Have a baby or child sleep question? Join me on our Facebook page from 1:00-2:00 CST for Nap Chat Happy Hour! Ask a question and receive an answer live!
Sleepless nights. Crying Baby. Stress. Being a Parent is Tough!
Learn an extraordinary approach to calm your baby in our Happiest Baby Class.
New parents will learn step by step how to help babies sleep longer and soothe even the fussiest infant in minutes… or less!
Class information includes:
The Missing 4th Trimester
The Calming Reflex
The 5 S’s
The Cuddle Cure
Taught by Certified Happiest Baby Educator and Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant, Lori Strong of Strong Little Sleepers.
Each family will receive a DVD copy of The Happiest Baby on the Block and Soothing Sounds CD ($40 value)
** Expectant parents and parents of babies 0-3 months are encouraged to attend.
When I conduct a sleep consultation with a family, we look at many different factors that can be affecting a child’s sleep. We look at schedules, environment, diet, and routine. One of the most common questions I am asked by parents is, “What’s the best routine to follow for naps and bedtime?” Many parents struggle with creating a sleep routine for their children, so I thought I’d share some tips to help make this easier.
1. Keep it short and simple
As parents, we over think many of our decisions, but a sleep routine doesn’t have to be one of them. A wind down routine is a great way to show your child that sleep is almost near. Your routine should be simple and short. A routine that drags on and on becomes more like another activity or playtime and can actually stimulate your child or cause them to become overtired. For babies, a 5-10 minute routine is all you need. If you feed before a nap or sleep, you may need to add some extra time onto that, but a basic routine could include, a book or two, dimming the lights, a song, maybe a little patting or holding, and that’s it. Simple and sweet. Don’t like to sing? Recite a favorite nursery rhyme or poem instead. Do you prefer to keep books for other times of the day? Try saying goodnight to a few items in your child’s room.
2. Make it relaxing, but not too much
The tricky part of a bedtime routine (especially for younger babies) is that you want to make it relaxing,but not so relaxing that your child falls asleep before it’s over. The goal of a routine should be to help your child make the transition from playing to sleeping. It should be calming, but it should not be what puts your child to sleep. That way your child will be able to sleep longer on their own instead of waking looking to replace what is no longer there. If your child wakes quickly after a nap or frequently at night, be sure that the sleep routine is helping to make them drowsy, but that they are still going to sleep on their own.
3. Keep the lights low and the screens off.
Television and tablets should be turned off at least one hour before bedtime (including naps). The blue light from screens stimulates the brain instead of calming it down, so it can be hard to fall asleep easily after exposure to a tv show. Keep screens out of your child’s bedroom so that they can get more restorative sleep.
4. Stay consistent
Children thrive on routine and will look forward to you following the same steps every single day. As parents, this can sometimes be boring, but it’s extremely comforting for a child to have that repetition each time. Try to be as consistent with your routine as much as possible. If you and your partner take turns putting your child to bed, do your best to follow the same steps.
5. Leave some room to follow your child’s lead
There will be instances when your child is too tired to go through a bedtime routine. If that’s the case, it’s fine to skip some steps in order to help your child get to sleep sooner. There will also be times when you will be enjoying your routine so much with your child that you will want to honor the requests for “one more’ book or story. If your child is in good spirits and is well-rested, changing things up once in a while is a good thing!
The best routine for your child is one that you can follow and one that your child responds to in a positive way. Take the time to look at your child’s routine. Does it need a little facelift? It’s never too late to make some changes so that your child can thrive with a new routine.
Written by Lori Strong, Certified Sleep Consultant and Owner of Strong Little Sleepers
Lori is a Certified Child Sleep Consultant through the Family Sleep Institute and Certified Happiest Baby Educator. She is the founder and owner of Strong Little Sleepers, which was started on the idea that all families need and deserve to get a good night’s sleep. Lori was the first certified child sleep consultant in Austin, Texas and was honored as Best Sleep Expert in the 2013 Austin Birth Awards. She is also a member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants. Lori combines her experience as an educator and a parent to offer customized sleep plans and support to families with children ages 0-6 across the country.
For more information, please visit www.stronglittlesleepers.com.
Interested in writing a guest blog for Strong Little Sleepers? Send your topic idea to email@example.com.
All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Strong Little Sleepers makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.