Blissful-sleep-part-3

The missing pieces of your child’s sleep puzzle: routine and independence

Shop the Safari at Dusk print.

PART 3

The missing pieces of your child’s sleep puzzle: routine and independence

by Rosalee Lahaie Hera

Armed with a perfectly sleep-conducive environment and an age-appropriate sleep schedule, next you will want to apply a consistent bedtime routine and encourage your little one to fall asleep independently.

Routine, routine, routine

It’s no secret that children crave routine and consistency. They feel safer, more secure, less fearful and anxious when they understand the pattern of “when this happens, then this happens”.

If your kiddos are regularly well rested, they’re more likely to regularly sleep well too.

Establishing pre-bedtime patterns that your child can easily recognize from night to night helps provide them with adequate wind-down time at the end of the day, which in turn helps them settle in for a full night’s rest.

You want to build a realistic and manageable routine that works for your family. After the newborn stage, a routine of about 20-30 minutes is recommended. The routine itself will be totally unique to each family, and may include a bath, change, massage, stories, songs, saying goodnight to the room, cuddling and saying a simple sleep phrase (“time to sleep now”). The most important part of this is that it feels relaxing and not rushed. Always make sure that you’ve got plenty of time to get your little ones in bed on time. The best way to do this is to ‘work backwards’ from their bedtime to plan out the evening’s activities and routine.

"Establishing pre-bedtime patterns that your child can easily recognize from night to night helps provide them with adequate wind-down time at the end of the day, which in turn helps them settle in for a full night’s rest."

For school-aged children with later bedtimes, you can modify the routine to include activities that are done more independently. For example, older children may benefit from listening to a meditation podcast as they draw or colour in the evenings leading up to bed.

For all age groups, it’s important to keep electronics out of the bedroom and to limit the use of electronics before bedtime.

Independence

If you’re getting good sleep with your kids in your bed: great! However, if you’re experiencing sleep issues with a little one who is not yet falling asleep and staying asleep independently, encouraging them to fall asleep independently can make a huge difference. This is the stuff great sleep is made of!

When little ones fall asleep happily and comfortably on their own, they are much more likely to sleep through the night on a consistent basis.

All humans big and small cycle through multiple sleep phases overnight, some which are light and some which are deep. As the night progresses, we cycle through more frequent periods of light sleep. If little ones initially fall asleep with your help, they will often need your help once again to work through those light sleep stages throughout the night.

If your kiddos aren’t yet falling asleep independently, rest assured that it is never too late to get started. There are so many ways to get them there, within the parameters of your comfort level and parenting style.

An easy, relatively straightforward way to achieve this is to identify exactly what is needed to help your child fall asleep and then gradually (but progressively) move away from providing that support.

You can take baby or big steps to get there, but as long as you are consistently moving forward, you will make progress.

In summary, if you are applying the four magical keys to great sleep – a perfectly sleep-conducive environment, an age-appropriate schedule, consistent routine and independence - you will be able to gently and successfully correct any sleep issue you’re experiencing with your child.

Rosalee Lahaie Hera is a Certified Pediatric & Newborn Sleep Consultant, a Certified Potty Training Consultant, and the founder of Baby Sleep Love. She’s also a mom to two beautiful little humans. Rosalee is a researcher at heart with a background in healthcare management and a passion for sleep science. She takes a highly analytical approach and uses proven, gentle methods to help families (like yours!) get the sleep they need. Rosalee is a big fan of fancy coffee and great food (both cooking it and eating it). You can connect with Rosalee on Facebook or Instagram.

PART 3

The missing pieces of your child’s sleep puzzle: routine and independence

by Rosalee Lahaie Hera

Armed with a perfectly sleep-conducive environment and an age-appropriate sleep schedule, next you will want to apply a consistent bedtime routine and encourage your little one to fall asleep independently.

Routine, routine, routine

It’s no secret that children crave routine and consistency. They feel safer, more secure, less fearful and anxious when they understand the pattern of “when this happens, then this happens”.

If your kiddos are regularly well rested, they’re more likely to regularly sleep well too.

Establishing pre-bedtime patterns that your child can easily recognize from night to night helps provide them with adequate wind-down time at the end of the day, which in turn helps them settle in for a full night’s rest.

You want to build a realistic and manageable routine that works for your family. After the newborn stage, a routine of about 20-30 minutes is recommended. The routine itself will be totally unique to each family, and may include a bath, change, massage, stories, songs, saying goodnight to the room, cuddling and saying a simple sleep phrase (“time to sleep now”). The most important part of this is that it feels relaxing and not rushed. Always make sure that you’ve got plenty of time to get your little ones in bed on time. The best way to do this is to ‘work backwards’ from their bedtime to plan out the evening’s activities and routine.

"Establishing pre-bedtime patterns that your child can easily recognize from night to night helps provide them with adequate wind-down time at the end of the day, which in turn helps them settle in for a full night’s rest."

For school-aged children with later bedtimes, you can modify the routine to include activities that are done more independently. For example, older children may benefit from listening to a meditation podcast as they draw or colour in the evenings leading up to bed.

For all age groups, it’s important to keep electronics out of the bedroom and to limit the use of electronics before bedtime.

Independence

If you’re getting good sleep with your kids in your bed: great! However, if you’re experiencing sleep issues with a little one who is not yet falling asleep and staying asleep independently, encouraging them to fall asleep independently can make a huge difference. This is the stuff great sleep is made of!

When little ones fall asleep happily and comfortably on their own, they are much more likely to sleep through the night on a consistent basis.

All humans big and small cycle through multiple sleep phases overnight, some which are light and some which are deep. As the night progresses, we cycle through more frequent periods of light sleep. If little ones initially fall asleep with your help, they will often need your help once again to work through those light sleep stages throughout the night.

If your kiddos aren’t yet falling asleep independently, rest assured that it is never too late to get started. There are so many ways to get them there, within the parameters of your comfort level and parenting style.

An easy, relatively straightforward way to achieve this is to identify exactly what is needed to help your child fall asleep and then gradually (but progressively) move away from providing that support.

You can take baby or big steps to get there, but as long as you are consistently moving forward, you will make progress.

In summary, if you are applying the four magical keys to great sleep – a perfectly sleep-conducive environment, an age-appropriate schedule, consistent routine and independence - you will be able to gently and successfully correct any sleep issue you’re experiencing with your child.

Rosalee Lahaie Hera is a Certified Pediatric & Newborn Sleep Consultant, a Certified Potty Training Consultant, and the founder of Baby Sleep Love. She’s also a mom to two beautiful little humans. Rosalee is a researcher at heart with a background in healthcare management and a passion for sleep science. She takes a highly analytical approach and uses proven, gentle methods to help families (like yours!) get the sleep they need. Rosalee is a big fan of fancy coffee and great food (both cooking it and eating it). You can connect with Rosalee on Facebook or Instagram.

#HatleySleep

How do you get the little one to sleep? Share your bedtime routine with us

Join us on instagram

Top of Page