Does your child regularly wake at night and seek you out in an effort to go back to sleep… over and over and over? If you have kids, you know that poor sleep for a child has repercussions for the child, yourself, and the whole family. However, with the right strategies, sleep challenges can turn into victories. Kidding Around Contributor India recently chatted with Erin Lawyer of Chasing Dreams Sleep Consulting and learned some pro tips that will help your child get better sleep. Plus, a giveaway! One lucky Kidding Around Greenville reader will win a free Sleep Consultation, valued at $479! Read on to learn more!
Thank you to Chasing Dreams Sleep Consulting for sponsoring this giveaway.
When my son was 6 months old, my husband and I bought our first espresso machine. It wasn’t just so we could relive our pre-baby Italian vacation. It was a necessity. My son did not and could not sleep through the night. While it was a long and emotional journey teaching him to fall asleep and stay asleep on his own, we surely could have benefitted from a sleep consultant who would advise us, help us navigate sleep setbacks, and celebrate our sleep-related victories–and do so much more efficiently than we could do on our own. This is what I learned when I chatted with Erin Lawyer of Chasing Dreams Sleep Consulting. During our chat, she also offered some tips for getting kids (and, in turn, parents) some better sleep.
What does “better sleep” mean?
When we sleep, our bodies and our brains grow. This is what I tell my kids. Science tells us a little more: A good night’s sleep has implications for attention, cognition, and mood–regardless of one’s age. Tired kids will be cranky and accident-prone–and so will parents. Parents also need downtime to refuel at the end of the day and also need energy to function. In the short term, sleep deficits may be easy to laugh off or cure with an extra coffee. The long-term implications of poor sleep can be more severe and have been associated with behavioral problems in children and even depressive disorders in parents, for example. Sleep has become such an issue that, in addition to the seas of websites and mountains of books about sleep for children, sleep medicine has blossomed into a field of study in recent decades with several peer-reviewed scientific journals solely dedicated to the study of sleep.
So, what does healthy sleep look like? Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule in tune with your natural circadian rhythm, plus getting enough hours of uninterrupted consolidated sleep each night, will help your body to get the sleep it needs. The antidote to the fatigue and frustration of poor sleep starts with a sleep routine that is loving, calm, and even enjoyable. According to Erin, children who have independent sleep skills will fall asleep more easily, sleep through the night (if age appropriate), take good, reliable naps, and get the sleep their body needs for their health, happiness, and overall well-being.
While kids’ sleep needs may vary somewhat, Erin Lawyer suggests that, with naps included, kids need about
- 16-20 hours of sleep a day from age 0-3 months;
- 14-16 hours of sleep a day from age 4-6 months;
- 13-14 hours of sleep a day from age 7-11 months;
- 12-14 hours of sleep a day from age 1-2 years; and
- 10-13 hours of sleep a day from age 3-5 years.
How does a family get better sleep? 7 Tips
While Erin works with families to develop sleep plans specific to their needs, she suggests that families start by setting their sights on these 7 tips for sleeping better.
- Children need to learn to fall asleep on their own without any external props. External props might include a feeding, rocking, a parent’s cuddle, shushing, or anything external that a baby or child needs to fall asleep.
- Be consistent. Consistency across naps and bedtime sets expectations for children.
- Aim for an early bedtime. Bedtime should happen between 6 – 8 pm. If a child is overtired by the time they get ready for bed, they may not only have trouble settling into sleep they will also have more restless sleep throughout the night.
- Stick to a routine. It is never too early to start a bedtime routine. These routines send cues to kids’ bodies and minds that it is time to calm down and get ready for sleep.
- Don’t forget a naptime routine. Similar to bedtime routines, a short naptime routine tells a child’s body and mind what is to come. Darkness also helps!
- Skipping naps and staying up late affects the next 24-hour cycle. Despite what a well-meaning friend or relative may tell you, naps are important and skipping them will not help your child sleep better at night.
- If your child feeds during the night, try not to let he/she fall asleep at the breast or bottle. Try to keep feedings low-key, business-like, and right back to bed.
It is important to note is that it is never too early or too late for families to start working on these steps toward achieving better sleep. Erin advises families with children of all ages and even pre-natal families because it is never too early to establish good sleep habits and avoid the pain of sleep deprivation.
There is a lot of information to be found online and in books about helping babies and children sleep better. However, making sense of this info and adequately identifying their family’s specific obstacles to good sleep can be almost insurmountable–especially if parents are stretched thin and exhausted. Sleep consultants such as Erin can zero in on specific challenges and craft family-specific solutions to sleep problems.
Learn more about Erin Lawyer and Chasing Dreams Sleep Consulting:
- Visit the Chasing Dreams website,
- Give Erin a call at 864.764.4096,
- E-mail Erin at [email protected], and/or
- Follow Chasing Dreams Sleep Consulting on Facebook and Instagram.
Giveaway: Free Sleep Consultation (Valued at $479)
One lucky Kidding Around Greenville reader is going to win a free Sleep Consultation (valued at $479). This consultation includes:
- A Comprehensive Assessment to get to the root of your child’s sleep obstacles
- A holistic Customized Sleep Plan
- A Private Consultation to review the program together
- One-on-one support and guidance for 2-3 weeks (age dependent), to help your child learn healthy sleep skills
- This package can be used any time within 6 months of receipt!
This giveaway runs from August 18 – September 9, 2021.
- You must be 18 or older and live in the USA to enter this giveaway.
- You must use a valid email address to enter this giveaway.
- One entry per person per day.
- We will contact the winner via the email address provided within three  days of the giveaway ending. The winner will have three  days (72 hours) to respond via email. If the winner does not respond within the three  days (72 hours), the prize will be forfeited and another winner chosen. Directions for claiming the prize will be given via email. A valid photo ID and/or mailing address may be required.
See the Kidding Around Greenville SC’s giveaway policies and terms and conditions for a complete list of Kidding Around Greenville SC policy page. By entering this giveaway, you agree to comply with Kidding Around Greenville SC’s terms and conditions.
If the giveaway does not appear immediately, please wait a moment. If you still do not see it, please email [email protected]
What sleep victories has your family celebrated lately? What slumber-related challenges does your family struggle with?