Getting babies to sleep is always a hot topic and with so many conflicting pieces of advice it can be difficult to know who you should listen to. I always found the hardest part about ‘sleep training’ and the most consistent piece of advice I got was both to stay at home and keep my baby in the routine of going to sleep their own bed.
Now, as a busy mother of three children… Or just, you know, a normal human being who likes to leave the house, this just isn’t always possible. So my children simply had to learn how to sleep in public places.
Getting your babes to sleep out and about is no easy feat, especially if they have always been put to bed in their bedrooms. I was really vigilant with my first born’s sleep routine. Following all the guidelines and ensuring she was put to sleep in a dark, silent room. But, in the desperate times that I needed to leave the house, she would become a gremlin!
So, when my other two children arrived, I threw out all the routine books and guidelines. Not saying I don’t agree with routines, mind you, as I am actually a huge advocate. But some times… babe needs to work in with you, not the other way around.
4 top tips to help bub sleep in public!
1. Make it familiar for them
Re-create their sleep space while you are out on the move. If they have a special friend, or blankie, bring them with you. My daughter has to have her “larly blankie” with her at all times. While my son needs his mink blanket and his “dabby” (dummy). I don’t expect success if I don’t have these items with me.
2. Keep it consistent
Keep to the same time schedule as you would if you were at home. This is where the routine remains important. There is no point trying to get your baby to sleep at a time that they are not used to. It will do nothing but make an already difficult procedure even more stressful.
3. Pre-condition your baby
Start from a young age – practice makes perfect. If your child has never been put to sleep on the move, or in an unfamiliar surrounding, then they aren’t going to know what to do. Get them used to sleeping in different places by taking them out for nap time from the early days. The best way for me, was to start small, with the little naps and stay close to home in case it didn’t work out for us.
I know everything you read will probably advise against this – creating a rod for your own back and all that. However, if you want a fast transition while you are out, so that you can get back to that lunch and glass of wine you need move. If your child is in a pram, move it over a rough surface (I used to put my thong under the wheel and rock back and forth).
If they are in a sling or carrier, walk around until they drift off, or rock them back and forth. The gentle motion of movement works wonders getting a baby to sleep and if you’re clever you can add it in as exercise if you’re trying to lose some baby weight.
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