Getting to watch Two children turn from infants to walking, talking people are one of the greatest gifts in my life. I love their quirky ways and humorous comments, except when it comes to bedtime. Their brains are dripping, I’m tired, and the tub is still full of junk food. These children need to sleep.
Every parent has experienced this particular taste of despair, whether they’ve been in bed in the dark with a 3-year-old in separation anxiety, or when a toddler pops up at a particularly exciting moment. the last of us Just to ask for one more water. I spoke to certified sleep consultants to get some tips on how to get your kids to snooze.
Tinker with bedtime
As a sleep consultant and founder of Baby Sleep Answers, a company that offers science-backed customized sleep solutions for newborns and infants, Andrea de la Torre says that baby fatigue is defined by two biological processes — the internal circadian rhythm and what we call sleep pressure, or fatigue.
A circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle that may motivate your child to get out of bed in the morning, but it develops as a child’s resistance to fatigue develops. That’s why children sleep a lot, an adult can enjoy drinks after dinner (sometimes). If your child has trouble falling asleep at the end of the day, you may need to adjust their daily schedule to accommodate their ever-changing natural rhythms.
Sleep consultant Molly Tartaglia, founder of MMT Sleep, says, “A lot of people think their kids don’t sleep because they’re not tired, and they leave their kids too late. Digital courses for parents of children up to 7 years old. “But an early bedtime is always a good idea.” A good rule of thumb is to aim for 10 to 12 hours of sleep for a 3 or 4 year old, so if your child wakes up at 7 am, try to go to bed at 7:30 or 8 pm.
This age is also the time when babies need a little sleep. If your child seems cranky at 8:00 p.m., you can try eliminating or shortening naps during the day. “If you’re still having two sleeps, cover it together. “If you’re going to sleep for an hour, try a 10-minute nap,” says de la Torre. “Some parents don’t realize they can take a 10-minute drive around town.”
Set a consistent daily routine
With so much of the brain and body changing every day, it’s no wonder teenagers crave predictability. “Your routine can really include anything, as long as it’s repeated so your child knows what to expect,” says Tartaglia. Even at 5 and 8, my kids have the same bedtime routine as they did when they were babies – bath, books and bed. Night light soothes the fear of the dark, and white noise echoes the sound of Mom talking to her friend on the phone as she runs up the stairs.
The main goal is to put your baby to sleep the way you would put a preschooler or elementary school student to sleep – by cuddling, kissing safely, and out the door. No rocking to sleep, endless late night snacks, or laying there for hours, staring at the ceiling. To that end, you generally want to keep your response to nighttime interruptions consistent. “Don’t say ‘go back to bed, it’s okay’ one time, and ‘sleep with me’ the next,” says Tartalia. “It’s sending mixed messages to your child.”