January is a great time to have a look at your little one’s sleep routine
January is often seen as a time of new beginnings and holds the promise of positive changes in our lives. I love Christmas and everything that comes with it but I’m always glad to pack all the decorations away and return to normal life. It feels like a chance to make changes or rejuvenate old patterns that may have been lost in all the craziness of the past few weeks.
Time for Sleep!
Please don’t worry too much if schedules and routines have gone a bit astray over December and you’re feeling that it will be difficult to get things back on track. It’s perfectly understandable that life has been busier and more chaotic over the festive period but January is a great time to have a look at your little one’s routines and check that they are working well for them and for your lifestyle. This is especially relevant when it comes to looking at their sleep and it’s important to make sure that you’re optimising their opportunities to get healthy, restful sleep.
Have a look at my cheat sheet here which gives you an idea of the average sleep needs for children from newborn to age 6. This will give you a guide to how much sleep your child should be getting in any 24 hour period – obviously, children vary in their sleep needs but the majority of children will fit into these patterns. Make a note of the hours that your child is sleeping and ensure that they are getting enough sleep for their age. If your little one becomes overtired, their body will produce cortisol which makes it much more difficult for them to get to sleep and will also make them much more restless and easily woken from sleep. It’s often said but sleep definitely begets sleep so the more you prioritise early bedtimes and good sleep habits the more sleep your child should start getting.
For babies who are still napping, it’s very important not to keep them up too long between naps as this can mean they will struggle to fall asleep. Keep a close eye on your little one’s tired signs during the day and make a note of these which then gives you a guide as to how long they can then stay awake for before needing to sleep again. Putting them down for a sleep before these signs appear can often result in an easier and longer nap.
Routine, routine, routine!
Babies and young children thrive on routine and so now that everything is getting back to normal try and get your little one back on a predictable schedule, particularly in regards to sleep. This should help with any sleep battles that you may be experiencing with your wee one.
If you feel like you could do with some individual support to help get things back on track, please do book in for a free, no-obligation call – I would love to help!
Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!