Finding the right sleep pattern for the Child AND the Family is not easy and often accompanied by lots of work.
If your child does not sleep well there are a few things that need to be thought of:
1. Every Child has the amount of sleeping hours it needs. No matter how much we like it, we will not be able to change it much. So if we need part of the sleeping time during the day, the night will be less.
2. a change of rhythm takes the body a time span of 2 Weeks. So no matter what you try, give it 2 weeks and stick with it.
3. Well feed belly with Proteins and Carbohydrates is never wrong.
5. Make sure your Child has enough activity, fresh air, and moving around time during the day.
6. Make sure it has not turned into a game already.
If all of the above are covered then think of these:
Build up a nice Bed-routine and maybe involve a walk outside into it. Depending on the age, explain why sleeping is impotent and make sure that your child is not in fear of anything. Also, make sure it knows your expectations in a nice but clear way. (If Mommy and Daddy don`t get enough rest, then we are angrier because we are tired just as you sometimes are..remember…. )
Waking up at night:
Everyone wakes up at night several times when sleep phases change. Usually, we learn to ignore this and go back to sleep. As Children are around age 2-5 they very often have a hard time with this, because they wake up all the way and then feel fit and ready to go…
If waking up at night has nothing to do with fear, dreams, or health. Talk to the Child. Even at age 2, you might get great results. Also, explain to the child what happens to you if you don’t get enough sleep. Ask them what you could do so they can fall asleep. And last but not least… make it a little fun… Make the “close your eyes and roll over and go back to sleep” game.
Ask them during the day, and before bed; And what do we do if we wake up at night? : close the eyes, roll over and go back to sleep…” tickle them to it… roll together on the floor, have fun with it…Because that’s basically all they need to learn.
Maybe a nightlight would help because the dark disturbs them… but just as well the nightlight could make it hard because it just leaves enough light to get up and start to play.
Since a two-week period of change has to be scheduled, a mattress next to the parents’ bed might help if the child keeps coming over (you may lay down and sleep here but do not wake mommy and daddy so they can get their sleep to be fit in the morning.
Waking up at night because of fear:
Dreams are a part of Life and especially during the fantasy years, they can really shake up children. If they wake up because of bad dreams: stay calm and speak quietly. Don`t turn on the light because you don’t want them to think that dark is a bad situation. (The light falling through the room door is enough) Calm them lay with them for a few moments and promise them that they are not alone and won’t be (not if this is not true of course!)
Waking up too early:
Explain to them that it is OK to wake up, but it is not polite to wake up others that obviously still need sleep. Tell them that they can play in their room but quietly or whatever works for you… If the kids are smaller allow them to come to your room and have a box of toys there.
And for transition, it might help if you put a little surprise in their room for the morning.. a few apple slices or something.
What has been working for you best? What tricks to you have?
Anything you`d like to ask?