- What: Improve your sleeping habits
- When: Birth to college
- Why: Get better sleep
- Where: Your home
I’ve yet to discover one right way to get kids to sleep, but you can try a few tricks to increase the odds. From birth to college, having the right tools can increase your chances of spending the entire night in your own bed without any company (if that’s what you want). Consider one or more of the following options if you need more shuteye.
White Noise Machine: A simple white noise machine can make all the difference. Not only does it replicate sounds from the womb, it can offer an auditory clue to slow down and relax. If you live in tight quarters or near unpredictable sources of sound (I’m looking at you creaky floors!), the constant background sound can help cover some of those noisy interruptions. Since you can adjust the volume, you can easily wean kids off if you decide you don’t want it any longer. And with the newest styles on the market, you can take them with you no matter where your kid ends up falling asleep. You can get an app for free for a smart phone and never have to remember to pack yet another piece of equipment (though you’ll have to leave your phone in hearing distance while they’re asleep). We traveled with our noise machine for years to keep our kids’ sleep environments feeling more familiar even in new places.
Sleep Sacks: For babies, a sleep sack can make a huge difference. Adding a couple degrees of warmth can help soothe even the fussiest baby, and sleep sacks offer all the benefits of blankets without the possibility of the fabric covering little faces. Once kids get older, a sleep sack works wonders to keep kids from climbing out of the crib.
Blackout Curtains: A dark room can go a long way to combatting that uncontrollable daylight. If your little one rises with sun, but you need more z’s, try blocking the source of light. Whether the light pollution comes from a doorway down the hall or their own window, a curtain with blackout properties lets you control how much light comes in and when.
Cuddly Night Light: If your kid could use a little extra light to ward off the nighttime monsters, or you just want to be able to see without stubbing your toe, one of these friendly night lights can help. They not only provide low light for visual purpose, but they also display a constellation of stars onto the ceiling, walls, or anywhere else you’d like. Kids can control the color with three different buttons to choose from, and it turns off after 45 minutes to prolong battery life. Or go wild and get a noise machine with a night light feature!
Formula Container: If your little one still needs a midnight snack, measuring out the right amount of formula before the witching hour can help you both get back to sleep faster. Stash one of these formula containers nearby and have a bottle of water ready to go. When snack time rolls around, you can dump, mix, and feed almost without having to crack an eyelid.
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: This book comes arranged by age to help with sleep issues at any stage of the game. It includes easy to follow instructions for establishing the best sleep habits. And that will last you both a lifetime.
Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems: Even if you don’t ascribe to the cry it out method popularized by Richard Ferber, reading this book can help you understand how sleep associations happen, and how to work them to your advantage. If your child has a specific sleep issue, this book can help you find the resources you need to overcome any challenges. After more than eight years, this book still sits on our bookshelf for reference.
Foam Bed Topper: For adults and older kids, a foam bed topper can put new life into an old mattress at a fraction of the cost. It can also help cushion sore muscles and any injuries. If you’ve been through childbirth, you know what I mean.
You may not be able to get your kids to sleep longer, but if they get higher quality sleep, everyone wins.