Your child can’t sleep anywhere else?
Today I want to talk a little bit about getting your baby to sleep somewhere other than their cot. I get emails from parents a lot of times saying, “My baby sleeps so well on The Sleep Sense Program. She takes great naps in her cot, but she really won’t sleep anywhere else.”
If there is a downside, which I don’t think there is, but if there is a downside to having a baby who sleeps well, it’s that they often don’t sleep that great in other locations, but none of us do..
Build flexibility in to sleep routine
You don’t sleep well at a friend’s house or in hotel rooms. We all sleep better in our own beds, but there are a few things you can do to help encourage your child to be a little more flexible with their daytime schedule.
The first thing you want to do is make sure that there is an option for somewhere to sleep. If you know you’re going to be driving through a naptime, then the baby can sleep in the car seat. That’s fine on occasion.
If you know you’re going to be out all day, you need to bring your pushchair / buggy along so that she has somewhere to sleep at naptime. If you’re going over to a friend’s house for the afternoon, you’re going to want to make sure you bring your portable / travel cot along.
Put it in a quiet room somewhere. Do your child’s pre nap routine. Put them down. Expect them to sleep well just as they would at home.
The first few times you try this though, your baby might have a bit of protest around it because it’s not the same place. The good news is though, the more you practice this the better they will get at it.
Pretty soon your child will know it doesn’t matter where we are. If the portable / travel cot is there and it’s naptime, I need to take my nap. I used to do it with my first daughter all the time.
Go to a girlfriend’s house for the day. Put her down for naps. We did it in the evenings if we were going to be at friends’ until late into the evening. The more we did it the better she got at it.
You don’t want to give up after the first try if you had a bit of a failure the first time. Keep trying it because you do want your child to have a bit of flexibility. I always suggest that people follow the 80/20 rule.
Most of the time naps are where they should be, at the right time, everything as usual. 20 percent of the time you can bend the rules a little bit and take a nap out and about or at a friend’s place.
That really won’t be that disruptful to your baby’s schedule. It will give you a little bit of freedom so that you can go out and see friends and do things on your own. I hope that helps.