Ah, New Year’s resolutions: The occasion for vowing to hit the gym more often, eat less sugar and carve out time for personal development—all of which are so much easier if you’re operating on a full night of sleep.
There’s no denying it. There’s only the logistical challenge of parents of young kids who have different plans. So, what’s an ambitious mom or dad to do when the plan to get more sleep is derailed by midnight wake-ups?
While there’s little convincing your baby that “get more sleep” is a good resolution for them, too, there are some subtle tricks you can employ to help everyone in the house have a more restful 2019.
It’s never too late to implement a sleep schedule
The No. 1 trick for getting kids—from babies on up—to sleep better is giving them consistency around the bedtime routine. Especially in the beginning, this can be as simple as turning on some white noise, giving them a lotion massage and singing songs while changing into pajamas. The real key is aiming to keep it as standard as possible each day, from the time the routine begins to the order in which it all flows.
Make sleep a priority
Coming off the holiday season, even the most consistent of sleep schedules may very well have been thrown off course. Give everyone in the family a much-needed reset by taking a few days for calm and quiet at the house when naps and bedtime can happen on schedule.
Do an afternoon sugar detox
Another pitfall of the holidays? The introduction of cookies, sweets and treats into just about every meal of the day. Not surprisingly, these don’t set anyone up for a good night of sleep—and that’s especially true for little kids on big sugar buzzes. If going cold-turkey seems unlikely for everyone, at least implement a cutoff time of around 2 p.m. or so on any sugary snacks.
Create healthy sleep environments—for everyone
For better or worse, little kids can have one-track minds. So if they see their favorite toy calling to them from the other side of the bedroom, that can be a whole lot more appealing and sleep. At least for sleepy times, aim to create a distraction-free oasis by removing the toys, putting on some white noise and shutting the curtains. Then take a cue from the little family members by banishing the things from your own room that can distract you—like that phone that could be replaced with an old-fashioned alarm clock.
Pro tip: As the saying goes, “Sleep begets sleep.” In other words, when you make your kids’ naps a priority, they often do better at night—and so do you.
Kids2 provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.