How to Help an Older Baby Nap

We did it! We made it to Day 11 on the quest to get baby to take naps. I am the mom who has an older baby, 10 months, who needs to be held constantly while napping or in motion by means of stroller or car.

As you can guess, neither options are sustainable in the long run. From May when baby was seven months old to now, the journey to get her to sleep ended in multiple failures. To be fair, it was mostly our fault. We did not help her sleep at regular intervals during the critical 4-6 month period where they develop longer term sleep patterns.

Her life has been surrounded by the question, “WHY WON’T YOU SLEEP BABY?!”

The best part about babies is that they area malleable. Even though we did a poor job early on, with commitment, you can get them on track.

After months of going nearly crazy when trying to get baby – stroller walking, driving, rocking, bouncing, nursing – I had to do something drastic.

This is my midpoint post in my 20 day quest to help baby sleep – who knows what will happen in the next ten days. Thus far, these sleep tricks have been helping us:
Make the room dark – The room did not need to be pitch, but definitely dark. Large black poster board paper or roll (on Amazon or Michaels).

Read a goodnight book – Find a goodnight book that talks about the routine or gets baby ready for bed. I have Goodnight Moon, Pajama Party and a Godnattbok (in Swedish). She preferred the Swedish book because it was very simple.

Rub baby’s head – Have you ever received a head rub? It’s amazing isn’t it? You just want to doze right off to sleep. Some babies love a forehead rub, some love an all over rub, and of course some won’t love it at all.

Our baby didn’t like head massages for months, but all of a sudden she loved forehead massages. Now she knows she gets a little rub before falling asleep. She will even grab my hand and move it back and forth on her head to self massage.

Sit in the crib with baby – Once you finish nursing/bottle feeding, reading a book, singing a song, it’s time to let baby sleep. Unfortunately that means you sitting in the crib.

Check your crib manufacturer details if this is possible (I am not responsible for your broken crib) and of course if you even fit into the crib.

I would sit in the crib and ignore baby until she falls asleep. I would then wait 10-15 minutes after she fell asleep before hopping out. It is important to get out before 20 minutes – there is a sleep cycle change and you don’t want to disturb baby.

If you cannot be in the crib with baby, then grab a small stool and sit next to the crib. Hold baby’s hand or stroke her head.

Play white noise – We used white noise for several days and while it helped her by blocking out other noises, I do not think it helps her sleep. Your mileage will vary but it is worth trying out. Find any white noise at different frequencies and see if your baby likes it.

All in all, we are doing well and cannot wait for the next 10 days of nap and sleep training!

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