Before my first was born, my mother-in-law warned that my husband was the child who never slept. So much so, she kept a journal of when he woke and fell asleep. So I knew from day one I would be looking to find some great sleep solutions for kids if I wanted to keep my own sanity.
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Extremely Good Parenting Podcast EP. 010
Liz from Love and Marriage Blog and I discuss ways to get our kids to sleep better at night, how to “do it right” while they’re young, and more. We cover everything from foods to eat to bed sharing to cry it out.
Getting your baby or toddler to Sleep better
We bed share.
For us it’s what helps both our kids and us as parents sleep better. But it’s not the only option and it’s not right for everyone.
That’s why when my friend, Liz, mentioned she would love to talk about hacking sleep on my podcast and she was more on the cry-it-out side of the spectrum, I knew it would be a great topic since it covered so much between the two viewpoints.
Listen to the sleep solutions episode for all of our tips including how cherries can help with sleep in toddlers. But keep reading for a few ideas both in and not included in the episode.
“Camp it out” vs. Bed Sharing
Liz mentions that she hates the term cry-it-out and the way it sounds, but she stands by the idea, especially as the “Camp it out” method but admits that our family’s idea of bed sharing safely isn’t as much the issue. It’s about helping our kids learn to fall asleep independently.
We have found ways that our kids can go to sleep even without us there the entire time including creative ways to calm the mood in the home through lights, essential oils, and other calming methods. We also have created a fun and exciting experience where they have a separate space as a side car, tent, or other area.
Create a Dark, Safe Place
Training the body to understand that darkness is when sleep happens, you can be more successful, especially at nap time to take your child into a room and be able to let them rest without working long and hard to get them to fall asleep.
Getting awesome Blackout Curtains, in the long run, is an inexpensive way to reduce stress that revolved around trying to get your kids to sleep. They can help during daylight savings, at nap time, or in any situation where both light and temperature affect your child’s sleep.
Accept that there will be times of regression
With both my girls, I had a time around 15-16 months old where they moved from sleeping really well at night to suddenly it was like having a newborn again. But once we got through it, they slept better than they ever had before. And in that time, they were growing and developing.
In fact, isn’t sleep (both more or less) always an indicator of physical or mental development? So Take heart, it doesn’t last forever and isn’t worth getting frustrated about unless it persists for a month or more.
Wind down and slow down
Being overly tired is a real thing that keeps us awake as people. But if we can turn down the light around an hour before bed, institute afternoon baths to help make nap time happen, and make it a routine to dial it down, relax, and bring the energy down so your kids aren’t going from “go-go-go” to “you need to go to bed” in an instant.
Want our recommended products on how to help kids get a better night sleep?
Check out the resource list. It includes everything from Natural Calm to helpful books to help you discover a solution that fits yours family’s needs.
Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!