I don’t want to brag, but I will, my girls both excel at one thing. Sleeping. I know I can’t take full credit for that because my husband would sleep 20 hours a day if he could and they probably inherited some of those genes, but I can definitely take some credit. I take my kids’ sleeping very seriously. Nap time and bed time are my only quiet times. I love quiet times. I don’t want to give that up.
So, different things work for different families, but here are 5 things I do that I know contribute to my kids being good sleepers. Maybe these tips will help you, maybe they won’t work for you. I’m not a parenting expert, I just know what works at Casa U. I also know that my kids sleep amazingly. (For the most part).
1. We are consistent. We set a bedtime and stick to it. Everyone has their sleeping place and we don’t play musical beds. My kids have literally never slept in my bed, ever. Because my sleep is important too and that would never work for me. But it works for other people. I’ve found that when my kids don’t have their own beds, sleep is not happening, but that’s not true for everyone. A bedtime routine is good too. For Karina we pick out a stuffed animal and then she gets a hug, a kiss and a high 5. Anna Kate’s routine is a little more elaborate thanks to my husband, she gets 3 songs (wheels on the bus, itsy bitsy spider, and twinkle twinkle little star), then we look out her window and then she goes to bed. Lord help us if anything in that routine is not stuck to.
2. Nigh time wake ups? We’re silent. We don’t make it fun to wake up. Take care of whatever needs to be taken care of and lay them back down. Nightmares are different, and you have to figure out what works to get your kid to sleep again, for us we have to make sure Karina is fully awake and then let her go to sleep.If she isn’t fully awake when we go to her and leave she is up 10 minutes later with another nightmare. Anna Kate needs to be picked up and snuggled. It also helps if you figure out what causes the nightmares. Karina has more nightmares if she goes to bed late or wakes up too early.
3. We keep it cool, at least upstairs. Everyone sleeps better over here when it’s cooler.
4. Don’t rock or read immediately before bed (I know how that sounds but hear me out), your child might have a hard time falling back asleep without these things, and I don’t know one person who wants to read “Goodnight Moon” at 2 am and again at 4 am. We read before we head upstairs. It’s part of our night time routine, like brushing teeth, but not part of the bed time ritual.
5. Too much sleep can be a bad thing, and so can too little sleep, if your child is having a hard time at night, she may be napping too much during the day. Alternately, he might not be sleeping enough. This chart is great to figure out if your child could be sleeping too much or not enough. This is probably the hardest thing on this list, because you have to figure out the right balance for your child.
If you follow me on social media, you know that sometimes we go through sleep regressions, which is totally normal. Chances are if you found this post by googling, you are in the middle of one yourself. Consistency and coffee are the keys to get through the sleep regression. They eventually end, especially if you already stick to a routine and don’t change it.