If you’re anything like me, you have struggled at some point with your child sleeping. My first born was colic the first 6 months, and I still cringe when I think of him at the beginning of his life! It was supposed to be this special time, but instead turned into my husband and I taking turns sleeping in 15-minute increments. We tried every suggestion under the sun, but nothing helped. He eventually grew out of the colic stage, and we moved on to the “not wanting to stay in bed” stage.
I wish there was one simple trick or routine that works for every family. The reality is everyone has to take time to figure out what works best for them. Every child is different; Every parent is different. The following are 3 suggestions that have helped eliminate some of the stress that comes with bedtime in our home.
ONE: Temperature of the room. While the room temp may not help them fall asleep, I have noticed it helps them stay asleep. If it’s too hot or cold, your child will more than likely wake up due to being uncomfortable. Any thermometer will work, but I use the Angelcare to track how controlled the room temperature is. I’ve noticed if the room is on the colder side rather than hot, my boys will snuggle in more which helps them sleep. Plus, it doubles as a bath thermometer!
TWO: White noise and a night light. I absolutely LOVE the Hatch. We use one in each of the kids’ bedrooms. The sound, colors, and schedules can be set on your smart phone. As they become toddlers, the Hatch is great to help them follow rules such as “while the light is red, you must stay in bed.” Or if you want to use it as an alarm clock, you can set it to change to a brighter color and birds chirping every morning.
THREE: Calm down routine. I know, I know, everyone says a strict routine is necessary, but in our house it’s really not. Some parents may be able to plan out every hour of their day or evening, but for our family there is just too much going on to be super consistent. And that’s okay! We love using the Fisher Price Lumalou to help get our children excited to do their bedtime routine.
We decide what time it turns on, and honestly every day is different depending on our schedule. Some nights we add a bath, other nights we add an evening puzzle or game. The Lumalou comes with a handheld button your child can press each time they complete a task, and they get rewarded with a bright star light. It helps lead them towards bed in a fun way.
Every night does not have to be perfect. It's important for us as parents to be okay with imperfection. But these are just three simple things to hopefully lessen the bedtime stress.
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