Sleep training is a demanding task. However, I have never had a client who said it wasn’t worth it but it requires hard work and discipline.
Once clients have gotten their baby on a steady, predictable nap schedule and sleeping consistently through the night, they sometimes find they have a new issue facing them.
They’re extremely hesitant to deviate in any shape or form from their routine.
I do absolutely understand it, clients have come so far from where they once were. They at one time had very little sleep and now they are all so well rested, why rock the boat?
The improvement in the whole family’s quality of life means that they do not want to risk things by deviating from the exact routine that is providing them with blissful sleep.
However, if they have a young baby that naps 3 or 4 times a day and needs you for bedtime, when are you supposed to live outside the arena of parenthood?
If you are sticking to a strict nap schedule with a new born, you will probably have an hour at a time when you could actually nip to buy food, go to the dentist, or get your hair done.
For the tasks that require more of your time away from your Little Darling, I’ve got some advice for reducing the impact that a change in schedule can have.
Firstly, I highly recommend that you wait until you’ve formed a solid foundation for daytime naps. If your Little Darling has been sleeping well during the day for 14 days then you can mix things up schedule wise once in a while without it having a huge impact.
Ok, so next question: how often is once in a while? Ok, I always say to clients that 4 out of 6 days of having consistent naps is enough. The 5th day, you can throw the rules out of the window… WELL… almost!!
Oh, and you can’t save up the days for later… No keeping to the schedule for 12 days and then breaking the rules for 4 in a row.
Secondly, if you have to skip a nap, or need to have one take place in the car or the pram, I recommend that you put a priority on the first nap of the day. That’s usually the nap where your Little Darling will get the deepest sleep, so try and keep the car nap for later on in the day if you can.
If you do have to let your baby nap on the go, I recommend that you do whatever you can to make sure they get a good quality nap. If they fall asleep 5 minutes into a 10 minute drive then I would recommend to keep driving until they wake up.
What I absolutely do not recommend is trying to move your baby into the cot in the middle of their nap. This tactic rarely works and it is usually better practice just to leave them.
If your Little Darling does wake up after before they have had a good nap, I would recommend not trying to put them back to sleep straight away. It is better to wait for about an hour and then try again.
The most important thing is to not be afraid to ask for some help if you can get it.
In an ideal world, I would recommend that your baby should be in their cot for their naps, so if you let someone else take care of them for a few hours, you should absolutely take advantage of it.
I have a FREE nap guide for you to download that goes into much more detail.
You can download it here: