We all have our routines and methods for getting our kids to sleep. Everyone’s an expert, but completely clueless at the same time. We all need to admit we could use more tips and help! I am no expert, and I certainly don’t have any secrets, but I can share what works for me. Here goes..
- It’s not your kid, it’s you. The sooner you realize this, the sooner bedtime becomes easier. Let go of all your expectations, and you suddenly have nothing to worry about. Because let’s face it, it’s not about actually getting your kid to sleep, it’s about the process being calm and stress free. If you expect bedtime to be what it used to be before kids.. tv, a good book, hot chocolate, foot massage, clean and tidy kitchen.. good luck my friend. Don’t fight it! Accept it and embrace the craziness. Laugh and smile with them. Play their silly games. You have kids now, it’s a package deal.
- Lay off the processed food, animal products, and greasy fast food during the day. This will dehydrate them, and add to the millions of “I need water” requests. Removing these will decrease their odds of stomach aches and constipation. You are only providing them with empty calories, but their bodies are still hungry for nutrition. Provide them with an abundance of hydrating, fibre, vitamin and mineral rich fruits and vegetables instead. Healthy kids = healthy sleep.
- Get them to sweat. Daytime hours should be full of free play! Activities such as bike riding, swimming, playing at the park, etc. will make for a calmer bed time.
- Give yourself some “me time” during the day, so you’re not desperately waiting for it after they fall asleep. When you have had a few moments to yourself throughout the day, you aren’t as stressed out waiting for them to fall asleep.
- Sleep is just sleep, it doesn’t matter where it happens. Only in recent history have we had homes large enough for young children to have entire rooms strictly for them. It is a foreign concept to the majority of the world! And throughout history! You really aren’t crazy for thinking it’s normal to have children sleep in the same bed as you, or in the same room. If it makes the process easier and calmer, do it! Every hour counts. Your kids are more relaxed when falling asleep, and are likely to sleep for longer stretches if they know mom and dad are always there if they need them. There’s nothing wrong with having kids in their own beds, some kids thrive with more wiggle room! But make sure they know their room/bed is a happy place, not a stressful place of separation. **Read up on co-sleeping safety tips when it comes to newborns if you’re a new parent.**
- Let go of the strict routine, because in a day, week, month, year.. it won’t matter if they had a bath, heard the end of the story, or wore clean pyjamas every single night. If you missed a step, no worries. There’s always tomorrow.
- Regarding little babies…“Cry it out” Nopety nope nope nope. Not a method I recommend or suggest. I believe it causes more stress for both parents and baby. But that’s a whole other post..
- Read #1, again.
Good luck Parents!! 🙂