What does it mean to be Sleep Forward?
Being sleep forward means balancing the priority of your child’s sleep with your life and making sure to integrate the two in a way that is right for your family. As parents of four children under 6, we are veterans of integrating nap time with sports, activities, and family outings in a way that keeps everyone happy, healthy, and having fun.
How to balance weekends with a napping baby
If you have a great sleeping baby, chances are you’re prioritizing nap time and ensuring that your baby is getting enough daytime sleep so that they go into the nighttime perfectly tired (not under or overly tired). This likely includes the weekends and could be leading to severe FOMO for mom and dad.
If you’re not prioritizing sleep but you’re considering more structure, you might be apprehensive because you don’t want to miss out on the weekend activities.
The good news is whether you’re craving more flexibility or you’re scared of structure, being sleep forward means balancing sleep so that it works with your life, including your weekend activities.
Make Plans Considering Your Baby’s Nap Schedule
Before venturing out for the day decide on how you might structure your day around your child’s nap schedule. Decide which naps you must prioritize at home and which are okay to be on the go.
Things to consider would be the typical length of your child’s nap as well as the ease of the nap itself. The first nap of the day is typically the longest and the easiest for baby’s to get to sleep. If that’s the case for you and your child, plan on going out after the first nap and taking nap number 2 on the go.
Be Prepared for On the Go Naps
If you’re looking to take a baby to the Zoo or the park or you want to take a day trip somewhere fun. You can plan to have 1 nap of the day be on the go. A stroller nap, in the car, or in a carrier are all good options for on-the-go sleep. Of course, safety is of number 1 concern.
Keep in mind that naps on the go are typically not as deep of a sleep cycle and may not last as long. If this is the case for your baby, you might consider a shorter wake window between the next sleep cycle. Watch your baby’s signs and follow their lead.
Make Tradeoffs and Priorities
If you have a busy day one of the days of the weekend and you’re stressing about how you’re going to get naps in, remember it is a balance. Plan your weekend and make tradeoffs and priorities on sleep. Maybe Saturday is an easy day to get all naps in the crib but Sunday you have plans to go to Grandmas. Focus on making Saturday as schedule-focused as possible and prioritize 1 good nap on Sunday with the others on the go.
Enjoy the Time with the Baby / Children and Have Fun!
It can be easy to stress over sleep, thinking that daytime sleep is going to impact nighttime. While that can be true if you focus on being balanced and sleep forward, one bad day of naps is not going to throw off your sleep routine.
The best thing you can do for you and your baby is to enjoy the time together and relax. If you have a great plan and you try your best, sometimes sleep doesn’t go as planned so relax, take pride in knowing that you did your best, and enjoy your day!
About the Sleep Forward Family – Lauren & Chris Nosal, Child Sleep Coaches, St. Louis, MO
We are The Nosal’s, the first husband and wife Slumber Squad team members & certified sleep consultants. We have 4 children ages 6 and under and pride ourselves in being a “sleep forward” family. When our first child was born and we were both working corporate jobs, we knew getting him to sleep was important for our emotional and physical health. Ever since we’ve made sleep a priority for our family.
Being a Sleep Coach is near and dear to us, as we too have seen the impacts that sleep deprivation can have and while we locally service St. Louis, MO metro area in-home, we work with clients virtually around the world! We bring a unique approach to coach both mom and dad to share in the responsibilities of sleep training. We know like our 4 children, each child is unique and so is their sleep journey. We can’t wait to help you and your family become a sleep-forward family too!