Back to School - Back to SleepWednesday, July 17 2019 02:49:00 PM
Welcome back from your holiday! I hope you all had wonderful family time.
Just like that, the suitcases are being put away and the briefcases and little school/daycare backpacks are coming out. It’s hard to settle into new term routines when the sleep is still out of whack post a good holiday! I’m talking 5am wake up, waking through the night, crazy nap-time schedules, difficulty falling asleep, and being back to relying on sleep crutches – rocking, patting, driving and even feeding to sleep.
It’s so normal for our baby’s and children’s sleep to be more unsettled after a holiday – while we’re away and/or in holiday mode we’re at a different pace, sleeping in new places, sometimes different time zones. This is a big adjustment for the little ones, and now’s the time to help them get back on track. In fact just today I had a mum of a two-year-old boy (who has been sleeping beautifully for over a year) tell me that she resorted to rocking him to sleep to get through the jetlag!
Here is some advice to help you get into good sleeping habits…
Stick to bedtimes
It’s important not to go past the recommended bedtime, around 6.30-7.30p.m. The old saying ‘early to bed early to rise’ just isn’t true when it comes to our little ones. In fact, quite the opposite - sleep makes sleep! So pushing bedtime out to 8pm to get them to sleep till 7am the next day just doesn’t work, I’m afraid.
No late afternoon naps
Be careful not to let your child sleep too late in the afternoon, as you want to keep to the same bedtime every night to help them back into their rhythm.
Create Wind Down Time
Have a quiet wind down time, the same each sleep time, which will help produce melatonin, which encourages sleep.
Consistency is Key
ROUTINE and CONSISTENCY is the key for your child - It gives babies, toddlers and children security, helps them create an easy bedtime and nap-time schedule. Unfortunately a change in sleep routine can take sometime to get right, but it is well worth the effort. I can’t stress enough how important it is to stick to your plan, work to remove the sleep crutches, and to always remember being calm and gentle, yet confident, with a united approach from both parents is the secrete to lasting sleeping bliss.
Happy sleeping ..... zzz
Cheryl Fingleson is a paediatric sleep consultant. As a mother of two, she very well knows the feelings of agony and desperation when you have a child that struggles to settle and sleep. She doesn’t believe in leaving babies or children to cry it out, nor in the practices of controlled crying. Her approach is to empower parents with the right tools and techniques to teach their babies and children to go to sleep calmly, happily and independently.