Pregnant Entrepreneurs are about to learn about the sweetest sound in the universe: a child sleeping. For the first two years, you can get an awful lot done from your home office when your child naps. But somewhere around two, many moms get a little shaky because it appears that your sweetheart is giving up naps, which can destroy the entire balance of your universe.
Here are a few great and practical tips from my friend, Erin Flynn Jay, Philadelphia writer, public relations executive and mom of two girls. http://www.metrokids.com/Blogs/MomSpeak/April-2012/When-Your-Toddler-Drops-the-Nap/ Check out her blog at FlynnMedia.com/blog.
To be completely honest, my own sleep hygiene these days isn’t the best, what with trying to burn the candle at both ends. But I have always zealously guarded my children’s naptime. In addition to Erin’s tips above, here are a few of my own.
- When your youngster first starts giving up naps, that doesn’t mean she’s actually ready to give up naps. This is called a nap strike, and may just be for a few days. If your child doesn’t get back into a sleep routine, try changing the routine. If she always sleeps in her crib, for example, try taking her for a drive. Find a situation she falls asleep in, and try to repeat it over the next week to get her back into a sleep habit.
- Guard naps religiously if it makes you a better mom and a better business owner. I am ALWAYS, ALWAYS home for naptime. That means we miss out on a few events and some lunches with friends, but my kids know the routine, and usually go to bed with little fuss after lunch.
- When naps fail, turn it into quiet time. My pediatricians back me up that even a kindergardener needs quiet time. While it may not be as long as a nap, your child can still stay quietly in their room, reading or playing with quiet toys. It might be a shorter window than nap, but we don’t need that much time to accomplish our entire daily to do list after all, right? 😉
- Reward naps. As a mom, I am not above bribery. When putting my little ones down for lunch, I often say something like, “I’m really looking forward to heading to the park with you after nap. But you need to be well rested. So read quietly and maybe close your eyes so you can have enough energy to do the fun stuff we have planned, alright?”
Keep these strategies with you as your child ages. I have found that my days are the best with my kids when they are well-rested, especially as they grow into toddlers and pre-schoolers.