Getting your baby to sleep may not be rocket science… But it’s still a science!
Does your baby sleep through the night? Is he a good sleeper?
We have all been asked that question time and time again… it even seems to come before asking your child’s name! I remember really hating that when I was carting around my exhausted child with dark circles under my eyes!
If you are reading this article, chances are the answer is no and you are likely to be quite sleep deprived.
I am here to tell you that you are not alone and that there are answers.
Setting a healthy foundation for sleep is critical for our growing babies. It allows for optimal mental and physical development. A well-rested baby can deal with everyday stresses better and they have the ability to learn and absorb more of the world around them.
These days there is so much information out there and tired parents are often left feeling confused and not knowing what they can do to get their child to sleep.
As a certified sleep consultant and mom of a four year old and a 15 month old, I would like to offer you some easy to follow information so that you can start to establish a healthy foundation of sleep. They are what I like to call “The Three S’s”
1. Sleep Environment
Whether your child is in your bed, a co sleeper or in their crib, there are certain aspects that should be present:
- • Dark. Think cave. A child’s room during sleep should be as dark as possible. Black out blinds are essential.
- • Temperature. The room should not be too hot or too cold. Approximately 68 degrees fahrenheit is ideal.
- • Crib Safety. The crib should be associated with nothing but a safe comfy place to sleep. Although tempting, we want to avoid mobiles, aquariums or any toy or device that plays music or has lights. These only distract our babies from the mission of getting to sleep. Simple bedding is all you need.
2. Schedule: Our babies have biological sleep cycles. What this means is that there are certain times in the day when their little bodies are meant to be asleep, and certain times that they are meant to be awake. If we have them up when they are meant to be asleep and vice versa, then we have problems. When we are aware of these cycles and ensure that we have them sleeping on the correct schedule, we find not only longer more restorative quality sleep, but they also have an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep. Even without selecting an actual sleep training method, just getting your baby on the appropriate biological schedule will make a huge difference and set our children up for success in the quest for healthy sleep!
3. Self Soothing Skills: Does your baby have the ability to put herself to sleep without intervention? Do you need to nurse, rock, sing, pat or swing your baby to get him to sleep every time he wakes? If the answer is yes, then your baby is lacking self soothing skills and as loving and nurturing parents, we want to help them to develop this important skill.
There are various methods that a family can choose from to sleep train their little ones. Some are more direct and some more gradual, but whichever method you choose, consistency is key!
I am so privileged to be able to be a part of the journey for so many wonderful families. To see the dark circles disappear, the meltdown’s melt away and the smiles on everyone’s face is just priceless! Should you require more information or need some help with your children’s sleep issues, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit me online at www.theparentingtoolbox.ca and www.facebook.com/theparentingtoolbox.
Give your child the gift of sleep!