Sometimes I enjoy the playful No’s my cousin Amy’s daughter Tara gives me when I babysit, but on a few rare occasions, when it comes to nap time getting Tara to fall asleep on Beds is like trying to make a square go through a circle, it just won’t work.
Now that she is almost 3 they have slowly started to move her into the big girlbed which she is surprisingly happy with using. I can remember getting the big girl bed when I was her age and being angry I was being moved out of my crib so the other girl (my sister) could take it. Tara is very happy to tell you ‘I got a bed Isa!!’
Well, she’s getting there with my name.
But back to the tips. I have found a few not-so-mean tips can help get your little baby to use the bed and be very happy using it.
Remember to remind your little one or the little one your babysitting for that they are a big boy/girl now and make sure you sound excited while telling them this because it will make the child very happy and proud of them self. I find telling Tara ‘Bed’s the place to be, because it’s the cool place to be‘ makes her happy and actually reminds her that it’s nap time. I also don’t talk to her when I say that in a baby voice, I give her my best grown-up voice that still sounds friendly and fun. She also seems to like being told she is a big girl because she walks around proudly now telling everyone.
Which brings us to…
Make it fun –
Make the nap time event a fun experience for both you and baby. For some children the shift from the crib to the bed can seem like scary, unwanted change so you have to make them feel as comfortable about it as possible. This may mean laying down with them when it’s nap time for a few minutes but even this seems to make Tara stay awake when she should be going to sleep. Reading makes her happy when I’m trying to get her to sleep, and no matter who it is watching her we encourage her to read the book more then us which she is slow but surely making. progress in. When I realize my presence in bed isn’t helping her go to sleep I will usually exit quietly and give her her bottle which usually helps put her to sleep within 10 minutes.
Stick to a routine –
With this I end up feeling like she should be taking the time to learn all she can to make her better at things as she grows up, but I also know when her parents want her to go to bed and that she can pick up with the learning when she gets up again. For the most part when I would tell her that she needed to go to take a nap she would whine and kick while screaming ‘NO ISA!’ So now I’ve started using the timer method on her. I will tell her she has 10 minutes to play or read a book then it’s time for her nap. Since I watch the news a lot I know the news does a 1 minute review of the top stories every half hour. This is perfect for her because her nap is at 12PM. So at 10 minutes to 12 I will let her know she has 10 minutes left and she seems to have gotten it now. Now I don’t have to hear the screams and endure the kicking when I try to put her to bed, when I say ‘it’s 12 o’clock Tara‘ she drops everything and climbs into bed.
Take a walk before hand –
You would be amazed at how well this works if you take the toddler out about an hour before their nap time. Tara loves to walk and run everywhere so we always take her out when the weather is right. If she goes out about an hour before nap time she is really tired when 11:45 rolls around and it makes it easier to get her to take her nap. This is also a great way to get exercise for not only the child but yourself as well.
These are just a few tips I use when I babysit Tara and I’m pretty sure there are a people out there who can think of other fun and creative ways to get their toddler or the toddler they are babysitting to use their new beds. Go ahead and add them as comments because hopefully someone will be able to use this as a source for information.