Pictured: A recent Let's Sleep family who got out for a fun day at the snow with their 6 month old baby Lillian and had the best time!
Let me paint a picture for you…
𝘠𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘥𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘢𝘺 (𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘺𝘰𝘶), 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺’𝘳𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘯𝘢𝘱𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘵/𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘵, 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘴𝘭𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘥.
𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘧𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴, 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘬𝘴, 𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬𝘦𝘯𝘥, 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘱𝘴, 𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘱 𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘸𝘪𝘮𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘢 𝘰𝘧 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘺 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘶𝘱𝘵 𝘯𝘢𝘱 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦.
Be reassured that it is VERY COMMON to feel this way - especially when you’ve worked so hard to help your little one be a ‘good sleeper’ and as a result, everyone in the household is better rested. You don’t want to rock the boat and I get it - believe me.
Getting out and about and making plans is so beneficial for you, your partner and your little one/s. The more you get out and about, the more you realise how good getting about and about makes you feel.
If you’re feeling anxious about committing to activities or trips away, start small. Book in a swim class or a playgroup in between naps and practice getting out and about for that activity first.
Then one day you could try offering the morning nap on the go (in pram car or carrier for example) - roll out with the pram 15/20 mins before nap time to allow baby time to unwind for sleep. Take along their sleep props such as a white noise machine. If the nap is shorter than usual - that is okay, just offer the next nap a bit earlier.
If you’re doing a day trip to the zoo, keep an eye on how long they’ve been awake and offer them a nap in the pram or carrier when they’re ready. The naps will likely be shorter than it is at home and that is totally okay. Compensate with an earlier bedtime if needed.
The 60:40 rule is how I talk about flexibility with routine. As long as your little one is following their normal routine and napping in their cot/bassinet 60% of the time, the other 40% of the time you can have flexible days.
If you have a flexible routine day once a week and spend the whole day out and about and your little one has a couple of short naps and goes to bed at night a bit overtired - they will be absolutely okay. Being flexible some days will not lead to your baby's sleep falling in a big heap.
What I enjoy so much about my role as an Infant and Child Sleep Coach is that parents feel so empowered with knowledge after sleep support finishes that they know how to navigate the day regardless of what happens. If baby skips a nap for some reason - they know what to do. If baby has a short nap for some reason - they know what to do. Having plan A, B, C and D for navigating your little one's sleep helps you to feel confident and enables you to say YES to the fun stuff like zoo visits, coffee with friends or beach days.
Life is for living and you don't want to feel trapped at home all day every day!
You got this folks!