By Whitney Roban, Ph.D., Pediatric Sleep Specialist from SLEEP-EEZ KIDZ
Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs and impossible to do when battling sleep deprivation. You should not just accept walking around in a sleep deprived haze and give up on having a well rested family. Why is sleep so important? Parents and children are all human beings with the basic biological needs to eat, sleep and breathe. Every person needs these to survive and thrive. Both nutrition and sleep affect children’s cognitive, physical and psychological growth and development. It is a parent’s job to provide good nutrition to their child. It is a parent’s job to provide good sleep to their child as well. Please remember that we don’t just WANT our family to sleep, we NEED to sleep!
Say No to Sleep Deprivation: Top 10 Ways to Raise a Great Sleeper
- If you teach your child good sleep habits early, you will prevent sleep problems.
- Develop a regular and age appropriate sleep schedule for your child and commit to it.
- Develop a brief and consistent nap time and bedtime routine. Children feel safe and comforted knowing what will occur at sleep time everyday.
- Allow your child to learn to fall asleep unassisted. This means no feeding, rocking, strolling, bouncing, etc.
- Put your child to sleep before becoming overtired. The more tired your child, the harder it is to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- An early bedtime provides your child with ample opportunity to get the 11-12 hours of nighttime sleep needed.
- Do not shorten or cut out naps hoping for a longer night of sleep. The more well rested your child is during the day, the better your child will sleep at night.
- Parental consistency in schedules, routines, and sleep training methods is the key to raising a good sleeper. Remember that consistency and commitment lead to success.
- Think of sleep as a health concern, just as you would nutrition. Provide your child the opportunity to learn good sleep habits.
- In order to get to the Zzzz’s, you must follow the ABC’s (Assertiveness, Belief in yourself and your child, and Commitment).
Once you conquer the sleep hurdle, you will have a renewed energy to conquer any future parenting challenges you will face. Wishing you all many long and peaceful nights of sleep!