Top 3 Tips for Independent Sleep
What is the number one thing you need for your baby or child to sleep through the night? The answer is for them to fall asleep at the beginning of the night INDEPENDENTLY without your assistance. This ensures that when they awake throughout the night, they are capable of self-soothing themselves back to sleep without you. Below I’m sharing my top 3 tips for independent sleep:
- EARLY BEDTIME: Make sure bedtime is early enough. If you are using a bedtime that is too late, your child has most likely crossed into an overtired state. And when a child is overtired, you will sometimes see more resistance in going to sleep. For example, being wound up and acting overly energized, not listening to you during the bedtime routine and stalling before bed are all signs of being overtired. If you put your child to bed BEFORE they are overtired, you should see much more cooperation on their part and the whole process to get them to fall asleep becomes easier. When we are overtired, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol to help fight the fatigue and this makes falling asleep and staying asleep more difficult.
- CONSISTENT BEDTIME ROUTINE: Make sure you are following a consistent and proper wind down, bedtime routine. Bedtime routines are SO important as they signal the body that it’s time to sleep. It’s less important what you actually do, than if it’s consistent and in the same order every night. You want to avoid screens at least an hour before bed. The blue light is thought to interfere with the production of melatonin which helps us to fall asleep. An example of a proper bedtime routine is bath/shower, pajamas, brush teeth, dim lights, reading books, singing a song, cuddles. You also want to be sure you have a proper sleep environment with a super dark room that includes blackout shades, a sound machine to block out household noises and be sure to keep the room cool at 68-72 degrees.
- CONSISTENT SLEEP TRAINING METHOD: Choose a sleep training method that you are comfortable with to help your child fall asleep independently if they are having trouble. More important than the actual method is your consistency with following it every single night. I can help you choose a method that is right for your family and child’s temperament. Methods can range from no involvement, moderate involvement to high involvement. The implementation of sleep rules is also very important for a child older than 2.
Need help? Reach out (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can help get your child sleeping within two weeks or less! You can start by booking a free discovery call on my Get Started page and we can see if we are a good fit.