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Ways to help your baby fall and stay asleep

 Ways to help your baby fall and stay asleep (Photo: iStock)

A sleeping child is one of the most peaceful and adorable things you will ever see, and you just can't stop staring at their cute, innocent faces. If only putting them to bed was as easy as ABC.

After several bouts of crying, and tantrums and half an hour to midnight, you've finally got them to bed and you're just as tired as they are.

Before you can get some much-needed rest, you are woken by the sound of crying and a faint voice at your bedside. As you put them back to bed for the second night in a row, your alarm clock goes off and the birds chirp.

It's time to wake up and you've had little to no sleep.

At this point, it feels like a nightmare that just won't end.

You can't stop wondering what could be the problem and why you can't fall asleep and stay asleep.

If this sounds like your night every day with your little one, here are a few things to try:

Identify the problem

A very common problem in kids is bedtime fears. Many kids are actually afraid of the dark and being alone through the night. If he or she has a good imagination there are high chances they may be hearing sounds which may cause some fear.

In most cases, the sounds could be coming from the family pet running through the corridor and the images they may be seeing could simply be shadows.

Talk to them and find out what their fears may be and improve the situation by leaving the corridor lights on, leaving their door ajar or playing relaxing Bible verses using a Bluetooth speaker in the background as they sleep.

Create a routine

We are creatures of habit and a consistent bedtime routine will help them fall asleep. Each child should have their own unique routine to help them calm down and wind down after a long day.

This should be the case every day even when they’re on holiday. They will always fall asleep at the same time and stay asleep.

A simple bedtime routine may include a relaxing bath, reading, a simple prayer then tucking them in as they start to doze off.

Reduce stress

If your child is anxious or stressed over something they will find it hard to shut down and sleep. This is because their cortisol levels which is known as the stress hormones are elevated.

Find out what is affecting them and cut it out of their life. Introduce bedtime activities that will help them calm down and fall asleep.

Power down

Enforce a no screen time two hours before bedtime so their brains are not stimulated. You can go further and even switch off the TVs until the little ones get to bed and fall asleep.

Anything that emits blue light should be out of their sight at a certain time every night even on weekends and holidays to encourage and build healthy bedtime habits.

Create proper sleep hygiene

Contrary to what may come to mind, sleep hygiene has nothing to do with taking a bath or brushing your teeth. Rather, it is all about promoting habits that encourage sleep.

You want to do this by creating a cool, quiet and dimly lit environment with minimal distractions where they can fall asleep faster.

Ensure the room has good air circulation and is comfortable enough for them to want to be in there otherwise, they will hate that space.

And tempting as it may be, do not allow them to sleep with the pet which may interfere with their sleep.

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