Question 1: My 5 month old is tricky with naps, what should I do?
By now you've probably passed the 4 month sleep regression. Your baby is a lot more mobile, his primitive reflexes are now a thing of the past, and you can probably start to identify your baby's nap windows. Now it's time to think about where your baby naps! Some claim that babies can nap anywhere, however the best quality naps are taken at home in the crib! Morning naps can be on the go, but the lunch nap (which is longer) should be in the crib. When napping for more than 45 mins in a stroller the body cannot rest as a whole there will always be some degree of restricted postural alignment which can impact your baby’s developing cranium and can actually lower the quality of sleep.
Question 2: I cannot get my baby to nap at home, the minute I put him in the stroller he sleeps as I walk for an hour, why?
It's true, children are soothed by motion in the confined space, but as I mentioned above, sleeping in stroller for long periods actually lowers the quality of sleep. Even if your baby clocks an hour, the quality of sleep is affected due to stimulative surroundings. When it comes to sleeping longer durations spine support is important the spine should be in a neutral position which minimises stress and growth without any restrictions.
Question 3: Should I set up a nap time routine?
Yes, winding down prior to nap time routine is a good way to set the stage allowing your baby prepare for sleep. Don't expect a baby to go from activity to nap with no wind down, even if he is showing tired signs and it is close to the window, wind down! Nap time routines really don’t have to be long. Five to ten minutes is all it should take to cue your baby that it’s time to nap
Example of a nap time wind down
1) Air the room 20 mins prior to nap time. Dust particles set in the air come morning, stale air reduces the ability to sleep soundly
2) Clear toys from play mat and tidy up
3) Change diaper and dress in comfy clothes
4) Close blinds or curtains in the home, say goodnight to objects in the room
5) Feed your Baby
6) Read a story or sing a song
7) Once your nap time routine is complete place you baby down awake in the crib
8) Assist by patting him and soothing him whilst he is in the crib. Note: Babies who are learning new sleep strategies need the proximity in the beginning, it may take time but they will eventually get it. It is better that you'll assist whilst they are in the crib rather than have him fall asleep in your arms only to wake up 20 minutes later when you transition! Sound familiar?