Read about natural parenting tools every family can use
Natural Family and Parenting Community Message boards
Shop for natural family items
Write to us or get writers guidelines
Contact or read about us

Read about natural parenting tools every family can use
Join Our Newsletter
Natural Family and Parenting Community Message boards
Discussion Boards
Looking to connect with other couples who know their basal body temperature? Visit with others who practice natural family planning.
Shop for natural items every family can use

Product Reviews

NFO Bookshelf

NFO Shopping

See the monthly adventures of Hathor the Cowgoddess.
Hathor the Cow Goddess - Watch Hathor make fun of those who oppose breastfeeding
Write to us or get writers guidelines

Reprint Permissions
Send Us Feedback


We're looking for writers! Visit our Writer’s Guidelines for more details.

Contact us or read about us

About NFO
Advertise with NFO
Contact NFO

Media Page
: See who's talking about NFO.

NFO is going to print!
Interested in getting NFO by mail? Send us a YES here. We'll contact you with more information in the future.
Visit other BFN sites:
Busy Parents Online
Busy Homeschool
Busy Family Network
The report's key finding: Formula DOUBLES THE DEATH RATE for American infants.


Night-time Parenting

Question: My baby won't nap! She fights sleep but gets fussier and fussier as the day progresses. It also seems that on days when she doesn't nap, she doesn't sleep well at night either. It's a huge struggle, and I am at my wit's end. How can I get her to nap? Please help!

Elizabeth Pantley responds:
There is a definite association between daytime naps and night-time sleep. Equally, night-time sleep affects naps, so it can be a vicious circle. Improving your baby's nap routine can help her feel happier, grow better and sleep better at night -- not to mention that having a little time for yourself can also help you to be less cranky.

Here are a few tips for encouraging your baby to nap:

Watch for signs of tiredness Tired babies fall asleep easily, and your baby will give you signals that she is ready for a nap. If you miss her signals, she can easily become overtired and will then be unable to fall asleep. Watch her carefully! In addition to the obvious signs like yawning, rubbing her eyes or snuggling a lovey, she might lose interest in playtime, become still and quiet, look glazed or unfocused or slump in her seat. When you see these signals, get your baby to bed!

Watch your timing The timing of your baby's naps is important, since a nap that occurs too late in the day will prevent your baby from being tired when bedtime approaches. After watching your baby's daily sleepy cues, try to create a routine nap schedule. All babies are different, but generally the best nap times are as follows:

If your baby takes three naps: midmorning, early afternoon and early evening
If your baby takes two naps: midmorning and early afternoon
If your baby takes one nap: early afternoon

Create a nap routine Once you have created a nap schedule that works with your baby's daily periods of tiredness, follow a simple but specific nap routine. Your baby will be comfortable if there is a predictable pattern to her day, and she may come to predict when her naptime approaches. For example, she may begin to recognize that after lunch and story time comes naptime. Include relaxing activities in your nap routine, such as massage, rocking, white noise or soft music to help to prepare your baby for sleep.

Use sound cues Try using consistent white noise or soft music during naps. You can use a bubbling fish tank, a white noise sound clock or a recording of nature sounds or lullabies. This creates a very strong sleep cue and blocks out household noises (like older siblings, dogs, kitchen-clinking and traffic) that may wake your baby.

Create a womb-like environment If your baby is younger than five months old, try swaddling her for sleep or letting her sleep in a moving cradle, a sling or a swing. This approach mimics your baby's pre-delivery home and may soothe her to sleep.

For those very stubborn non-nappers If nothing else works, this often does: Bring your stroller inside the house and walk your baby around until she falls asleep. Even simply rolling the stroller back and forth over a lump like a doorway jamb can work. If your baby sleeps only a short time and starts to wake, you can often walk or bounce her back to sleep. Once she gets used to taking a longer nap, you can make the transition to her bed.

When to give up If you've tried for 15 or 20 minutes to get your baby to nap and she is still wide awake, then she's not tired enough to sleep. Let her get up and play for an hour or so. Tire her out with activity, and then try again when she shows signs of being tired.

The information appearing at Natural Family Online™ is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please review the rest of our disclaimer and user agreement.





Let's Play Yoga - A yoga program for children between the ages of 2 and 6. Teacher training and home-study courses available.
Operation Special Delivery offers doula services to military spouses
In Association with

Join our newsletter

This site is best viewed while wearing your baby.


"The media have become the mainstream culture in children's lives. Parents have become the alternative. Americans once expected parents to raise their children in accordance with the dominant cultural messages. Today they are expected to raise their children in opposition to it."
-- Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe columnist

[Home] [Read] [Discuss] [Shop] [Write] [About Us] [Contact Us] [Advertise] [Natural Family Living] [Attachment Parenting] [Natural Health]
[Natural Q&A] [Pregnancy & Birth] [Breastfeeding] [Books] [Bottom Line] [Night-Time Parenting] [Gentle Discipline]
[Education] [Links Guide] [Product Reviews] [Book Reviews]

© 2000-2004 Busy Family Network™ (BFN). All Rights Reserved. 
Send mail to [email protected] with questions or comments about this web site.
Graphics by Dean Poisso. Web design by Busy Family Network. Hosting by BFN Hosting.
The information appearing at Natural Family Online is intended for educational purposes only. While we believe the information published on our site to be accurate, we do not intend it to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your child, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider. Neither the BFN nor Natural Family Online is liable in any case. Consult your health care provider before using any health information we publish. Please review the rest of our disclaimer and user agreement.