Sleep may be one of the most talked about topics once it is announced that a baby is on the way. Sleep patterns change with pregnancy, excitement, and nerves, and once baby arrives, sleep may feel like nothing more than a dream. A good night’s sleep - for everyone - is about baby not only getting to sleep but staying asleep.
Establishing a routine may take some trial, error, and work, but a regular bedtime routine can establish healthy sleep patterns. Routines will change with your little one’s age, but keeping in mind to stay active during the day and relaxed in the evenings can be of great help.
Sunlight in the daytime
Feeling sleepy at bedtime requires feeling awake during the day. Bright light suppresses melatonin, so make sure your little one gets plenty of natural light in the daytime.
There’s an old saying, do not wake a sleeping baby. If your little one is over five years, however, try to keep their naps no longer than 20 minutes - any longer can make it harder for your child to get to sleep at night.
A relaxed environment to sleep in is an environment free of distractions. For older children, this may mean ensuring there are no screens in the bedroom. It is also advised to limit screen time before bedtime.
Check your child’s room for any other potential distractions, such as noise or other sources of bright light (though it is important that a child feels safe at night, for them to sleep, so a night light can come in handy).
And of course, a bedtime diaper check never hurts, to ensure your little ones’ comfort.
Wind down with your little ones by reading stories and listening to calming music for bed. Your routine can also include a relaxing bath or practicing breathing exercises. As your child gets older, this time can be used about chatting about the day, or plans for the next day that will need a good night’s sleep. Don’t we all want to be refreshed, in order to enjoy future adventures?