Out of all three of my children, only one of them was a great sleeper from the very beginning. She could sleep anywhere and at any time. She slept through the night early and really made it so that I could get a restful night’s sleep.
My other two were the exact opposite — they were horrible sleepers from the very beginning. They really made it tough on me not only to get sleep myself, but to get them to sleep. It was because of them that I really had to do some research on sleep tips. I read books, spoke with friends, spoke with my pediatrician. I was so exhausted that I was willing to do whatever it took to not only get my kids sleeping at night, but to also help create great sleeping habits for a long time.
While there are several things I did at night to help promote better sleep (blackout curtains, sound machine) there was also a lot that I did during the day to help them sleep better at night.
Here are five things that helped my little ones sleep better at night, which in turn helped me sleep better too!
1. Timing the Last Nap Perfectly
Be very careful of that last nap. My son loved to fall asleep later in the day and his nap kept creeping closer and closer to bed time. Once bedtime did arrive, he didn’t want to go to sleep. Make sure that last time is timed correctly and they have at least four hours of awake time before bedtime.
2. Making Sure They Were Full
I wanted to make sure that my little ones had a full belly when going to bed each night, so I made those last feeds just a little bit longer so that they wouldn’t get hungry and wake up in the middle of the night.
3. Keeping a Proper Daily Routine
Routine is key. Make sure that you’re sticking to it throughout the day and especially before bed. That way they know what to expect when it comes that time when they need to go to sleep.
4. Not Skipping Naps
While I used to think that skipping a nap would in turn help my little one sleep more at night, I was very wrong. Skipping a nap only agitated them and made that dreadful “witching hour” just that much more dreadful. Babies and toddlers need sleep throughout the day, so make sure you stick with the nap and take advantage of that time when they are sleeping.
5. Making Sleep “Happy”
Overall, you want to make sleep time a happy time. You want your little one to look at sleep as a positive, not as something that keeps them away from you. Put them down with a smile on your face. Make their sleep environment a peaceful one. The more and more you do this, the more they will love going to sleep each night.