One of the number 1 topics of discussion when you're a mom is "sleep". Not your sleep, since most moms don't get much, toddler sleep.
We're constantly asking for tips and tricks on getting our children to sleep better. Does anyone have a magic potion or secret we can get in on?
We'll since my little girl is a pretty good sleeper, I'll share my tips on what works for us. Perhaps they work for you too?
1. Temperature control the room:
Rather than trying to cover her with blankets, I control the temperature of the room with our air-conditioning unit. I once read that babies are wired to kick off blankets as a survival method and they only outgrow this reflex well into toddler hood. There might be some truth in this, as my little one just keeps kicking off any blankets I try to throw over her and it starts to wake her when I keep trying. Other mothers have also told me that their babies are the same, especially when they dress them in footie pajamas. Therefore I dress her in her one layer of clothing and then set the room to a comfortable temperature.
2. Prop up her legs:
My girl enjoys sleeping with her legs propped up over our duvet and something about having them elevated helps her sleep better. I thus leave the blankets she kicks off under her legs and just place a small baby blanket over her stomach for extra warmth. But be warned, as soon as that blanket goes over her feet she starts kicking and waking up. For nap times I lay her down with a pillow beneath her legs and that keeps her comfortable for a good 2 hours+.
3. White noise:
There are various white noise machines on the market but luckily the humm of our air-conditioning unit does the trick. On nights that I don't have it on, I can notice a difference and she seems restless. Luckily with the state of the art technology we have these days, there are many options to choose from for white noise machines, as well as ones that play nature shound tracks.
4. Letting her go wild before bed:
When we first get into bed (we co-sleep) she always wants to crawl all over us, give hugs and kisses or stand and play around. Initially I would try to be stern with her, telling her "No, it's time for bed" and continuing to place her back between us. I now notice that she goes to sleep much faster if I just wait out this 15 minutes of monkey business, rather than trying to convince her to lye still and go to sleep. I suppose it's like us adults who just quickly want to finish up this or that before bedtime. When I then switch off the light after everyone received their shares of kisses and cuddles for the day, she settles in and goes to sleep.
5. Co-sleeping and Dreamfeeding:
I put these two together because I don't think there's a way for me to escape from giving her her the boob if she's sleeping right next to me. Which I'm totally happy with, as I love our special breastfeeding moments, even if I'm the only one of us awake for them. There's been various research indicating that children sleep better in contact with their parents and in our case it's definitely true. If I sneak off during nap time she'll wake within an hour but if I stay next to her, she'll sleep for hours and hours. Dreamfeeding is also a lifesaver because if I keep her "topped-up" I get her to sleep 12 to 14 hours straight at night! It's like a little gauge that you have to keep full to a certain level tho.
Dreamfeeding is not only for breastfeeding mothers tho, there are many bottle feeding mothers that do it as well. If you'd like to learn more about Dreamfeeding, you can read my previous article here.
If you'd like to know why your baby is not sleeping through the night or how their sleep cycles work, you can read more here.
I hope some of these tips help you as well. Let me know if they do and also comment if you have any other tips to share, perhaps you also noticed something peculiar like the legs in the air.