This is a special guest post by Jamie Contarini
Summer is finally here. Windows are open, kids are playing, bbq is on and bedtimes are creeping later. The later bedtimes happen so easily; what can happen if your little one is going to bed too late every night? You can end up with an overtired baby – and that is no fun for anyone. An overtired child has a harder time falling and staying asleep. Don’t worry though, you can enjoy the summer and keep your little one rested with these tips.
1. Follow your schedule 80% of the time. That’s right, if you protect your baby’s sleep 80% of the time then he will have an easier time adjusting to a nap on the go, or a later bedtime. If you have a fun family picnic coming up, try to protect his sleep the week before you attend.
2. Darken the bedroom. The sun stays up later and is rising earlier. For us that is wonderful, but for our children – it can really cause issues with their sleep. Darkness cues melatonin so darken up that bedroom 30 minutes before it is time to sleep. In the morning, the rising of the sun is enough to convince your little one that it is time to get up – so keep it dark until it really is time to start the day.
Tip: Use garbage bags or bristol board taped to the window frame to make the room nice and dark.
3. Practice a relaxing routine before sleep. If you are out and about in the morning, try to offer at least a 10-minute wind down before naptime and 30 minutes before bedtime. Change your baby, read a book, sing a song, or tell a story.
4. White noise. White noise can help to drown out the noises happening outside. It can mask the neighbour mowing their lawn, or the early morning the birds. Do not play it full volume though, it should be similar to the sound of your bathroom fan and not placed directly beside your baby.
5. Keep it cool. Babies sleep better in cooler temperatures. Keeping the room between 20 and 22 °C is ideal. If the room is warm, consider adding a fan or a ceiling fan for toddlers rooms.
6. Use an early bedtime when needed. If you find your baby is getting up earlier and earlier in the morning, plan on an earlier bedtime. I know, “that sounds backwards” – but by putting your baby to sleep a little earlier will help him get some much needed restorative sleep, and in time, will help him wake a little later.
Remember, you can be flexible with your schedule, just not every night. Everyone needs a little down time to catch up on sleep. Have fun this summer – and take lots of photos!
Bio: Jamie Contarini is a certified sleep consultant with Good Night Sleep Site Halton. Proud Mama of two boys. Jamie realized that her interest in helping change some of her son’s sleep habits actually turned into a passion and she happily joined the Good Night team with her mission being to help families succeed as she did.
When she is not working, Jamie enjoys family time with her husband, sons and golden retriever. Website: www.goodnightsleepsite.com/Halton