“Do I have to go to bed now?”
We’ve all heard that one before. No matter how tempted you may feel to give your child a little leeway in this matter, don’t. The answer to that question should almost always be a positively emphatic, “Yes!”
4 Ways to Reinforce Healthy Sleep Habits with Your Child
Healthy sleep habits from as early on as birth can promote much healthier sleep habits that carry on throughout the rest of their life. But, where do you start with this? And how do you know that you’re on the right track with the types of sleep habits you’re promoting?
Creating healthy sleep habits for your child is essential. Here are 4 ways you can get them on the right track.Click to Share this on Twitter!
Let’s take a look at 4 ways in which you can continually reinforce healthy sleep habits with your child:
1. Create the Ideal Environment
We begin our healthy sleep habits at home. Here are some ways to create a more positive and sleep-friendly environment for your child:
- When you put your baby down to sleep, rest them on their back.
- It’s ideal to place them in their crib or bed when they’re drowsy but not yet at the point of sleep.
- Ensure the room is dark and quiet.
- If you want to use white noise, try to use a constant sound like a fan that does not change in pitch or tone.
These are key elements in promoting an environment where your child learns to self-soothe. It is important for babies to learn this skill early on because it teaches them how to go back to sleep on their own. In turn, you get more sleep too!
2. Develop a Routine
Create a simple 20- to 30-minutes routine that you will practice nightly. For example:
- Give them a glass of milk.
- Run them a warm bath.
- Put them in their jammies.
- Read them a story.
- And then place them in their crib or bed as they start to get drowsy.
A consistent nighttime routine helps to prepare the body for sleep. We suggest feeding at the start of the routine so that an association with food right before falling sleep does not develop.
3. Remove Distractions
We hear a lot about the dangers of technology in the bedroom or even just heavy usage of technology before bedtime. We suggest turning off all devices at least one hour before bed. This means no videos or TV shows during your bedtime routine.
Technology has been shown to interfere with the brain’s ability to settle into sleep. It also lowers the level of melatonin, which is the hormone that makes us drowsy and is needed at the end of the day to help us go to sleep. Bedtime is a chance to disconnect from the busy day and spend some quiet time together before your child falls asleep.
4. Encourage Naps
It is important for our babies and toddlers to have the sleep they require during the day, too, which is why you should encourage a daily napping ritual.
Naps refresh your baby/toddler for their next busy hours. Naps improve behavior as well as emotional control, and those who have naps are typically less resistant to go to sleep at bedtime.
Good Night and Sweet Dreams
Healthy sleep improves our children from the inside-out. Sleep impacts development and growth. It also has an enormous impact on our child’s ability to learn.
When our babies and children are taught healthy sleep skills, the benefits can be easily seen. Your child will have fewer colds and fewer meltdowns, be more alert and relaxed, and also be better able to focus and adjust to changes in their surroundings more easily. You will see your child happy, healthy, and well-rested!!!