We as parents know, that if there is one thing that is crucial to your child’s happiness during a long day at Disneyland, it’s a nap. We live for nap time! We plan our daily schedules around it and we know that it can ultimately decide good days/bad days, good nights/bad nights. BUT, when you are visiting the Disneyland Resort, the last thing you want to do is trek back to your hotel room in the middle of the day – or multiple times a day – so that your child can nap while you miss out on the fun! I’ve learned in my experience of taking my kids, nieces, nephews, and friends to Disneyland, from infant up to about age 6, that they can nap in the Parks, it even shaped my stroller-purchasing decisions (must have: reclining feature).
Here are a few tips that I’ve learned along the way about helping my kids to get their naps in the stroller while we continue our day…
1. Noise is OK – Even though many little ones usually go down for naps in quiet environments, don’t be nervous about the constant noise of the attractions/people/ music of the Disneyland Resort! All of that sound background noise seems to magically be a soother instead of a sleep deterrent. Sometimes it seems like the quieter the environment, the easier they wake up do to singular noises. My kids usually sleep through the whole parade and fireworks, but if we are eating lunch in a quiet restaurant and the guy next to us laughs loudly, the nap is over.
2. Block out the view – Far more than sound, sights seemed to always keep my kids awake. As soon as I pulled down the canopy or hung a light blanket over the stroller so that their view was blocked – they were asleep by the next time I peeked in on them. Make sure, especially on hot days, that there is still good ventilation around your child, I like these blankets (affiliate link) because they are very light and thin but cover a large area, these even come with stroller clips.
3. Keep the status quo – For many kiddos, it seems to be the change in motion that wakes them up – for example if they fall asleep while the family is sitting down to a meal,then suddenly moving the stroller jolts them awake. Or, if they fall asleep while walking it can wake up when the movement suddenly stops. So, where and when you can, and depending on how badly the little one needs a nap, try to keep the status quo of motion. If you must transition, try to do it as gradually and carefully as possible. Oh, and avoid bumpy ground – Fantasyland has woken up my kids from a nap more than once.
4. Pack the usual comforts – If your child’s naptime routine involves a lovie or a pacifier, try to have those things available – BUT because you definitely don’t want to lose those things, tether them! You can buy a pacifier clip in any baby section of a store to keep that soother within reach; not as common, but highly recommended are toy tethers or “keepers”, like this one (affiliate link), to keep your child’s toys from falling out of the stroller. (I made my own with a piece of ribbon and a snap from a craft store!)
5. Give them permission – This one is for those toddlers and little kids that fight sleep because they don’t want to miss out on anything – give them permission to take a nap. Let them know that they won’t miss out anything that, that it’s important for them to get their sleep so they can see and do things when they wake up, and bribe if necessary.
Golly – it seems like I take more pictures of my kids sleeping at Disneyland than anything else! Well, that’s what I’ve learned about getting my kids to nap in their stroller! Sad to say, in just a couple of years we’ll be all grown out of that stage. If you have any great tips about how you get your kids to nap in Disneyland, leave a comment below!