July 03, 2019
Your baby’s first birthday isn’t just a big milestone for them, it’s also a big milestone for you! It’s the marking of your first year as a new parent. It also marks that stretch of time that you took the best baby shower gifts that you were given and actually put them to use. Whether this is your first child or your fourth, the first year with a new baby can be tough. So, for now, it’s time to kick back and celebrate this momentous occasion. Whether you plan on celebrating with friends or you’re keeping the festivities to immediate family, there are few things you can do to ensure that both you and baby enjoy this special day.Don’t Wake the Napper
When it comes to planning your party, keep your baby’s nap schedule in mind. The party should be thrown either before or after the time that your child typically sleeps. While you may think that their first birthday calls for a little bit of extra awake time, you could end up with a fussy baby instead of a happy one. Everyone will be happier if your baby gets plenty of sleep before and after the festivities.Designate a Quiet Area
This is your child’s first introduction to birthday parties. While you may be used to the singing, conversation, and laughter, your baby may not be. That’s okay! It doesn’t mean that your party is a dud; it just means that your baby needs a little bit of a break from the stimulating atmosphere. Set up a secondary party area where you, or your guests, can go to escape the festivities for a few minutes. Leave out a few snacks for those who may be looking for some peace and quiet. You’ll find escaping to this quiet area is the perfect way to recharge with your baby when needed.Don’t Be the Photographer
Your baby’s first birthday should be documented. Lots of photos and videos should be taken, but not by you! You’re going to have your hands full setting up snacks, taking care of your little one, and fully enjoying the day. If you add ‘photographer’ to your list of never-ending job titles on the day of the party, you’ll be stressed to the max. Instead, find a few close friends or relatives who will be in attendance to take pictures for you. Not only will it take the load off of you, but it’s also a great way to ensure that you’re actually in some of the photos. Talk about a win/win!
Opt for Outside
If the time of the year and the weather permits, don’t be afraid to hold the party outside! A playground or a local park is a great place to hold your child’s first birthday. Not only do you have built-in entertainment (because what could possibly top swings and slides?), but you don’t have to worry as much about cleaning up. Simply bring your balloons, décor, and snacks. Some parks may even have benches and tables for you to set up with, eliminating those from your list of things to bring!
Yes, it’s true. The first year marks the end of an era. You’re shifting your focus from top baby shower gift ideas to toddler-friendly toys and snacks—and that’s not a bad thing! Now is your time to celebrate your successes as a parent. So sit back, relax, and with these tips, you can enjoy the day of your baby’s birthday.
January 31, 2023
January 24, 2023
The team at NAPS helps you tackle the issue of early wakeups. *BONUS* NAPS is hosting a webinar on February 24th. Register here and use the extra-special code MAGICMERLIN and you can join the webinar FREE of charge!
The sound of cheery calls of “MAAAAMAAAAA” from the next room may be lovely at 7am. At 4am, or 5 am, not so much. Your baby may be up and ready to start the day, but you probably aren’t.
Answering the questions below may help you get there.
This might seem like an obvious question, but your baby’s sleep needs will change fast in the first few years of their lives. A quick look at the average nap number and duration might give you an idea:
Part of the reason you might be seeing earlier wakeups is that your baby has graduated from one nap cycle to the next.
We call this an “awake window,” and it can make a big difference. It might seem strange that your baby went to bed fine the night before, and you’re seeing a response to nap scheduling in the pre-dawn hours, but if your kiddo’s sleep is disrupted at night, it will impact the morning.
Black 0ut curtains can make a big difference here. Remember that our brains signal wakeup when the light changes. So if dawn is at 430am, and even a little bit of light comes into your baby’s room, their little brains will PING with wake up juice.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but a late bedtime can actually backfire on you. Overtired kids don’t sleep as well. If you made their bedtime later and it didn’t fix the problem, try an earlier bedtime and see if that helps. You might be surprised.
Try to make one change at a time; just one. Stick with that change for 3-5 days to see if it impacts things. (One night is usually not enough to see substantial change.) Be as consistent as you can with the change you made. For instance, if you decide to increase the space between bedtime and final nap wakeup, make sure to stick to the wakeup time you planned.
If your baby is waking up and chirping happily to themselves, feel free to leave them there for a little while. Let them get used to being alone in the crib. If you can, try to delay the start of the day by 5-10 minutes each day. This can make a big impact.
Everything else aside, remember that this is a short time in your kid’s life; as they get older, their sleep will become more regular, and so will yours. Don’t let yourself get too discouraged. Things are hard now, and you’re doing a great job.
January 10, 2023
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