Sleeping on the RUN

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November 09, 2021
3 min read

Sleep programs and routines need to be flexible

The Dr Golly Sleep Program – or any sleep program for that matter – needs flexibility for, well… life!


  • You have a Paediatrician appointment 😜
  • Swimming lessons are at a really inconvenient time
  • You’ve got a picnic with your parents’ group
  • Older children need to be picked up from school or daycare
  • You just need to get out of the house for a while… the list goes on!

Sometimes routines are disrupted and naps have to be ‘on-the-run’.

A good balance is the 80/20 rule.

Most sleep (80%) occurs in a normal sleep environment (their nursery, daycare, grandparent’s house, etc), but on-the-go life (20%) is allowed to happen too! If a sleep is disturbed or missed, remember that every morning is a chance to reset and start fresh, never be disheartened.

Tips for managing naps on the go:

  1. The younger they are – the easier this is
  2. For babies still taking 3 naps, the late afternoon one is the best one to do in the car, carrier or pram
  3. From 12 weeks onwards, if you have to pick one nap to have at home, pick the lunchtime nap – this is the one we want to encourage to be the longest
  4. Don’t always expect your baby to transfer from the car seat or pram to the cot & keep sleeping soundly. If your baby falls asleep in the car or pram, grab a coffee/tea and take the long way home to try and sneak in the longest nap possible!⁣
  5. From about 6 months onwards, getting them to sleep past one sleep cycle when they’re out gets really tricky, so don’t be disheartened

The biggest tip: recreate their sleep environment as much as possible!

  • If outside, darken the pram or portable bassinet with abreathable blackout cover. Don’t use a blanket, as this doesn’t usually provide enough darkness and the temperature can become dangerously high.
  • Use the samewhite noiseor nature sounds that you use at home. There are many portable white noise machines available that run on batteries.
  • If your baby is still swaddled and you want to encourage them to nap in the pram,use the same swaddle as at home.

As always remember the safe-sleeping guidelines.

  • Very few prams in Australia are aerated enough or recommended for sleep.
  • Never leave unattended babies asleep in car seats.
  • Always make sure your baby is in TOG attire appropriate for the temperature.

What if your baby wasn’t meant to fall asleep while you’re out?

If this is the case try and keep them awake and stimulated as much as possible.  Ig they do fall asleep you could treat this as a little power nap and wake them after 10-15mins. Restart their awake time but depending on age, bear in mind they probably won’t make the full awake window before getting tired again.

If you have an older baby/toddler and they nap unexpectedly in the late afternoon then push bedtime out a bit to increase their sleep debt.

The Dr Golly recommended routines will give you a guide as to how your day will look – see the course content for more information on how to manage each age group and adjust specific routines.

Learn more about the Dr Golly Philosophy here.

Shop the Dr Golly Sleep Program age appropriate routines here.

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