Here are a few things you can try if your older baby 6-11 months is struggling to nap.
Make the room dark: Use blackout blinds and make your little one’s room very dark. Light stimulates a baby’s eyes to say ‘It’s wake-up time’. You might find your baby falls asleep more easily and stays asleep for longer when his/her room is dark.
White Noise: White Noise and Alpha White noise masks your everyday household sounds which could disturb your little one from sleep, It also counterbalances and masks disruptive outside noise, such as children playing, dogs barking as well as trains, cars and sirens. White Noise is also repetitive and calming, often mimicking sounds of the womb which can be incredibly soothing and help babies stay asleep for longer.
Temperature: Baby is too hot or cold. Keep an eye on your little one’s room temperature and dress him/her in the correct tog sleeping bag and clothing to match the temperature of the room.
Nap time routine: Use a naptime routine to help calm your baby, take her down a notch from her busy, exciting morning/day and help her transition from awake to sleep more easily.
Lullaby: Use a song or lullaby as a sound association which signals to your little one that it’s sleep time. Use the same song every single day. Use it at bedtime too. The music should play all the way through preparing your baby for naptime.
Feed: Feeding your baby before sleep ensures her tummy is full and that she won’t wake out of hunger, it also helps your baby become sleepy and therefore go down for her nap more quickly.
Awake time: Often a baby’s awake time and routine change so fast it’s sometimes hard to keep up. Be aware that you are not putting your baby down too soon for naptime and in fact, your baby is just not tired enough for sleep yet. Try spacing the naps out further apart, leaving more awake time in between and see if that helps.
Overtired: Equally, watch that you are not keeping your baby awake too long either and that your baby is becoming overtired making it harder for her to fall asleep.
Overstimulated: Understandably if you are going a little crazy playing wonderfully exciting games with your little one just before nap time, she is going to find it harder to calm and get into ‘sleep mode’. Take it down a notch before naptime and keep the exciting games for other times during the day.
Room not in alignment with sleep: Over the years of helping babies sleep, I’ve come to see time and again how incredibly important the energy of a little one’s room is, and how the way a baby’s nursery is set up affects sleep. A Feng Shui specialist oversees all my client’s nurseries, and in my mind, it’s one of the most important parts of my consultation. For more info, you can get in touch with Denise O’Dwyer Feng Shui at fengshuielement.co.uk
You can also download my free eBook, ‘7 Reasons why your baby may not be sleeping’ here.