If you discover that your child is going long hours without sleeping, you're not alone. Up to 25% of kids have trouble sleeping, and knowing what to do can be quite some dilemma.
Although many things can influence how much sleep your child gets, the easiest one you could control is their sleeping environment. Like adults, your child needs a calming, soothing environment that supports sleep.
The following are expert tips on creating a calming sleeping environment for your child.
1. Tidy up their space
It's an excellent idea to teach good sleeping habits to your child from an early age. While you can help out, encourage your child to tidy up their bedroom and take out the toys and other objects that may distract them from sleeping. Let them understand that bedtime is indeed for sleeping.
Perhaps, your child is so used to your presence and can't go to sleep without holding them. Know that you can't do that forever, and it would help to get them a teddy or blanket to offer your child a sense of security.
2. Make your child's crib as comfortable as could be
A hard mattress and itchy bedding will not encourage quality sleep. Instead, it's worth investing in soft, comfy ones to promote relaxation.
Remember that bed-sharing isn't advised for toddlers, neither are pillows recommended for newborns in their first year. So it's wise to always follow age-appropriate guidelines when getting accessories for your kid. However, once your child is older than two, having a cozy, colorful crib pillow can help soothe your tot into dreamland.
Temperature also matters when it comes to a comfortable crib. Keep your child's bedroom at an optimal range of 66-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Block out the lights
Daytime naps are encouraged in newborns, toddlers, and older children. Unfortunately, bright lights from the window and other sources can delay the sleep hormone melatonin, making it difficult for your child to go to sleep.
An excellent solution to this is to use blackout curtains throughout the room. By hanging up blackout curtains against the window and door, you create a dark, nightlight environment that prompts your child to sleep.
This is also advised for early sleeping hours since your living room and other areas may still disperse light into the child's bedroom.
When night comes, a nightlight in your child's room is recommended over a lamp or overhead light as it induces sleep more, especially at its dimmest.
4. Use soothing scents
Lavender is known to promote relaxation. So if your child is a stubborn sleeper, leveraging the aromatherapeutic powers of lavender may be just what you need.
Additionally, if you smoke, do not expose your child to it as secondhand smoke can disrupt sleep in children.
5. Block out everything else with white noise
Babies are used to white noise; it’s what they always experienced while inside the womb. Unfortunately, TV and traffic sounds and voices of the parents can disrupt a child's sleep. Whether they're still an infant or toddler, investing in a white-noise generating device to drown out environmental sounds can help your child sleep better.
To save cost, you can use a hair-dryer instead, ensuring you place it at a distance from the child.
Promoting a good sleeping routine in your child can strengthen their mental and physical health well into adulthood. So by carrying out these tips, you deserve a best-parent award for trying to help your child sleep better.