One college athletics administrator was quoted as saying, ‘What should be done eventually, must be done immediately!’ when asked as why he had fired a football coach.
This quote seems to apply to areas outside of sport as well, like babies for instance
In my years as a sleep consultant, I can’t begin to imagine the number of times parents have told me their child was not ready for sleep training. Or how they knew their routine wasn’t the best, but they’d rather stick to it than stir the pot.
And each one would end up saying that they’d sleep train soon
Soon, usually meaning that they will go along with whatever was comfortable for them at that point!
Please don’t think I am saying all of this to shame anyone. As a mom myself I know the lengths to which we’d go to keep the peace in the home, even if it is just to get some sleep. I’m just as much guilty of putting off something up until I really couldn’t ignore it anymore. But honestly, as a mom there is no way on earth, we’re able to respond to each and everyone issue that arises in our homes immediately.
So here are some tips to help you get your child to sleep better:
1. Make Friends with the Darkness.
Whether artificial or natural, light tells our brains that it’s daytime and time to be up and amount. When it’s dark, our brain releases melatonin which helps our body’s sleep. Unfortunately, things like electronic screens emit blue light that messes with our ability to switch off.
A cheap yet effective way to keep any light from entering your child’s room is to stick some black garbage bags over the window. May not be glamorous, but it does the job.
If, however, you want to spend something, you could easily get some blackout blinds for under $30.
2. Make Sure the Room is Not Hot, Just Comfortable.
Some parents assume baby needs higher temperatures than they need to sleep.
A warm onesie and a cool sleeping area will suffice. The ideal temperature for your child’s room should be between 65°F and 70°F (18°C – 21°C)
3. Keep it Boring
I know, the moment you heard you were expecting, you immediately thought of this amazing nursery set up with animal prints etc. on the walls and gorgeous mobiles.
But boring is your friend if you want your child to sleep.
For younger babies beside the usual nursery furniture, all you’d need is a white noise machine to drown out any excessive noise that could wake your baby. For older kids, you could look at adding a night light that emits a yellow light to prevent your toddler from getting scared in the dark.
4. Routine is Key
A simple bedtime routine that is consistent it what really helps a child sleep better. Once a child’s brain starts to recognize the pattern, they will start preparing themselves to sleep.
Your child’s body will start to wind down and start producing melatonin. So, by the time you put your baby half drowsy in their cribs, their little bodies will be ready for dreamland and the restorative sleep they need.
Let me remind you that getting your child to sleep well isn’t something that can miraculously happen overnight. It takes patience, consistency and heaps of discipline on your part as the parent, so these tips are just to help you and your family get the sleep you need starting tonight.
But if you’re ready to jump right into getting your child sleeping well every night, let’s chat and discuss how I can help you do just that.
Amanda, your sleep boss