Children come in all shapes and sizes, and just as they have their own set of dietary, educational, and exercise needs, they have a specific set of sleep needs as well.
As parents, it can sometimes be difficult to know how to handle the obstacles for all your children in all their various stages of life. Keep reading to find out how to handle some common bedtime struggles and for even more info be sure to check out these handy tips and tricks.
Babies and Toddlers
They say you should sleep when the baby is sleeping. But what do you do when your baby just doesn’t sleep?! Here are some tried and true suggestions from other parents with similar struggles.
Baby wakes up the moment I transition them into their bed
After spending 9 months developing inside of mama, transitioning out of sleeping in a loving embrace can be quite shocking to baby, causing them to alert the moment they are set down.
While much of this will likely be a habit learned over time, a little trick is to wrap one of mama’s worn but clean t-shirts around the bassinet mattress or around the baby as a swaddle. This can give your baby the sensory stimulation of smelling mama right there next to them. Just be sure the shirt is wrapped tightly to avoid any extra materials bunching up in baby’s face.
Baby wakes up the moment I lay down
It may not be pure chance that your baby wakes up the moment you finally relax. Remember, there is constant white noise in the womb with the movement of fluid and the rhythmic beating of mama’s heart — even after the baby is born, the sounds of movement as you go about getting things done, must be soothing.
To help your baby to not wake up from the shock of silence the moment you lay down, it may be beneficial to activate white noise nearby to keep them asleep so you can get some too.
More Baby Advice
- 5 Ways to Balance a New Baby With Daily Life
- A Day in the Life of a Working Mom with a Baby
- How to Juggle Breastfeeding Your Baby While Working
Child’s sleep schedule is all over the place
Children tend to thrive on routine and your kiddo will get on a schedule whether it is one you set or it is one they fall into on their own. It may seem impossible, but if you can establish a good schedule of eating, sleeping, and play time, your child will fall into step.
It is also important that you keep the bedtime routine consistent (bath, brush teeth, sing a song, etc.), as these little steps can become sleepy time triggers for your child.
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Kids and Teenagers
As your kids get older, they are going to gain more independence and what they need to fall asleep is going to change. It is important to keep up with these changes to help them get the best sleep they can.
Electronics in bed
Whether it’s the latest and greatest phone, a game console, or a TV, having electronics in the bedroom can be detrimental to your child’s sleep health. The blue light emitting from their screens can keep their mind active. To make sure your child is getting proper rest, end their screentime an hour before bed.
Don’t be surprised if your child complains. They can have it back in the morning. After all, they should be sleeping anyway.
Their sleep schedule is a mess
With sports, clubs, homework, family time, and other activities, your child’s nighttime routine could be all over the place. Just like with young children, it could help to establish a nightly routine to help them fall asleep.
This could include homework, shower, brush teeth, read a book, and then lights out. Work with your kid to find out what works for both them and the family as a whole.
As your kiddo gets older it is possible for them to develop some sort of sleeping disorder. This is more common than parents may think and these conditions can range from insomnia and sleep apnea to night terrors and sleepwalking.
If you or your child feel like they might have a sleep disorder, consult with their physician to find the best treatment.
There are all sorts of sleep obstacles that your kids may face as they get older. These problems often keep both child and parent awake. Every child is going to be different, so make sure you cater to their needs, and when needed, consult with a doctor or other trained professionals.
Bad sleep habits can seem contagious, that is why one of the best ways to teach your children how to sleep is by example. Parents, be sure to set your own sleep routine and start forming good bedtime habits to show them how it’s done.
As parents do this and follow these other directions, they are likely to experience a much quieter home when the lights go out.