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This time of year is hard, when it is bright later and later and the birds are chirping earlier and earlier. The kids don’t want to go to bed when it is still light outside and they are having trouble sleeping in because of the spring noises that are waking them up. These tips should help your child to get back to a normal sleep-routine.
PROBLEM #1: Birds Chirping too early!
The birds are back from their winter vacation and they are chirping in full force starting at about 6am (or even earlier for some). The best way that we have found to combat this noise in our house, is to turn on a fan or to use your white noise machine. (We even do both at the same time if just one isn’t working!)I love it because white noise just seems to filter out the noises and it really helps your child sleep better. The best placement for your machine is on a wall where the sound would be coming in (in this case, near the outside wall.). Ps- I was worried at one point that white noise was dangerous, but have found that it is safe.
(Becky here- this is the one that we use):
PROBLEM #2 The kids don’t want to go to bed when it is still light outside
The sun will start rising earlier in the morning and setting later at night and this can really confuse your kids! Since Daylight Savings Time, the morning sunlight is already coming into the room about 40 minutes earlier than it used to and it will only get earlier until we get to the peak of summer. In our house, we use blackout shades to stop the kids from rising with the sun. Not all blackout shades will keep the light out in the morning since that sun will peak out from the sides and bottom, so if you need to, you can just hang blackout panels on top of your existing shades. If you don’t have shades, you can DIY a not so pretty look with tin foil, poster board or construction paper. I’ve even used black garbage bags taped to the window when we were desperate!
You can see the difference here:
Yes, it will be light outside when the kids go to bed, at their 7:00 bedtime, or whenever it happens to be. And as we get into summer the sun will begin to set later and later. One little tip is to use dimmers in your living room or in the child’s bedroom (even the bathroom) and dim them as the night goes on. By the time that they go to bed, their dark room will lull them to sleep.
Have the blackout shades drawn when you get into your child’s room to help create the night time effect. Make sure you have a consistent, not too short-not too long-but just right peaceful bedtime routine and you can even change the way you say goodnight to your toddler. Or spend a few minutes to lie down with your child and get all of the juicy details from the day!
PROBLEM #3: Sleep Rules go away in the summer!
Don’t forget to explain the rules, again. “Just because it is still light outside does not mean that we stay up late.” Sleep rules could be as easy as explaining what we do when we go to bed and when to wake up. Make it a huge deal with a ton of positive praise when your child follows the rules especially if you are correcting and fixing behavior. Even if you have a baby who is too young to understand the rules of sleep (and not going through the 4 month sleep regression), you can offer a sleep reminder if they are having trouble falling asleep. Remember to give them a few minutes of fussing before you run in, because oftentimes, in the morning, they are just switching sleep cycles and we confuse it for our kids waking up. (They fuss either way).
Busy Days = Sleepy Nights so get outside & have some fun!
You are welcome to join me for my FREE sleep series, sent via email, along with a sleep schedule for your child.
About the guest poster today: Susie Parker is a Certified Sleep Consultant and founder of Sleep Baby Love, Infant and Child Sleep Consulting.