I am so excited to bring to you our first episode of Village Chatter. We created this series based on topics and questions that have been of interest to you! Today’s podcast is centered around questions surrounding sleep. If you wish to be part of the next series of hot topics and questions, head over to the Facebook group Seed and Sew: Voices of your Villages and join us!
The first question I talked about was in regards to sleep on the go. Although this can get tricky, there are some things that can be done beforehand to set the stage for an easier transition. It is so important from the beginning, to establish consistent routines. Even if you are on vacation and the sleeping arrangements are a little different, as long as the routines and expectations stay consistent then the transition will be smooth. Giving your kiddos a pep talk beforehand is also really important because it gives them time to process what is going to happen. Also bringing a white noise machine or using a white noise app is a wonderful way to make sure that your kiddos sleep is protected because the white noise helps to keep you asleep while it drains out other noises. Also, making sure that the room is dark is important to keeping your kiddo asleep for a longer period of time. Whether it is using garbage bags, towels, or blankets to cover the windows, getting creative can be key to making sure the room stays dark, even after the sun rises. To go along with the light factor, the next question was in regards to the usage of night lights and starlight lamp projectors. Using the star lamp projector is a hard no. This lamp is too stimulating and uses blue light which inhibits the production of melatonin. If your kiddo feels more comforted using a nightlight, then I suggest using a low, warm night light that can be placed across the room.
The following question came from a nanny who was wondering how he/she could best support the kiddos during bedtime when the parents aren’t there. This all goes back to setting and holding clear boundaries during the day and keeping that consistent even during the bedtime procedure. I also would suggest reiterating the plan ahead of time and constantly reminding them of what the plan is for the rest of the day and bringing them into the process so they know what to expect. As the bedtime gets closer, tears may come into play and it’s important that you continue to validate and recognize their emotions but make sure not to let the emotion become a stalling tactic.
The next question was in regards to figuring out why a 13-month-old is waking so frequently. The answer to this question goes back to sleep pressure. Sleep pressure is being the right amount of tired, making sure that your tiny human is not under or overtired. This has a lot to do with the nap schedule, either the nap is happening too late in the day or kiddos are going down to late at night and they are overtired.
If your kiddos still aren’t sleeping through the night, even after nap adjustments are made, then looking at their development would be the next step. Any developmental leaps, such as learning to walk or having a language burst, can all have an effect on their sleep.
The final question was in regards to how a parent could get her 4-year-old to fall asleep on her own. This is not a quick fix, this takes time and consistency on the caregiver's end. Kiddos are looking to parents to set boundaries and to hold them, not just during bedtime but throughout the day. By setting and holding these boundaries, you are letting them know that they are safe.
Stay tuned to upcoming Tiny Humans, Big Emotions groups that will be launching soon!
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