You know it is important to respect your baby’s sleep needs. An overtired baby can cause a family dinner to be a very stressful event! However, it is not possible to be home on time to put the baby down for a nap in his crib all the time. Sometimes you are on the go and the question is how to keep the baby rested?
If you are not home yet and naptime is approaching but you are in the car, try to distract him to prevent him from falling asleep. Take something that he really likes in the car with you: a snack, a DVD, a toy that he has not played with yet and is new to him and, if it is safe, open the window to allow some wind on his face. Also, talk to him and sing his favorite songs.
If it is a short walk to get to your destination, let him nap in the stroller. When you arrive and want to transfer him from the stroller to the crib or cot, choose the best time to do it. Since it takes between 20-25 minutes for a baby to go into deep sleep, the best time to get him out of the car seat or stroller is around 20-30 minutes after he has fallen asleep. Watch his eyes, if they are darting under the lids, he is in light sleep, which means it is not a good time to transfer him. When you place him in the crib, keep a hand behind his back and another on his belly. If he moves, try to pat his belly slowly.
If you are travelling to someone’s house, and you already know that the baby will arrive at the destination by the time he needs to nap, try to plan with the people of the house so that they already have his bed ready in a dark room if possible, and you can go straight to that sleep area. Be aware though, that when you arrive at a relative’s house after a long trip, normally everyone wants to talk and greet each other, but the baby needs his sleep. Plan ahead with your hosts and tell everyone that he will be in a much better mood after his nap. It is best to simulate as much as possible the times and rituals from home , but if the baby does not relax and grandma wants to hold him, let it be! He will be returning home soon and will catch up fast! You know this is better than an overtired baby and that less sleep is better than no sleep.
I hope these tips help you all mammas!