The “Wisdom” series presents observations spoken by experienced grandmothers that should be heard by all mothers.


“I always put my baby down for a nap at the same time everyday in the playpen with a soft book,” firmly stated my friend who is a mother of four, grandmother of nine, and great-grandmother of one.  In our discussions about babies over the last couple of years, I think she emphasized this statement at least fifty times.  Her point was always the same:  babies need routine and a space of their own to unwind and eventually nap.  She insisted that babies get used to the cues of being put in a playpen and handed a soft book which signal “nap time.”  She was fortunate that it worked so well for each of her four children.

She discussed the importance of allowing the baby some time to quiet himself with a soft book and ease himself to sleep.  Some babies can only fall asleep when held, and when they get bigger and heavier this is very difficult for the mother.  It is valuable to teach baby to ease into a nap while in his own protected space where the distractions are minimized and the surroundings are familiar.  Of course, not all babies will adapt to this method, but it is worth trying.  If it works, it becomes a very healthy ritual for both the mother and the baby.


  • putting baby down at the same time each day
  • placing him in the playpen
  • handing him a familiar soft book


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