Sleep Routines and the Type-A Mom
Are you a mom who thrives on routines? I know I am. I love it and my kids love it. But can us type-A, “need to be home before naptime" moms ever go unscheduled?
Shockingly, it is possible! Who knew, right?
Lots of moms out there do things on the fly, and we look at them in awe and wonder – how do you do it? We like the routines and to be honest, we enjoy having a nice break during naps to do some laundry, food prep, work out, or just sit on the couch and do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Sometimes as parents, doing nothing is just what we need. It is hard, however, not to be envious of those on-the-go moms who make it to all the mommy get-togethers and take all the latest baby or toddler fitness classes.
As a Sleep Consultant and Type-A mom, here are some of my best tips for moms who love to be home for every nap and every bedtime, that will help calm your nerves.
Top tips for sleep savvy moms
TIP #1 – Relax and let go
It is okay to have the odd nap outside ‘the hours’. If you have to push naptime forward a bit, it won't hurt. While it's certainly not ideal, since I tell all of my clients to put their babes down before they are overtired, taking the odd nap a little late or skipping one now and then won’t cause complete havoc in your house. When you have a good sleeper, these babies and toddlers bounce back and make up for that lost sleep with a longer sleep at night or during their nap the next day.
Sometimes it isn’t worth it to mix up the schedule when formerly calm, happy and well-rested children become CRAZY and the tantrums escalate. If your child reacts like this, and you find it to be too stressful, just do your best to work around naps at home and don’t feel bad about missing a party or showing up to something late in order to preserve regular napping hours.
TIP #2 – Nap on the go
You and a bunch of moms have decided to roam the Toronto Zoo for the day. Type-A mom says “oh no, how could I possibly be home for naptime at noon when the zoo is so big and traffic is horrible!?” It’s ok. I’ve done it - I promise you it is possible. Keep them up and running around as long as you can and then when it’s time to leave - GO! Enjoy a nice long drive as I’m sure they’ll crash in the car before you leave the parking lot. Take the back roads and keep driving until your child wakes up. If the nap was too short, always remember you can put your little one down earlier at night to make up for that sleep lost during the day.
TIP #3 – Have fun!
I know it can be stressful and you look at your watch wondering “really…can I actually do this?” I guarantee you can and your good sleeper will easily bounce back. Still on two naps a day? The first nap of the day sets the tone for the rest of day. Have that first nap at home and then enjoy the rest of the day out with friends. Your little one will probably have a stroller or car nap in the afternoon. Or even better, go to a friend’s house and bring your Pack n’ Play to have a nap there. Same routines, same schedule and your little one can have a great nap. Good sleepers will often sleep anywhere! That's another benefit of having great little sleepers. They’re adaptable because they are rested.
So next time your friend asks you to go apple picking at 10:30 a.m. an hour and a half away from home, say “YES!”, because the next day you can put your little one right back on their perfect schedule. Then they will continue to get the great, restful sleeps you both enjoy.
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