Sleepless nights are supposed to be part of the bargain when it comes to parenting. But more often than not, this is something that can easily be avoided. Many a baby shop website would list bedtime products for babies as their best selling items. But more often than not, it is not about just the products, but just as much about creating a routine that makes bedtime easy and fuss-free.
Most parents will agree that it is tough to get babies and toddlers in bed and then keep them there too! This, then, becomes a vicious cycle - children that don't get enough sleep become cranky and irritable. And the paradox is that hyperactive or weepy kids find it unable to sleep. This is a problem that has serious repercussions as they grow. Behaviour issues, trouble concentrating, lack of attentiveness and learning issues are all seated deep in the problems of not having gotten enough sleep as babies and toddlers.
Regular disciplined schedules and fastidious bedtime routines are of key importance in helping children get sound sleep so they function at their best. Setting and maintaining good sleep habits helps your child fall asleep, stay asleep, and awake rested and refreshed.
Just as no pregnancy is the same, every baby is also different. There are no set rules for bedtime, except one - take care to not just build a routine for your family, but also follow it diligently.
Designing a baby room when you are pregnant is important - and it is equally important to design a sleep plan that actually works. Here are some tips that can help you create a foolproof bedtime plan.
- Don't wait till the last minute
Most parents tend to wait till the child is tired to the bone and let them stay up longer. There is a scientific reason behind it too. A really tired child has a profusion of the stress hormone, cortisol, in her / his body. This hormone, paradoxically, makes your baby even more restless and therefore unable to sleep well. This is a vicious cycle that is really hard to break out of.
- Keep the timing consistent
Once you have established a particular time for your baby to fall asleep by, stick to it! Having a fixed bedtime that you remain consistent about, is crucial. Do not make any exceptions regardless of whether you are at a party or working till late yourself. Even if your baby goes to bed later than his or her bedtime, ensure they wake up at about the same time. This consistent timing is what establishes a proper 'sleep pattern' and a routine.
- Make sure your baby is well fed
Depending on how active your baby or toddler is, she may need more than three meals a day. Infants are often in the habit of a bedtime feed right before sleeping. This is crucial so that they don't wake up during the night just because they are hungry - though some infants may also need a top-up feed whilst sleeping. For toddlers, or slightly older kids, a small nourishing snack before bedtime can help their bodies stay fuelled through the night. Whether you are buying baby items online, or prefer fresher foods, choose wholegrain cereals, fresh fruits or some milk. Avoid bigger portions, to avoid gastric discomfort while they are sleeping.
- Comfort of sleep environment
Keep in mind the comfort of your baby when you are buying kids items or baby bed to keep in your baby room. There are several options for you to buy baby clothes in Dubai. The rule of thumb is to maintain room temperature at cool, but not cold. Dress your child as you would dress yourself. Also remember that very young children often kick the covers even when they are in a baby cot and cannot cover themselves. All kids items must be purchased keeping this in mind. Take care to ensure the bedroom is dark and silent. If your child does not like a room that is completely dark, you can always buy a soft temperature night light from a baby accessories shop.
- Transitional security object
A little anxiety during bedtime is natural, especially since for a baby, it means 'separation' of sorts from parents. But you can make this transition more organic. A personal object - a soft toy, a doll or a teddy bear or even a plush blanket can reassure and comfort your baby at bedtime. If your child is old enough, take them to a toy store and let them pick out something on their own. The Elli Junior Nakheel Mall store has numerous options in plush toys for your child to actually look forward to bedtime.
Yes, making a child sleep can be one of the hardest tasks for any new parent. But as a parent, you must also keep in mind that your anxiety might also transfer to your child. The Elli Junior community supports you in your parenting journey; follow us for tips for babies and toddlers, and don’t lose sleep over sleep! Be patient with your children, and also with yourself!