NIGHT’S SLEEP is crucial for everyone and it is all the more important for babies who are developing mentally as well as physically. Sleep has an important impact on regulating hormones and in kids, the growth hormones are released after beginning deep sleep. However, simply knowing the fact that your kid needs a good sleep is not enough and you have to actually put in efforts to help them get it. Ideally, if your baby is newborn then 11 to 18 hours of sleep a day is necessary for their wellbeing. For those who are preschoolers or go to school can have 8 to 11 hours of sleep. Below are 5 effective ways in which you can help you child in getting a good night’s sleep.
1. Plan it Out
In order to put your baby into peaceful sleep, you should create a bedtime ritual. It could be as simple as singing a song or to turn on the white noise machine that helps in relaxation. If your child is old enough to communicate then you can perhaps agree upon a decided routine. Discuss how many books you would read to him/her before the kid dozes off. You can also make the ground rules like put on the pajamas then brush teeth followed by a couple of book readings and then finally sleeping. This will make it clear and the kid will get used to this routine.
2. Create a Sleep Friendly Environment
Your child’s bedroom needs to induce sleep and you can design it such that the kid can peacefully get some quality sleep. Make sure that you turn off any sources of light that might disturb the kid. Your baby’s room needs to have the right temperature. If it is too hot or cold, the child will feel uncomfortable the whole time and will be very cranky too. In the winters you make sure that there are no gaps from where the breeze can come in. when it is hot outside, you can turn on the fan or set the temperature of air conditioner accordingly. White noise machines are really helpful with regards to sleep as it produces a consistent sound which negates all the noise from outside. See https://aquietrefuge.com/best-baby-white-noise-machines/ for some of the best white noise machines for babies.
3. Shun Usage of Electronics Before Bed
While you might have heard of this a lot, it is indeed true! The light from electronics stimulates the brain which is the last thing you wish for your baby if you want him/her to sleep. Exposure to electronics can actually curb the production of sleep hormones such as serotonin and melatonin. You should make it a point to turn off the screens at least two hours before bed. Naturally, kids will be more active otherwise by playing around or through physical activity. This will help them in fall asleep faster. On the other hand, you can take help from technologies that will enable you to track the sleep of your baby. For instance, go for FitBit using which you can see if the baby is catching good sleep or not. If you feel like the baby is being insomniac then it is always advised to consult a doctor and try to understand it better.
4. Encourage your Kid to Be More Active
A child will fall asleep easily if he/she has got enough physical exercise throughout the day. Make sure that you encourage your kid to go outdoors to play with other kids so that they can burn down some energy. This will make them feel tired by the end of day and it will be easier for the kids to go to bed. You can engage them in fun games at home or take them for a walk. However, it should be noted that physical activity should also not be encouraged right before the bed or before a couple of hours. Apart from physical activity, you can also make sure that the kid is not overly active or engaged in something that will curb his sleep in the night. You can ask your family members to support this so that the kid can be sleepy instead of active before bedtime.
5. Try to Keep it Positive
Let’s admit it, it can be quite daunting when you have to struggle so much to put the child to sleep. However, there are various ways that you can work through this. For instance, you can make it a point to give him/her a reward each time the kid sleeps on time for 7 consecutive days. You can promise their favorite treat or something that they are very fond of. You do not always have to punish your kid for not complying because, at the end of the day, he/she is just an innocent kid. Moreover, your focus should be to make them naturally associate bedroom with sleep. You can do by keeping the bedroom exclusive for only sleeping and resting. For other activities such as playing with toys, you can allow them to do so in the living room. When they get used to this pattern, it will become easier for them to fall asleep.
Thus, with the help of the above-mentioned tips, you can easily help your child in getting the ideal hours of sleep. It could be a little challenging in the beginning, but you should keep in mind that a good night’s sleep is imperative for the young ones. If your child cannot fall asleep due to any reason then you should find out whether it’s because of nightmares or sleepwalking. If the kid is experiencing nightmares then you can assure them that it is alright and that it is just a part of their imagination. Some kids can be really taken aback due to bad dreams and it is a very common happening. As a loving parent, you should try and make them feel safe. However, if your child is facing sleepwalking and night terrors, then it is advised to get them evaluated by a sleep specialist.