Kids, we love them so much, that’s why we bring them into our worlds! However, one thing that can get annoying when you have kids is the immense difference in the amount of time you - as an adult - have for sleeping.
Sleep isn’t just important for your children, it’s important for you as well, as their parents. In order to be the best parent, you need to have enough energy to give to your children!
Baby Dream Machine is dedicated to helping children sleep better and longer, and with that, we hope that their parents will receive better and longer sleep as well. There can always be frustrating nights where parents have trouble getting their zzz hours in. That’s why we worked with some of the US’s top sleep experts to curate the top 8 tips for getting good sleep as a parent.
1. Routine Routine Routine
You’ve probably read this in every article on Google about children’s sleep. That’s because it’s vital to create healthy sleep habits in your children. If you have multiple children, it’s a great idea to incorporate all of their sleep routines together. One fun idea to get kids excited to sleep is to play “hide the pajamas.” You hide your children’s PJ’s all over the house and make the kids scavenge for their PJ’s. Tell them that the quickest to put their PJ’s on and brush up for bed is tonight’s winner. You can tally the winner toll and have them work towards a special treat.
Story time, bath time, cuddle time, and time to turn your Baby Dream Machine on are all great activities that can be easily added to any bedtime routine.
Following a routine is not only beneficial for your child’s sleep, it’s actually super important for your sleep as a parent because it will create a trigger for your children to begin to feel tired when they partake in the routine. This will make putting them to bed 10 times easier, and lead to less stress for you before bed.
2. Sleep When They Sleep
Especially with a young baby, you might find yourself waking up multiple times a night to tend to your child. This means you’re losing quality sleep. One thing that our in house sleep expert always recommends is if you’re feeling extremely tired, try using your child’s nap time as a nap time for yourself too.
3. Forget about Chores
We know it can be hard seeing piles of mess all around the house, but sleep is more important than cleanliness. Obviously keep the house tidy enough that you and your child won’t be tripping over 3-week-old laundry, but if your kitchen isn’t spotless or you wear the same sweatpants two days in a row nobody is going to judge you. Cut yourself some slack.
4. Teach Yourself Good Sleep Hygiene
As much as you may feel the need to caffeinate yourself to get through the day, stop drinking anything caffeinated by 3pm at the very latest. This will ensure the caffeine will have left your body by bedtime. You should also work on screen time. Save your screen time for the day because the blue light of your screens lessen your melatonin levels. Baby Dream Machine uses red light therapy for this exact reason, because red light is the opposite of blue light and can actually increase melatonin levels.
5. Be Accepting of Help
Remember - you are not a superhuman. This is HARD and you are going to get tired and burnt out. If you have family and friends around don’t hesitate to reach out for an extra hand during the day so you can get a few extra hours of nap time in for yourself.
Okay - as a new parent I know you’re super busy. But taking 5-10 minutes before bed to do a meditative breathing exercise your sleep will change immensely. So many new parents lay in bed at night overthinking what they did wrong, what they can do better, if their child will turn out alright etc. A little bit of meditation will help clear your mind before sleeping and allow you to remove the negative thoughts from your mind.
7. No Negativity
So many new parents worry about what’s right and wrong in parenting. There seems to be a lot of negativity surrounding doing something in order to get your child to sleep. By this I mean rocking them, pushing them in a stroller, giving them a pacifier, or even turning on the Baby Dream Machine. You should feel no judgement for this, even adults have associations with certain things that make them feel sleepy. There is nothing negative about using an object or ritual to help us relax into sleep.
Naps are amazing. Even if you don’t think 20 minutes will do something, it definitely will. If you’re parenting with a partner, you can even each take turns taking 30 minute naps during the day while the other partner watches the child.
The most important thing you can remember as a sleepless parent is that it will all get better, your children will get better at sleeping and in turn you will get your sleep back.