Sleep Tips: How to (Actually) Get Your Child to Sleep
Integrated Learning Strategies is excited to feature sleep tips with guest blogger Kyle Anderson. While many of the recommendations below are great for children and parents, some accommodations or exceptions may be made for children with learning challenges and learning disabilities.
Once you have children of your own, the phrase “sleeping like a baby” doesn’t sound as incredible. For the first few weeks of your child’s life, you were happy to attend to their every need, even if it meant waking up at two in the morning to soothe them back to sleep. However, now that they’re a toddler, having a child that won’t sleep is absolutely exhausting. Maybe they have a fear of missing out, they like to play, or they just don’t like sleeping. If you are having a hard time getting your child to sleep, use the tips and tricks below.
You’ve heard a hundred times that the best way to get your child to sleep is to set up a bedtime routine. It is true, and it is the most important thing to do if your child has a hard time sleeping. Map out the entire hour before bedtime with activities to help them wind down. Start by turning off the TV and all other electronics at least one hour before bedtime. After that, implement the 4 B’s: give your child a bath, brush their teeth, read them a few books, and then tuck them in bed. Make a schedule that is all your own, be it reading 3 stories a night, tucking in your child and their animals one by one, or singing a special song. Make sure that you stick to your routine no matter what as even one odd day can cause a week of strange sleep patterns.
Wakeup at the Same Time
Make sure that you also are consistent about wake up times. Helping your children wake up at the same time every day can reduce morning grogginess and make it easier for them to sleep at night. If your kids like to sleep in, create a morning routine to help them get up at the same time, and stay up. Stick to your wake up schedule, even on the weekends.
Try Blackout Shades
Most children have a bedtime of 8:00 pm. While that is just fine during the winter, the light in the bedroom from the sun (or even a street lamp) can make it difficult if not impossible to sleep. Get a set of blackout shades to make your child’s room dark enough for sleeping. For other uses of blackout shades, visit this blog.
Try Soothing Sounds
Silence can be unnerving to a child, as well as make them sensitive to every little noise. During nap time and during the night, play some white noise or classical music to help your child sleep. You can either use a white noise generator, or turn on a fan to soothe your child. Many parents try singing a lullaby to help their children sleep. It does not matter whether or not you are an excellent singer, your voice will be reassuring and calming to your child. You can sing traditional lullabies or any song that you know. They won’t know if you’re off key, especially if they don’t yet know the song.
Scents such as lavender, cedarwood, and vanilla are soothing and can help your child fall asleep at night. You can use a diffuser, a candle, a stuffed animal filled with some dry culinary lavender, or even just rub essential oils on your child’s feet. Other popular essential oils for sleep include: vetiver, chamomile, ylang ylang, bergamot, and sandalwood. If you have a child who is afraid of monsters under the bed, you can always use an air freshener (scented as one of the above scents) as “monster repellant” to chase away the fears and help them sleep.
Caffeinated beverages can affect your child for up to six hours after consumption. That means that a can of soda at 2 pm can keep them up at 8 pm. Too much soda can also give your child headaches, increase their blood pressure, contribute to jitteriness, and increase their heart rate. Even if your child doesn’t drink soda, they may be getting a small amount of caffeine in their chocolate milk (there are about 5 milligrams of caffeine per cup). Don’t give your child more than 45 milligrams of caffeine a day, and don’t let them consume any caffeine for as long as 4 hours before bedtime.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs