Categorized | Parenting Tips

Visualizing the perfect nap time

It’s that time – time to lay your baby down in his crib for a nap. Picking your baby up, you hold him close and slowly make your way to his room. The shades are drawn and the crib is ready. The atmosphere is calm and serene to help lull your baby into a deep, rejuvenating sleep. Standing next to the crib, you wait for that perfect moment that only a parent knows. Now. Slowly, trying not to make any sudden moves that could startle your baby from his drowsy state, you lower your baby into the crib until finally you feel the mattress underneath your hands. You smooth your hands out, success so close you can taste it. Then, you turn your back to the crib and begin to tiptoe from the room when it happens. Your baby is screaming. What do you do?

You could simply walk out of the room, shut the door behind you and wait patiently right outside the door listening to every sound the baby makes knowing that soon sleep will take over. More often than not this works, at least it did in my case. However, I did feel a great sense of guilt about being away from my baby rather than immediately going in to soothe and calm him. I decided there must be a better way. There has to be a way for moms to detach and yet still be connected enough to their babies so there isn’t any anxiety.

Following my mommy instincts, I stumbled upon a method that helped make the transition from my arms to the crib an easier one for my baby and me. It involves using a visualization technique and requires mom to be calm and relaxed. This will work.

The first step is to determine when your baby is sleepy and ready for a nap. Look for signs such as glazed eyes, yawning, sucking on fingers or thumbs, red cheeks and crying. When a baby is tired, often he’ll look for a way to comfort himself like sucking on his fingers or thumbs. Maybe your baby prefers a pacifier. If baby is unable to comfort himself, or simply has not realized how yet, crying is what may come next. By crying, your baby knows he will get comfort from you.

Try to follow a normal routine before nap. This may include feeding or simply singing a favorite lullaby. Also make sure that your baby has a clean diaper. If your baby prefers to be swaddled in a blanket, do that as well.

Make sure you have the room ready for sleep so there is nothing more to be done besides putting the baby in the crib and walking out. There is nothing more distracting than trying to get shades drawn or a mobile playing while you’re trying to get baby into sleep mode.

When standing beside the crib, hold your baby close to you. Close your eyes and visualize a warm, soft colored blanket embracing both you and your baby. Continue to hold your baby close until this visualization is so strong you can almost feel the fibers of the blanket. Slowly visualize the blanket separating from you but still embracing baby. Know firmly in your mind that this security blanket will keep your baby feeling safe and close to you during sleep. Hold tight to the visualization as you lay your baby down in his crib.

This method helped me feel a sense of calm and security when leaving my baby in his crib for a nap, as I knew he was safe in our “security blanket.”

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