Unlike what most people believe, it’s not entirely impossible for parents to get some good night’s sleep. It might sound outrageous and outlandish for some parents, but you can actually get more shuteye.
How? Train your kids to sleep better. You’ve probably heard the age old trick to sleep when your kids are asleep and you most likely haven’t been doing much of that with everything else that needs to be done. But it can actually work if you can get your kids to sleep more.
The thing is, it’s entirely up to the parents how well their kids are going to sleep. With a good routine, you can get your wee ones get more shuteye. It’s definitely a struggle how to effectively impose a bed time for young ones, but with discipline, consistency, and firmness, you can surely get them to sleep better, which, in turn, can help you sleep better, too.
Sleep Training and Imposing a Bed Time on Your Kids
Sleep training and co-sleeping tend to be controversial topics abroad. However, in the Philippines, it’s more common to find kids sharing a bed with parents without any worries. The only problem this set up poses is that kids tend to stay up late, especially if the parents don’t go to bed early.
It’s entirely up to you how to get your child sleep early. However, a few effective tricks include:
1. Create a bedtime routine.
Start out by creating a calming bedtime routine for you and your kids. This can include a warm bath and a complete hygiene routine and changing into their pajamas. It should also involve a relaxing activity like a bedtime story or listening to some songs.
2. Make it consistent.
Consistency is key in regulating sleep, no matter what the age of the sleeper is. It has to be done at the same time every evening so your Circadian rhythm will be able to do its job and get you knackered around your bedtime.
3. Lights out should be an absolute rule.
“Lights out” can literally mean turning the lights off to tell your kid that they should start sleeping but if they can’t sleep with the lights out, you should find a way to signal to them that they should already get some shuteye. You can do this by turning the TV off or laying down on the bed as well, especially if you co-sleep. This way, they’ll know what they’re supposed to do and be conditioned that when you turn off the lights or the TV, they’re supposed to be sleeping already.
4. Make the sleep environment conducive to their sleep.
Toys should be put away from the bed first and foremost. Tablets, phones, and the TV should be turned off to encourage your wee one to shut their eyes and drift off to sleep.
5. Be considerate of your little one’s sleep.
When they’re already asleep, don’t wake them up unless there’s an emergency that they should be absolutely awake for. Waking them up will definitely mess with their sleep and will need you to start re-training them all over again.
While these tips aren’t bulletproof and some kids will still have difficulty sleeping or will still wake up in the middle of the night, a concrete bedtime is still important because it’s a good start. Not only will this condition their body clock to stick with a regular bed time and hopefully a wake up time, but it can also get them used to a regular schedule that can form a good habit for them. As kids need to sleep more for their body’s development, encouraging a healthy sleeping habit is important.
The Benefits of Sleep Training Your Child
A lot of parents may have reservations in what feels like forcing their kids to sleep. Some folks may even feel like this is just a step away from child abuse. But really, your kid needs a lot of shuteye. The younger your kid is, the longer their shuteye needs to be. This is because most of your kid’s development happens when they’re knocked out, so you need to make sure that they sleep enough so the developmental processes get to be completed.
Aside from improving your little one’s health, there are tons of other benefits of training your kid to sleep more. Some of these include:
1. You can have a moment of peace before you hit the sack yourself.
As kids need more sleep than adults do, a good bedtime for them will be a lot earlier than yours. This will give you at least a few hours before you turn in yourselves, letting you a few hours of “free time” that you can use however you want to. You can use this time to do some chores or spend some time with your partner. You can even spend it on a hobby or a nice workout. Whatever the activity you might have in mind, the bottom line here is, if your kids sleep better, you’ll have some spare time on your hands.
2. You can sleep better yourself.
If you don’t have to struggle every night when it comes to putting your kids to sleep, you’ll have less anxiety towards your own bedtime. The less stress you have, the better your sleep will be, which is the best thing you can give yourself, really.
3. It will be a lot easier to detect problems.
With a common cause of ailments already resolved, you can now easily detect problems in your child’s health. If your kid sleeps well, you can easily take out lack of zzz’s from the possible causes of their health issues. This will then make it easier for you to solve the problem and prevent it from getting worse.
Sleeping at a Regular Hour is a Skill Your Child can Learn
Like using the potty and brushing their teeth, regular sleep can be taught to your child. They can learn it like a skill, if only you’ll have the determination for them to learn it. They might even develop it like a habit, making them prioritize sleep as they get older.
Again, sleep is essential for young kids. As a parent, it is your duty to help them get enough of it. It will also help you improve your own slumber, so it’s really a win-win situation for everyone. You might just have to exert some effort to get it done, but with such a great pay off, it’s definitely worth it.