Time and time again I get the question “how do I get my child to sleep through the night?” There are so many different definitions of “sleeping through the night” (as illustrated in this funny video), but regardless of what definition you follow, you can help encourage your child to get more consolidated sleep at night and sleep through the night by ensuring some healthy sleep components are in place.
Help your child sleep through the night by ensuring their room environment is conducive to sleep. The room should be dark, cool and comfortable so install blackout window covers and keep the room temperature cool. Also try to avoid any crib entertainment because when they’re in their crib, we want them to be calm and relaxed, not stimulated and ready to play! Most importantly, make sure their sleep environment is safe by ensuring they sleep on a firm, flat surface and avoid any loose bedding, pillows, and toys.
A consistent bedtime routine is a great way to help your child wind down, get ready for sleep and sleep through the night. Your child will recognize those steps and associate them with sleep. The sleep routine also encourages the production of melatonin and allows your child’s body and mind to wind down and prepare for sleep. A relaxed baby will have an easier time going to sleep and help them sleep through the night.
Provide an age appropriate sleep schedule to help your child sleep through the night. Before 4 to 5 months of age, babies need to take frequent naps throughout the day. Once they reach 4 to 5 months old, their biological clocks have formed and they are ready for a more consistent nap schedule. If your child sleeps well during the day, they are more likely to sleep better at night and sleep through the night.
If your child needs help going to sleep, they will most likely need help going back to sleep when they wake in the night. You can help your child sleep through the night by ensuring they can fall asleep unassisted. If you practice giving them an opportunity to learn this important skill on their own, they are more likely to master it and sleep through the night. You don’t have to do any sleep training, just keep practicing having them fall asleep unassisted. It may not go well at first, but every opportunity you give them is a chance for them to learn!
I provide free child and family sleep support on my facebook page. Join me and other parents as we work towards better sleep for the whole family.