Sleep TIps

Making Halloween Fun While Protecting Our Kids Sleep

I will be the first to admin, I didn’t love Halloween until my kids were old enough to get me excited about this holiday. I now happily participate! Watching the joy in my girls eye makes me love all of it.

I have slowly started to participate more and more every year but never not wanted to jeopardize my girls sleep. We have started early, done the baby in a carrier jaunt and now just enjoy the excitement and get back to schedule the next day. I always try to remember it’s only one night.

Last night I event took my girls for a drive at bedtime to see all the spooky lights. Who am I?

My top tips for balancing sleep and this spooky holiday

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  1. Plan ahead. Talk about the the evening and bedtime. For toddlers and preschoolers they like to know what to expect.

  2. EXCITEMENT - if your kids are anything like my kids they are very excited for halloween. Find fun ways to embrace the holiday while sticking to your sleep routines. Include bedtime themed books, make up stories, crafts, colouring sheets and games. One of my favourites is to practise trick or treating…great fun but also a great opportunity to work on manners and behaviour.

  3. Halloween Fear - during the days leading up to halloween or even while trick or treating your child might see or hear something that is scary. Bedtime is often when these memories come back and scare us or our children. When your child does wake up scare or worried - the best plan is to show your child empathy no matter how irrational it seems to you. Talking it through will show you care but can also help them work through it. If the issue is a scary movie or character maybe look for a better movie or tv show.

  4. Scaredy cats- is your child a little too young or nervous about the whole idea of halloween? Look for alternative places to show off costumes such as Nursing homes, malls and even community events as less scared ways to celebrate. If you live in Calgary please check out too cute to spook.

  5. Afternoon nap or quiet time - give your kids the opportunity to nap or have quiet time in the afternoon and make it a little longer as you can expect the excitement and sugar will likely make bedtime a little later.

  6. Have your children leave out pyjamas and bedtime story before you leave the house.

  7. I know it’s hard to limit candy on halloween but the associations between sleep and candy are real. A scientific study concluded that ”Sugar intake is associated with lighter, less restorative sleep with more arousals.” I will give my children one or two to try before we start trick or treating but only after a healthy dinner.

  8. Once you get home turn out the light and bring in the candy. This will limit the number of interruptions you will have during your bedtime routine. Most people respect the no lights or pumpkin rule.

  9. Use your sleep tools - white noise to reduce the outside noise, dark room, bedtime sleep cues - stories, songs and kisses. These are things that help your kids get into the mood for sleep.

  10. Relax - remember this is one night and you can get back on track the next day. Enjoy and make some new memories.

Halloween is lots of fun but making family memories is sometimes as important as a good night's sleep.  I’m always happy to talk you through any concerns.

Happy Sleep

Alison

As always please email me alison@cheekysleeper.com and I am more than happy to help you find the right sleep solution and support to help your family get a better nights sleep.

Newborn Sleep Tips

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     You are a new parent and are having trouble with sleep. Your not alone, sleepless nights in the first few months are normal but there are a few ways you can help create a better routine for your baby. I don’t generally start working with families until their little one is at least 4 months (adjusted). This is when babies will start to string sleep cycles together as weight gain has been established and risk of SIDS has started to reduce.

Here are some Tips:

  • Work on Healthy Sleep Habits
  • Keep wake times short those under 4 months …. (45 minutes to 1.15 hours) 
  • Put baby to sleep awake but drowsy
  • Try to limit the feeding to sleep. Move the last feeding before bedtime to earlier in the bedtime routine. 
  • Create short routines throughout the day. Wake, eat, play. This creates a pattern that you will find easy to reproduce over and over again.
  • Around 2 months start to create “day and night distinction".
    • Day (7 am - 7 pm) happy cheerful voice, lots of light, change to daytime outfit (this can just be clean Pj’s)
    • Night (7 pm - 7 am) calm, dark, quiet.
  • Start a short soothing bedtime/nap time routine. This is more for the parents at this  stage but helps create the relaxed environment conducive to sleep.
  • Asking for help at night is okay. Split the night and take shifts. You wake to feed and your partner deals with the other waking but do what works for your family.
  • New borns will typically sleep 16 - 17 hours in a 24 hour period.

It’s really hard with young babies not to compare your child's sleep with others the same age, live your reality and don't feel unnecessary pressure to get your baby to sleep through the night.  Once your baby reaches 4 - 6 months they should be able to get 8-12 hours stretches. Sleep is a really big deal for most new parents. Take the time and ask for help when you feel ready.  

I'm always happy to help 

Happy Sleep

Alison