SLEEP & KIDS
A good night’s sleep is so important, but our kids don’t always share the same opinion! It can often feel like the teenage years, when kids embrace the idea of sleeping until noon, is a long way off! But until then, there are many ways that you can encourage your kids to get a good night’s sleep.
We spoke to Annette Faamausili, child sleep expert and founder of Serene Sleep, to provide her top tips on how to help children to get a good night’s sleep.
Here are Annette’s top tips:
1. Set A Bedtime Routine
Setting a bedtime routine is key, but it’s also important to note that there is more to it than simply having a relaxing bath and reading a bedtime story. Here are some other key points to consider when it comes to your child’s bedtime routine.
2. Choose A Comfortable Bed
An integral part of the sleep set up is the bed you choose. If your child is not comfortable in their bed, then they are going to struggle to get the restorative sleep they need. Make sure to choose a supportive, comfortable bed that is appropriate for your child’s age. Your child’s first bed is likely to be a cot. You should aim to transition them out of the cot before they are three. Make the transition when they are too big to fit in the cot, when they can climb out, or when they are toilet trained and fully dry at night. Once they move out of a cot, they will then transition into a bed. To prevent your child from rolling out of bed, you can install a bed rail or tuck a pool noodle under the sheets along the edge of the bed.
3. Create A Safe Haven
Creating the right sleep environment will help your child feel settled and secure in a familiar space. The room should be a safe haven for them to rest in. Keep the room well ventilated and as dark as possible. Use a black out blind to help keep out unwanted sunlight, and don’t use a nightlight unless your child is more comfortable with one. The ideal room temperature is around 19°C, so don’t heat the room too much during winter. Sleeping in thin layers is best to prevent your child getting too hot during the night.
4. Avoid Stimulation
If your child is overly stimulated before bed, then they will struggle to settle when it’s time to go to sleep. To prevent this from happening, there are two main things to avoid.
5. Seek Expert Advice
If you have tried a few of the approaches described here and your family is still struggling with sleep, then you should seek the advice of an expert sleep consultant. A sleep consultant will be able to provide gentle and supportive solutions that will suit your household and style of parenting.