Anyone with young children remembers the fond days of near constant fatigue from night after night of late feedings and tantrums. If you're a young parent and feel this may be the soundtrack to your life, you're not alone. Experts estimate during the first two years of a child's life, their parents will lose out on a total of six months of sleep.
Here are five basic tips to help both expectant parents and those who need a little help catch a few extra winks of sleep each night:
1. Keep a consistent bedtime.
Life as a parent is chaotic. Between soccer practice, rehearsals, school and other activities, your child's life is pretty action packed. It's important that no matter the situation that you keep their bedtime consistent. The easiest way to do this is to develop a 20 to 30 minute bedtime routine. There's really no way around experimenting with a bunch of different methods, just experiment with the order of giving your child a bath, brushing his or her teeth, reading stories, saying prayers, playing music, etc., until you find a routine that works for you.
2. Avoid singing or rocking your child to sleep.
While this may initially put them to sleep, if they wake up during the night they may require you to rock them back to sleep. In order to avoid this condition known as sleep-onset association disorder, get your child used to falling asleep with a transitional object such as a blanket or stuffed animal they associate with bedtime.
3. Create a sleep-worthy environment.
It's important your child is comfortable at night. Clothes and blankets shouldn't restrict movement. Remove whatever is near your child's crib or bed that isn't necessary for sleep or may be a potential safety hazard. Keep the room dark, limiting the amount of light sources. A problem many parent's experience is their child simply doesn't want to go to bed. If you live in a house that is constantly creating a great deal of noise (TVs, older children, computers, etc.) try a machine that creates a soothing noise in your child's room to block out the sound.
4. Give your child something to find comfort in.
Let's be honest, at some point in your life, you were terrified of the bogeyman. Unfortunately, your child will probably have the same uneasiness at night. Give your child a flashlight, check under their beds for them or give them a giant stuffed animal to be their "guardian." A child's imagination can be an incredible thing, but helping them get over their fears keeps them from running to your bed each night.
5. Don't get up at every opportunity
This is probably going to be one of the hardest things a young parent deals with -- your child yelling your name in the middle of the night because they're scared or can't sleep. However, it's vital you momentarily resist the temptation, if you're sure something isn't wrong. Waiting a few moments before responding can remind them you're asleep, giving them the chance to calm calm and return to sleep.Of course you will step in from time to time and comfort your child, but try not to not let your child associate you coming their room with the ability to sleep.
Don't let your child continuously keep you up at night. Try out these tips and check out our selection of sleep products available from eVitamins to help them sleep through the night.
Products you may like:
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