Yesterday, I shared with you a chart showing how much sleep your little ones SHOULD be getting. Are yours getting enough?
Often, behavior problems can be attributed to too little sleep. Here are some tips on getting your little ones some good, long zzzzz’s:
-Dial it back slowly: If your kids currently go to bed at 10, don’t lose hope….you can re-train their brains to go to bed at 8. Just do it slowly. Dial back bedtime by 15 minutes each night.
-Allow each family member to have their own place to sleep, all night: We all have our own views on sleep and I am crystal clear on mine. I believe that each family member deserves to have their own place to sleep, all night long. When babies and kids sleep with their parents, they are denied the opportunity to learn to fall asleep on their own — a skill we all need every night for the rest of our lives. I often work with kids who are 10 or 11 or 12 and still sleep with parents (and by that age, no one is happy about it). Trust me, it is way easier to teach a child to sleep independently at 6 months old than at 12 years old! Furthermore, when kids come into parents’ rooms during the night, parents are denied the opportunity to get a good night sleep which they need to be calm during the day and do well at their jobs. It can take some work to get kids to sleep independently, but it is worth it in terms of sleep quality for every member of the family.
-Watch caffeine intake: In little kids? YES! Some small kids drink soda, iced tea, hot chocolate and even sips of parents’ coffee drinks. All of these affect sleep and should be avoided.
Do you have a sleep challenge you would like me to address? Leave your comments here!