February the month of “Love Day” (my 3 year old’s name for Valentine’s day), so it seems appropriate to share tips to help you get your child to LOVE sleep! Whether you have an infant that is taking short naps, a toddler that is waking during the night or a preschooler that is on a sleep protest, these tips can help your little one learn to LOVE sleep.
5 Tips to Help Your Child LOVE SLEEP
- Make sleep a priority. Let your little one know that sleep is important. Being well-rested can benefit our children physically, mentally and emotionally. Explain to them that when they get the sleep their bodies need they can run faster, jump higher and enjoy doing activities as a family because we all are able to get the sleep we need. Let them know that we are going to make sleep a priority for our family.
- Set them up to succeed. Prepare their environment so it is safe and ideal sleep. Keep the sleep environment cool, dark and quiet. Dress them comfortably so they are not too warm but consider adding socks to keep those tiny toes warm at night.
- Follow a routine. A bedtime routine can help signal a child’s brain that it is time for sleep. Devoting 20-30 minutes to a nightly bedtime can help your little one (and you) be more relaxed at bedtime. Allow your child to choose the books but be firm on the number of books allowed. This will help prevent a child’s attempt to delay bedtime by requesting “one more book”. Kids thrive on routine and knowing what step is coming next can provide them with a sense of comfort.
- Be a team. Let your child know that we are one team with a common goal; to get more sleep! Establish a plan and stick to the plan. Let your children know what will be expected of them and that they will need to follow your family sleep rules. There may be nights when things get off track but discussing these bumps in the road as a family can help everyone understand that we need to work harder.
- Tackle sleep challenges. If you are currently having a sleep challenge, identify the issues and commit to making changes to move forward so everyone can get the sleep they need. Change takes time and consistency. Once you have the pieces in place, commit to achieving your goals as a family.
If you decide the sleep pieces are not coming together for your family, let me know how I can help you get the sleep you need to achieve your dreams.