*Thank you Pampers for sponsoring this post. Regardless all thoughts and opinions are my own and I only recommend products and brands I truly love.
Every friend I have when pregnant with their first child has expressed their fear about adjusting to the lack of sleep that comes with a baby. What’s funny now is I’m so used to not getting great sleep it doesn’t even phase me. But still – that initial fear of being able to sleep 9 hours a night to waking up every couple of hours with a newborn seems to really scare expecting first time parents. I always reassure them that it’s really not so bad. Not only do you just get used to it, but there are a lot of things you can do to help baby sleep better. And there are so many benefits to having a baby that sleeps well besides just parental sanity. Pampers research shows that when baby sleeps well moms say baby is more approachable, adaptable, and less distracted the next day. So here are some tips for setting a sleep routine for your baby or toddler:
(1) Figure out their sleep needs.
My older 2 kids have been extremely different when it comes to sleep routines from the very start. With sleep, as well as in fact all facets of life, they both have very different needs. Maddie Grace is more emotional. She’s always been one to want to snuggle and needs tons of love and attention. She never has slept well. She’s never napped well and generally doesn’t need as much sleep as other people. She needs a consistent bedtime routine every night with lots of books and winding down time. Tripp on the other hand is usually an awesome sleeper who doesn’t need as much time or attention. In fact, the best way to get him to sleep is to put him in his bed, turn off the light, and leave the room. If you don’t read him a book or sing songs with him it’s okay. He likes to sleep at least 12 hours a night and still take a nap in the afternoons.
I say this not to brag about Tripp’s awesome sleep skills, because I know as soon as I write this he will wake up and have a no sleep night, but to point out that every kid is different and has different needs, even when it comes to sleep. There is no fool-proof method for a good night’s sleep that works for every baby or toddler.
Because of this, Pampers created the #SleptLikeThis quiz to help you figure out your baby’s sleep personality and give expert sleep tips to parents based on your child’s sleep animal. I took the quiz for Tripp and learned he is a starfish. These are the kids that sleep anywhere and everywhere. The experts say that with these kids you need to make sleep a priority and be as consistent as possible.
(2) Keep them comfortable all night long.
Many different things go into keeping a baby comfortable. I like monitors that tell me when the temperature of the room gets too hot or too cold (we have this issue in Tripp’s room) and try to dress him in layers for nights we know his room might get cold. Another comfort issue we still deal with for Tripp is the wet diaper problem. The only time he ever wakes up in the middle of the night is because he has a wet diaper he wants changed. Because of this, we always use Pampers Baby Dry overnight. Pampers Baby Dry diapers use exclusive Extra Absorb Channels that provide up to 12 hours of protection so they keep baby dry and comfortable – all night long.
(3) Keep a Gentle Nighttime Routine.
We’ve kept the same routine since Maddie Grace was born and I really think it brings so much comfort to the kids and helps them to wind down after a busy day. We always do bath, and then get on pajamas. We brush teeth (and floss and use mouth wash), then we all cozy up on Maddie Grace’s bed under some blankets and each kid gets to pick out 2 books. We sing our favorite ‘night night’ song, which is The Beatle’s ‘Good Night’, and then each kid goes to sleep in their bed. This is what works best for all of us to sleep well at night so we keep sticking with it.
(4) No TV or technology before bed.
This one makes a huge difference with my kids and it’s even something I’ve been doing myself to sleep better. When we turn off the TV and iPads a couple of hours before bed, the kids fall asleep so much easier. Their brains need time to calm down and TV just amps them up making it important to refrain from before bed!
(5) Have Rules.
This one is obviously geared towards toddlers over babies, who aren’t going to follow rules. But with toddlers you can have ground rules that they must follow. Tell them to stay in bed. Don’t cave on how many books they get to read. If a child is scared of the dark, maybe offer a night light, but don’t allow them to keep the lights on. No games before bed. Nothing high energy right before bed. No sugary sweets in the hours before bedtime. Set the rules you need for sleep to happen in your house and stick with them!
If you’re wondering – it’s impossible to take a picture of this kid sleeping, so you’re just gonna have to take my word for it that he does. But now I’d love to hear from you – what helps your kids to have a set bed routine at night? What animal does your child sleep like? Find out by taking the Pampers Baby Dry #SleptLikeThis quiz at pamperssleptlikethis.com!