In a world full of anxiety, don’t let your families sleeping habits be one of them. I ask all the families I work with if they can rate they anxiety level on a scale of 1 to 10 when they think about bedtime/night with their children. Almost all of these families have rated themselves with a 5 or higher. Nighttime should be a calm and peaceful time and it can be for everyone – even with a house full of children.
In my experience, parents will do whatever it takes to get their children to sleep and get some sleep for themselves. As their children get older, their sleep issues never resolve on their own and in some cases they continue to get worse. This means that some families have gone 2-3 years without actually sleeping through the night, barring those miracle nights that you woke up in a panic that something was wrong because you actually slept a consolidated 6 hours. Can you imagine the effects of this kind of sleep deprivation? A lot of parents just throw in the towel and accept this as their new way of living but that doesn’t have to be the case
As a sleep consultant, my main goal is for your entire family to get the rest you need to actually enjoy being a family. No one is happy when they haven’t gotten the rest they need. The truth is, if your children are waking up throughout the night and you are spending hours rocking them, making bottles even though you’re sure they don’t need a night feeding anymore, bringing them into bed with you out of desperation, or doing anything and everything to just have them close their eyes and sleep, then this isn’t healthy for anyone.
No matter your parenting style or personal beliefs, there is a way to make some positive changes in your families sleep habits. It’s not selfish to want to sleep. It’s biological. Its necessary. It makes you a better parent, spouse, coworker, etc. Sleep for children is even more critical. It allows them to mentally and physically restore after a day of unfathomable learning and growing.
Sometimes all you need is a little guidance, support, and understanding to help you make some necessary changes. If you’re like me then you already have enough things to worry about in your day so sleep shouldn’t be one of them.
Here’s some ways to make nighttime a little easier:
- Shut down all electronics at least 30 minutes before bed but an hour would be optimal. Instead play soft music, read books, make bathtime extra long, etc.
- Mean what you say and say what you mean. If you say one more book then lights out but your little one is insisting on more – stick to your guns because this stalling tactic can go on until the sun comes up.
- Recognize what kind of sleep habits are negatively effecting your baby’s ability to fall back to sleep on their own and think of ways you feel comfortable eliminating them.
- Reach out to a sleep consultant if you’re at a loss or ready to get personalized help today.