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Getting baby down for a daytime snooze-a-thon requires more than the usual bag of parenting tricks. Not to worry: You can be Houdini when you have these tips under your belt. From setting the stage to the best in babywearing, here are nine ideas to help make shut-eye a snap.

babyplaydate_perfectplaydateideas_bump+baby_redtricyclephoto: Rocketboom via flickr creative commons

1. Wear Them Out.
It won’t take much to really engage with your little learning machine, and whether you hit up the indoor baby gym, the playground or just hang around at home, there are tons of ways to play until he or she is tuckered out (read: baby will require hours of re-charging). Need a creative boost? No worries. We’ve made it easy for you.  Check out our ideas for easy sensory play, or include these playground tricks on your next visit to the local park.

Baby-eatingphoto: Erin Feher

2. Full Bellies, Fresh Diapers.
Everyone knows it’s a it’s a lot easier to nod off to dreamland after a big, yummy meal. Throw in clean, cozy, dry clothes, and we’re betting your baby will be eager to scratch “take a long snooze” off her daily to-do list.  readingtobaby_owenandaoki_flickr_naptricks

photo: Owen and Aoki via flickr creative commons

3. Set the (Napping) Scene. 
It’s a fact… babies thrive on routine. So, when you are home for a little shut-eye, it’s always a good idea to settle in for quiet time beforehand in order to take the energy level down a notch. (just like the night time routine, hint, hint!) Read books or sing songs. Pull down the shade and sit quietly. For more on why naps are different than nighttime sleep and how to tackle baby napping issues, head over to Baby Sleep Site.

naptogether_larslougmann_flickr_naptricksphoto: Lars Plougmann via flickr creative commons

4. Have Everyone Lay Down
Sometimes you feel like it’s monkey see, monkey do, when it comes to your tiny tyke imitating her elders. Try working that to your advantage and have everyone lay down for quiet time. Your older kiddos may not nod off, but just seeing them settle down for a relaxing afternoon might encourage the little one to nap.

photo: HaloSleep

4. Bundle Them Up.
They unswaddle, kick, and wriggle their way out of the wrap every time, so this nap time trick can be a little… well, tricky. Keeping your little ones bundled up will extend those napping hours (we promise!), so if you don’t want extra blankets in the crib, consider a sleep sack to keep tiny toes toasty. Check out our favorite picks for swaddling gear here.

Aquarium Humidifier-lifestyle (1280x852)photo: BabyMoov

5. Humidifiers Help!
Increasing the level of moisture in a bedroom will not only help stuffy noses and chests, but it’ll also help keep baby’s skin smooth and soft. Wondering what’s the difference between cold and hot-mist or which one is a good pick for your home? Check out our favorites here.

white_noise_machine_graco_naptricks

6. Make Some Noise.
When you add a white noise machine to the mix, not only does baby enjoy soothing sounds, but the marathon wrestling match (between the no-napping siblings) happening in your living room will be drowned out, too. We love the Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine for it’s all-night timer and 12 different sounds, but if you’re feeling super tech-savvy, opt for an app, such as Sleep Pillow Baby or White Noise Free Sleep.

groanywhere_blackoutshadephoto: Gro-Anywhere

7. Black it Out.
One of the easiest ways to send baby to dreamland is to hang blackout curtains. Whether it’s a permanent set, like these from Pottery Barn Kids, or a travel set from Gro-Anywhere, creating a dark space will increase the chances of both you and baby getting a (well deserved!) rest.

babywearing_suzanneshahar_naptricksphoto: Susan Shahar via flickr creative commons

8. Babywearing… it works!
Wen you find yourself at the park chasing down the first kiddo, nap time in a baby carrier doesn’t look too bad for your second bundle of joy. From the newest Ergo to the coolest wraps, get the skinny on the best in carriers from our list. After all, any chance to eat, sleep and hang out right next to mom or dad is a win-win for a newbie.

snoozeshade_website_naptimehacks_bump+baby_redtricyclephoto: Snooze Shade

9. Sport a Snooze Shade
Finally— a way to keep baby in the dark during your errands. The Snooze Shade can be used on strollers, car seats and even pop-up cribs. Each one shields from harmful sun rays (it’s SPF 50) and can be adjusted to fit in four different ways. The little zipper front makes it a snap to check in on your dozing doll. Available at snoozeshade.com, $28.99.

Want more ideas to make naptime a breeze? Check out our ultimate tip list here.

Do you have any tricks or tips for helping baby nap? Share with us in the comments!

— Gabby Cullen

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