This post is sponsored by Sleep Number®. Thanks, Sleep Number!
If there’s one thing that all expectant parents are told, it’s “You’d better get your sleep now while you can!” Of course, once your baby is born you quickly learn people say this because getting enough sleep – let alone REM sleep – is almost impossible. Interestingly, few people tell you that getting enough sleep often remains a problem after your kids are no longer babies. Mike and I learned this the hard way with Annabel, and we definitely had our share of less-than-restful nights. Annabel sleeps through the night just fine now, but James is only two and still at an age when sleeping through the night can sometimes be a challenge. Thankfully, Mike and I learned a lot about what does and doesn’t work with Annabel, and are in a much better position to help James sleep – so that we can too!
Rigby could sleep all day, every day.
Here is what worked best for us:
– Limiting water
Annabel, like most kids, wanted to drink water before bed, but we found that if we allowed it she’d always wake up in the middle of the night needing to use the bathroom. When this happened, Annabel would call out for us, which meant that we had to wake up and take her to the bathroom. Once we stopped letting her have water before bed, though, it cut her middle of the night bathroom visits to almost zero.
– Having a consistent bedtime routine
Routine is important with kids with most things, but it’s especially important with bedtime. We found that when we set an exact bedtime and routine for Annabel, she had a much easier time falling asleep (and staying asleep). Everything is so much simpler when she knows what to expect!
– Having cool down time before bed
Part of Annabel’s bedtime routine used to include a brief part where Mike would hold her hands and let her walk up him “like Spiderman.” They only did this for about thirty seconds each night, but it elicited a lot of giggles and got her all worked up. We quickly realized that coming down from this was hard for her, and made it difficult for her to fall asleep. Once we cut “Spiderman time” out of the bedtime routine and made her focus on cooling down and relaxing before bed, she slept a lot better.
– Teaching our kids how to get themselves back to sleep
If your kids need you to come into their room every time they wake up, you’re going to be getting up a lot in the night. This is why it is so important to teach your kids ways to get themselves back to sleep. To help Annabel do this, we taught her calming breathing techniques, ways to focus on things that make her happy, and to recite a favorite song in her head over and over. She sometimes still calls out for us, but says that she can usually fall back to sleep by herself now.
Mike and I have found that we feel a lot better in our everyday lives when we commit to sleep, so we’ve really made an effort to help Annie and James get their Zs. Of course, even when your kids sleep well it can be difficult to get enough sleep as an adult.
One way you can make sure you’re committing to sleep is by tracking your sleep, and now there is SleepIQ technology that can help you do it. SleepIQ® technology is available on all Sleep Number® beds (even for kids!) and tracks your sleep in the night, then sends the data to an app on your phone. It’s super easy to use — you don’t have to wear anything or remember to turn anything on. All you have to do sleep, and then check the app in the morning to see what kind of adjustments you can make to get optimal sleep!
How do you and your family #CommitToSleep? What tips have helped you develop a family routine? What changes have you made to bedtime routines – yours or you kids’?