We need Sleep!
We Need Sleep! A cry I’ve often heard from new parents and many struggling toddler mums and dads in my years in childcare.
‘He’s never slept through!’
‘She won’t go to sleep in her cot!’
‘If I don’t get some sleep soon I’m going to have a breakdown!’
If you’re going through this, it feels like it will never end but rest assured, by the time their teenage years arrive you’ll be struggling to get your offspring out of bed! So what’s the secret? Every child and baby is different BUT they all need sleep, if for no one else’s sake but yours…….
- Follow an evening routine and stick with it: for example dinner, warm bath, story, milk or snack then bed.
- Don’t let children watch TV or play computer games right before bed.
- Put newborns down in their crib whilst they are awake. They can learn how to drift off by themselves.
- When baby wakes during the night, keep lights and noise low, feed and change, then promptly put them back into their cot. For older children escort them straight back to their own bed.
- Try to avoid letting children sleep in your bed. When you’re exhausted this seems like the easiest option but rarely does it succeed long term in getting them to sleep through.
- Don’t believe parents who tell you their babies slept through from 2 weeks of age. It’s not unheard of but definitely very unusual!
- Most importantly do what routine is best for you but stick with it.
I found the best solution for my own children was to start off keeping them up late (we managed 10pm). Then we bathed them, fed them and got them into bed. They were obviously very tired and doing this every night soon meant they were sleeping until about 5am. Gradually we moved their bath time back by 15 minutes every few nights. It worked for us as a family.
If you don’t want a routine, children will eventually sleep through, but it will take longer. Being a strict parent when it comes to sleep is not a bad thing. You will reap the benefits!