From the moment you become a parent, sleep – whether it’s how much you and your baby are or are not getting – can dominate your every waking moment. But considering how much we talk about it, it’s surprising we don’t know more about it Parents often don’t realise how important sleep is for children. These days, with televisions and computers, children are constantly stimulated. There’s a presumption that if your child isn’t awake, she’s missing out when, in fact, unless she gets enough sleep, children can’t make sense of being awake.
How can you help a reluctant sleeper realise how important a good night’s sleep is?
Children are already taught about the benefits of nutrition and exercise, but sleep is just as important, if not more so. As sleep is the time when children process information, assimilate information from the day and physically grow. So, the answer to ensuring your child gets the perfect night’s sleep is all about having a restful bedtime routine. This means switching off electronic items, giving your baby or child a bath and then reading a story. This will prepare their body and mind for sleep and create a calmer, easier bedtime routine.
Certified Sleep Consultant Emilie Caro shares here tips hat will help end the cycle of bad or irregular sleep patterns that often have parents feeling at the end of their tether come nightfall. Emilie Caro Sleep offers sleep packages and sleep training advice and, comes very highly recommended (although, we can't reveal who!) With her extensive knowledge and gentle approach Emilie tells us her best-of-the best sleep tips to get you started:
'5 Golden Rules' for a Successful Children's Bedtime Routine:
- Repeat the same bedtime routine (you can choose the order of events) so children learn to anticipate the lead up to bedtime.
- If you have more than one child try to stagger their bedtimes by at least 15 minutes so you can focus on one child at a time. If children are sharing a room, the staggered bedtimes prevent them talking too much/disturbing each other before going to sleep.
- Screen time must stop at least 45 minutes before bedtime as the light generated can prevent the regular production of the sleep hormone.
- Try to get children used to looking at books/reading in bed from a very young age. As they get older this will form a routine and will become habit to read before going to sleep alone.
- Allow at least 5 days for any changes you might make to take effect; so keep going with an adapted routine for that time period before deciding whether it is effective or not.
Meet Emilie Caro Sleep
Having completed both a BSc (University of Manchester) and MSc (London School of Economics) in Psychology, Emilie worked for eight years in Human Resources, with a particular focus on Occupational Psychology.Following the birth of her children (3 boys aged 8, 6 and 4), Emilie became very interested in the domain of children’s sleep and the psychology surrounding this.
She qualified in 2011 as a certified children’s sleep consultant in order to practice formally in this field and is a member of the British Sleep Society and the International Association for Sleep Consultants.Additionally, she has travelled extensively with her children and can give advice on jet lag and how best to cope with schedule changes.
Emilie has helped numerous families with a wide range of sleeping problems and is regularly recommended by the paediatric department at the St John & St Elizabeth Hospital in St John's Wood, London. She is known for her kind and gentle approach and always follows up until the issues are fully resolved. For more information, sleep packages and to read her blog visit Emilie Caro Sleep