Prisoner in the house

Baby naptimes are a complete joy and also a complete pain. I love it when Bub is asleep. I love the time to myself, knowing that he’s totally fine and getting the sleep he needs. But I also hate the fact that our whole lives revolve around his naps. We hardly ever go out before about 4pm in the afternoon, for fear of disrupting his routine. Not much flexibilty there.

Bub is a reluctant napper, to put it mildly. The only way we’ve been able to persuade him to nap regularly and for any length of time is to keep things pretty regular, calm and in a routine. His mornings are all really similar and follow the same pattern. He therefore knows to expect his nap and goes down reasonably happily. Varying this results in either a struggle before sleep, a super short nap or no nap at all. Plus it usually carries over into the next day which becomes a struggle too.

In short, we are all prisoners in our house, at least until after his first (now only) nap.

Sleeping whilst out and about isn’t something he’s keen to do. He can fall asleep in the car, but only whilst it’s moving, so if we do travel anywhere at nap time he needs us to drive for at least an hour to ensure he gets a good nap. Fine for a long journey, rubbish for anything local. And as for sleeping in the buggy? When there is stuff to look at? You must be joking. Plus I have the same issues as the car and therefore need to keep walking for the duration of the nap. Healthy perhaps but not much fun.

I’m keen to break out of this now. This was fine when he was younger and was up again by 1pm. But as he’s getting older he’s sleeping later and longer – now he’s rarely up before 3pm. And once we factor in a meal etc it’s 4pm before we can go anywhere.

We have a limited morning window of about an hour in which we could go out and about between breakfast and naptime. I think he does need to get into a habit of going out and about a bit more – hopefully one day going to a playgroup maybe. So we’re going to start small. A little walk outside, a trip to the library, a visit to the shops maybe. And hopefully he can learn to nap despite the excitement of a morning outing.

How do you tackle balancing naps with getting out and about? Does your baby find it hard to switch off from an exciting trip? How do you transition to a nap?

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