Ever since I shared on my Instagram page that Luna has learned to fall asleep on her own, I’ve been getting daily messages from mamas around the world asking HOW. Well, the answer is simple - we have an established nap time routine.
So first, why is a nap time routine important? It’s important because it helps your baby wind down and therefore makes him or her fall asleep much easier. Take yourself as an example - would you fall asleep immediately after some kind of energy-consuming activity? Most likely not. You’d probably want to take a nice bath or read a good book prior to going to bed at night. Right? Well, it’s the same thing for your baby.
Now, what’s an ideal nap time routine and how long should it take? A nap time routine can be as simple as reading a short book or singing a lullaby or both and it can be as short as 5-10 minutes. And when should you start your nap time routine? As soon as your baby shows sleepy signs or even slightly before.
Here’s how we do it:
As soon as Luna yawns or starts rubbing her eyes, I grab her and we start our nap time routine:
1. We walk into the room together, turn on the sound machine and close the blinds.
2. I tell her two short stories while carrying her around. I always tell her the same two stories and the reason why is because I want her to associate them with sleep.
3. When I’m done telling her the stories, I sing to her three short songs. Again, it’s always the same songs because I want her to associate them with sleep.
4. Last but not least, I turn on a lullaby from our Skip Hop owl and I shush on top of it.
5. As soon as she yawns or rubs her eyes again, I put her down into her crib, kiss her, and leave the room. And within 5 minutes she’s asleep.
This routine usually takes me about 10 minutes. But depending on Luna’s level of tiredness, sometimes I need to cut it a bit short.
You’re more than welcome to try our nap time routine, but please understand that it’s not a magical routine. When I started doing this routine, I had to rock Luna to sleep and put her down into her crib completely asleep. But every day, I’d work on putting her down drowsy and then less and less drowsy until one day I was able to put her down awake.
Setting up a nap time routine takes commitment and patience. But you can do this. You’re a mom after all!