Children and sleeping, it is a subject that many parents do not talk about. While one baby sleeps through the night from a few weeks of age, other children sleep in their parents' bed until puberty. We talked to sleep coach Simone ( @sleepmoon ) and received a few useful tips & tricks to help our children (and ourselves ;)) sleep better.
1. SLEEPING ON A PARENT IS NORMAL
We received a lot of questions about babies who only want to sleep on one of their parents and therefore do not fall asleep 'independently'. This is very normal from a biological point of view: certainly during the first 3 months after birth, also known as the 'fourth trimester', babies still have a lot of skin hunger and most babies continue to do so for a while afterwards. From around 8-9 months, many babies also develop separation anxiety and the closeness of a parent provides security and safety. So it is beneficial for the well-being of your baby, but it must also be good for the well-being of the parent. So ask yourself whether it is really a problem for you, or whether you secretly like it but don't think it 'should be like that'. Would you like to see if you can change it? Then add some other sleep rituals, such as music, a salt stone lamp or a sleeping bag. When physical contact disappears, these other sleep associations are still there and the transition is more gradual. But don't put too much pressure on having to put your baby or child down while awake: biologically speaking, it is very natural to put your baby down when he or she is asleep. Our golden tip? Rent a co-sleeper for the first few months so that you always have your baby close to you.
2. EXERCISE BEFORE BEDDING
"I do not want to go to bed!" is the most spoken sentence in the evenings at our house. The older your children get, the more aware they are of having to go to bed and being away from their parents for extended periods of time. What can help is to exercise a bit before going to sleep. Playing , dancing, climbing : if the energy can be released, this helps to regulate emotions. Make sure you end playing quietly to go into the night.
3. CONNECTION WITH 1 ON 1 MOMENTS
Nowadays our children receive a lot more stimuli during the day than before. It is important to help them de-stimulate in the evening. If this does not work properly, children may go to sleep very late, have difficulty falling asleep or have a restless night. As a parent, you can help them by building in a 1-on-1 moment during or at the end of the day: put your phone away and pay full attention to your child to consciously make that 1-on-1 connection. For example, play a game together , involve them in cooking or discuss what you did that day.
4. INSTALL RHYTHM? OBSERVE YOUR BABY
There is often little rhythm in the first weeks or months with a baby. Do you still feel the need to build in a little more structure? Then you can start paying attention to how long your child is awake (in the beginning this is often only 45 minutes), and what the signals are when they get tired. This way you can increasingly recognize your baby's rhythm and respond to it with certain times for certain sleeps. But: don't be fooled by all the schedules and routines you find on Google. Take a good look at what feels right for you as a parent. They're not robots ;).
5. TAKE A FEW DEEP BREATHS
Oh how frustrated we can sometimes get when our children don't want to sleep! Our children naturally understand us perfectly in that respect. A simple tip but with immediate results: try to breathe deeply in and out slowly a few times while holding your baby. Your baby will immediately feel that peace.
Pssst, still looking for a suitable bed for your baby? View our collection of co-sleepers .