As parents, we were there when our child/children entered this world, and we’ve experienced so many memorable moments along the way. But, many of the earliest memories with our little one also revolved around sleep, in various iterations:
- Trying to get our baby to fall to sleep;
- Rocking and changing and feeding the baby to encourage sleep;
- Experiencing our own lack of sleep.
Then, years go by; and we think that the lack of sleep is far behind us. It’s true that the sleep patterns do change as our kids get older. It’s still not always easy, but the struggles with sleep evolves — particularly as our kids start school and other extracurricular activities.
So, with each new challenge, we rely on some of the most basic tips to encourage our children to rest, relax and sleep. Along, the way, these tips also allow we, as parents to enjoy a few extra moments of quiet, and (hopefully) at least a few extra hours of sleep:
- Bedtime: It’s not always easy, but it’s essential to set a bedtime, and stick to it.
- Routine: Taking bath, brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, and reading a book — there’s never a question of what they need to do.
- Devices: Studies show that digital devices (televisions, tablets, phones, etc) adversely affect healthy sleep (the production of melatonin is affected). It’s also too tempting for the kids to stay up all night playing games.
- Environment: By setting the stage (nightlight, quiet room, etc), and making sure the kids feel safe and comfortable — they fall to sleep much more easily.
- Natural: It’s normal for all of us to go to sleep, but it becomes a struggle if the child thinks he/she is missing out on night-time fun. By focusing on the fact that everyone is relaxing and going to bed, it makes the drifting off process a bit more smooth.
Obviously, there are so many factors associated with falling asleep, and staying asleep; and there are variations on the many sleep-inducing enticements as time goes on.