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What do I do if I can't stick to my baby's sleep schedule today?

It’s bound to happen… Some days you simply can’t stick to your baby’s typical schedule. Whether it be due to an appointment, a lunch out during nap time, a dinner party that will cut into bedtime, or simply a day with weird timing, you may be feeling lost as to what to do next. How can I make sure this day doesn’t derail sleep completely?

Well, first and foremost, this is totally fine! It is completely unrealistic to be expected to stick to a schedule 100% of the time. That is why I teach about flexibility! I love to live by the 80/20 rule… 80% of the time they are getting sleep in their space on their schedule, leaving 20% for different days. 

stroller nap

With this type of flexibility, though, there are a few rules to follow that will help keep sleep on track:

Missed sleep must be made up

It is important to remember that, although flexibility and moving naps around is fine, they do still need the same amount of sleep. That could look many different ways: an earlier bedtime (6pm after 6 months is totally fine!), an extra nap, a car snooze, sleeping in later the next morning, a shorter 1st nap and a 2nd longer nap, etc. However you choose to manipulate sleep, just ensure they still are getting the same amount of hours as typical so they avoid the dreaded overtired cycle.

On-the-go naps count

One of my favorite sleep hacks is the successful on-the-go nap! When your baby is little and will sleep in the carrier, this is easy! But as they get older and even approach toddlerhood, it is still possible to use on-the-go naps-- it just takes a bit of extra prep. Opt for a stroller that folds back completely, or better yet, converts into a bassinet. Grab a stroller blackout shade, as well as a travel sound machine. Make their stroller feel as similar as possible to their home sleep environment.

Teach your baby to love sleep and this will be infinitely easier

This one, in my opinion, is most important! If your baby fights sleep tooth and nail, then putting them down for a different timed nap, earlier bedtime, or an on the go nap is going to be WAY harder! The best thing you can do to help your baby be an adaptable sleeper is teach them to LOVE and CRAVE sleep! That way, when it comes to manipulating their schedule, they will be happy to sleep anywhere. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered there! 

In my course - Compassionate Sleep Training, I will teach you everything you need to know! You'll go through 4 modules which will cover the sleep science basics, how to set yourself up for success in the areas that are proven to greatly affect sleep, how to respond to wake ups and teach independent sleep, and how to master naps which will, in-turn, help with nights too! All in the most gentle, responsive way that is based on child development science and a secure attachment theory. The ultimate goal of this course is to teach your baby to feel safe and comfortable in their sleep space so they learn to love sleep. Check it out!

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