Sleep is the most important problem for every parent and concerns children of all ages. From the little ones who often wake up at night to the older ones who refuse to go to sleep or who never want to leave you. Here are some tips, divided by age group, taken from the book “Sleeping through the night” by the American psychologist Jodi Mindell.
Putting your baby to bed early and getting him to sleep all night without interruption is every parent’s dream. But in practice it’s not so easy. Here are some tips to get your child used to a good night’s sleep from the book “Sleeping through the night” by the American psychologist Jodi Mindell. (Read also: 10 Montessori methods for sleeping)
If you are struggling to get your baby to sleep, we suggest you to try Baby sleep miracle.
12 to 18 months
At this age the most common problem is that children often wake up during the night. But the question to be resolved is not why children wake up, but to help them go back to sleep on their own.
The solution: train them from the evening to go back to sleep by themselves by creating a new bedtime ritual. This way, you won’t need to wake him up every time he wakes up. So the first thing to change is the bedtime ritual, so that he gets used to going to sleep without you.
When the child wakes up at night he has to find the same room he had in mind before he falls asleep: the puppet in the bed, the light on and nobody next to him.
That is why it is so important that you leave the room before he falls asleep. Because if he needs you to fall asleep in the evening, he will need you at two o’clock in the morning.
Also, when the little one calls you, go to him and tell him that everything is all right, reassure him, but be still. Avoid cuddles and don’t stay too long.
You must make him understand that your presence is not so fundamental.
And, last recommendation: do not run as soon as he calls you, wait a minute the first time, then five minutes, ten… and so on.
Suggested read: Tips for Baby sleep
From 18 months to three years
When the baby gets a little older, the problems can start even earlier.
At this age, children hate going to bed. Why? They want to have everything under control (and sleeping means giving up control), and they also have a vivid imagination that can help create nocturnal fears, “help, there’s a monster under the bed!”.
Staying a little bit in the room with the little one is legitimate: tuck him in, read him a book, listen to his fears, but they should be soothed and not encouraged. For example, you can spray a little anti-monster potion (a little water) or place a night light.
Then stand firm on your decisions. If you have problems giving limits to the little one during the day, you will probably have them in the evening too. You must not give in to his requests to stay in the room a little longer. When you announce “good night” it must be good night and you must leave the room. If he then follows you, take him back to bed quietly and greet him again with a “good night”.
3 to 6 years old
in the evening don’t want to get away from you
But you can use that same need for attention to help them sleep.
Make your presence felt. Say good night and tell him that you will come back after five minutes for a last kiss or a little story, but only if he stays quiet in bed. Evening after night, go away for longer and longer periods of time.
Of course you will have to come back to keep your promise, but the important thing is to lengthen the intervals and reduce your “returns” during the week.
At first you can use some creative tricks, such as “I forgot to start the washing machine”, or “I’m going to the bathroom”, to reassure him of your return leave the book open and read in half, or your shawl … And when you come back, if still awake, give him a nice kiss telling him that he was very good at staying in the bed.
Another piece of advice is to be honest with him. You can tell him: “Mother is much happier and more cheerful in the morning, if she sleeps without interruption at night.”
And if bedtime is really good, hug him in the morning and tell him that you are very happy.
A common problem in preschoolers are nightmares, with peaks between three and six years of age. They usually occur two hours after they fall asleep. Don’t be alarmed if you see your child crying out sweaty and agitated, it is more impressive to you than it is to him.
So don’t worry, if he wakes up, reassure him, otherwise don’t do anything.
Whatever age your child is, the most important thing is that you are consistent and try to get him to sleep in his bed all night. It may take some time to get him used to the new routine and it will be tiring at first. But the result will be that you will have much more time to rest. And that will be good for the whole family.