Sleep Habits 101 from Ottawa Daycare Providers
As Dr. Marc Weissbluth summarizes in his book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, quality sleep is essential for kids. Well-rested children are generally more content and more receptive to new environments, situations, and information, which is key for their development and growth.
The emphasis in Weissbluth’s book lies on creating positive habits and on establishing routines that assist our children in becoming good sleepers. All too often, kids with sleep difficulties have simply developed unhealthy sleep habits, such as getting up in the middle of the night, co-sleeping with parents, or going to bed too late. Breaking unhealthy habits is not easy. It takes discipline, consistency and patience.
So how can you ensure your child is getting enough sleep every day? Here are a few tips from Ottawa daycare professionals:
- Set the bedtime and meticulously follow it. Be consistent! Don’t alter the time due to holidays or special events.
- Develop a sleep protocol and bedtime routine and try and enforce it every single night.
- Purchase a nightlight for your child’s room.
- Limit TV time before bedtime. If there is a TV in your kid’s room, remove it.
- If you child is getting up in the evening or at night, try and limit interactions to a bare minimum. Take your kid back to their room, reminding them that it is sleep time, then leave. Again, be consistent in your approach, even if your child gets up countless of times at first. Ottawa daycare providers can assure you—there will be progress.
- Give older kids 30 minutes of quiet reading time in bed before lights out.
- Limit the number of toys in your child’s room, in particular noisy ones. Stuffed or plush toys and books should be sufficient.
- Ottawa daycare professionals caution: do not let your child sleep in anyone else’s bed. This would prevent them from independently developing healthy sleep habits.
- Try and be patient. Your child may resist your sleep protocol at first, but be consistent and persistent and you will see results in no time.
The above tips can also be applied to daytime nap schedules. Consistency and set times are key. Don’t let your child nap on the go. Ensure each nap happens at home in the kid’s bed. Studies have verified that good naps prevent children from becoming overtired, and well-rested kids show less resistence to bedtime protocols. A win-win for parents!
Are you looking for daycare in Ottawa? Protect your child’s nap and bedtime routine by seeking out a facility that accommodates quiet and nap times to turn your little one into a solid sleeper.