If you watch my videos, you may have seen that I was really struggling with Aria having any kind of routine and she wouldn't go down for naps unless she fell asleep on the bottle or in the car/pushchair. It was tricky because if we were home all day, I had to pray she'd fall asleep drinking her bottle and transfer to her sleepyhead without waking up otherwise she wouldn't go down for a nap and resulted in a super grumpy baby (and mummy!).
A few people mentioned on my videos to put her down for a nap and certain times during the day (so say 10am and 2pm)... but as she is still waking in the night for a bottle, she can wake up in the morning anywhere between 6:30am and 8:30am. So 10am was fine if she woke at 8:30 but if she woke at 6:30, 10am was too late and she'd be overtired and scream a lot and I'd give up. She'd end up falling asleep in random places at the wrong times.
I'm a big believer that sleep and routine is crucial for babies and toddlers. If they don't have it they aren't well behaved, can't learn or focus properly and end up being grumpy the whole day. I also feel like I needed nap time in order to get work done and spend quality time with Sienna one on one.
I knew I had to get the nap thing sorted!
Someone recommended instead of doing certain times of the day, put her down for naps so many hours after her last. I played around with a few hourly schedules and I have finally found one that has worked for us!
The 2-3-4 sleep schedule.
It's simple maths and has worked brilliantly with us. 2 hours after she wakes, I put her down for her morning nap. 3 hours after she wakes from that, I put her down for her afternoon nap. 4 hours after she wakes from that nap, it's bedtime.
It means that there isn't a set 'time' she goes down, it varies from day to day as to how long she sleeps, but it does mean she generally goes down a lot easier and rarely gets overtired meaning she doesn't scream herself to sleep anymore or refuse to go down altogether. It's pretty much life changing!
One of her naps is usually an hour long and the other is usually 2 hours, it depends on the day which is which but it doesn't make too much difference to me as I'm generally home most days. It's so nice to finally have a routine and know she will have two naps a day and then be ready for bed!