Who has 2 thumbs and has a toddler that doesn’t nap?! This mom!!! I had a pretty much picture-perfect routine for my 2.5-year-old. Up at 8am, nap from 1-3, bed at 8pm. Who wouldn’t want that schedule? Well than COVID-19 hit and so did quarantine and everything went down the drain. Some days she would nap while other days she laid there for 2 hours banging on her head board singing a toddler version of a Cardi B song.
So here I am a sleep consultant that can’t get her toddler to take a consistent nap. Then I realized it was my doing. I needed to reign her in again. Here are 3 tips on what I did to get my toddler napping again.
- The weather in Pittsburgh has just started to FINALLY get warm. So, I strapped my 4-month-old into a 4th generation hand me down baby carrier and off we went outside. I realized it didn’t matter what we did. She just wanted to be out there. We would walk around the house about a million times, play with bubbles, and swing. I started to go outside more and more just to keep her occupied.
With parks starting to open this is a great opportunity to enjoy the outside more. Round Hill Park is our favorite and the animal farm has been open for a while. As of this entry the playground is even open (if you are brave enough) however, the newly revamped splash park is set to be closed for the duration of the summer.
2. Typically, either my husband or myself may be gone from 1-4 days at a time out on the road. He’s a pilot and I’m a flight attendant. These types of on time schedules that we have in the airlines keep us (well me) in a schedule at home. But since the airlines are in a funk, we are both at home with both kids. Bedtimes and naps have become kinda….lax. When that happens, toddlers get less sleep and start asking for “1 more book, 1 more T.V show” just that one more of something can keep them up for another 30 minutes. This doesn’t seem like a big deal to us but in the world of toddler sleep it is a huge deal!
Reign your schedule back in! Make sure your wake-time is consistent. Waking up around the same time each day sets the day to stay on track for naps and bedtime. Make sure meals are (mostly) eaten sitting down. This ensure that toddlers know what to expect of them at meal time. Have your nap on track for the same time every day! This will help with your bedtime. Keep bedtime routine no longer than 30 minutes. It’s adorable when you hear “mamma” or “dada” but it’s not so adorable at 3am. Let your toddlers know that bedtime means just that BED-TIME. Keep a strict routine and your toddler will know what is expected of them.
Children love routine! It’s difficult right now to keep one for ourselves since many of us are working from home and can’t really enjoy the basic things that we all took for granted. But trust me, your children will thrive from a solid, predictable, schedule.
3. Toddlers understand more than what you think they can. They can tell the world isn’t right. Whether that means they were pulled from daycare, pre-k, or haven’t gotten to see family members they know something is up. Yesterday I took my daughter to Target for the first time in months. I had my dinosaur mask on (thanks to my sister in-laws handy work) and everyone in Target had on a mask. My daughter pointed and laughed at me but stared around as she couldn’t see anyone’s face.
She didn’t get to see her grandparents or other children in months. We were also cooped up inside for a few months before that due to her new baby sister’s arrival. So being out for the first-time seeing masks was probably different for her.
Even though the world has changed a toddler’s world does not have to. Try to keep your home life the same. Stay on that consistent schedule, face time friends and family members, play outside, and just enjoy yourselves in a time of such craziness.
Submitted by our Newest Author Amber Baker
Amber is a Pittsburgh native who grew up in Irwin. She now lives in Rostraver Twp with her husband Justin and two girls Haisley and Isla. Amber graduated from CCAC in business and also from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Employment and Labor Relations. Recently she has graduated from the Family Sleep Institute to become a certified Sleep Consultant. Currently she owns NorthStar Sleep Consulting (nssleepconsulting.com) and is a Pittsburgh based Flight Attendant for the past 13 years.
When I’m not working I enjoy coffee, Target (LOL), and baking. Everyone in my family (Isla doesn’t know it yet) loves desert! Haisley and I love to cook every chance that we get.
Once the kids go to bed Justin and I enjoy the quietness outside in the warmer months or love watching a good movie.
Check out my website at www.nssleepconsutling.com for more sleep tips.