Hi, my name is Annemarie and I am the Client Services director for Night Nannies.
I use this blog as a way to give you tips and idea's in all areas of childcare and development.
Posted 25 July 07
Tools to help create better sleeping patterns for your Child
There are some fabulous tools you can use for your child to help them get through any separation anxiety and to establish a great sleeping pattern for your 6 months and older child.
When your child is showing signs of anxiety such as not wanting you to leave them alone when they go to sleep or a fear of their room, Night Nannies recommends trying the following techniques and tools
- Bedtime Consistency
Have a consistent bedtime routine with the same routine every night such as, play, dinner, bath, massage, teeth, story in room and bed.
- Routine Routine
A routine does not have to be like a regimental Army schedule but should be about consistency and working around your child's individual needs and sleep times as much as possible. A routine helps set your Childs body clock and helps you know what to expect. You can have some flexibility around your routine but will need to try and maintain sleep areas and times as much as possible during the day and night to maintain good sleeping patterns.
- Quality time with Mum and Dad
Spend quality time with both parents and your child in the evening or when you can daily prior to the bedtime routine. This time is important and should be an enjoyable and relaxing time for everyone.
- Nutrition and exercise
These two things are really important for your Childs development from newborn with tummy time through to your older child crawling, grabbing, sitting up and walking. This will help your child to grow, develop and burn some energy as well as start to reach important millstones. Nutrition is equally important making sure your child has the correct amount of milk and solids during the day and that formula is made correctly and Mums who are breastfeeding get to rest, eat and play and/or work so their bodies can continue to create their Childs full daily requirements of breast milk.
- A Cosy Room
When you are creating a safe, warm and inviting room for your child to sleep in you can make your child's bedroom into this cosy haven by spending calm, enjoyable time in their bedroom with them during the day or evening reading a story or playing with their toys so that their bedroom is not just the scary place they are banished to at the end of the day.
- "Lovey toy"
An excellent tool is a "lovey toy" that you can introduce to your child early and leave with them in their cot from 5-6 months as a safe comfort toy. This "lovey toy" helps your child have something they can suck on if they are a "suckey" baby instead of using a dummy. This toy is also a great little buddy for your child to use as a cuddly toy to hold through out the night to lessen their separation anxiety. There are a variety of options available although not all meet Night Nannies recommendations. One of our faves is "Sleep dogs" by Evielala. See below for why we like them.
- Other tools
Other tools you can use are a scrap book you can make yourself with photos of your child going through the bedtime routine stages in which you can read with them at night just before bed. This way they are aware of the goals and expectations and can enjoy participating in their bedtime routine knowing they have participated in this process.
- Teach your Child to relax
You can teach your child to relax at sleep time by providing the right conditions such as dim lighting, calm music, the right temperature, a "lovey" toy and by putting your child down in a drowsy state rather than fully asleep. This way your childs bed will not be a strange place to be in when they naturally wake on a R.E.M cycle throughout the night. Make sure their bed and cot are safe and meet the SIDS Australia guidelines.
Night Nannies recommends Sleep dogs for your child from 6 months by Evielala which were designed with some of Night Nannies requirements in mind such as double safety stitching, ears for chewing and sucking, easy to grasp and not too big and not too small, just right for little hands to hold as a "lovey toy". http://evielala.com.au
Night Nannies provides specialised Sleep Guidance services Australia wide for children of all ages and general Nanny services to meet every family's needs.We work with families and children on an individual basis tailoring a routine for each individual child. We use gentle settling techniques, encouraging bonding and contact between parent and child. We do not believe in controlled crying or methods which could inhibit the bonding or cause anxiety in your child.
Call us on 1300791663 for more information or to make a booking.