Sleep is a need! It is essential for your child’s growth and development. It is a healthy habit that we can help our children learn. For success, it is important to examine all the pieces of the puzzle in order to help establish healthy sleep habits in your family.
The 5 Puzzle Pieces of Child Sleep
A child should always be placed down for sleep in a safe sleep environment. A consistent place for sleep will also help the child’s mind and body prepare for sleep
•Follow the ABC’s of Sleep. Place your infant down Alone, On Back, In an Empty Crib for every sleep
•Big kid bed and big kid room, make it safe!
• Cool, calm and dark
A sleep association is a routine you follow that helps the mind and body relax for sleep (i.e. rocking and holding, feeding, patting/shushing, bouncing or swinging, etc.)
•Place your child down calm but awake and in a safe, consistent sleep space
•Avoid sleeping on the go and refrain from relying on sleep props
Knowing a child’s sleep needs can help set them up for success to ensure they are getting the right amount of sleep and the best quality of sleep to meet their needs.
Routine and Consistency
Children thrive on routine. Following a consistent daily routine helps everyone know what to expect and what is coming next.
•Bedtime routine should start 20-30 minutes before lights out
•Don’t be afraid to start early. Keep lights low and voices soft
•Keep it simple and consistent. If they are tired, skip pages rather than steps
Healthy Sleep Attitude
Ask all caretakers to have a positive attitude about sleep. If you are stressed at bedtime, your child can sense this and become anxious. Being confident in their ability (and yours) to learn this new skill will help you put the puzzle pieces of child sleep together for your family.
Finally, if you are sleep deprived it may be hard to determine how best to establish these healthy sleep habits for your child. I am here to help you put these puzzle pieces in the right place.