Whether your little Miss or Mister is consistently difficult to settle to sleep, or just throws in the occasional sleep settling ‘wobbly’, this backup plan will give you back your evenings, and have you and the kids wake up REFRESHED and ready to start your busy day.
SLEEP ESSENTIALS…The Three R’s
First of all – if you are on a good thing stick to it!
Some parents have sleep routines that work well for them and suit their family ranging from breast-feeding to sleep, bed sharing, play bath story bed…it doesn’t really matter what you use as long as it works for the whole family.
If you had a great routine that suddenly no longer works or if you’ve struggled to find a solution at all, rest assured there is an answer – try the three R’ for helping your child have a great nights sleep – Routine, Re-Connection and Relaxation.
1. Routine, Routine, Routine, Routine and Routine
- Keep pre-bed routines short, 20 minutes maximum, and not too stimulating…remember you are winding down to sleep.
- Hunger can be an issue. Offer a protein based bedtime snack – it may prevent them waking during the night.
- Keep windows well covered…especially during daylight saving when long days keep the room light.
- A low wattage night-light can allay fears.
- Keep doors open…children feel safe when they feel you can be accessed easily.
Children need and want to be with parents.
Connection and responsiveness between child and parent promotes bonding.
A strong connection provides your child with emotional security to later develop self-control and the ability to self-settle when developmentally ready.
Don’t be afraid to spend a little time re-connecting and satisfying your child’s emotional needs.
- Some sleep techniques advise avoiding eye contact and close touch, but as part of your bedtime routine it is okay to be fully focused on your child.
- Cuddle, pat, sing, hum, rock – whatever you feel helps them feel safe, secure and loved.
Without achieving a state of relaxation your child can’t fall asleep – it is as simple as that.
- The essential ingredient in your child’s relaxed state is taking that time for re-connection and so fill their ‘emotional cup’.
- Once your child feels connected they will be able to relax, and you will also enjoy the experience.
- A useful settling tool can help them transition to a state of deep relaxation with gentle song, soft meditative music or a favourite cuddle toy or blanket.
So if you’re longing for littlies to settle quickly, invest in the Three R’s…
ROUTINE, RE-CONNECTION AND RELAXATION
And enjoy YOUR serenity!