Tips for Helping Your Child Get a Great Night's Sleep
Regardless of your child's age, getting them to sleep and ensuring they stay asleep can be frustrating. This is why you need certain routines to ensure they get a good night's sleep. Good sleep is not only about getting your kids to sleep early but also having them stay asleep. Most kids sleep within 20 minutes of going to bed and wake themselves in the morning when they've had a good night's sleep.
However, sleep issues in kids are very common, and you can address them in various ways. Here are seven tips to help your child get a great night's sleep.
Teach Your Child How to Fall Asleep Independently
According to Kelly Murray, a certified pediatric and adult sleep consultant, toddlers wake up during the night because their parents are usually with them when they fall asleep. This makes the toddlers associate sleep with their parents. So, when they turn or wake up briefly at night, they expect to see their parents there. When the parent isn't there, their brain becomes fully alert, which becomes alarming, making them fully awake.
Establish a Bedtime Routine
Good sleep habits are also maintained by having a consistent bedtime routine. Having a bedtime routine means going to bed at the same time every night. Similarly, before bedtime, you can have a certain routine you take your toddlers through. For example, they can have a nighttime bath and bedtime story, then leave them to fall asleep on their own.
Have Regular Sleep and Wake Times
If you have a toddler under eight months old, it's important to have a wake window rather than a clock schedule if your child naps more than two times a day. The wake window is the period between naps before a child goes to bed. Keep them between one to two hours daily. This helps in maintaining a consistent sleep routine for your child.
Keep Older Children's Naps Short and Earlier in the Day
Most kids between the age of three to five years do not take naps. So, if your child is above five and is still taking naps, try to minimize the nap to under 20 minutes. This nap should be before midday. Most kids usually have difficulty sleeping and staying asleep at night because of these naps, especially if the naps are in the afternoon or evening.
Laying Your Kids to Sleep on a Good Quality Mattress
More than one-third of a toddler's life is spent in bed. What better way to ensure they sleep sweet than having a good quality mattress?
Apart from a good mattress, ensure it's safe, without harmful chemicals. If your child's body is exposed to harmful chemicals, their bodies become inflamed, thus producing cortisol. This chemical keeps people awake; hence your child won't fall asleep when the time comes.
Select a mattress with natural products like wool. Wool is perfect for thermoregulation and keeps your child in the perfect temperature conducive to sleep.
Confirm the Noise and Light Status in Your Kid's Room
Always confirm your kid's bedroom isn't too bright or noisy. Too much brightness and noise can cause discomfort during sleep. Blue light from screens, TVs, computers, or phones suppresses melatonin and delays sleep in people. Brightt light in kids' rooms before sleep can have the same impact.
Before you put your child to bed, always switch off the screens in your kids' rooms. Choose a dim, warm-colored globe over a bright or white, cool-colored globe if they need one at night.
Feed Your Child the Right Food and Amount
Make sure your young child has enough food and eats dinner at a reasonable time. If your child is hungry, they will be more awake and restless before bed. This will make them struggle to fall asleep.
Children should also abstain from caffeine when possible. Tea, coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and certain sodas contain caffeine. Refrain from feeding these foods to your child after midday or early evening.
Kids having trouble falling asleep is a common issue. Following the above tips can help you address the issue. Talk to your pediatrician if your child's lack of sleep is extreme and interferes with their health and day-to-day activities.