Ten tips on getting your children to sleep through the night
As parents, we all really want a good night’s sleep, right? Before my son was born, I was sleeping a delightful 12 hours every night. Yup, you read that correctly. TWELVE whole hours. It was glorious. Since my son was born I’ve never slept that long again. I average 8 hours a night if I’m lucky and the only thing on my Christmas list this year is sleep. Just sleep.
So today I want to talk about the age old question of how you get your children to sleep through the night. There are so many theories on this subject that frankly, most new moms probably don’t know where to begin. When do you start sleep training? What are your thoughts on co-sleeping? Do you use the cry it out method? What do you do?! While everyone has a different stance on the subject, today I want to share my ten tips that will *help* (not guarantee!) your children sleep through the night. You’re welcome.
1. Make sleep pleasant for your children. Create a safe environment that your kids feel comfortable falling asleep in.
2. Stay flexible. No single approach will work with all babies all the time or even all the time with the same baby.
3. Develop a nighttime parenting style that works for you. Babies have different nighttime temperaments and families have varied lifestyles. Keep working at a style of nighttime parenting that fits the temperament of your baby and your own lifestyle. If it’s working, stick with it. If it’s not, be open to trying other nighttime parenting styles.
4. Decide where baby sleeps best. Some babies sleep best in their own cribs in their own rooms. Some babies sleep best in a playard in their parent’s room and some babies prefer to sleep right next to mommy every night. There is no right and wrong way.
5. Daytime mellowing. A peaceful and happy day is likely to lead to a successful night of sleeping. The more you love and comfort your baby during the day, the more likely they are to feel soothed and comfortable at night when they go to sleep.
6. Have consistent nap routines. Most babies probably take two naps a day or else one very long nap. Babies who have consistent nap routines are more likely to sleep longer periods of time at night. Try to let your child nap at the same times each day. You may even want to lay down with your child and have quiet time when these times of the day approach.
7. Give your baby a nice warm bath before bedtime. This is not the bath time where they get to splash around and have all their toys in the tub. Make it a quiet and relaxing bath. Use a nighttime soap followed by a nighttime lotion and warm comfortable pajamas.
8. Cuddles, Lullabies and Warmth. Make sure your child’s bed and sheets are warm, sing them soft lullabies, and cuddle them to sleep if they need the sense of touch to fall asleep.
9. Dark Room. Keep your child’s room extra dark by shading the windows with curtains that block out the light. This will also help your child sleep in longer. This was proven to work for us recently when we went out of town and stayed at a hotel with dark curtains over the windows. My son who is usually up by 7am was sleeping in past 9am because it was so dark in our room. I couldn’t believe how well this simple trick worked!
10. Be patient. We all learn to sleep through the night at some point right? So will your children. Don’t stress it too much.
What’s your best tip for getting your child to sleep through the night? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Wednesday 24th of February 2016
I have one that slept through the night at 4 weeks, but wasn't gaining enough weight and we had to wake him for feedings. Fast forward a year and he is 15 months old and healthy but still doesn't sleep through the night. He cries at bedtime and wakes most nights but takes his nap delightfully. I work from home in direct sales, so his nap times are my work time (not sleep time) so I'm one exhausted mama. Surely this will end one day?
Tuesday 23rd of February 2016
I do all of those and my 1.5 year old still wakes up at night. Any advice? How do I get him to stop waking up for his bottle. Which is mostly a comfort item. He takes a sip then holds it.
Saturday 8th of December 2012
Great tips! I am a certified infant and child sleep consultant. I couldn't agree with you more! What works for one baby doesn't work for all babies. I work with parents all over the country (phone, email and Skype) on how to establish healthy sleep habits that best fit your lifestyle. I would add #11: white noise. Noise in the womb is very much like white noise and helps them to soothe after their arrival. Also, it's never too late to start a healthy sleep routine as sleep is so important for children