Brighter Days: Top Tips for Napping on the Go
During this pandemic, "on the go" has really taken on new meaning, and sometimes, a new sense of necessity. We can have so many things delivered, yet we still do need to get out -- sometimes to pick up things that can't be delivered and other times because we simply need to get out of our homes!
Moms are expert multitaskers. So, it might make sense to combine naptime with running errands. But consider this: How comfortably and well would you sleep in your car, sitting up on a relatively hard seat? Probably not too well.
On the other hand, if your baby isn't a good napper but he does fall asleep in the car, sometimes a long car ride for a long nap for him and a long quiet time for you could be just what you need.
On occasion, it's unavoidable, and your baby will fall asleep in the car -- no doubt right as you're rounding that last corner for home. When that happens, simply carry your baby right in her car seat into your house. Set it safely on the floor -- never on a table or couch. Leave your baby buckled in and keep an eye on her from where you are, hopefully while doing something fun and relaxing for yourself! Ah, naptime!
Here's how our mommy M.D.s -- doctors who are also mothers -- handled naptime on the go.
"My children did nap in the car -- a lot," says Shilpa Amin-Shah, M.D., an emergency medicine physician in Jacksonville, Florida. "I know this is very controversial, but we traveled a lot with our children. We often planned long car rides around their nap time because they slept very easily in the car."
"We never put jackets on our babies in the car," Dr. Shah adds. "Usually my husband or I sat in the back with the children."
"My babies didn't nap much in the car," says Eva Mayer, M.D., a mom of a daughter and a son, an associate professor of pediatrics at Temple University, and a pediatrician with St. Luke's Coopersburg Pediatrics in Pennsylvania. "But when their carseats were still rear-facing, I worried that they could have a problem, and I wouldn't know. I bought a mirror that attached to the car's seat. That way, I could look in the rearview mirror, and I could see their faces in the baby mirror."
"After the age of about eight months or so, my boys did much better napping on the go than they did when I put them down in their cribs for a nap, and that was fine with me!" says Rallie McAllister, M.D., MPH, mom of three, co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby's First Year," nationally recognized health expert and family physician in Lexington, Kentucky. "I'm not a highly structured person, so it was challenging for me to be at my house at nap time every single day.
"My oldest son was a teenager when his brothers were born, and I didn't want his teenage years to be governed by his brothers' nap times," Dr. McAllister says. "It was stressful enough for him to have two new babies in the house! So my younger boys learned to nap in their car seats on the way to karate lessons, and they napped in a double stroller at football practice. I liked knowing that I could count on my little boys to take a nap just about anywhere. It gave me the freedom to leave the house, and it made it possible for me to give my teenager the attention he needed at a critical time in his life.
"Although my babies didn't always nap in their cribs, I tried to keep their naps at the same time every day, and I made sure they had a comfy, safe place to sleep, whether it was a car seat or a stroller," Dr. McAllister continues. "I also made sure I had everything they needed to get to sleep -- a paci for one baby, and a lovey for the other."
Jennifer Bright is a mom of four sons, co-founder and CEO of family- and veteran- owned custom publisher Momosa Publishing, co-founder of the Mommy MD Guides team of 150+ mommy M.D.s, and co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years." She lives in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. To find out more about Jennifer Bright and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate Inc.