As 2017 approaches, I challenge you to make sleep resolutions not only for your children but for yourself, as well. Here are a few to consider:
2. Recognize those sleep cues. When adults get tired, we take some time for ourselves, enjoy a snooze or even get a little crabby! However, when babies and toddlers get tired, they are too young to understand what they are feeling and certainly can’t verbalize those feelings. They have their own ways of letting us know! Remember that each child’s sleepy signs are unique. It takes practice and patience to be able to recognize your little one’s signs, but once you do, you will be able to get her to sleep much more easily. Some common sleep signs are:
- Tugging at ears
- Quiet and calmer
- Arching of back
- Staring off / disinterested
- Beginning to get fussy
- Sucking becomes slower
- Rubbing of nose
5. Make sleep a priority for the entire family! For many of us with long work hours and multiple after-school activities, sleep quickly becomes low on the list of priorities and easy to push later and later into the night. Even though you may be able to get more things done by going to bed later, chronic sleep deprivation can have serious consequences for both children and adults. Remind yourselves (and your older children) that a full night’s sleep is as healthy for your body as eating your vegetables.
Getting a good night’s sleep for your family does not have to be overwhelming or daunting. Challenge yourselves to make sleep a priority this year by getting to bed on time and getting a full night’s sleep every single night!
Have you made any sleep resolutions for the New Year? I’d love to hear them!
Renee Wasserman, PT, MPH, founder of SleepyHead Solutions, is a Family Sleep Institute-certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant. She offers many services including phone, email, Skype/FaceTime, and in-person consultations to solve your child’s sleep challenges. Feel free to email her with any questions. You can find out more information at her website and on her Facebook page.