Raising kids is not easy and neither is dealing with their bad sleep habits. Some things become habit before we even realize what is happening. I admit, some things become habit because it is just easier than the alternative. What bedtime routines should you be breaking now? I have listed a few bad sleep habits below. Keep reading, hopefully you are not condoning any of these!
5 Sleep Habits You Need to Break Your Child of Now
TV: TV is just a bad thing to have in a kid’s room (in my opinion). You have a TV in a central location in your house, your child’s room should be a place she can play. Electronics and screens should be off at bedtime (really an hour before), to allow for complete rest. I am guilty of this. I used to let my daughter use the iPad in bed for a bit, and then it took forever for her to fall asleep once I took it away and said it was bedtime. Her brain was still wired from the screen.
Sippy cup or bottle: This is grounds for potential dental issues. Dentists call this ‘bottle mouth’, it causes pitting and discoloration. Sugars from milk or juice (even if it is watered down) sits on the teeth overnight and will rot the enamel. You take care of your own teeth right? Even though you might be thinking your child will lose his baby teeth, they can actually rot the adult teeth before the baby teeth even think of falling out. Stop the sippy cup madness.
Calling your name/getting out of bed: I am in the midst of this bad sleep habits battle as we speak. Although it seems harmless, it is really quite annoying. I am sure you can relate with bedtime being quiet time for adults as well. You put your child to bed and you heave a big sigh of relief, you can put your feet up and catch up on your show. Oh but wait, hit the pause button because your child needs a glass of water. Ok she is hydrated, back to Netflix. As soon as you hit play, you feel a tap on your shoulder. Stop this habit now. Create a reward system where your child can put a sticker on a chart for every night he stays in bed.
Bad snack habits: We know we shouldn’t give our kids caffeine too close to bed, but sending them off with an empty stomach may not be the best idea either. Obviously, you don’t want to load them up with a four-course meal an hour before bed, but consider giving your child a light healthy snack about an hour before lights out. Something as simple as a glass of milk or a piece of fruit can help hold them over until morning.
Rocking your child to sleep (every night): Before you think I am heartless and do not have a soul, hear me out. A baby is different. I loved rocking my babies to sleep, watching them sleep in my arms and hearing them breathe. It can be a problem when your child will not go to sleep otherwise. When your toddler will not go to sleep unless you rock him, it can get to be a little much.
Sleeping in pillowcase: This is one of those sleep habits that you can let slide. Actually my daughter does this from time to time. I am still not sure why. I am sure she will grow out of it. I do not foresee her being 13 years old and sleeping inside her pillow case. Well if she is, so be it, at least her tooth enamel is in tact.
Have you discovered you are a party to any of these bad bedtime habits? I have come clean, so should you. The reality is that sometimes it is easier to just give in, but we are not doing our children any good by not enforcing good bedtime behavior. Play classical music for my daughter and she will be asleep in no time, give her the TV and you might be asleep before she is.
What have you done to make some positive changes to bad sleep habits? Share with us the trials and triumphs of your reality!