Nap time is important for so many reasons. Not only does it give your baby the rest they need to grow and develop, but it also gives caregivers the time they need to rest and recharge (or clean the house and get some work done).

When naptime becomes challenging and unsuccessful, it can be taxing and emotionally exhausting on mama and baby, both. As you consider strategies to ensure your little one gets the naps they need, remember that babies actually benefit from the same pre-sleep routines as adults.

Just like us, babies have a hard time transitioning from a bright and stimulating environment to immediate sleep, so establishing a pre-sleep ritual to trigger those sleepy sensations might be just what you need to get baby in the mood for a restful nap.

Here are four steps to get your baby to nap:

Step #1: White Noise

White noise is a must when it comes to helping baby doze off and stay asleep throughout their nap. Just like the sounds of a mother's shhhhh can calm a fussy baby and soothe them to sleep, white noise provides the same calming solution.

The sleep-inducing magic of the Dohm Connect sound machine makes falling asleep easier for babies and less stressful for you. Featuring new smart home technology, this sound machine offers a proven noise-masking experience with sophisticated new control options.

Tip: Don't start your white noise after placing your baby in their crib. Start the white noise at the beginning of their pre-nap routine to help set the mood and get those sleepy sensations flowing.

Yogasleep $70

1. Dohm connect sound machine

Adjust the volume to suit your environment (using the app or on the machine itself), and then sit back, relax and let the ZZZs come to you. You can even use the app to set sleep schedules—think of it as the most soothing alarm clock you’ve ever used, mama.

Step #2: Baby Massage

With your sound machine playing in the background, try giving your baby a quick massage after their diaper change. A soothing massage before putting your baby down for a nap has multiple benefits. Just like adults, massage can help babies reduce stress and encourage relaxation. The ritual of a pre-nap massage will communicate to your baby that it's time to relax and rest.

While you don't necessarily need to use oil or lotion for a baby massage, try occasionally using oil like the soothing baby massage oil from Evereden to give a boost of superfood moisture to nourish, soothe and deeply hydrate your baby's delicate skin. Made with only five ingredients that are all-natural and organic, including over 50% cold-pressed sunflower seed oil, this lightweight blend works in synergy to lock in moisture and comfort skin.

Step #3: A Reading Routine

Now that your little one is relaxed from their massage and soothing white noise, settle in your rocking chair to read one or two books. Not only is reading healthy for baby's development, but it's also a wonderful bonding opportunity and routine building strategy to help settle baby down to sleep.

Try selecting books that have a calming and engaging theme, like the Molasses Sloth Soft Book & Rattle Combo from Mary Myer. The textured tags in this soft book provide tactile stimulation that babies crave for development and have an amazing calming effect on little ones.

Step #4: Swaddle

Before your baby is old enough to roll, swaddling for sleep time protects your baby against their natural startle reflex and mimics the snug environment of the womb, resulting in better sleep. Babies generally tend to do best when swaddled for 3-4 months.

The Dream Weighted Sleep Sack takes swaddling to the next level by offering a traditional arms-in option for when your baby is young, then a transitional arms-out option for when they are ready to begin the swaddle-weaning process. The sleep sack is lightly weighted to mimic your hug and give your baby feelings of security and comfort to help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

$79

1. Dream weighted sack + swaddle, 0-6 months

Created by a mama looking for a sleep solution for her own little one, this innovative weighted sleep sack with detachable swaddle wing uses the same principles of weighted blankets to bring security and comfort to babies to help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

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