4 minute read
5 sleep Kari-tips for your little one
- Your little one’s sleep needs – including their awake windows and nap schedule – will change a lot in their first few years of life.
- Establishing a positive and soothing bedtime routine can help your little one settle for sleep.
- Asking for help and staying realistic about your roles and expectations can ensure both you and your little one get the rest you need.
The beginning of your child’s life can be overwhelming. Disrupted sleep is a common side effect of this period. Here are five simple Kari-tips to help both you and your little one get the rest you need.
1. Understand your little one’s sleep needs
Sleep is vital for children’s development, growth, health and immunity, and the amount of sleep your little one needs will change a lot. Remember, each child’s sleep needs are unique. A great indication of a well-rested child is that they’re generally happy when they’re awake.
2. Learn your little one’s tired signs
Your child’s ‘awake windows’ will grow bigger as they do, but it’s important to keep an eye out for tell-tale signs of tiredness. In the beginning, they might start yawning, pulling at their ears, and making fists or jerky arm and leg movements. Later on, they could get clingy, clumsy, grumpy, bored or fussy. Once you see these signs, it’s time to wind down and create a calm, quiet atmosphere to help prepare your little one for sleep.
3. Establish an evening routine
A positive, relaxing and repetitive bedtime routine can help ready your child for rest and create good long-term sleeping habits. A nightly routine could be dinner, bath, books in the bedroom, a cuddle, then bed.
4. Focus on naps, too
It’s not just night-time sleep that matters – naps also play an important role in ensuring your child is getting enough rest. The number of naps your child needs also changes in the beginning – a child could drop from three naps to one. But by understanding your child’s sleep needs and tired signs, you should get a good indication of when it’s time to change the nap schedule.
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5. Feeding before bedtime, or not
Sleeping and feeding go together. Depending on your little one and your family, the two main patterns are a feed-play-sleep cycle or a play-feed-sleep cycle. Your little one might find feeding so relaxing that it sends them off to sleep. Or your child may prefer expending energy first, and feeding after sleep but before play. Either way, it’s important to work out what works for your child and make it routine.
6. Set expectations
While these Kari-tips should help to get your little one’s sleep on track, it also helps to be realistic about the expectations you place on your child – and yourself. If you’re low on energy, you might need to change your family’s routines, roles and expectations or ask for help to get the rest you need – and that is okay. Looking after your precious little one is important, but so is looking after yourself.
Need more advice on helping your tiny tot sleep? Contact our Careline, a team of experts that can provide advice and support on all things parenting. No matter how big or small.
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