Back to School for the Bigs, But What About Baby?
By now your older babes are back to school or almost there. While it is exciting to get the bigs out the door (Praise! Or possibly tears… those will pass ;), it may cause stress in the form of wondering how to best serve the youngest one still in need of morning routine and structure.
If your oldest is a toddler, they’re likely enrolled in a Mother’s Day Out or Pre-school morning program with hours that seem to have snuck inside your home, watched your youngest’s nap schedule, and snatched up the precious time around that nap to be toting the older babe to and from school. If your older children are in Kindergarten or beyond, the timing of their carpool requirements might affect both baby’s morning nap and afternoon nap.
What’s a momma to do? We’ve got you:
– You may shift the infant’s schedule earlier or later by 30 minutes to an hour if you can control the light in the room with blackout shades. For example, wake baby early to feed to accommodate morning drop off, and you will then be home in time for their first nap. If you do choose to adjust the schedule, keep it consistent from there onward.
– If you prefer to keep timing of the schedule as is, during the first four months, it is fine for baby to nap in the car. Assuming morning drop off coincides with baby’s morning nap time, let baby fall asleep in the car. Baby then stays there for all of nap time, and you run errands in the meantime. Similarly, have baby fall asleep at afternoon nap time in their carseat, run a few errands, and then pick up older children. Win-win.
Bear in mind, naps can be frustrating! Even if you stayed home for nap time with the ideal sleep environment, baby likely wouldn’t be a perfect napper anyway. That said, even bad nappers can be great nighttime sleepers. Offering naps at the same time each day is important, but the quality of the nap doesn’t impact nighttime sleep. Keep it consistent with morning wake time, feeding times and bedtime to ensure nighttime sleep stays sweetly in place.