Spring has finally arrived. Despite the time change over a month ago the weather has not been so kind, at least here in Calgary. Sleep can also take a few weeks to adjust to the brighter mornings and increased outdoor activity. I’m sharing my tips for mastering sleep in summer.
1. Stick to your routine, If bedtime is 6:45 pm stick to it, or if your family wake up time is 6:45 am keep it. Keeping your kids on their predictable routine will help everyone on bright mornings or evenings. This helps to ensure your child gets enough sleep.
2. Blackout blinds or keeping rooms dark. Our first investment in our home was blackout blinds for both of our children's rooms. We even taped them to the wall to keep even more light out. Thanks to painters tape we didn’t damage our newly painted walls. New products I wished we had are this BLACKOUT ZZ’S., or you can go low tech with cardboard or heavy blankets.
Light can be the number one problem with keeping your schedule. A little crack of light in the morning will result in “mom it’s light out and time to get up.” or “why do I have to go to bed when it’s still light outside.”
Either way keeping the light out is very helpful. I always try to close the blinds before I start the bedtime routine.
3. For older children (2.5 plus) toddler clocks also help. These clocks show when it’s time to wake up and get mom and dad. We introduced this to our older daughter, and she loves it. It allows her control. Our rule is you can stay in bed with the lights out until you see the light to wake up. It's saved me the last couple of months.Be sure to keep cords out of the way and secure furniture to the walls.
4. Physical activity. I like to keep my kids busy every day all year long, but it’s hard here in Calgary. Some days the walk to the backyard is enough fresh air as it’s so cold even when appropriately dressed. In the summer my kids are outside all day. They are tired out and I will often put them to bed early when they look or are acting tired. Watch for your child's sleepy cues.
5. Strollers and car seats. The number of covered strollers or car seats make it challenging to make the right choice. Although parents want to protect their babies from the sun it is important not to forget how hot little ones can get when strapped into a car seat or stroller or when covered with a blanket or muslin. Recent reminders include this article.
6. Clothing for sleep. I remember this being such a balancing act when I had newborns. When my eldest was a baby we were living in a basement apartment, and it was cool. She continued to sleep in her normal sleep clothing and a sleep sac. When my second was born we had moved to a new home without air conditioning and even though her room would get hot she loved her sleep sacs. I found lightweight ones that I would put her in with a t-shirt and diaper. I would check both my girls once they were asleep to ensure they weren’t too hot but warm enough that in the cooler mornings they would be fine. If you are lucky to have air conditioning please ensure it’s not too cold and dress your child in temperature appropriate clothing.
Remember that not every child has a perfect sleep every night. However you will achieve greater success by keeping consistent routines and reactions to wakeups. This helps kids to know what to expect.
Don’t forget to enjoy the warm weather and stay safe.
If you are looking for more individual help or have specific questions, please contact me directly at Alison@cheekysleeper.com
Blackout EZ link http://www.blackoutez.com/240.html