Sleep is something I dream about on a daily basis.
I like to stay up late and be productive and my kiddos like to wake up during the night and then get up early... so that means that I don't get much sleep these days.
How do your kids sleep? Do you daydream about getting more sleep too?
I am constantly on the look out for ideas to help get my kids to sleep on time, stay asleep, sleep in their beds, put themselves back to sleep if they wake up, fall back asleep if they have nightmares, and then of course sleep in longer in the morning.
It depends on the night of course, but so far I haven't had much luck finding the perfect solution to get the kind of sleep I want... or my kids need. According to my friends with older kids... I might never actually sleep again until my kids leave for college... and then even then, I might be up worrying about them.
Fortunately we have figured out a few things...
Fortunately we have figured out a few things...
Here are six sleep tips that have worked for our family so far...
- We keep a pretty consistent bedtime routine and sleep schedule during the day. The actual time the light goes out can vary by 15-20 minutes, but the routine before bed is the same every night as is the naptime schedule.
Our bedtime schedule includes, making sure rooms are picked up, teeth are brushed, pajamas are on, kids go to the bathroom and get a drink, stories are read, prayers are said, and then hugs and kisses are given before the light flips off. Sometimes we even use our chore sticks to help the kids stay organized.
- We use a white noise machine for our kids who need it (like the Dohmie Serious Sleep Baby Bundle). My 5-year-old is a huge fan of white noise and has a hard time not having his fan going at night. He falls asleep much quicker and stays asleep longer when we have white noise on. My 3-year-old has never used white noise, but she has struggled with sleeping for the past year, so we may be trying the Dohm with her next. My 1-year-old loves white noise and I do too since his two older siblings can be SO LOUD when he is sleeping.
Up until recently we've always used fans in our kid's rooms because we've never had a white noise machine. We've had friends who use iPods with white noise sounds on them, but we don't have extra iPods around that we've wanted to use for our kids... so we've just had loud bedrooms that sound like wind tunnels. We have been loving our Dohm because it is small, can be set on a dresser (up high away from kids), is a bit quieter and is less windy, but still does a great job masking sound.
- We use a modified version of A Mom with a Lesson Plan's Better Bedtime Routine with our older kids. It has made putting the kids to bed much easier.
With our younger kids they just mostly go right to bed, other than a few extra drinks that the 3-year-old needs sometimes. My 5-year-old sometimes stays up reading or fiddling with toys, but will put himself to sleep every night now that we've ended the bedtime power struggle with him.
- We swaddle our babies and use sleep sacks for our toddlers. They are so cozy! I wish they made them for adults.
- We try and fill the attention basket during the day (like Amy McCready suggests) by spending 1 on 1 time with each kid so that the kids are less demanding of our attention at night.
Oh boy it sure is obvious at bedtime if those attention baskets haven't been filled!! If only I remembered this tip every day... I think it would make bedtime so much easier. On the nights that my 3-year-old daughter wants 10 extra hugs and comes out again and again, I promise myself that I will spend more time being present with her the following day so that her attention basket is filled!
- We encourage the use of a security object such as a blanket or stuffed animal for our kids who seem to need one.
My son sleeps with his Darth Vader Lego clock (on his bed... he doesn't cuddle with it), my daughter sleeps with three stuffed dogs that each have a very specific position in bed, and the baby sleeps with a cuddly dog and his cozy white blanket. I never wanted to be the mom who was running around at bedtime trying to find the right stuffed animal so that so and so could go to sleep... but I totally am. With my daughter I've tried to vary up the animals a bit so that she likes several of them... just in case one goes missing. So far that has worked. :)
My littlest guy is in love with this cozy cotton white blanket a friend handmade for us. Love it! I need one in my size.
Photo Credit: Wendy VonSosen Photography
- We take turns as parents getting up in the night to help with kids and we also take turns sleeping in on the weekends.
My husband and I try our best to support each other to make sure we both get the sleep we need... which is hard! We typically take turns sleeping in on the weekends while the other one gets up early with the kids and tries to keep them quiet(ish) and occupied... and then we switch the next day or next weekend. We also take turns taking naps if we are really feeling sleep deprived on the weekend. It makes such a difference to work together as a team!
Marpac not only wants parents and kids to get serious sleep... they also want us to share our BIG DREAMS for our kids (which are hopefully more than just sleeping through the night)! Join in with Marpac's Serious Sleep Olympics photo contest on Facebook and enter to win some cool prizes. Click here to learn more.
Alright, so now I want your tips! What works for you to help your kids sleep through the night, get to bed on time, put themselves back to sleep when they wake up, etc.?
Do you daydream about sleep like I do? How do you stay sane on little sleep?
Here are a few more details about the Dohmie Serious Sleep Baby Bundle...
Marpac wants to give ONE Toddler Approved reader the opportunity to win their own Dohmie Serious Sleep Baby Bundle (valued at $50)! Read below for more details.
The Dohmie Serious Sleep Baby Bundle includes the following items:
- Dohm sound conditioner
- "Buddy the Bee Finds His Zs" storybook
- Sleep 101 publication from the NSF
Here's what we like about the Dohm sound conditioner:
- It is decently small (7.5 x 7.4 x 4.0) and weighs 2.3 lbs.
- It rests easily on a dresser and is white so it doesn't stand out too much and distract from other room decorations. It also isn't too colorful and fun looking, so my kids don't try and play with it... which is great!
- It is really easy to use. All you do is plug it in and press up for less sound and down for more sound. EASY! This is perfect for non-techie people like me.
- It comes with a 1-year limited warranty; 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
- Every time we turn it on my 1-year-old giggles. He loves the noise and it is a great signal for him that it is time to grab his stuffed doggie and go to sleep.
- It is portable. We can easily move it around the house or throw it in a bag to take with us somewhere.
Giveaway Entry Requirements:
- Make sure to fill in the rafflecopter giveaway entry below and complete the mandatory email entry.
- You can receive up to 7 entries by completing all of the tasks mentioned in the rafflecopter below.
- This giveaway is open for entry from Tuesday, February 18th to Tuesday, February 25th at 12:00am (PST)
- The winning entry will be drawn on Wednesday, February 26th. I will notify the winner via email.
- The winner will need to reply to me within 72 hours of my email. If there is no response, a new winner will be drawn.
- See our Official Giveaway Rules for complete guidelines. US Residents only. No PO boxes.