Sleep Mistakes Parents Make And How They Can be Avoided
As parents, one of the most challenging tasks is to get your child to sleep and make sure that they sleep longer. If only parents are aware of the exact science of sleeping, it is possible to avoid sleepless nights.
This will deliver benefits for both babies and parents. With this, keep on reading and learn more about the sleep mistakes that you should not commit, and more importantly, how such can be avoided.
Before we proceed with the main discussion, it is important to first have a glimpse of some of the reasons why having a good sleep is essential for children:
- Growth: The healthy growth of babies will be affected by the sleep that they get. According to several studies in the past, if babies do not get sufficient sleep, they are at higher risk of getting fat.
- Mood: Studies in the past have also proven how babies who get the right amount of sleep can be less distractible, less irritable, and more adaptable. If they have good sleep, it is easy to notice that they are more energetic and not fussy when they are awake.
- Learning: Babies who sleep soundly at night are asserted to have better cognitive scores. It is also believed to be highly effective in the maturation of brains.
Going to Sleep Too Late
When you spend the whole day at work, all that you want when you go home is to have quality time with your baby. More often than not, you will end up playing with your baby.
This can result in exhaustion and being over-tired. Therefore, it becomes a struggle for them to go to sleep. As much as possible, you have to set a regular sleep routine. You do not have to wait for your child to yawn or rub eyes as an indication of being sleepy.
In order to prevent this problem, make sure to keep a regular sleep routine. Set a specific time when your child has to sleep. When such time comes, stop any physical activity and make sure to put your child to bed.
Ever noticed how your child is able to snooze at the back of the car or when you are swinging them on your arms? While this may indeed be one of the quickest ways to put them into sleep, this is one thing that should not be practiced.
More often than not, this does not lead to restorative sleep. When the sleep of a child is induced with motion, it is comparable to an adult sleeping while flying a plane.
The motion should never be used to put babies to sleep, but only to calm them when they are having tantrums. This should only be done when they are feeling fussy and irritable but should not be considered as part of your child’s bed routine.
It will be hard for children to sleep if they are overstimulated. One thing that can lead to overstimulation would be mobiles in their cribs.
While this is going to provide them with an entertaining time in the crib, this can actually pose a serious sleep problem.
The bright colors and the sounds can invoke too much fun, and hence, this can lead to distractions rather than helping to improve their sleep.
To avoid overstimulation, it is important to keep the environment dark. If the kids are older, it would be best to have a nightlight, which will make it possible to keep the room dim and hence, conducive for sleep. Having a computer or television is also never advisable as it can add up to the distractions to healthy and sound sleep.
Not Having a Bedtime Routine
Regardless of how busy your schedule is, or even if your child already gets older, it is important to have a bedtime routine, which will consist of soothing activities before bedtime. These activities, however, should not be exhausting.
It can be a wind-down routine, which will prove to be great not only for babies but also for parents. It can also be an excellent way to bond with each other.
Create your own bedtime routine. More often than not, this can include having a bath, reading a storybook, or listening to lullabies. It should be done in the same sequence every night.
These series of steps are often referred to as sleep cues. The bedtime ritual should be done repeatedly, but this should change depending on the age of your child.
Getting Out of the Crib
It is important for parents to be aware of the fact that there is a right time for their kids to get out of the crib and switch to a bigger bed.
If it is done too soon, this can have an impact on their sleeping habits. Generally speaking, you only have to get them out of their crib once they can already climb on their own.
In this case, you need to use the gradual approach of transitioning from crib to full-size bed. You can simply take out the rails of the crib to have it converted into a bed, but you have to make sure that it will be safe.
As adults, you surely have experienced sleeping almost anywhere as it is hard to fight sleepiness. For babies, on the other hand, it is important to make sure that they do not just sleep anywhere.
Sleeping in a high chair, stroller, car, living room, or wherever you are may not be good for babies as this can result in changes that their body might not be accustomed to.
The best solution for this is to be consistent with regards to where your children will sleep. When bedtime comes, make sure that they are in familiar territory, a place where they usually sleep.
This is going to help them sleep quicker as they are in a sleep zone that they are used to. Aside from having a specific place, parents should also set a specific time, as it has been earlier highlighted. As usual, consistency is critical, so make sure that these rules are followed religiously.