There is no single thing that a sleep consultant can recommend to help you get your baby or toddler to sleep longer at nap time, but one thing they do need to be is comfortable.
Before our little ones arrive into the world we spend so much time (and money!) on setting up their – often numerous – places to sleep. With our first boy Teddy was born in the summer of 2018 we had a moses basket for the living room, a Chicco “next to me” crib for our room and a full size cot in the nursery. And that’s before you start to worry about what to dress them in and cover them with.
I recommend always putting little ones into a sleepsuit or close fitting pyjamas at night to reduce the risk of suffocation or SIDS. Following their bath and/or baby massage, getting them into a fresh sleepsuit or pyjamas is a good cue that it’s time to sleep. Depending on the season and age of your baby, you can pair that with a sleeping bag or cellular blanket.
But we don’t often think about what they should wear for day naps. I’m not advocating changing tots for naps (no one has the time in their life for that!) but I do recommend removing jeans or hooded jumpers. If my boys are in jeans I take them off and pop them in their sleeping bag with whichever top they are already wearing. Hooded tops or those with string ties can be dangerous so avoid putting young children to sleep in them.
Depending on the season/temperature of the room it’s fine to leave your little one in their day clothes if they are comfortable and safe. We are ALL about the loungewear at the moment! It’s ideal for playtime and comfy for a nap. Getting little ones down ‘fuss-free’ at nap time makes it a calmer and smoother process, which can contribute to better sleep.
I’m a baby and toddler sleep consultant specialising in designing gentle sleep training programmes for babies and toddlers. I work with clients on a one to one basis and I also have a series of age-specific online courses for you to implement at your own pace.