Little Girl with Stuffed Toy Sleeping in Bed

Counting Sheep And More: Mom-Approved Tips For Sleep Awareness Month

Bleary-eyed and yawning, you stare at the baby monitor as your little one wails into the night for the third time.

Your sleep-deprived brain scrambles for answers. Why won’t they sleep? Trying to decode children’s sleep challenges can drive any parent bonkers.

The good news? With some simple tweaks to your routine, plus a few mom-approved tricks, you can guide your tiny night owl into dreamland sans struggle.

This article shares practical tips to help your child ease into slumber.

You’ll discover how to create a soothing sleep environment, deal with sleep regressions, and encourage healthy sleep habits.

Stop guessing and start getting rest. Use these mom-wisdom secrets to help your child sleep better tonight! Now, brew some coffee and keep reading to learn more.

Mother with Sleeping Daughter Lying on Bed

Use White Noise To Soothe Them To Sleep

Background noise like a fan or sound machine can work like this melodic magic for baby’s sleep. The gentle humming blocks sudden noises that might jolt them awake. 

Place the device near the crib or on a nightstand in their room. You can also try free white noise apps.

Experiment to discover which sounds are most comforting for your little one.

Establish A Soothing Wind-Down Routine

Following the same sequence of quiet activities before bed every night signals to your child’s body that it’s time to relax. This predictable pattern makes falling asleep easier. 

Ideas include taking a bath, putting on pajamas, reading a story, and listening to soft music. Keep lights low to promote melatonin production.

Make Sure They Get Enough Daytime Activity

Kids need active play to tire them out during daytime hours. Try to take them outside so they can run around. Promote imaginative play and toys that inspire movement. 

If the weather is terrible, clear space inside for them to crawl, dance, or play follow-the-leader. A tired child will find it easier to fall and stay asleep.

Set Technology Boundaries Before Bed

Studies show screen time close to bedtime disrupts sleep. The blue light emitted from devices like phones and tablets suppresses melatonin. This chemical regulates your sleep/wake cycles. 

Ban electronics at least one hour before your kid’s bedtime. You may allow quiet, screen-free activities like reading, coloring, and puzzles during this tech-free transition period.

Check On Proper Sleep Space Setup

Making sure your child has a comfortable sleep haven is vital. Use appropriate lighting; invest in blackout curtains to block excess light. Ensure sheets, blankets, and pajamas aren’t causing discomfort. 

Also, the room should be nice and cool. Experts recommend a temperature of around 65°F for optimal sleep. You might need a fan or adjustments to the thermostat.

Offer A ‘Lovey’ For Comfort

Let your little one pick out a special stuffed animal or blankie to keep with them while they sleep. Having this familiar, beloved object provides a sense of security. 

It can be conducive for toddlers and preschoolers who battle separation anxiety around bedtime. Just be sure to buy multiples of loveys in case one gets lost!

Address Any Hidden Medical Issues

If you’ve tried all the usual tips but your child still struggles with sleep, there may be an underlying medical cause.

New research shows strong connections between pediatric sleep disorders and problems like ADHD, autism, reflux, and allergies. 

Discuss symptoms with your pediatrician and ask for a referral to a sleep specialist. Identifying and treating health conditions could help your child finally get restful slumber.

Be Patient Through Sleep Regressions

It’s frustrating when a child who has been sleeping well suddenly resumes waking in the night. However, periodic backslides are normal and age-related. 

Common times for sleep regressions include 12 months, 18 months, and three years old. Growth spurts can also interfere with sleep. With loving support, they will re-establish healthy sleep habits.

Encourage Older Kids With Rewards

If you have a grade-schooler who drags their feet about bedtime or keeps hopping out of bed, a reward system can motivate positive behavior change.

Let them earn privileges or treats for sticking to time limits, getting through routines without complaint, and staying in their room once tucked in. Praise their progress and gradually expect more independence.

Lead By Example With Your Own Sleep Habits

Like any other parenting challenge, consistency is key when teaching good sleep habits. Be sure you model healthy behavior for your little one to mirror. 

Follow a regular sleep schedule, power down your devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime, and make your bedroom a sleep-only zone. Show your child that sleep matters through your own actions.

Final Thoughts

While navigating children’s sleep can be intensely demanding, having go-to tricks helps the process immensely.

Experiment to discover which ideas work best for your family. Tailor your approach as your child grows. 

Most importantly, give yourself grace on the tough nights. This, too, shall pass, and restful days are ahead!