Napping on the bike

As parents, we love and hate naps. Love them, because the baby is sleeping and shouldn’t need tending. Hate them, because the whole day revolves around making sure the baby falls asleep at the right time, not the wrong time, so as to sleep the right amount.

When the baby is small, it’s easy. They can nap on the go, and if a nap is cut short for scheduling reasons, you figure he’ll make it up eventually. But then they are toddlers, and you spend your whole day every day avoiding the dreaded 10-minute nap, lest the toddler make the whole family cranky in the evening.

And where is the dreaded 10-minute nap most likely to happen? In the car! So you schedule your day around not driving when the baby will fall asleep, which means you are stuck at home from about noon until the nap is done. I’ve been known to leave a sleeping baby in the car in the garage with a baby monitor, but the summer is too hot for that. But also sometimes we just run out of mornings for running errands, and I have late nappers so there’s no time afterwards. What to do?

How about a bike nap? Occasionally I’ve had the babies nap in the bike trailer while we went to the library. This also solves the problem of babies wreaking havoc in the library. I’m already out with a trailer when I’m out with all four, so it’s a matter of putting both of them in it and the big kids on the deck of the bike (no complaints from them).

We have a stroller wheel for our trailer. The usual installation interferes with the running boards on the bike, so we had another hole drilled farther up the tow bar. The bike trailer is large and cumbersome as a stroller, but when I arrive at the library with sleeping babies, I can disconnect the trailer and bring them inside. Of course the last time we were at the library, there was a kid making very loud, happy toddler noises and woke up one of my toddlers. Then when I took him out of the trailer, the other one woke up. So it doesn’t always work.

Better is when we come home. I have one who is more likely to fall asleep while biking, so I put him in the trailer. When we get home, I disconnect the trailer and park him in the shade. It doesn’t get hot the way the car does.

What if they fall asleep on the way out? That doesn’t happen to us very much anymore (or I plan for it and put them in the trailer). I’ve heard of people just wheeling the bike into the store with sleeping toddler aboard. Can’t do that with a car! One day last summer I arrived at the grocery store with two sleeping babies, and managed to transfer one to the shopping cart and one to my back. #winning


But you don’t tow a trailer because you have not quite so many kids? Strap a carrier around him and the seat to support the head. Waistband up works best. The other way is cuter but doesn’t work so well. Then when you get home, park him in the shade until he wakes up, and in the meantime you can knit, read, garden, blog, surf facebook, or read with your big kids (my first order of business at naptime).


The carrier method works with the Yepp mini also (don’t worry, he moved his head so he could breathe).

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