as light as other play yards in the market, it’s multi-purpose and can be used for both play and sleep, and here’s a video that shows how easy it is to set up. I would definitely consider looking into it, you can Purchase at Walmart here.
I’ve created a free email series just for you! There are truly only a few reasons why babies and toddlers have struggles sleeping… really, I mean it. I am going to teach you the main 3 reasons and how to start making small changes to help your baby go from:
- fighting sleep to embracing it
- night wakings to sleeping through
- needing you to jump through hoops to going to sleep on their own
Click here to sign up for my free email series or simply click on the image below.
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