As featured on Baby Hints & Tips
Steps to a better night’s sleep
Sleep … is it elusive in your house?
A few common things might just be hindering your little one’s sleep without you knowing it.
Steps to a better night’s sleep
If you’re saying yes to any of the questions below, try incorporating my bedtime recommendations and you’ll be setting the stage for a better night’s sleep!
No clear bedtime routine?
Children thrive on predictability, and one of the best ways we can make bedtime smoother is by providing a clear and consistent bedtime routine. I love a bedtime routine of around 30-45 minutes in length that includes a bath or shower, PJs, feed, books, and then bed.
Are you negotiating?
As your babe enters toddlerhood, bedtime becomes a great time to push boundaries and enter into negotiations. Bedtime ends up becoming a drawn-out saga and before you know it, you somehow end up having to read 23 books, do 3 toilet trips, 2 glasses of water, and to top it off sit there for an unlimited amount of time whilst your little one performs a circus act in bed whilst holding you ransom. Does “sit with me until I fall asleep” sound familiar? Where there’s an audience, there’s a performance. I would encourage boundaries around bedtime and use some parent guided negotiation. For example allowing your little one to choose 2 books, or lay out two options for PJ’s and ask them to choose which one they would like. That way you are still in control of bedtime whilst giving them the feeling of choice.
Does your child’s room look like a Year 7 disco?
Night lights, light shows, music and the rest. I am all about bringing things back to basics. Children’s worlds are fast paced, technology-rich and filled with things to constantly keep them stimulated. Come bedtime let’s wind it all back and provide them a dark sleep space to unwind and drift off to sleep. Nothing beats a snug pair of PJs and a dark room to truly rest in.
Screen time before bed?
Could screen time be affecting your little one’s sleep? If your child spends time in front of the television or iPad before bed, this could be working against you. The type of light emitted from these devices leads to a decrease in the hormones produced that get us drowsy and wind us down for sleep. In fact, they do the opposite by triggering hormones that lead to wakefulness.
Are you playing a significant role in getting your babe off to sleep?
When we play a big part in our child falling asleep night after night, it becomes something they rely on in order to drift off. You become required for them to fall asleep initially, and then often again throughout the night as they go from one sleep cycle to the next. I recommend taking steps to teach your little one to self-settle instead of relying on your help again and again. Also, get your little one to drift off to sleep in the place they are going to wake. This will mean that there are no surprises come wake time.
Bedtimes don’t have to be a bad experience. In fact they can create some very special moments before a great night’s sleep. If you are experiencing sleep issues let’s work together to get them sorted.
About the Author:
Hi all, Tara Mitchell here from The Gentle Sleep Specialist. As a paediatric nurse, qualified infant and toddler sleep consultant and mother, I have created a successful business that allows me to guide, educate and support parents to create healthy sleep habits with their little ones. I pride myself on the support my clients receive and my compassionate, caring nature enables me to build lasting rapport with the families I work with. Working one-on-one with families allows me to personalise plans and truly craft the best plan based on each individual child. I am passionate about my work and see the life changing results much needed sleep brings to the physical, emotional and mental well being of the child and parents.