Have a Happy Napper

Seize the Moment

With my boys, I was way too busy to notice things that I had been very tuned into with Hannah, such as that first yawn after she'd been awake a nanosecond too long--what I used to call "The Window of Napportunity." I wouldn't realize I'd missed the window until their yawns turned into overtired tantrums.

The solution is to stay focused on your child's unique clues that he is ready to nap. These may include eye-rubbing, yawning, finger-sucking, rooting even after he's finished nursing, and general fussing. Try to keep your baby awake during feedings and put him down for a nap when he's sleepy but not yet asleep. "Try to stay within his regular naptimes by half an hour," says West, who suggests creating a relaxing pre-nap routine of darkening the room, massaging your baby, or reading books.

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