Every Tuesday, I will be sharing tips on different topics for children of each age group. These tips are based on my experiences with my children, or they are tips passed on to me from other Moms. They are in no way guaranteed to work for you or your children, but maybe they will….you don’t know unless you try!
Please feel free to share your own tips in the comments.
How to get your child to sleep (or you, if you’re carrying a baby)
- Use a body pillow that slips between your knees and gives you something to lean into
- Put a second pillow behind your back for support
- If necessary, send your husband to the couch, but only after he gives you a much needed back rub
- Develop a bedtime routine from early on, and remember that it will be what your baby expects before sleep so if you don’t want to go for a car ride every night, don’t make that part of your routine.
- Some suggestions for getting baby to sleep:
- read to him (you can read anything, as long as it’s done in a soothing and quiet voice
- play soft music
- rock in a rocking char
- some people suggest laying your baby down while awake so he/she learns to get himself to sleep. I believe it’s a good suggestion, just not one I did often because we co-slept in the early months
- Routine is essential! It’s easier to make the adjustment to bedtime if you know it’s coming
- Nap time should always follow a routine as well, and can be encouraged by creating a quiet space with the lights low
- Give them a bath before bed, it helps to feel fresh and relaxed
- Read a story together
- Get pajamas on a half hour before bed
- Have a special stuffed toy or blanket that only comes out a bedtime
- Tuck them in and turn out the lights
- Follow the same guidelines for toddlers. If done from the beginning, it is what they will expect
- Give reminders eg. “Bedtime is in 15 minutes” so that all drinks, bathroom breaks and snacks can be finished before bed
- Avoid television shows or video games before bed
- Believe it or not, routine is still important with your teen, but you may need to allow for a little more flexibility to the routine because teens have jobs, activities and special circumstances that may interfere.
- Teenagers require a lot of sleep to help them manage their raging hormones and mood swings, and sleeping in is not always an option, so it is important that they get to bed at a decent hour.
- Have a reasonable curfew in place, based on the amount of sleep you know your child needs.
- Set a time for “bed” that means your teen needs to retreat to his/her bedroom for the night. You can tell them you need you “kid free” time or explain you feel they need more sleep…but make it a consistent time.
- Keep the electronics out of their bedrooms. I don’t believe that any child needs a television or computer in the bedroom. It’s a great way to make sure they DON’T get the sleep they need.