Ok, so my daughter Charlotte is 3 years old. She is very LIVELY, sweet and FEISTY. Lately, she hasn’t been wanting to nap, regardless of how tired she is (I know – she’s winding them down). But for NOW – I just used this great hack to get her to nap HAPPILY.
First – EXHAUST her. We just had her and Carter swim for 1.5 hours. And they were BUSY in that pool. Diving for swim toys, and all kinds of “swim lessons” (my mom is a terrific swimmer and is currently serving as our swim instructor during Covid, since we can no longer go to the swim school we used to go to weekly).
FEED her – I was sure to give her a nice size lunch that is her favorite – tuna fish and some humus and pretzels.
PLAY – I let the kids play for about 20 minutes while I ate with my Mom, Nelly and Brian. I had made us a HEALTHY salad.
Finally, I let her choose a bath or shower. She chose bath, Carter chose shower (typical). So we divided and conquered. Brian took the boy, I took the girl. Splitting them up also makes things much faster and easier, if you have the benefit of two adults. Which, we sometimes do and sometimes don’t.
I had the girl pick out her jammies as the bath filled up (quick time saver). After the bath, I did something DIFFERENT than our normal.
I had her lay down and I turned on soft relaxing MUSIC. Specifically, I put on Pandora on my phone app (free) and put on “Lullabye Radio”, which is the BEST. I discovered it last weekend when I was trying to calm down my baby nephew and he LOVED it. I LOVED it too b/c it’s basically all of the music we love but just the musical parts, so you know the songs. And it’s SO soothing. SO RELAXING. It reminds me of a being in a Spa! (Oh how we miss those).
Ok, so then I tell the baby girl that when she’s a little older and the pandemic is over, Mommy will take her to the spa (I’m just now realizing all of the fun things we will hopefully get to do together, G*d willing). So she loves the thought of doing something that big girls do and her eyes light up! So I tell her, in the meantime, I will do a spa at home for her.
So she lays down nude on her very nice towel, and I use Cereve Baby lotion to massage her for about 8 minutes or so. She LOVES it. I have her first lay on her tummy and massager her pretty strong, like in her muscles, not tickling massage. And she LOVES it. After a few minutes, I ask her what she likes massaged the best (a huge benefit of her finally being able to talk). She surprises me and tells me her feet. So I spend an extra few minutes on her feet. You can see that she’s just staring in total relaxation, not her usual lively self. I know it’s working and ask her periodically if she’s enjoying this. She says yes.
Finally when her brother starts to come up with Daddy and breaks the musical vibe, I start to dress her in her already picked out jammies. I spray the most amazing leave in conditioner in her hair, tie it up in a half up half down skinny band and show her how LONG her hair is (down to her waist, she LOVES it).
Music is still playing – I put on her white noise machine and let her listen to the music as she lays in bed for about 5 minutes (I leave the room, door open). I know if I just turn off music and leave right as she lays down it will ruin the whole transition. After 5 minutes, I come back, she’s happily in bed and I turn on her baby susher and take my phone with the music. Close door and that’s it. NOT A PEEP! HAPPY LITTLE GIRL.
So there you have it – my mom hack. How to get your child to nap HAPPILY. Please let me know what tips you have to get your kids to nap happily and what does or doesn’t work for you guys!