This is a guest post
It’s commonly known the fact that most mums nursing toddlers barely get a wink of Sleep. In fact, mums tend to spend the day feeling tired while others develop back pain. After Zack turned two, I thought I could sleep for a cool eight hours during the night. It wasn’t the case since I lost sleep more nursing him now that he was in his room. However, after adopting a couple of ground rules, I found it easier to get some quality sleep.
Decide Whether to Use the Family Bed or Not
Many pediatricians tend to think that children Fall Asleep faster if you lie down with them. Most working parents prefer this option because it creates time for them to bond with their young ones after spending the entire day away.
You should also consider using the best mattress for side sleepers with back pain if you have developed the problem. This way, the little ones get to go to sleep without breastfeeding, and you can start the night weaning transition.
It is a personal decision as there is nothing wrong with waiting for your child to fall asleep before taking him to bed. Zack would wake up three or so hours later, screaming when he found out that he was sleeping alone. I knew I had to stick to the Routine if I wanted to get enough sleep.
The downside to sleeping with your little one is that some moms develop back pains as they are compelled to adopt an uncomfortable sleeping position.
Winding Down with the Little One
He may throw kicks and blows in the middle of the night, and if you are not prepared to invite him to your bed, it may not be a sustainable routine for the family. Parents should ‘prepare’ their kids beforehand about the idea of bed-sharing.
Alternatively, you can set up his bed in your room to ease up the transition. Some parents put a kid’s mattress next to their beds so that they have their space.
Monica and Ron decided to set rules for little Marquesa, who would crawl back to their bed at 4 a.m. The couple would remind her of the unpleasant baby gate they used when she was just a toddler. This rather nasty memory helped the little one stick to sleeping in her room.
Let your Partner Put him to Sleep
Toddlers who are used to breastfeeding before naptime will not have it any other way. However, there are those who will fall asleep when cuddled or carried by somebody else other than the mother.
When we stopped breastfeeding our son to sleep, he barely woke up in the middle of the night to feed, and we would enjoy uninterrupted sleep.
Following the Same Routine Every Night
Establishing a bedtime routine from an early age has lots of advantages, sleep-wise. This way, your child knows what to expect and learns to associate particular activities with bedtime. The routine should involve spending some time in his bedroom to teach him that it is a nice place to be and not the room he is sent off to at the end of the day.
Once you have tucked him for the night, give him a little peck on the cheek and leave the room. If he protests, you should check on him after a couple of minutes. He may fall fast asleep by the time you go back; if he is not, repeat the same thing until he settles down. The routine should work even when you are not at home.
Begin Winding Down Early
Children engage in all sorts of activities during the day. If they have been racing around the entire day, it’s hard to switch gears abruptly during bedtime.
Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician, and co-author of “Heading Home with Your Newborn,” stresses the importance of not engaging in vigorous physical activities prior to bedtime. Spend a couple of hours preparing for nap time by engaging in quiet and calm activities like taking a bath.
Make a Cozy Bed
Children experience similar sleep cycles, waking up abruptly in the dead of night and then going back to sleep. Parents should ensure that discomfort doesn’t wake him up during that period of slight waking. If you are watching the TV, be sure to use the lowest volume. Room-darkening shades or switching off the lights also go a long way in helping your child get a good night sleep.
Develop a New Sleep Routine
Some parents nurse their kids to fall back to sleep when they wake slightly during regular sleep cycles. These parents may find it hard to establish a new sleep routine. Nursing him every time he wakes up also disrupts your sleep.
The goal should be to help him fall asleep on his own. You should put him to bed when he is awake so that he learns to fall asleep without your help. I remember the wails and screams Zack made when we left him to sleep. It was tempting to go back and nurse him, but we wanted him to learn to sleep independently.
A good night’s sleep not only allows you to take care of your little one and the family but also keep healthy. Since most of these tips require mothers to introduce new routines to toddlers, it is important to stick to them. It may take some time for them to learn but they eventually adhere to the routine.
Do you have a toddler sleep-stealer at home? What are you trying at home to get more sleep with a toddler in the house? Do share in a comment below.
Author bio: Alex Moore is guest blog writer with a long-lasting passion for sleep studies. Being the father of two lovely children, Alex has come to appreciate the art of parenting and he has since done his very best to educate first-time parents.
The post 6 tips for getting a good night’s sleep with a toddler appeared first on Motherhood: The Real Deal.