Sleep…Zzzzzzz……! Here I come to help toddlers/kids sleep through night! How to get a restless toddler to sleep? How to put a child to sleep fast? What foods may help toddler sleep? How to get consistent night sleep for Children?
The world is buzzing, searching for the answers to make these sweethearts have a good sleep. While we are searching, the answer lies within us, within our boundaries only. It comes as a matter of “awareness” to ensure peaceful nights both for parents & children. My I, II & III Sleep guides on Helping kids inducing good sleep can be perfect for you, with nearly no medications & no rigorous task to opt from. It’s been a lack of realization from our, parents end, on many aspects, which created a non-sleepy story. But yes parents, lack of sleep has lots of adverse impacts on children than adults, read here
Here comes part III –
Tips for a great Night sleep for children :
1. Disciplined Bedtime:
Don’t think discipline and toddlers / children repel each other. It is what we ought to set them into, for their own benefits in long term. Here, let’s be really strict & build a proper bedtime routine to be followed daily, without any compromise.
“I’ve often heard that – Kids get a great routine once they start schooling, be it playgroup only. The reason is very simple, they get bound by a schedule which has to be followed & slowly their bodies & minds adapt to it. The same approach has to be implemented when infants (post 3 months)/ toddlers/kids are at home”.
A) Fix the sleep time:
Let it not be later than 8:30pm daily. It has been shared immensely by many sleep specialists that “Kids going to bed after 9pm have more instances of night wakings, less overall sleep & usually take more time to sleep. Even they get laden with emotional tantrums by then.”
B) Begin the run to sleep atleast an hour before the final sleep time. For a good night sleep for children, they should fall in that momentum well ahead of the slated sleep time.
C) Let the gadget/video time get over before dinner time. Also ensure that the energetic plays have also been put to an halt well before so that a child gets enough time to calm down before sleeping. Incase you’ve tapped on to the evening garden time, make sure you return back & feed your child well ahead of his scheduled nap.
D) Get the ambience done:
Lights should be switched off or dimmed, in case your bunny bee is terrified of darkness. Pull off the curtains & set the room temperature at 25-28degrees, perfect for a calm sleep.
E) Let your kids have a night bath with normal temperature water & acknowledge the fact that “sleep time is about to begin”.
F) Clothing: Ensure organic/soft cotton clothes are up on the child’s body in the night. They impart a soothing texture & don’t provoke itching.
Don’t know what to do if gadget & garden time are over post dinner? Why not have a story telling & rhyme session? Kids love listening stories & singing rhymes. Read out the story books to them, they get fascinated with the characters. And above all, these activities are relaxing, have calming effect on children & creates a great aura of night sleep for children.
H) Cuddle up:
Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, kids, they all love the warmth of parents, especially mothers. So, why not have this hour of peace just for both of you? Cuddle him up & then share stories & rhymes with a sing along session:). “This is what I do & love the most. It is the best time of my whole day”.
I) Let that favourite cuddling toy find the space: “My kid loves his little piggy & shares his pillow with it:). He cuddles to me & makes piggy cuddle him. Its a 3-way cuddling, lol! But it gives him a very peaceful sleep & once I’m off the bed he hugs onto his piggy for most of the time”. Hugging a stuffed toy or soft blanket gives kids a sense of security. So, do try out cuddling your child’s favourite for the bed time.
Ensuring all these points as a daily bed time ritual, definitely will impact a kids psychology, entail a sense of discipline & nurture a beautiful growth you’ll be happy to see! And yes a great night sleep for children is an additional plus!
Diet & foods play a very important role in getting a good night sleep. Why not catch on some great food combinations, helping kids have a good sleep? Read here. Further, do ensure that dinner time should neither be too heavy nor a child should sleep empty stomach. Both these scenarios trigger a poor sleep, so have a perfect balance. Also dinner time should be atleast an hour, if not 2hours, before the bed time.
3. Sleep issues in specific months:
Sometimes kids have sleep issues in certain specific moths, like in Feb – early April & then in July – August. Those are the time when there are ample allergens in the environment. They in turn cause itching, rashes, overheating like issues which hamper kids sleep. Also mosquito season is painful for a good sleep. So get you kid tested for any allergies & let him have a cool, organic, loose clothing for sleep. Also try applying some “Mosquito cream” if you kids seems to be affected by them.
4. Breastfeeding Baby:
Diet of mother impacts a child’s sleep a lot till he/she is mostly on BF (till 6months or so). Moms, try to have a less spicy, light but nutritious food & ample of liquids & green veggies for a non-gassy / non colic baby. Try to avoid foods which cause stomach upset to your little one. This will in turn help your baby a good comfortable night sleep.
5. Exercise & ample physical activity:
It is not feasible to bind kid inside the house for all the time he is awake. Also, it is a must habit from start to have ample physical activity. They not only help in muscle development & growth, but also helps kids get more social & a better sleep. Let them laugh, let them get dirty in mud & get ample sunshine. Allow them to be what they are for some time in a day. All of this will help them grow & develop a lot better!
From being infant till 3years, a child develops on a great spree. From sleeping while being breastfed, to napping while being rocked, to his own cot (initially with mom/dad) & finally on his own on bed takes ample time. Any change in the habit takes an emotional toll on a child for first 10-15days. Believe, this isn’t easy for them. So, let them have this change in a very gradual & warm manner. If you are trying to get your child to sleep without being rocked in rocker, try explaining him the reason. Be as close to him as possible & assure him that you are there for him anytime in the night.
New sleep habits will have to be taught slowly & you’ll be happy to see the adaptation in a happy way post few days of struggle. Remember “Don’t give up”. No one wants lot of changes in life & for kids these small changes are very big for them to handle.
If all of the above stated options did not work for a peaceful night, try opting for below 2 strategies for a good sleep –
7. Protein + Coconut Oil:
This was suggested by a sleep specialist I met a year ago. It is said that proteins when mixed with fat as coconut oil work really good for a persistent night sleep. Such combination in night, doesn’t lets kids feel hungry while sleeping. You can try out peanut butter + Coconut oil or try adding some coconut oil to beans or sprouts you offer. You can also offer tofu sandwich with coconut oil or try out any good protein combination to work for you. Do consult your paediatrician as well.
Magnesium besides having numerous benefits acts as a great muscle relaxant. It is a super de-stressing mineral which can help you have a great tight sleep at night. So let kids not drain it up by giving them editions of coffee, sugars, cold drinks, salt. Let them have magnesium rich foods as cashews, almonds, tofu, soybeans, beans, parsley etc. Also you can rub magnesium oil on your kids tummy after giving him night bath. Post application, it gets absorbed in the skin & begins to show its impact as relaxant & gives really a very good sleep. This can be tried with moms & dads you too:).
So, are you happy to get those tips for a great sleep? Leave your comment & share if something else worked for you.
Have a Great Night sleep for children!